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The price of sympathy with the harasser

23 Feb 2016, 14:39 UTC
The price of sympathy with the harasser
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[ Trigger warnings abound for what follows: references to sexual harassment and assault. ]
A cake is not the proper way to combat sexual harassment; neither is a sympathetic article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. [Via Cakewrecks.com]This week, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article by Robin Wilson about the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in science, focusing on the case of Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy. The article made many valid points: public shaming of sexual harassers is a last-ditch effort to achieve justice, when the official channels fail (as they too often do). Ultimately, however, the story ends up being Marcy’s story, his version of what happened, virtually unchallenged. Wilson visits Marcy’s home, talks to his wife, and paints a picture of a sad man facing the premature end of a glorious career that could very well leave the reader with the impression that Marcy was the real victim here.
But he wasn’t, and isn’t.
Marcy characterized his misdeeds as “a hug and a kiss on the cheek from 15 years ago”, which isn’t the case at all. It shows he isn’t repentant at the very least, much less ready for rehabilitation. While Wilson does point ...

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