When 'All you need is a good fuck' doesn't get you fired.

WARNING: May be triggering for those who are survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

This is a short message, but it’s been something on my mind this week and I’m not really sure why.

When I was attending Harvard as a grad student, my friend told me that at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard, there was a faculty and staff meeting. One of the few women in the department attended this meeting. She expressed her concern and complaints about something. One of the white male professors responded to her, “Maybe all you need is a good fuck.” He didn’t get in trouble. He didn’t lose his job. All though this happened about 8 years ago, I think about this story often and wonder why he did not get in trouble; I wonder how it made this woman feel. How unsafe she may have felt. It’s disgusting, but not surprising that this man did not get in serious trouble. I wonder if anyone in that room– any men– said anything to that sexually harassing man.

Just a quick post and thought.


8 thoughts on “When 'All you need is a good fuck' doesn't get you fired.

  1. Wow. He sounds like he would be a rapist….How sad.

    Sometimes I wonder how do people go from being these cute innocent infants to being so horrible and filled with so much hate within themselves.

  2. This is beyond shocking, really, particularly because it was in public meeting with MULTIPLE witnesses. I can only imagine what happens in a more secluded setting. Unbelievable…but not unbelievable. I have a close friend who was sexually harassed by a clergyman on a university campus (she had sought counsel on religious conversion and, of course, the predator built a relationship of trust first). The predator had been on campus for DECADES and, big no-surprise, it turns out the administration knew about his repeated abuses but did nothing about it. The predator has since retired but, unfortunately, is still alive and well. Not the only sexual harassment I’ve heard about recently (found out about a case in a nearby campus in which a professor sexually harassed the student whose doctoral work he supervised). But this “maybe you need a good f” is just so blatant and public that reading about it froze me for a moment.

    1. P, Susan, and Lorrie, I think I will contact the Center for Astrophysics this week and ask about this incident. not sure if it makes sense, but I feel compelled to do so. I think USA was built on sexual predatory logic. After all, one needs to exploit and abuse the bodies of enslaved Blacks to ‘build a nation’. It was very common for white slavemasters to repeatedly rape black female slaves, and when impregnation happened, they enslaved their own children. I really think this mentality is ‘the norm’ and why incidents like the one I mentioned happened without the professor being kicked out; without any of the professors and staff there not creating a huge uproar about this man’s disgusting behavior. (sigh)

      1. Sadly, as you know, the university system is based on a predatory, intimidating disciplinary practices. And, more specifically, places like Harvard, Cornell, etc. are all literally built on money from the slave trade. To say nothing of its Byzantine employment policies (which, as we know, work quite differently despite Codes of Behavior, Sexual Harassment “Training,” and EEOC statements). I honestly think that even a corporation would have taken SOME kind of action over this because it was witnessed by so many. I have no doubt that Harvard operates like the worst of medieval patriarchal/racial fiefdoms.

        It would be fascinating what the astrophysics lab would say…my bet is they will deny it or give you some “records are expunged after five years” type of thing. Keep us posted.

  3. This disgusted me – though it didn’t really surprise me. In my experience the academy is really a very nasty place.

    I do wonder if I would feel as strongly if the same person had said to a man “All you need is to get laid” or “All you need is a good f*ck.”

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