But so are a lot of us.
So have most colleagues of most faculty. When a grad brings up faculty harassment, it's them--temporary, transient, less trusted--vs a long-term community member. It's part of the challenge of #MeTooPhD.
Some harassment happens in full view of conferences, onlookers, etc. But most doesn't, in part because there are consequences. You do not and cannot know how your colleagues treat students in private.
Must we go into the trope of retaliatory, unreliable accusers? False accusations do exist. They're rare. But their existence is used to discredit almost anyone alleging sexual harassment/assault.
Sexual harassment/assault often come down to he-said/she-said. It's why "believe victims/women" has emerged as feminist praxis: the one is a harasser or the other a liar.+
At best, this is relevant how?
At worst, it's an implicit--& all too common!--argument to excuse bad behavior because of the perpetrator's "genius."
I particularly like this inclusion in light of Derrida's defense of a mentee found responsible for harassment--Derrida wielded his reputation & many of these same fallacies as a cudgel.
This appears to be an argument for special treatment. If NYU handled her case poorly, then that should be a problem regardless of her standing.+
That should have no place in adjudications.
This brings external pressure to bear on the adjudicatory and disciplinary process, unrelated to the actual merits of the case.
HAVE WE NOT SUFFICIENTLY DISCUSSED THE PROBLEMS IN MOURNING AN INDIVIDUAL'S WORK VS THE LOST POTENTIAL/WORK OF THEIR VICTIMS'?!?
The letter provides nothing to suggest the hearing was unfair, but seems to imply that anything finding her responsible must not have been fair.
confidential dossier." The published email excerpts look pretty squicky. We don't know what additional information the signatories have.
Which brings me back around to my main issue: we don't know.
This is a letter that reeks of defensiveness.
It is a letter full of victim-blaming cliches.
It says you will not believe us.
If you know of exculpatory evidence that you cannot share, I am sorry for your situation, but many of us will still mistrust you until we learn more.
It is not enough, here, to say "trust me."
But instead we have to ask whether the luminaries of our field recognize their own weaponization of harmful narratives. Narratives that they themselves once elucidated for us.