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Anna Meier @annameierPS
, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The #MeTooPoliSci short course today at #APSA2018 was educational, emotional, and empowering. A smattering of things I learned and practices we can all implement: (thread)
1. Title IX leaves a lot of room for interpretation & many universities have different policies regarding things like mandatory reporting. Find out if you're a mandatory reporter, and if you are, put it in your syllabus/discuss on syllabus day.
2. Find out which hospitals in your area have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE nurses) who are specially trained to do rape kits so you have that information if a student needs it.
3. Find out where the confidential spaces on campus are (i.e. spaces without mandatory reporters): these may be counseling centers, chapels, etc. Maybe you will never need to know this info. Still, being prepared can help you (& others) navigate a crisis.
4. So much of what universities do to address issues surrounding race and gender—such as appointing a POC to oversee "diversity" issues—don't get at the structures underlying why those problems exist. Pursue transformative solutions that change logics & eschew linear "progress".
5. Title IX is for students. Title VII is for workplace sexual harassment. Under Title VII, sexual harassment is severe, pervasive, subjectively offensive, and objectively offensive in the eyes of a "reasonable person".
6. What constitutes a "reasonable person" varies from judge to judge & can be anyone with similar life experiences/identities to the defendant OR whatever the judge thinks an average person is. Hugely problematic.
7. The federal statute of limitations on a workplace sexual harassment claim is 180 days. Some states extend this to 300. The clock starts when harassment starts...but you might want to wait & see if it persists to make a stronger case (b/c of "severe and pervasive" requirement).
8. Good news: harassment under the law is not about the perp's intent but about the effect on the listener/victim. Bad news: litigation rarely engenders sweeping change. The lawyer who spoke to us said #metoo has done more to change things than any court case.
9. What about internal policies? Most university policies are about risk management rather than changing the climate. But that, too, is changing.
10. Some schools have made how someone treats department/university staff a part of that person's tenure review. This should be standard practice.
11. Disciplinary orgs also have a role to play. The American Anthropological Association has defined sexual harassment as unacceptable within that discipline. This seems minor, but it defines the problem as institutional rather than individual. That matters.
12. Mobilization works. One woman organized other women in her department (caveat: she also had a receptive chair) & saw changes in hiring practices around racial and gender diversity. There's strength & safety in numbers, especially for grads/junior faculty.
13. That said, numbers don't always work: a prof recently found responsible for sexual harassment scandal in one department had been reported multiple times by grad students, but those in power didn't believe reports "because there were so many" (???????).
14. Switching to topics more focused on race: if you study a non-"Western" country, center scholarship by people from that country. Ignoring their work is to suggest that you know their country better than they do. (You don't.)
15. Departments need to help serve marginalized students. Funding that actually covers costs & isn't dispensed through reimbursement matters. *Encouraging* people to go to things matters. Let people know they're welcome in spaces that may seem foreign/intimidating.
16. Lastly (there's a lot more, but I'll stop here): it's great if junior people/grads/marginalized ppl feel empowered. But that doesn't remove the responsibility of acting from senior/privileged people who can act without risking their careers. Ask how you have power & use it.
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