[INDOLOGY] Indologist at Center of Sexual Harassment Mess at Berkeley
caf57 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Oct 6 16:37:37 UTC 2016
As soon as I read the articles posted by Audrey, I thought that nobody
would have ever dared to comment them, lest she or he would raise an
heated discussion. Prof. Slaje had the courage to share his comments and
I am very grateful to him for this.
Although I am on the side of the three harassed women (since we have
been incited to take sides), I also believe that Prof. Slaje's argument
about statistical data is very sound (so, I take both sides, probably
it's my Italian nature, but I don't want to turn this discussion into a
My first thought was "why is this case particularly relevant for South
Asian (or if you prefer, Indological) studies?"
I don't think that our field was, is or will be exempt from cases of
sexual harassment. Why should it be? Are South Asianists or Indologists
drastically different from all other human beings? This case of
harassment merely adds another very sad chapter in the history of sexual
harassment in academia--and hence in the world. It does not have
anything to do with South Asian studies or Indology, it has to do with
Prof. Valerie Roebuck commented:
"I was glad to have access to a modest bit of information about this
case. People outside the US will not have seen it in the newspapers, and
will want to be informed about possible problems if they are thinking of
recommending the institution to their students."
I disagree. I would still recommend UC Berkeley to female students. Why?
Because the fact that three brave women had the courage to come forward
and talk about the harassment they have been exposed to doesn't mean
that UC Berkeley is more dangerous than any other university. For all we
know, something similar is happening right now in many other
universities all over the world. The difference is only that these
episodes have been brought to light. I hope that in the future more
women will have the courage to report cases of sexual harassment.
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