Powerful truths about sexual harassment


Today, the House Committee on Science had a hearing about sexual harassment. The whole thing is worth your time, but holy moly there were two moments in particular, 6 minutes of your time, that I feel compelled to share:

First, Dr. Kate Clancy delivered testimony on what sexual harassment is, and how deep and pervasive the problem is, and how our academic culture allows it to persist. The entire testimony is filled with mic-drops and moments of searing truth, I can’t even pick a few pull-quotes because the whole thing is golden:


Second, Dr. Clancy explained that women leave STEM because of harassment, not because of motherhood:


This is speaking truth to power.

One common theme in the testimony is the need for culture change — in which put-downs are simply not tolerated, and bystanders are well prepared to respond to harassment at the moment it occurs. Yes, we need codes of conduct, and we need accountability — but this hinges on creating a culture where women do not experience day-to-day devaluation as scientists. If you feel like you have a lot to learn, as I do, then this testimony is important listening material.