by Dr. Nicole M. Elias and Dr. Maria J. D’Agostino:
The #MeToo movement, which has rocked politics, media, business and entertainment, is exploding with full force in academia.
What does this mean for the world of higher education? What are the issues, dynamics, power structures, and practices that are taken for granted and make sexual harassment and sexual assault so prevalent in higher education?
Most recently, Karen Kelsky conducted a crowd sourced survey of sexual harassment in the academy that documents more than 2400 cases. The implications of the #Metoo Movement for academia span common practices, policies, and culture in higher education. #MeToo experiences have emerged from teaching, mentoring, and research arrangements beyond the classroom. These incidents have prompted a larger conversation and rethinking of the power dynamics in academia; namely, the role of institutions and individuals in preventing sexual harassment and assault. The #MeToo movement presents an opportunity to question and change the assumed practices and structures that perpetuate and render sex and gender inequity invisible. This blog thread will run throughout the Spring 2019 semester with a contribution from Dr. Shannon Portillo. Contributors to this series provide diverse perspectives on #MeToo. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join our discussion with the aim of offering potential solutions to these difficult challenges. If you have questions or would like to contribute, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.