It is perfectly fine to be nice to strangers, but what happens when they don’t deserve it?
How dare Professor Jonathan Katz minimize the very real experiences of my nonwhite or nonmale colleagues who have braved incredible obstacles and curmudgeonly old professors—Katz most certainly included—to come to and thrive at Washington University.
This week was a banner one for our favorite sports media game: Professional Sports Man Says Something Dumb About Women. And I’m not just talking about NFL reporter Adam Schefter becoming a sexual assault apologist because the player in question was “adamant” that despite photographic and testimonial evidence to the contrary, he didn’t throw his girlfriend onto a bed covered with guns, strangle her and threaten to kill her.
B.J. Novak’s performance on Wednesday marks the 12th semester in a row that a man has headlined Washington University’s comedy shows. Although Novak’s show was undeniably popular, it’s time to start considering whether picking the first comedian we recognize is the best approach.
Students lined the halls of Crow Hall, home of the physics department at Washington University, in a sit-in to spread awareness of the lack of gender diversity among physics faculty.
My mother taught me a few things about the way a man should treat me. He should hold the door open and always let me go first. If he walks in front of you as the waitress takes you to the table, that’s how you know a relationship is doomed.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I spent two years taking undergraduate upper division classes, several more years studying for my Ph.D. and then almost three years as a post doc researcher in the Washington University physics department. It was a good place to be a woman.
We as a society seem to be under the impression that a woman’s body is not her own, especially if the woman happens to be an attractive celebrity. If Jennifer Lawrence walks out in public wearing sweats and a bare face, her picture is everywhere. If Kirsten Dunst gains five pounds and decides to do something drastic like, I don’t know, wear a swimsuit, her picture is everywhere. If Hope Solo takes a private picture of herself meant for the eyes of a specific person, well, you can guess the rest.
The other day, some friends and I were indulging in the shallow yet ever-intriguing topic of attractive celebrities. As the girls at the table listed off attractive older male movie stars (George Clooney, Hugh Grant, Tom Cruise, etc.), I was surprised to find that my male friends failed to name even one older female celebrity who they found attractive.
In writing this letter, we by no means intend to diminish the gravity of the racial implications of the actions taken by Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledges in Bear’s Den last week, but we do hope to bring to light another facet of the issue: sexism.