She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’

Recently, reports of sexual harassment and assault within science departments at the University of California, Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Chicago have been in the news. Academia will have to respond. A great chorus of formal condemnation shall be lifted up, and my male colleagues will sputter with gall, appalled by the actions of bad apples so rare they have been encountered by every single woman I know.

Female scientists like me will be solicited for constructive solutions that don’t involve anybody getting fired. Female students will be advised to examine how their own behavior might have contributed, and I will have more than my usual trouble keeping my mouth shut.