Tales of a Woman geologist - Geoscientist online special, April 2014
By: Sue Treagus
Current revelations in Britain that sexual harassment permeated the
workings of many organisations in the past, will come as little surprise
to women 'of a certain age', says Sue Treagus.
Those of us who attended university in the 1960s, and especially those
who studied science or medicine, are unlikely to have escaped some
awkward moments, or even feeling occasionally threatened or in danger.
The dilemma was what to do about it, if anything. It might seem shocking
to our sons and daughters, that there was little that could be done
without marking oneself as a tell-tale or trouble-maker, putting one's
studies or career in danger. Many will not understand why women are
coming forward now, and saying they were abused, harassed, forced to
accept sexual advances, or much worse, decades ago. Are painful
recollections made in the hope of retribution, or valid just as
important historical records? I recall a history professor telling me
that the trouble with retelling history in TV dramas, is that the lay
audience will judge the events from their current lives, and by today's
standards. For the younger generation to understand what happened to
women 40-50 years ago, we need to go back to what it was like at that
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