An Academic Witch Hunt

My faculty is very conservative. As an unmarried mother, my partner and I were never able to feel ‘at home’ when interacting with other colleagues and their wives (there were no other women on staff). At first I just thought people were being a little unfriendly but slowly I realised that I was the victim of a witch-hunt. It began with constantly having to justify everything I did, both my research and teaching – I was clearly being observed and evaluated by all. But it got much worse. I was harassed by students on a website organised by a fellow professor and when I asked for action to be taken to stop this site nothing was done. This made them feels safe and they went a step further. They published a satirical magazine on a website calling me a lesbian, accusing me of sleeping with my female students and spicing things up with pictures of witches. I couldn’t believe my eyes and again no one stopped this, people just pretended nothing was happening and I was beginning to feel crushed and hopeless. Finally I decided to take legal actions but I was totally on my own. Eventually I fell into a depression and had to take time off of work. After a while I started looking for other jobs, I could not go back there. While I am now back at work this experience really destroyed my sense of self and career.

Signed: Pocahontas

The story happened to me at an academic institution in Belgium

Mothers Are Apparently Not Scholars

After serving for two years on an important national committee, the Chair of the committee forgot my contributions at the committee’s annual meeting. Why? Well, as he told me privately after the meeting, he had become accustomed to thinking of me as a mother and not as an academic despite the facts that my work on the committee was exemplary and that I am an established scholar.

Story signed by : CHCF

The story happened to me as a Dr. Prof. in the year 2014 at an academic institution in Not in Belgium