Insidious little ripples

Oct 17 2013 Published by under [Science in Society]

I've been quieter than normal this week. Not so much in this space, as my posting rate has declined dramatically in the last few months, but on twitter. Some of that is because of work and life, but mostly I've been watching the Bora story unfold. I'm not going to rehash it, if you need a primer you can find most of what you need over at Isis' place or on Gawker.

I haven't had much to add to the excellent coverage and brave stories of so many. I'm simultaneously horrified and saddened at so many experiences by so many in the online science world, be they as a result of direct interaction with Bora, or not. Every time I want to feel good that I am raising daughters in a world that is more aware of these issues, there's a reality check like this. I also doubt we've heard everything there is to hear in this instance.

Anytime there is a sexual harassment case involving a high profile individual in any community, there's a massive fall out. There's the obvious: the victims and the people close to them, the perpetrator and the people close to him. Perhaps less immediately obvious are the victims we will never hear from, for one reason or another. And then there's the conversation started by this tweet:

I urge you to go take a read through it. It speaks to a much larger issue that we have as a culture, which is simply boiling to the surface in the wake of the initial fallout. Like the rest of this giant mess, I'm still trying to come to grips with the extent of the problem and my role in trying to make the situation better. These are important conversations to be having and issues to be confronting. Unfortunately, it takes so many people getting hurt before we're willing to publicly broach these topics.

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