Contributor Perspectives

Harassment: A Problem of Geostrategic Proportions

Ian Morris
Board of Contributors
Nov 29, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
A protester brandishes the slogans

A premodern farming society could function only if women remained in the home, but a modern industrialized society is entirely different. In the 21st century, a country where one in six women working in Congress has experienced sexual harassment -- as the journal CQ Roll Call reports is true of the United States -- will struggle to compete with a country where the equivalent figure is lower.


On Monday morning, I got an email containing my certificate of completion for SHP-1001-WEB-FY17, California's mandatory harassment prevention training for supervisors and faculty. As a university professor, I'm legally required to complete this two-hour online course every other year. This sort of requirement is new; back in the days when I was a graduate student at Cambridge in the 1980s, some senior faculty members regularly referred to a particular women's college -- in jest, they would sometimes add -- as the "happy hunting ground." One grand old man of the academy, some of whose classes I took, left among his effects when he died an album containing dozens of photographs of young women, all sleeping in the bed in his college rooms. Something else that's new is that graying men in positions of power over younger women are being called to account when they abuse these positions. Over the past several...

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