Fed-up French postgrads tackle sex pest taboo

二月 8, 2002

Sexual harassment - a taboo topic in French higher education - is being challenged by a group of postgraduates who are gaining support across the university system.

Clasches (Collectif de Lutte Anti-Sexiste et Contre le Harcèlement dans l'Enseignement Supérieur), set up in January by ten social science students, is gaining widespread support from the academic world. A petition on its website gathered several hundred signatures in under a week.

"We wanted to break the silence," said a founder member, a postgraduate student at the Sorbonne who asked to remain anonymous. Clasches was an attempt to bring the problem of sexual harassment to public attention and mobilise the universities, she said.

Clasches denounces what it claims are "numerous cases of sexual harassment" in institutions. While conspiracies of silence mean few facts are available, anecdotal evidence and rumours abound.

One of the petition's signatories, Eric Fassin, professor of sociology at the Ecole Normale Superieure, said: "Students, especially graduate students, very much depend upon their professors. They need intellectual support, but also financial aid, letters of recommendation for jobs and so on. This is an intense relationship, often based on mutual admiration, but the dependence is not mutual." It was not surprising that "sometimes there may be more", he said.

"The cases I hear about in France are not based on consent - they are about students who say no, and professors who won't take no for an answer."

Reprisals follow, and victims, especially if they refuse to remain silent, have "simply disappeared", said Professor Fassin. "They have been drowned in oblivion. And the harassers are still around."

Victims can sue, but in 2000 there were only 34 convictions. Clasches wants universities to introduce regulations to resolve the problem - if not, it will encourage students to turn to the law.

Details: clasches.multimania.com

Please
or
to read this article.

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论