Justice and Repair: The Forced Sterilizations 25 Years Later on Friday, 16th July. The panel will explore the enduring legacy of Fujimori’s policies in Peru. Register here: https://bit.ly/3wnBBYt
Register now: https://bit.ly/pride-in-practice
Harvard issues its decision on Gary Urton and the charges of sexual misconduct. He was found guilty. Oh, if they only knew it all. I think they have chosen not to. I suggest reading Becky Cooper’s book, We Keep the Dead Close, for more about this despicable man.
Dear members of the Anthropology Department, Dumbarton Oaks, and Peabody Museum colleagues,
I am writing to inform you of upcoming changes within the Department of Anthropology that will occur as a result of disciplinary actions being taken regarding Dr. Gary Urton. As these changes directly impact the members of the Department, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Peabody Museum, I describe them here, as well as the findings that motivated them.
The Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) recently completed a thorough and careful review of formal allegations made against Dr. Urton and concluded that he engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct and abused power with individuals over whom he had professional responsibility. Additionally, he engaged in persistent sexual harassment of a member of the community, interfering with that individual’s ability to engage in FAS educational programs and activities. Moreover, ODR found that Dr. Urton provided materially misleading information in the course of its investigation, conduct that had the potential of subverting the integrity of the University’s investigatory processes. The ODR review documented behavior that was in violation of FAS policies on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and unprofessional conduct. In short, Dr. Urton exhibited a pattern of behavior that betrayed the trust of our community and violated our fundamental institutional values.
Given the gravity of these findings, the following sanctions have been levied against Dr. Urton:
As of June 10, 2021, Dr. Urton has been stripped of his emeritus appointment.
All rights and privileges customarily conferred by the FAS on faculty who hold emeritus appointments, as listed in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook, have been revoked, including:
- He may not hold the title of emeritus Professor or Research Professor
- He may not teach any undergraduate students or GSAS students
- He may not advise any GSAS graduate students
- He will not have any Library privileges
- He will not have a Harvard email address or access to IT services through the FAS
- He will not have any office space within the FAS
- He will not be allowed to raise funds through the FAS, nor will he have any access to any research funding through the FAS
- He will not have access to any administrative support
- He will not be allowed to attend FAS Faculty Meetings as a guest or in any other capacity
- And he will not receive any FAS mailings to the community.
Dr. Urton is no longer welcome on any part of the FAS campus or to attend any FAS-sponsored events held off campus. In addition, the President has agreed to place the same sanction on the entire Harvard campus and on all Harvard-sponsored events.
The sanctions described above are proportionate to the severity of the behavior observed and seek to uphold and further our shared community standards and the safe, fair, and respectful environment necessary to promote academic excellence. I remind all members of our community that if you witness or experience sexual or gender-based harassment, there are many resources available, including the FAS Title IX Coordinators, the University Office for Gender Equity, Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, the Harvard Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program.
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
There is so much going on in this world. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID. I am also simultaneously struggling to do justice to the women who have reached out to me to describe their experiences with campus sexual assault and harassment, and the the Offices of Dispute Resolution to which they are remanded. ODR? Sounds neutral and perhaps promising. Not so fast. I have had two women relate their experiences. One found the experience of meeting with ODR staff so traumatic that she withdrew her complaint due to suicidal ideation. The ODR staffed “grilled” her in an adversarial manner that was so abrasive that she felt re-violated and withdrew her complaint. The second woman was asked about her sexual history—years prior to her complaint about a sexually harassing professor — and was so ill afterwards that she withdrew her complaint to focus on her health and that of her husband. Will gender justice be delayed by COVID? We know that rates of interpersonal and domestic violence have spiked; has the remote learning environment ironically meant a reprieve from professorial harassment because students are off-site? If recovery from COVID means “rebuilding better,” then perhaps we can address the issue of campus sexual assault and harassment as part of a broader spectrum of gender-based violence that grinds female students down…and out. So many #missingwomen in our classes, on our campuses, in the people we count as colleagues in our universities.
What’s on my mind? Femicide. From the NYT: “The police said the suspect had previously been a customer of at least two of the businesses where eight people were killed.” Yes, people, in this case of Asian descent. Racism lethally infused this atrocity. Yet I think we are missing something here. What about the killing of women and girls because they are… women and girls? During the Trump administration, blatant misogyny was given full encouragement, as was racism. For some Trump supporters, this was Their Leader “just telling it like it is.” I disagree. He was telling it like he wished it to be, tapping into angry white male nostalgia for the “good old days” when their entitlement came as naturally as the air they breathed and the pussies they grabbed — with impunity. To recognize these murders as hate crimes is important, but they are more than that: they constitute acts of femicide, a term widely used throughout Latin America, the region of the world in which I conduct my research.
U.N. Women defines femicide as the “intentional murder of women because they are women, but may be defined more broadly to include any killings of women or girls.” This builds upon the work of Mexican scholars Julia Monárrez and Marcela Lagarde, who analyzed the systematic killing of women in Ciudad Juarez in the 1990s. They suggested the concept “feminicide,” based on the notion that femicide is a gender-specific word for homicide while feminicide refers to the killing of women based on their social or biological gender, and the characteristics attributed to that gender. With this term, they also aimed to hold states accountable for crimes of omission or commission: how can so many women and girls be killed with so little accountability? Where are agents of the state in ensuring the security of women and girls? One thinks of the Chilean feminist collective lastesis, founded by Dafne Valdés, Paula Cometa, Sibila Sotomayor, and Lea Cáceres, four women from Valparaíso, Chile. On November 25, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, hundreds of women gathered around the Chilean capital of Santiago to denounce gendered violence. The women moved to a synchronized choreography while declaring with one voice, “¡Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía!” (And the fault was not mine, not where I was, nor how I was dressed!) Shifting the blame away from women who experience sexual violence and onto the state, they pointed to functionaries such as the police, judges, and the president declaring, “¡El violador eres tú!” (The rapist is you!) Pumping their fists defiantly into the air the women chanted, “¡El estado opresor es un macho violador! (The oppressive state is a male rapist!). The protest, named “Un Violador en tu camino,” went viral. The rapist in a woman’s path assumes many forms, cloaked all too frequently in the patriarchal misogyny of the state.
Eight people killed: they were women, of Asian descent. The United States is a dangerous place to be a woman or a girl. Please, do not remind us that it is so much worse in Country X, as though we should be silently grateful. There is an exercise I use in my gender class at the Fletcher School. I ask the classroom full of students to help me compile a list of everything they did the previous week to avoid being sexually assaulted. “Keys threaded through my fingers as I walked to my car”; “don’t jog with earphones in case someone sneaks up behind me”; “only walk on well lighted streets at dusk”; “drop off each of my female friends at her house and wait until she is safely inside the door before driving off”; “look in the back seat of my car before getting in” — the list grows ominously long. And we pause to allow the men in the class to let this sink in. They are frequently stunned by the list. How much time and energy do we women and girls expend to avoid being harassed, assaulted, killed? It can be exhausting.
Those 8 women in Atlanta were killed in their place of employment; they thought they had safely arrived to work. Many more women and girls are killed in their homes by partners, husbands, fathers, boyfriends. From home to work and back, how much longer must women and girls tolerate the lethal violence in their path?