“Harassment”

In an October 1978 Miami Student Letter to the Editor, four women from the Miami community respond to a “disparaging letter” from a man named Mr. Glass. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of Mr. Glass’ letter, but it was in response to the Women’s Resource Center’s newsletter on sexual harassment at Miami. The document detailed accounts from students and a professor who had been harassed by fellow peers and superiors. It provided helpful information about the intricacies of sexual harassment.

Presumably, Mr. Glass wrote a Letter to the Editor and submitted it to the Student.

In the Letter to the Editor from four Miami women, they challenge Glass’ claims that the sexual harassment handout (and a follow-up bulletin from the Office of the Provost) used “McCarthyist hysteria.” Instead of starting a witch hunt, the document aimed to educate Miami students and professors. In the words of the four women, the newsletter and follow-up bulletin called “long overdue attention to a situation” that impacts everyone.

The women also respond to Glass’ “callous dismissal of a young woman’s fright.” This most likely refers to one of the three examples included in the Women’s Resource Center’s newsletter. Sexual harassment is not something to disregard because “it is the degradation of another human being.” It is not flattering, and it is not excusable.

To end their letter, the women speak on behalf of Miami when they say that sexual harassment does not align with the ideals of the community. This sentiment is still relevant today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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