So I'm skimming along in Google Reader, thinking it's the year 2007, when whoa! I happen upon this post by Female Science Professor. Did he actually call her "science lady"? WTF? What millennium are we living in?
And this is the kind of response you get from the authorities when you are calling about a long-standing, well-documented problem of stalking/harassment. But hey, she wasn't actually physically assaulted by the stalker, so what's the big deal, right? Plus, she was asking for it.
What if she was physically assaulted and was actually unable to ask for it at the time - i.e., unconscious? What if the offender is actually convicted by our justice system of rape? Well, if you are Very Important Brain Researcher Tracy McIntosh, then a slap on the wrist and a few months of house arrest ought to be sufficient. Don't forget the six months off to accept a research appointment at a medical facility in Milan, Italy. The world must not be deprived of Tracy McIntosh's brilliance - let's not let a little thing like sexual assault of his friend's niece stand in the way! Potential academic rapists, take note: if you want to get off with just the minor inconvenience of house arrest, make sure to portray yourself as doing research of immense "societal value", which far outweighs the pain and lifetime of emotional trauma you have inflicted upon your victim. I mean, she was just a woman after all.
Fortunately, the moronic judge Rayford A. Means has finally had the decency to disqualify himself from McIntosh's appeals court-ordered resentencing. The DA is asking the new judge for "prison time of at least 5 1/2 years".
But I have to say, these two experiences with the cops and the courts don't give me a lot of faith in the system should I ever be in need of it.
Unfortunately there are many other cases, including a few I can think of involving assault on boys by Ivy League profs. They were jailed but so many bleeding hearts came out to defend them with exactly those types of arguments ("depriving the world of their research, blah blah."). The issue is really hierarchy / tenure vs. vulnerable people, especially children. Yes I know the victims of these attacks are disproportionally women overall, but it's worth mentioning that young boys are also victims of academics (just like of clergy...).
Puke on their shoes, Zuska!
Let's see ... the judge originally gave him a non-custodial sentence because his work is too important to be interrupted. But it now turns out no-one wants to employ the creep anyway. It seems that McIntosh's potential employers have more sense than Judge Means.
I find that to be more than puke on your shoes worthy! It amazes me that rapists get off so easily, especially those of higher means. If he was a drug pushing black man, would he have gotten a house arrest sentence? I think not! Be consistent in sentencing! Who cares if your research is on the verge of curing AIDS Im sure someone else could pick it up and do just fine! Rape is a felony last time I checked and should be treated as such. In my opinion rapists should always get life no exceptions, no appeals. I think that would be a step in the right direction to give women the respect and support they deserve!
Thanks for bring this story to my attention. I keep hoping that we'll get the message across one day, but we still seem to have a long way to go.
After you've puked on this police officer's shoes, can we kick him or something to knock some sense into him?
I came here from Feminist Law Professors - great post! The link for Tracy McIntosh doesn't work, and when I googled him I found that he's been resentenced. He and his lawyers are trying to argue out of it, and it's not clear if he's in jail while this is going on. One can only hope.