Posted by: bluesyemre | June 11, 2014

Starting a dialogue on sexual harassment in libraries by Lisa Rabey

Lisa Rabey

  • In some ways, it is the subtlety of the act of harassment that allows it to be so often overlooked: When I worked in IT, sexism and misogyny were the unspoken accepted practice. I learned to navigate that world to the best of my ability, knowing that to fight back could mean professional death. So I left. I was burned out from being dismissed, ignored, and harassed at trade shows, conferences, and meetings. And yet, here I am in a new profession that is predominantly female and on some levels, the sexism and misogyny is a lot worse than during the dot-com boom. Since the beginning of my library career, I’ve been very public about sexual harassment and misogyny and how rampant it is in the profession. The more I and others write, promote, and talk about the library world’s dirty laundry, the more our detractors come out to rebut and shame us for speaking out. Sometimes, worse than the harassment is the pushback from peers for speaking out about our experiences.

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