November 15, 2012, 11:06 am
Last month Dario Maestripieri, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Chicago, lamented on Facebook that there was a lack of “attractive women” at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. I wasn’t there, but I would probably pass Maestripieri’s “super model type” test, at least to the extent that any woman looks like that in the real world. He has been thoroughly eviscerated by now, but his remarks are an opportunity to reflect on how attractive women are treated in the academy.
As a graduate student, I worried about being sexually harassed by professors. Men don’t fear having their careers derailed in this way, but it is a real concern for women. I asked other female students about professors to avoid and was given two names. One was described as “relatively harmless” but would “stare at your boobs on the elevator,” which was 100-percent…