It’s hard to believe that the national reckoning with sexual violence and harassment exemplified by the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns only seemed to begin garnering widespread attention four months ago, when a flood of accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein turned up in the pages of the New Yorker and the New York Times.
Around the same time, last quarter, Stanford Politics and the Stanford Daily began reporting on multiple accounts of assault and harassment in academia. One of the survivors of such violence, Kimberly Latta, felt empowered by the national moment to share with us her unfortunate, though not unique, experience with former professor Franco Moretti. We’ve decided to republish her powerful November op-ed in this special issue of Stanford Politics Magazine, along with an op-ed by Stanford alum Gretchen Carlson, who helped kick off the #MeToo movement.
The attention to sexual violence and harassment may be at a high in our society right now, but it certainly wasn’t nonexistent beforehand. When we decided in December to dedicate this issue to the subject, we believed it would be important to look at how sexual violence and harassment has been covered in the past, with a particular focus on Stanford.
Sexual violence is a difficult topic to examine historically for several reasons. First, many records, especially the quasi-legal campus judicial proceedings, are kept confidential. Second, due to a culture of silence often directed at victims and advocates, much has remained unsaid and unknown.
Nevertheless, using archives available to us, we constructed a timeline of sexual violence on campus and the response to it by and at Stanford. While the cover story ends on a somber and cynical note, we hope to inform and inspire today’s advocates to work to make it such that if the same story is written 50 years from now, it may have a different ending.
“FAIRLY NORMAL AND ROUTINE”
50 Years of Sexual Violence at Stanford
Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna & Roxy Bonafont
IT’S ABOUT POWER
A Conversation with Patti Solis Doyle
Stanford Politics Podcast
Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna, a senior studying political science, is the editor in chief of Stanford Politics.