The hashtag #astroSH is being used on Twitter this week to highlight stories from women who say they have been sexually harassed during their studies or work in astronomy.
Mashable, The New York Times and Fortune magazine were among the media outlets reporting Friday on the genesis of the hashtag and which high-profile cases of harassment sparked its use on social media.
— Miriam Kramer (@mirikramer) January 15, 2016
The New York Times reported that the outpouring of stories surged after Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., “announced a push to address sexism at universities amid two high-profile incidents of accusations against male university professors.” A report by Buzzfeed on Tuesday shed light on one of those cases, involving Christian Ott, an astrophysics professor at California Institute of Technology.
Another case involved the resignation of astronomer and UC Berkeley professor Geoffrey Marcy who, after a campus investigation, was found guilty of sexually harassing students, according to The New York Times.
Jessica Kirkpatrick, a data scientist who tweeted about her experiences, told Mashable that she “wanted to make the #astroSH hashtag about more than just these three high-profile cases going on in the media right now. I wanted to show that this is a pervasive problem that has effected more women than not.”
[2/2] A senior member of the group walked by and said: That's what women are good for, washing dishes in the kitchen. #astroSH
— Jessica Kirkpatrick (@berkeleyjess) January 14, 2016
Kirkpatrick also posted a lengthy Storify of all of her #astroSH tweets.
A sampling of other tweets revealed more women discussing instances of harassment. Others tweeted their respect and support for those who decided to come forward.
I want to remind people that as #astroSH is roiling the astro community, it’s also personally painful for the many people who’ve endured it.
— AstroPhD Katey ✨ (@astrokatey) January 15, 2016
So, so many overly personal gchat messages, including a lengthy discussion of a prof's sex life. While I was taking his class. #astroSH
— Rachael Livermore (@rhaegal) January 14, 2016
#astroSH The time senior prof came up behind me at campus retirement party, bent his knees, and thrust himself against me. Cause dress.
— Julie Libarkin (@GeoEdResearch) January 14, 2016
The people who are speaking out to make our community better deserve our massive respect and gratitude. #AstroSH
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) January 13, 2016