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Gendered power relations and sexual harassment in Antarctic science in the age of #metoo

Nash, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7429-4924 and Nielsen, H ORCID: 0000-0002-2761-7727 2020 , 'Gendered power relations and sexual harassment in Antarctic science in the age of #metoo' , Australian Feminist Studies , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1080/08164649.2020.1774864.

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Abstract

Antarctica is a remote, historically masculine place. It is also aworkplace, and the human interactions there are connected topower structures and gendered expectations. Today, more thanhalf early career polar researchers are women. However, womenin Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine(STEMM) are also more likely than men to experience sexualharassment during fieldwork making questions of safety, power,and harassment pertinent. Gender equity initiatives coupled with#MeToo have provided new platforms for reporting sexualharassment and challenging problematic research cultures whichposition science as meritocratic and gender-neutral. Yet, theimpact of #MeToo in Antarctic science is uneven. Followingrevelations of his harassment of female graduate students in theinternational media, the termination of Professor David Marchantis widely cited as evidence that #MeToo is positively affectingAntarctic science. We argue it is problematic to focus onindividual cases at the expense of the wider culture. We examinethe complex historical (e.g. gendered interactions with theAntarctic landscape), cultural (e.g. identity politics), and relational(e.g. gendered power dynamics) tensions underpinning recent#MeToo revelations in Antarctic science with a view to providingmore nuanced approaches to structural change.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nash, M and Nielsen, H
Keywords: women in STEM, antarctica, sexual harassment, #MeToo, #TimesUp, fieldwork, remote
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Feminist Studies
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 0816-4649
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/08164649.2020.1774864
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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