I was saddened but not surprised to see the “not-all-men”-style response in R.E. Buntrock *67’s letter in the Dec. 4 issue to Lisa Dorota Tebbe ’73’s reports of sexism at Princeton (feature, Sept. 11). I’m sure that Ms. Tebbe is more aware than Mr. Buntrock of just how many men at Princeton were not like that (probably a lot fewer than he thinks).
But it doesn’t have to be “all men” to make an environment feel pretty hostile. It just has to be most men not doing anything to make it clear to their fellow men that such behavior is unacceptable. I suspect that if Ms. Tebbe did try to report some of the behaviors, no one would have taken it seriously. Women were just expected to put up with it — and still are.
To judge by the article on sexual misconduct (“On the Path to Reform”) in the same issue as that letter, the University culture still doesn’t take harassment and exploitation of women all that seriously. If Mr. Buntrock really considers what Ms. Tebbe went through (and what women in academia, including at Princeton still experience on a regular basis) unacceptable, perhaps instead of writing apologies, he might want to try to change things, such as perhaps actively supporting the women described in the sexual-misconduct article. I’m sure that University officials would be a lot more responsive to those women if they thought that failing to do so might affect Annual Giving.