Dear Amy: I am part of an international MBA program at a well-known European university.
I just found out that the men in the program have put together a list, ranking the women by their looks. I'm furious and disappointed that the men who are supposed to be my peers, business partners, co-workers and friends have subjected us to this.
I'm not really sure what to do. I'm thinking about writing a letter to the faculty. Others have suggested asking for the expulsion of the men who have contributed to the list, and to suggest that perhaps if they have time to come up with these rankings, maybe they are not taking this MBA program seriously.
I feel as if this list is a slap in the face after everything that women have been going through, and I really don't want this sort of behavior to be normalized.
Amy says: You have every right to be angry.
The #MeToo movement is demonstrating that normalizing harassment creates toxic environments and havens for predatory behavior (which this list absolutely is). This needs to stop.
Do not count on the university faculty or administration to handle it to your satisfaction. Think of this challenge like going into battle: You need to arm yourself with knowledge, and begin building an army. Connect with your fellow female candidates. Deploy some MBA-level networking to form a coalition.
If you can obtain hard evidence that this list exists, you should publicize it, share it and use the list itself to expose the people behind it. Mask the identity of the women named, but display the identities of those who created and shared it.
If you aren't able to receive hard proof of the list, make an appointment with a faculty member and the dean. Insist that they investigate your allegation. Also consider sending an "open letter" to the university community.
Most important, save (and screenshot) everything: the list itself, any communication regarding the list or any references to it on social media.
Don't get discouraged. Speak up, be fearless and don't let anyone convince you that this isn't a big deal. This is a very big deal, and it should be taken seriously.
Run or commit?
Dear Amy: I'm indecisive about everything — especially relationships. I tend to run away when issues arise. I'm having doubts about my partner. For more than two years he has had problems keeping a job, and this causes me stress about money. We can't plan for our future.
We rarely have sex, mainly because I don't feel like it. I find him attractive, but I'm not sexually attracted to him. This might be because of the job issue. He doesn't seem motivated. What should I do?
Amy says: If running from relationships is your problem, take a stab at repairing this before you flee. Your partner sounds depressed. Your aversions could be contributing to your problems as a couple — it sounds as if you have left the relationship, even if you're physically present.
If he communicates about his challenges, this might unite you as a couple. If not, you'll have to do the personal algebra to decide if you should (or want to) invest your future in trying to shore up this relationship. Running isn't called for, but you might need to walk away. Counseling would help.
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