My Name is Dr. Sea

Dr. Sea was bullied, harassed, stalked, and date raped. She warns that the actions of women can be as damaging, if not more so, than those of men. Photo provided by Dr. Sea.

My Worst Moment: I was stalked, sexually-harassed and even date raped at my University, which I later found out did not only cover up my complaints against the harassing tutors and lecturers but everyone else’s as well. 20 years after my experience I read in horror that almost 60% of students there claim to have had similar experiences! My worst #metoo moment though was when I went on the largest female expedition to Antarctica to “combat sexism in science” and instead we were bullied by the female leadership and - some of us - sexually harassed by the male crew. When we tried to make it safer for the next cohort, we were ostracised, defamed and slut-shamed by some of our “science sisters”. The hypocrisy and lack of empathy by some of our own felt actually worse than what I experienced at the hands of men.

I Have Given Up On: The so-called sisterhood. Women can be as bad, if not worse than some men - and just because they are women does not mean they automatically feel empathy for victims of abuse. In the end everyone seems to look out for Number One, and if #metoo complaints are seen as too difficult or bad publicity that could impact on their bottom line or career advancements, women are just as likely to brush them under the carpet as the “old white boys club”.

I’m Afraid: That there will never be equality or fair treatment of women especially if we play into the gender and societal stereotypes that cause inequality in the first place.

dr. seaThis Has Cost Me: $30K for the trip plus 1.5 years of stress from the harassment. At least 500 hours were spent by me and a handful of others combating the leadership that caused these issues. As student, when I got assaulted by tutors, lecturers and other students, I lost my will to study, gained 35kg and was suicidal for a year and a half.

Something You Should Know About Me: I’m a fighter against injustice, tenacious as hell and completely allergic to narcissists. I also very much realise how utterly privileged I am compared to most women on the planet - having been born white, in a rich country and being able to follow my dreams to study what I wanted and become a scientist.

Is There a Bright Side: The women who fought with, and alongside me will be lifelong friends.

My Fight Song: I will refuse by Pailhead

Secret Weapon: Releasing the Kraken!