Dear Friends,

The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to present the fourth vignette of our series of reflective vignettes and questions to facilitate the claiming of one’s dignity.  These vignettes and questions are written by Carrie Knowles. They are a series of situational stories inviting women to reflect in such a way as to find their voice and claim their dignity.

We will publish these vignettes on the eighth of every month in honor of March 8, International Women’s Day.  We are hoping that you will engage your friends in reflective dialogue, maybe even form small discussion groups as these situational stories can foster dialogue with men and women alike.

Please share with us your feedback and reflections.


Vignette 5


Joan is 28 years old and is working on her doctorate in science at the state university. She has a scholarship that enables her to manage financially while she prepares for her future career. Her work is supervised by a well-known scientist who has begun to be physically intrusive. He has gone from caressing her shoulders to brushing against her breasts—while he comments about how he can help her keep her scholarship and get an important job in the future. Recently, he took off his jacket and shirt while they were meeting in his office, and sat naked from the waist up.

What do you think Joan’s feelings may be about these incidents that occur when she meets with her supervisor?

What might Joan do in this situation? With whom is she likely to share her experience?

What are the likely consequences if she does—or does not—take some action?

When you consider your own faith tradition, ideally what would you like to see her do?

How might Joan’s experience resonate with any of your own experiences as a woman?

How may your reflections deepen your intention to stand up for what is right and true?

Click to print: Vignette 5