We spoke to the Notts student whose dissertation on sexual harassment at university went viral

‘Sexual harassment is the most common experience women share’

Since the COVID-19 pandemic meant that final year students were unable to take their dissertation photo on campus, they have been taking them at home (typically in golden hour) and posting them on social media as an alternative graduation celebration.

When Karishma Hauzare, final year Sociology and Criminology, did the same and uploaded her lockdown dissertation photos to Twitter, she never expected for them to blow up and amass 30k retweets and a whopping 200k likes.

Karishma’s dissertation is entitled “‘He was trying to flirt’: An exploration of male university students’ understanding of sexual harassment.” When asked why she chose this as her dissertation topic, Karishma told The Nottingham Tab that her advisor told her to a pick a topic that made her angry, so it was an obvious decision for her to pick sexual harassment. “I wanted to explore how male university students understand sexual harassment in a male to female scenario”, Karishma told The Nottingham Tab.

Although acknowledging that men can also be the victim of sexual harassment and women the perpetrator, Karishma said: ” When talking to my female friends I felt that sexual harassment in passive and more obvious forms is just an every day occurrence, I just wanted to understand why boys felt the need to touch my lower back to move past me in a club”.

Unfortunately, despite many movements such as Me Too and protests, Karishma noted that “sexual harassment is [still] the most common experience women share”.

Karishma said that she never expected her tweet to go viral and had originally uploaded it just for her friends to see and because she was proud of her work. The majority of the feedback she received has been positive but as with anything shared on the internet, there were a few negative comments, “most of them were from men who were pointing out I had forgotten an apostrophe in my title and couldn’t let it go.”

Karishma hopes that from her dissertation and the fact its gone viral “that a conversation and sense of reflection can occur among males in general”.

She also added that she did include the initially forgotten apostrophe before officially handing in her dissertation.

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