“I’ll be your dissertation advisor if I can give you baths.”

In 1966, Marilyn Webb asked a distinguished male professor to serve on her dissertation committee at the University of Chicago. He said yes, if he could go to her apartment and give her baths.

So, as was recounted at a March 2019 conference on “Jewish Feminisms/American Visions: Perspectives from 50 Years of Activism,” she asked another professor, an expert in “moral development.” He held her against a wall, and “began slobbering all over my face. He told me it was quid pro quo.” Webb left the Ph.D. program. 

Encouraged by #MeToo, as a 75th birthday present to herself she wrote to the president of the university, described the abuse, and asked that the long-ago injustice be corrected.

This spring the University of Chicago awarded her the Ph.D.