Sexual Harassment

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 1997

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'Sexual harassment is not about sex, it is about

power.' -Gretchen Morgenson

An unwanted sexual advance, an offensive touch,

and suggestive comments illustrate examples of sexual

harassment. Sexual harassment is defined by Stephanie

Riger as, 'unwanted sexually oriented behavior in a work

context.' However, sexual harassment does not only

appear in an occupational environment, and this form of

harassment is not limited to a specific race, a specific

gender, or any certain lifestyle. Today, throughout the

United States, men and women are filing sexual

harassment lawsuits as if sexual harassment were no

great matter. A line needs to be drawn to distinguish

what is and is not sexual harassment, but since sexual

harassment is so subjective, a simple line becomes

harder to draw. Some people want punishment for hostile

environment harassment, but what constitutes a hostile

environment? According to Morgenson a hostile

environment includes 'hazing, joking, and sexually

suggestive talk between men and women who work alongside

them.' Lately, it seems that Americans are making sexual

harassment an excuse. People are crying sexual

harassment like the little boy who cried wolf.

Sexual harassment has become such an issue due

to the large number of cases presented. When Anita

Hill, law professor at the University of Oklahoma,

brought allegations of sexual

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harassment against Supreme Court Justice Clarence

Thomas, the whole world started listening. This case

was 'the most celebrated sexual harassment case of our

time,' according to Martha Chamallas, and 'Hill's

revelations prompted women to tell about their own

encounters with sexually harassing behavior-both in

private and in public.' This case gave women a reason

to report sexual harassment, and sexual harassment would

no longer be overlooked. Women would no longer have to

'flatter' their bosses, as Erica Jong had to.

Consequently, since Anita Hill came out and...