Sexual Harassment

Essay by ibabysugahCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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Over the years, many people have believed that the issue of sexual harassment should not be discussed in public. Sexual harassment was to be discussed behind closed doors. In spite of this, the social and political systems have changed instantaneously. This social problem has affected men and women throughout time, however, it seems that the women of our society more closely look at this issue. Chapter 25 in Current Issues and Enduring Questions by Barnet and Bedau contain essays in which women do just that - examine the issue of sexual harassment closely.

The first and foremost chapter that commences the chapter was rather appropriately placed. Not an actual essay but a statement composed by Tufts University, its main purpose is to define sexual harassment and to let readers be aware of all that entails sexual harassment. Tufts University, like many universities have done, are letting members of their community know that they do no tolerate sexual harassment.

They explicitly state that "sexual harassment is prohibited at Tufts University" (699).

The second essay, The Reasonable Woman Standard by Ellen Goodman, attempts to get her point across that men and women hold differing views on the issue of sexual harassment. Believing this, she goes on to explain that this may be the cause for what "produces what many men tend to darkly call a "murky" area of the law" (Goodman 704). Men believe that what they are doing are not acts of sexual harassment for the reason that "what he labels sexual, she labels harassment" (Goodman 704). They are not entirely in the clear of what constitutes acts of sexual harassment. This mix-up is the reason for the emergence of a standard that is being applied to sexual harassment cases today, called "the reasonable women standard." This standard,