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    What is Sexual Harassment? (750 words)

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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 Zaccarello 2 harassment against Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas, the whole world started listening. This case was “the most celebrated sexual harassment case of our time,” according to MarthaChamallas, 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 voiced her opinion, it seems that the issue of sexual harassment has become a security blanket for men and women, and filing lawsuits of sexual harassment have created a new money-making scheme. In 1996 my place of employment received two allegations of sexual harassment.

    In the case I testified in court that I never saw any event of sexual harassment that the lady in question described. The jury threw out her sexual

    allegations against our employer, and she was sentenced for embezzlement. In this case, sexual harassment was her security blanket against her employer. When she heard that she was being charged with embezzlement, she decided that she might be able to plea bargain if she proved that sexual harassment took place. When allegations of sexual harassment hit home, it has become clear to me that something needs to be done.

    Employers need to safeguard themselves by understanding the definition of sexual harassment. Employers need to know their employees and be Zuccarello 3 aware of their employees’ values. Knowing that sexual harassment is an issue of power and not sex, women need to prove to men that they are not submissive objects. Jong states “just as men can use sexuality for power, women can use anti-sexuality for political power,” and I agree with her. The issue that women should be lobbying for is equality. If women can not stand up to their bosses and show them that they too are powerful, then women will never achieve equality.

    Similar to my story, in the Supreme Court case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, Sidney Taylor was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee,Michelle Vinson. Michelle testified that in order to advance in her occupation she had to have sex with her supervisor. Undoubtedly, she did have sexual relations with her supervisor, but she never refused his advances, according to her affidavit.

    In Taylor’s testimony, he told the court that he never made advances or even had sexual relations with her. Furthermore, Taylor testified that Vinson’s accusations were the result of an earlier dispute over business. The court found that even if a sexual relationship had taken place, that Michelle acted willingly and that this relationship had nothing to do with her employment to the bank. This is another example of how the issue of sexual harassment has become grounds for a lawsuit and a money making scheme.

    Not only are women making money out of sexual harassment cases, but”peddlers of sex harassment advice have, of course, their own money making agenda,” according to Morgenson. “There Zaccarello 4 are a lot of bad consultants taking advantage of the fact that sexual harassment is in vogue.”In fact, the government has granted aid to certain agencies whose.

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