Last updated: April 17, 2019
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Sexual Harassment Essay, Research Paper

Sexual Harassment

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The sexual torment allegations filed by Professor Anita Hill against

Clarence Thomas and the proceeding Senate Judiciary Hearing thrust the issue of

sexual torment into the political sphere, the workplace, and every twenty-four hours life.


Sexual torment is a really wide term and can be interpreted in a

assortment of ways. The National Organization of Women ( NOW ) defines sexual

torment as & # 8220 ; any repeated or indefensible verbal or physical progress, sexually

expressed derogatory statement, or sexually know aparting Acts of the Apostless made by person

in the workplace which is violative or obnoxious to the receiver or which

interferes with the receivers occupation performance. & # 8221 ; ( Redress for Success, page 74 )

Before 1972, there was no punishment for sexual torment of adult females at the

workplace. Not until, that is, the Education Amendments of 1972 were enacted.

Title IX of the Education Amendments states that & # 8220 ; sexual torment is a signifier of

sexual favoritism and is illegal. & # 8221 ; ( What is Sexual Harassment? , page 20 )

After the Education Amendments were enacted, adult females began to see that the jurisprudence was

on their side and that it was designed to protect them. Womans now saw that

-Verbal torment or maltreatment

-Subtle force per unit area for sex

-Unnecessary patting or pinching

-Constant brushing against another employee & # 8217 ; s organic structure

-Demands for sex accompanied by menaces of expiration

-Demands for sex in return for discriminatory intervention

qualified as constituents of sexual torment. ( Redress for Success, page 75 )

Soon after that adult females began to recognize that they could be sexually harassed by

anybody, such as by employers, supervisors, colleagues, clients, or even by

subsidiary employees. ( Redress for Success, page 74 ) With this new

understanding that they deserved equal intervention as their male opposite numbers,

adult females began to keep work forces responsible for their actions and utilize the Torahs to their

advantage. The sexual torment allegations made by Anita Hill in 1991 were

non the first and were by far non the most controversial. May instances and

hearings prior to the Clarence Thomas Hearing set the phase for the out interruption of

craze in 1991.

Landmark Cases

Back every bit far as 1975, adult females began to recognize that work forces could non move as

they did and still remain within the margins of the jurisprudence. The instance of Monge V.

Beebe Rubber Company brought the issue of sexual favoritism out into the

unfastened in late 1974. The fortunes were that Monge had been fired after her

supervisor demanded sex favours that Monge chose non to give. Monge was

later fired and she sued for her occupation back. Previously similar instances had

been thrown out of tribunal for deficiency of grounds ( most sexual torment instances are

her word versus his ) . Besides, before 1972 ( the Education Amendments ) , there was

no statute law to endorse adult females up in their pursuit for societal and economic equality.

The Supreme Court ruled that Beebe Rubber Company was improper in firing Monge

and she was awarded her occupation back. This sensational opinion set the phase for an

effusion of instances of similar fortunes. To farther confirm the freshly

formed definition of sexual torment, the opinion in the instance Algermarle Paper

Co. v. Moody stated that sexual torment is merely illegal if

-Sex is a status of employment

-Submission or rejection to sexual suggestions affects determinations

refering the person

-When sexual progresss hinder occupation public presentation or make an intimidating


Based on these definitions, in the instance Corne v. Bausch and Lomb, Inc. in 1975

the Supreme Court ruled that if a supervisor sexually harasses a subsidiary

employee, doing that single to discontinue her occupation, that does non represent

sexual favoritism ; he was simply fulfilling a personal impulse. Along the

same line, the instance Halpert v. Wetheim stated that the usage of harsh linguistic communication

that was non directed at the complainant did non represent sexual torment.

This opinion was reinforced in the Neeley v. American Fidelity Assurance Co,

which specified that a supervisors conduct ( stating dirty gags, seting his

custodies on the employees shoulders ) is an action of personal standing, non sexual


In 1977, nevertheless, those opinions was overturned and Corne and Halpert

were compensated for their losingss. The instance that overturned those opinions was

Barnes v. Costle, which ruled that if a adult female was fired due to declining to

submit to sexual progresss, that that was in misdemeanor of the Equal Employment

Opportunity Act of 1972 and the employer who fired her in apt for his Acts of the Apostless.

Further progresss in equality were achieved in the Marentette v. Michigan Host,

Inc. determination, which stated that necessitating provocative frock as a term for

employment violates Title VII of the Education Acts of 1972.

The greatest preliminary dirt affecting sexual favoritism and

torment which finally led to the craze of the Thomas hearing was the

Tailhook Scandal. At the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, on September 7th, 1991,

Paula Coughlin, including a twelve other adult females, was man- handled, groped,

squeezed and abused at a Naval Officer party after the one-year Tailhook

Convention for Naval Officers. The authorities tried to cover up the incident,

but that was unsuccessful. Finally, adult females were fed up with covering with

unexcusable sexual misconduct. In the terminal, one admiral had been reduced in


, and two others were censured for neglecting to step in and halt the

torment. This apparently unsuccessful event for societal equality was in fact a

turning point. It broke the seal of the sexual torment issue for all the

state to see. The Los Angeles Times, in 1992, said that the Tailhook Scandal

was & # 8220 ; a cooling message to women. & # 8221 ; ( Rights and Respect ; What You Need to Know

About Gender Bias and Sexual Harassment, page 35 )

Clarence Thomas and Sexual Harassment Allegations

In October of 1991, one month after the Tailhook Scandal, Professor

Anita Hill testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee sing sexual

torment charges made against Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.

Note, this was non a suit or test. It was merely a Senate Committee assembled

to happen out if Clarence Thomas was so fit to function on the Supreme Court.

There were no official charges of sexual torment filed against Judge Thomas,

but none were needed. This hearing thrust the sexual torment issue into the

unfastened. The allegations were that Thomas had sexually harassed Anita Hill while

both worked for the federal office of the Equal Employment Opportunity

Commission ( EEOC ) during the 1980 & # 8217 ; s.

The Senate Committee tore into Anita Hill throughout the full hearing.

They questioned why she had waited so long to come into the unfastened with the

allegations, or why she chose that specific point in clip to do the

allegations. Anita Hill brought many other adult females with her to turn out that Thomas

was non merely & # 8220 ; fulfilling a personal urge. & # 8221 ; All of her efforts to rock the

Committee failed. Hill was destroyed by rough question by both the

Committee and by Thomas himself. The pitilessness by which she was attacked for

every allegation by Thomas was amazing. The public, excessively, was astonished.

The overall sentiment of the state was that Thomas had non sexually harassed Hill

and that she was doing most of it up for her ain grounds. Black work forces particularly

rallied for Thomas. They saw that the principal of holding a black Supreme Court

Justice was more of import than standing up for the rights of adult females. About all

adult females agreed with Hill in that Thomas had broken a jurisprudence and that he should be

held accountable for his actions.

Professional unfavorable judgments were somewhat different. Marcia Greenberger,

co-president of the National Women & # 8217 ; s Law Center, noted that the Hill-Thomas

hearings & # 8220 ; prompted a sea alteration. . . in the social and corporate apprehension

of sexual torment and the Torahs in topographic point to halt it. & # 8221 ; ( & # 8221 ; Rights and Respect,

page 29 ) Peoples, for the first clip, began to recognize that sexual torment

happened on all degrees, to all people, and that it was incorrect and had to be

stopped. An ad in the New York Times stated that & # 8220 ; Clarence Thomas outrageously

manipulated the bequest of lynching in order to shelter himself from Anita Hill & # 8217 ; s

allegations. & # 8221 ; ( Rights and Respect, page 31 ) This is in the uttermost a correct

statement. Thomas stated that Hill & # 8217 ; s allegations were a modern twenty-four hours lynching of

the black adult male and that her lone ground for conveying up the allegation were to

better her ain place. On the other manus, David Brock, a invitee author for the

American Spectator, stated that & # 8220 ; Anita Hill is a spot nutlike and a spot

slutty. & # 8221 ; ( Rights and Respect, page 32 ) This points out the utter hatred for Hill.

Brock, a white male, represented the general sentiments of that group about to

the tee. Marcia Greenberger to the full represented the adult females & # 8217 ; s point of position.

The Senate Judiciary Committee & # 8217 ; s ballot to corroborate Judge Clarence Thomas & # 8217 ;

nomination to the Supreme Court was 52 to 48, the closest ballot to corroborate a

Supreme Court nomination in history. The Impact of the Hill-Thomas Hearing

The state, along with Congress, was equally split across the sexual

harassment issue. The ground that this hearing, and non the Tailhook Scandal,

thrust the sexual torment issue into the national limelight was because

Judgess were supposed to be just and merely, non sexual dominators. If the

allegations of sexual misconduct had been confirmed by the Committee, it would

hold created a great convulsion within the authorities. The populace would swear no

authorities functionary, even those chosen to take the state.

The hearing drastically changed traditional gender function outlooks.

Work force, harmonizing to Help Yourself ; A Guide for Covering With Sexual Harassment,

page 19, must be & # 8220 ; competitory, aggressive, the instigator of societal and sexual

interactions, responsible, have all the replies, fearless, emotionally stable,

secure, strong, self-confident, financially successful, and sexually experienced. & # 8221 ;

After the hearing, along with rapidly altering attitudes towards gender function

outlook, work forces saw their functions otherwise. Bing the instigator of societal and

sexual interactions, being strong and sexually experient and self-confident

could set down them in gaol. This forced work forces to halt and believe if the adult female wanted

his sexual progresss to go on or non. A new regard for adult females came with this

realisation of right and incorrect. Womans were no longer idea of as & # 8220 ; good mas

and housewifes, polite, reasonably, neat, smelling nice, sensitive and intuitive,

supportive of & # 8216 ; her & # 8217 ; adult male, needless, quiet, happy, inactive, demure, dependent, and

feminine. & # 8221 ; ( Help Yourself, page 19 ) Womans were eventually get downing to be seen as

peers, meriting equal intervention.


Even with the realisation of right and incorrect actions refering adult male to

adult females interactions, sexual torment continue