Sexual Harassment Essay, Research Paper
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.
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