Sexual Harassment Essay

1008 words - 5 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

The next essay in the chapter entitled Bared Buttocks and Federal Cases by Ellen Frankel Paul focuses on her disagreeing view that not all acts deemed as sexual harassment should be addressed by the courts. She backs up this argument by stating that "sexual harassment is a notoriously ill-defined and almost infinitely expandable concept" (Paul 707), meaning that people who define sexual harassment one way do not coincide with the definitions of others. Paul argues that distinctions need to be made between real egregious and outrageous acts of sexual harassment for the reason that "categorizing everything from rape to "looks" as sexual harassment makes us all victims, a state of affairs satisfying to radical feminists, but not very useful for distinguishing serious injuries from the merely trivial" (Paul 708). She points out that because women are extending sexual charges to even the most trivial behavior, it is making women seem not resilient enough to ignore such behavior. Unless the sexual acts become outrageous enough, they "should be taken as part of life's annoyances" (Paul 711).The last and final essay of this chapter on sexual harassment, Cultural Fascism by Sarah J. McCarthy, owner of a small restaurant/ bar, focuses on her argument that what with the vagueness of the sexual harassment law and the litigations used at the time, small businesses were in a frightening situation. She explains that this is due to Senator Kennedy's new civil rights bill that caps punitive damages for sexual harassment as high as $300,000. Even small businesses were "now financially responsible for sexually offensive verbal behavior" even if they don't know it is occurring (McCarthy 712). McCarthy also points out that instead of having positive effects, the sexual harassment law that the women's movement is...

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