How Did Diverse Activists in the Second Wave of the Women's Movement
Shape Emerging Public Policy on Sexual Harassment?
1. Quote from John Stoltenberg, "Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment," Feminista, 1:7 (November 1997. See also Todd Gitlin, "A Clarifying Moment in Politics of Gender," Washington Post, 5 April 1998, p. C04; Jeffrey Toobin, "The Trouble with Sex: Why the Law of Sexual Harassment Has Never Worked," New Yorker, 9 February 1998, p. 49; Fred Strebeigh, "Defining Law on the Feminist Frontier," New York Times Magazine, 6 October 1991, p. 53.
2. Estelle B. Freedman, No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (New York: Ballantine Books; 2002), p. 290; Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), p. 187; Sheila Tobias, Faces of Feminism: An Activist's Reflections on the Women's Movement (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977), pp. 114-15.
3. Frances Olsen, "The Outsider: Catharine MacKinnon's Position on Pornography Infuriates even Potential Allies, but her Pioneering Work on Sexual Harassment Changed the Course of the Law and the Rules of the Workplace," American Lawyer, 21 (6 December 1999): 93.
4. See, for example, Steven Buechler, Women's Movements in the United States: Women's Suffrage, Equal Rights, and Beyond (Piscataway, NJ: Rutger's University Press, 1990); bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism (Bellingham, Wash.: Owl Publishers, 1996), p. 99.
5. Elvia R. Arriola, "‘What's the Big Deal?’ Women in the New York City Construction Industry and Sexual Harassment Law, 1970-1985," Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 22 (1990): 29, 67.
6. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. See. 2000e; Barnes v. Train, 13 Fed. Empl. Prac. Cas. 123, D.D.C. 1974; Corne v. Bausch & Lomb, 390 F. Supp. 161, D. Ariz, 1975; Williams v. Saxbe, 413 F. Supp. 654 (D.D.C. 1976); Miller v. Bank of America, 418 F. Supp. 233, N.D. Cal., 1976; Tomkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas, 422 F. Supp. 553, D.N.J. 1976.
7. Barnes v. Train, 13 Fed. Empl. Prac. Cas. 123 (D.D.C. 1974), rev'd sub nom. Barnes v. Costle, 561 F. 2d 983 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Corne v. Bausch and Lomb, 390 F. Supp. 161 (D. Ariz. 1975), vacated and remanded., 562 F.2d 55 (9th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 956 (1977); Garber v. Saxon Industries, Inc., 14 Empl. Prac. Deci. ¶7586 (E.D. Va. 1976), rev'd and remanded, 552 F.2d 1032 (4th Cir. 1977); Williams v. Saxbe, 413 F. Supp. 654 (D.D.C. 1976), rev'd in part and vacated in part, 190 F.2d 343 (D.C. Cir. 1978); Miller v. Bank of America, 418 F. Supp. 233 (N.D. Cal. 1976), rev'd, 600 F.2d 211 (9th Cir. 1979); Tomkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, 422 F. Supp. 553 (D.N.J. 1976), rev'd, 568 F.2d 1044 (3rd Cir. 1977).
8. There were several other Title VII cases filed in the early and mid- 1970s involving allegations of sexual harassment, but in these cases, courts did not address the issue in much detail or they did not publish a written opinion.
9. See Art Buchwald, "Those Are Stunning Socks You're Wearing, Callihan," Washington Post, 27 April 1976, §B, p. 1; Jim Wright, "Now, Guidelines for That, Too," Dallas Morning News, 4 May 1976, §D, p. 1; "The Law and Threats to Virtue," Wall Street Journal, 27 April 1976, p. 22; "Sex Rears Its Mixed-Up Head," Los Angeles Times, 26 April 1976; Dick Hitt, "One More Rule to Remember," Dallas Times Herald, 22 April 1976.
10. EEOC v. Rogers, 454 F.2d 234 (2nd Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 406 U.S. 957 (1972).
11. Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (New York: Dial Press, 1999), p. 279.
12. Susan Meyer, interview by author, 17 February 2001, New York, N. Y., tape recording (hereafter Meyer interview); Brownmiller, In Our Time, pp. 279-80.
13. Lin Farley, Sexual Shakedown: The Sexual Harassment of Women on the Job (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1978), pp. 11 - 12.
14. Quoted in Browniller, In Our Time, p. 281.
15. See Karen Sauvigné, interview by author, 4 February 2001, Brooklyn, N. Y., tape recording (hereafter Sauvigné interview): "We began talking to all the women we knew and pretty much everyone could recount a story of how they quit or lost a job sometime in their life because of failing to go along with unwanted sexual advances. It was beginning to seem to us that it was an incredibly widespread phenomena."
16. Letter from Karen Sauvigné to Mauri, 28 March 1975, Working Women's Institute Records, Barnard Center for Research on Women, New York, N.Y. (hereafter Working Women's Institute Collection).
17. Letter from Karen Sauvigné to Mauri, 28 March 1975, Working Women's Institute Collection.
18. Barbara Geehan, "Women Fight ‘Intimidation,’" Ithaca Journal, 5 April 1975, p. 4.
19. Sauvigné interview.
20. Speakout on Sexual Harassment of Women at Work, 4 May 1975, Ithaca, New York, (transcript), p. 1, Karen Sauvigné Papers, Brooklyn, New York, Private Collection (hereafter Speakout Transcript).
21. Constance Backhouse and Leah Cohen, The Secret Oppression: Sexual Harassment of Working Women (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1978), p. 158.
22. Letter from Freada Klein to "Dear Sisters," 7 August 1976, and attached survey, Alliance Against Sexual Coercion Ephemeral Materials, 1976-77, Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge (hereafter AASC Materials at Schlesinger); Freada Klein and Lynn Wehrli, "Sexual Coercion on the Job?" Sister Courage (October 1976): 6; "Interview with the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion," Sister Courage (June 1977): 2; Kathy Shank, "Sexual Harassment in the Classroom," Sister Courage (May 1978): 8; Jane Albert, "Tyranny of Sex In the Office," Equal Times (7 August 1977): 7; Freada Klein, interview by author, 26 March 2001, San Francisco, Calif., tape recording (hereafter Klein interview). According to Klein, the protocol of rape crisis centers was advocacy with the police, the hospital, the district attorney and the court, none of which was relevant in the employment context.
23. Klein interview.
24. "Interview with the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion," p. 2.
25. Klein interview.
26. Rochelle Lefkowitz, "Help for the Sexually Harassed: A Grass-Roots Model." Ms., (November 1977): 49.
27. Form Letter for Informational Packet from Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, AASC Materials at Schlesinger., 1977.
28. Meyer interview.
29. Flyer, New York Women Speakout About Sexual Harassment on the Job, 22 October 1977, Working Women's Institute Collection.
30. Ann Crittenden, "Women Tell of Sexual Harassment at Work," New York Times, 25 October 1977, p. 35; Letter Protesting Comments of Stanley Siegel on WABC-TV, 27 October 1977, Working Women's Institute Collection. Meyer and Sauvigné also appeared on the David Hartmann morning news show in New York; see Meyer interview.
31. See, for example, "N.Y. Speakout: Women Describe Indignities They Face at Work," Women's Agenda (December 1977): 9 (published by the Women's Action Alliance); "Sex on the Job: Where We Are Now," Redbook (April 1978): 38; Merrill Rogers Skrocki, "Sexual Pressure on the Job," McCall's (March 1978): 43; Letty Cottin Pogrebin, "The Working Woman: Sex Harassment," Ladies Home Journal, 94 (June 1977): 24; Janet Harris, "Dealing With Bosses," Family Circle (24 April 1978): 191; Susan Hobart, "Awareness Helps Women Overcome Sexual Indignities," The Oregonian (23 January 1978): B, p. 1; Dorothy Austin, "Institute Fights Sex Harassment," Milwaukee Sentinel (2 June 1978): 10; Patsy Miller, "Fighting Harassment a Job," Fort Worth Star-Telegram (7 June 1978); Jane See White, "Sexual Harassment: New Groups Fighting Problem," Pueblo (Colo.) Star-Journal and Sunday Chieftain (20 August 1978). According to Sauvigné, activists never had difficulty getting press coverage because sexual harassment had "sex" in its name; see Sauvigné interview.
32. Working Women's Institute, 1979 Annual Program Report and Audited Financial Statement, p. 1, Sauvigné Papers; "Sexual Harassment on the Job," Phil Donahue Show, 1977 (Princeton, N.J.: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 1988); and Meyer interview.
33. Letter to Karin Lippert of Ms. from Karen Sauvigné, 17 August 1978, Working Women's Institute Collection; Backhouse and Cohen, The Secret Oppression, p. 157; Somerset County National Organization for Women, Flyer Advertising Speakout on Sexual Harassment on the Job, Somerville, N.J., 17 November 1977, Sauvigné Papers; "Sexual Harassment on the Job: Legal Remedies," Susan Meyer and Karen Sauvigné, Employment Discrimination Panel Discussion, New York State International Women's Year Meeting, 9 July 1977, Sauvigné Papers.
34. Constance Backhouse et al., Fighting Sexual Harassment: An Advocacy Handbook (Boston: Alyson Publications Inc. and The Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, 1981), p. 80.
35. Williams v. Saxbe, 413 F. Supp. 654 (D.D.C. 1976), rev'd in part and vacated in part, 190 F.2d 343 (D.C. Cir. 1978); Barnes v. Train, 13 Fed. Empl. Prac. Cas. 123 (D.D.C. 1974), rev'd sub nom, Barnes v. Costle, 561 F.2d 983 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Tompkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, 422 F. Supp. 553 (D.N.J. 1976), rev'd, 568 F.2d 1044 (3rd Cir. 1977); Corne v. Bausch & Lomb, 3390 F. Supp. 161 (D.Ariz. 1975), vacated, 526 F.2d 55 (9th Cir. 1977).
36. In a 1990 New Yorker Magazine interview, MacKinnon reported that she gave a copy of a paper she had written for an independent study course at Yale to a law clerk assigned to the Barnes case. According to MacKinnon, this paper became the basis for MacKinnon's 1979 book, The Sexual Harassment of Working Women. Jeffrey Toobin, "The Trouble With Sex: Why the Law of Sexual Harassment Has Never Worked," The New Yorker, 9 February 1998, p. 50.
37. According to Shepard's Federal Citations, Barnes v. Costle has been cited, discussed, or mentioned in over 450 cases, articles and books.
38. Brownmiller, In Our Time, p. 286.
39. According to Shepherd's Federal Citations, Tomkins has been discussed, cited or mentioned in over 80 cases and in hundreds of secondary sources. See, for example, Marie Nardino, "Note: Discrimination: Sex — Title VII — Cause of Action Under Title VII Arises When Supervisor, With Employer's Knowledge and Acquiescence, Makes Sexual Advances Toward Subordinate Employee and Conditions Employee's Job Status on Favorable Response — Tomkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas Co., 568 F.2d 1044 (3d Cir. 1977)," Seton Hall Law Review, 9 (1978): 108-29. Diane K. Shah, "A Steno Who Said ‘No!’" Newsweek (30 April 1979): 72; New York Times, 9 November 1979, p. 79; New York Times, 28 September 1979, p. 44; New York Times, 7 July 1978, § 2, p. 15.
40. Alexander v. Yale: Collected Documents from the Yale Undergraduate Women's Caucus and Grievance Committee (New Haven: Yale University, 1978) (ERIC No.: ED180385): 27 (hereafter Alexander v. Yale: Collected Documents).
41. Alexander v. Yale: Collected Documents, pp. 1-27.
42. Anne Simon, telephone interview by author, tape recording, Oakland, Calif., 25 April 2001 (hereafter Simon interview).
43. See Alexander v. Yale University, 459 F. Supp. 1 (D. Conn. 1977).
44. "2 Yale Faculty Accused of Sex Harassment," Washington Post, 19 July 1977, § A, p. 5; Diane Henry, "Yale Faculty Members Charged With Sexual Harassment," New York Times, 22 August 1977, p. 30; Diane Henry, "Yale Student Withdraws from Lawsuit," New York Times, 10 September 1977, p. 52; "Yale and Woman Senior Reach an Accord on Suit," New York Times, 15 January 1978, p. 40; "Ex-Student Wins Right to Sue Yale on Sex Charge," New York Times, 1 December 1978, § C, p. 26; "A College Woman Loses Test on Sexual Harassment," New York Times, 12 July 1979, § B, p. 6.
45. Letter from Phyllis Crocker, March 1978, in Alexander v. Yale: Collected Documents: 18-19; Billie Wright Dziech and Linda Weiner, The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984), p. 163 (noting that the case "startled campus communities across the country into realizing that they needed to deal with the sexual harassment issue").
46. Simon interview.
47. Executive Order 11246, 30 Federal Register 12319 (1965); 32 Federal Register 14303 (1965), as amended by Executive Order 11375 (1967).
48. For more on the hearings, see Georgia Dullea, "Women Win Fight for More Construction Jobs, Less Harassment," New York Times, 23 August 1977, p. 30. For regulations, see Construction Contractors, Affirmative Action Requirements, 42 Federal Register 41381 (1977) (codified at 41 C.F.R. Ch. 60) (proposed on 16 August 1977).
49. Maggie Prieto, "Women Coal Miners Fight Sexual Harassment," Off Our Backs (August/September 1983): 16-17.
50. Joyce Dukes to Jerry King, 4 August 1980, with attached Coal Employment Project Proposal, Archives of Appalachia, Sherrod Library, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn., Coal Employment Project Records, 1977-1991 (Accession 355, Box 2, Folder 14).
51. See, for example, Connie White, Barbara Angle, and Marat Moore, Sexual Harassment in the Coal Industry: A Survey of Women Miners (Oak Ridge, Tenn: Coal Employment Project, 1981).
52. Statement by Representative Cavanaugh, 1979 Hanley Hearings on Sexual Harassment, 125 (stating that "the public consciousness heightening that these hearings have initiated is overwhelming" and describing how in his home community the hearings led one reporter to go to city hall and interview women about their experiences of sexual harassment); Statement of Vincent R. Sombrotto, 1979 Hanley Hearings on Sexual Harassment, p. 171 (stating that national publicity generated by the hearings had led to several locals contacting the union about experiences of sexual harassment); Statement of Eleanor Holmes Norton, Hanley Hearings on Sexual Harassment (Part II), 41 (noting that the hearings resulted in increased public awareness of sexual harassment); Mike Causey, "New Course Drawn on Sexual Abuse," Washington Post (23 January 1980): § C, p. 2 (stating that sexual harassment had been "big news recently," with "Congressional hearings, newspaper and television stories and surveys in government offices"); Raymond M. Lane, "A Man's World: An Update on Sexual Harassment," Village Voice (16-22 December 1981): 18 (discussing the MSPB survey); see also Elaine Lunsford Weeks, Jacqueline M. Boles, Albeno P. Garbin, and John Blount, "The Transformation of Sexual Harassment from a Private Trouble into a Public Issue," Sociological Inquiry, 56 (1986): 432-55.
53. Sex Discrimination in the Workplace, 1981: Hearings before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, 97th Congress, First Session, 28 January and 21 April 1981, pp. 333-706.
54. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 108.04(7)(i) (1979) (West) (sexual harassment is "good cause" under unemployment compensation law); Wis. Stat. § 111.32(5)(g)(4)(1979) (prohibiting sexual harassment in employment).
55. Gedaliahu H. Harel and Karen Cottledge, "Combatting Sexual Harassment: The Michigan Experience," Human Resource Management, 21, No. 1 (Spring 1982): 2.
56. Laura A. Kiernan, "Barry Says District Will Not Tolerate Sex Harassment, Abuse of Employees," Washington Post (27 April 1979), B, p. 1; Helen Lewis, "Initial Survey Results Point to Evidence of Sexual Harassment," City Hall New Times (25 June 1979).
57. Williams v. Saxbe, 413 F. Supp. 654 (D.D.C. 1976), rev'd in part and vacated in part, 190 F.2d 343 (D.C. Cir. 1978); Barnes v. Train, 13 Fed. Empl. Prac. Cas. 123 (D.D.C. 1974), rev'd sub nom, Barnes v. Costle, 561 F. 2d 983 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67 (1986); Alexander v. Yale University, 631 F.2d 178 (2nd Cir. 1980); Continental Can Company v. Minnesota, 297 N.W.2d 241, 246 (Minn. 1980); Bundy v. Jackson, 641 F. 2d 934, 944 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
58. Order Appointing Nadine Taub as Counsel for Plaintiff, Filed October 22, 1975, Tomkins v. Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Civil No. 75-1673, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
59. The ostensible mission of the Community Relations Service was to promote civil rights, but Jet magazine accused the agency of "compiling lists of more than 10,000 Blacks in a nationwide intelligence drive by the GOP administration to smash the civil rights movement." See "Sex Harassment Ruled in Firing of D.C. Woman," Jet, 29 May 1980, p. 47. The Community Relations Service employed people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Williams' direct supervisor was black while another supervisor was Latino. Most of her coworkers were black and Latino and were also young women. See Anna-Marie Marshall, "Closing the Gaps: Plaintiffs in Pivotal Sexual Harassment Cases," Law and Social Inquiry, 23 (Fall 1998): 780 (based on an interview with Diane Williams).
60. Barbara Geehan, "Women Fight ‘Intimidation,’" Ithaca Journal, 5 April 1975, p. 4; L. Scott, "Protest Sexploitation," Ithaca New Times, 13 April 1975; Brenda Jacobs, "Working Women Form Campaign to Expose Sexual Harassment," Cornell Daily Sun, 18 April 1975, p. 15.
61. Brownmiller, In Our Time, p. 282.
62. "Sexual Harassment: Now a National Issue," Labor Pains, 1, no. 2 (November 1975): 7.
63. Brownmiller, In Our Time, p. 284.
64. Nadine Taub, telephone interview by author, tape recording, Newark, N. J., 21 March 2001; Adrienne Tomkins, "Sex Discrimination: Adrienne Tomkins, Stenographer," The Civil Liberties Review, September/October 1978, p. 22.
65. For the Redbook survey, see "A Redbook Questionnaire: How Do You Handle Sex on the Job?" Redbook, January 1976, pp. 74-75; for the results, see Claire Safran, "What Men Do To Women on the Job: A Shocking Look at Sexual Harassment," Redbook, November 1976, p. 149. For the results of the WWI Survey, see Working Women's Institute, "Sexual Harassment on the Job: Results of Preliminary Survey," Research Series, Report No. 1, Fall 1975; see also Document 14
66. Diane Henry, "Yale Faculty Members Charged With Sexual Harassment," New York Times, 22 August 1977, p. 30; "Bod and Man at Yale," Time (8 August 1977): 52-53. Jose Cabranes was later appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut by President Jimmy Carter and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President William Clinton. Judge Cabranes has been discussed as a possible candidate to be the first Latino Supreme Court Justice.
67. U.S. Merit System Protection Board, Sexual Harassment of Federal Workers: An Update (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1987); U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace: Trends, Progress, Continuing Challenges (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995).
68. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67 (1986). This standard, however, was more favorable to plaintiffs than the one set out in Henson, which required that the alleged conduct must be "sufficiently severe and persistent to affect seriously the psychological well-being of employees." 682 F.2d at 904.
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