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Directions in Sexual Harassment Law$
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Catharine A. MacKinnon and Reva B. Siegel

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300098006

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300098006.001.0001

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What's Wrong with Sexual Harassment

What's Wrong with Sexual Harassment

(p.169) 12 What's Wrong with Sexual Harassment
Directions in Sexual Harassment Law

Katherine M. Franke

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how sexual misconduct has been considered as a form of sex discrimination and how, through time, this has come to go without saying. Until recently, the “why” of sexual harassment has remained underexamined by courts and commentators alike. It is to this issue that both legal scholars and the Supreme Court have turned their attention of late. Unfortunately, now, as in 1979, a number of foundational questions remain unaddressed in the jurisprudence that has evolved in response to this “fact” of our working lives. First, what does it say about our legal conception of gender-based subordination that we treat sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination? Second, why should we treat sexual harassment differently from racial or ethnic harassment, or other forms of seemingly “nonsexual” sex discrimination for that matter?

Keywords:   sexual misconduct, sex discrimination, legal scholars, Supreme Court, foundational questions, gender-based subordination, ethnic harassment, nonsexual sex discrimination

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