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Sexual Harassment

I work in a manufacturing plant that is predominately male. I am the only women on my shift. I am at the end of my rope putting up with the abuse I get from the other men. I have been passed up for a promotion that was given to a man that had been there 6 months. Every since then I have totally mistreated by all the men ( both on the floor and in management). I'm not given relevant information I need to my job, I am the target of sexually degrading remarks, most told behind my back, some to my face. I could go on and on but to make a long story short, I'd like to know what exactly is the definition of sexual harrassment/discrimination and what it does and doesn't entail. I hope you can help me. There are other women where I work that have simular circumstances.

Thanks for your note and I'm so sorry to hear about all that you are being subjected to. I could offer my own definitions of sexual harassment/discrimination, which your experiences would match entirely, but instead I think that it would be best for you to go to the source...the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the government agency created for just this reason. You can reach them through their headquarters in Washington, DC. at 800-USA-EEOC. I would also suggest that you check out Feminist.com's section of Sexual Harassment Links for more insights.

In the interim I wanted to share Catherine MacKinnon's definition from 1979--"Sexual harassment....refers to unwanted imposition of sexual requirements in the context of a relationship of unequal power. Central to the concept is the use of power derived from one social sphere to lever benefits or impose deprivations in another...When one is sexual, the other material, the cumulative sanction is particularly potent." This definition came when MacKinnon wrote the legal argument that became the basis of finding sexual harassment a form of sex discrimination. Prior to this it had been called "sexual coercion."

I hope this helps and that it is enough incentive for you to find justice in your current unjust situation. Good luck.



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