The hand on the thigh. The creepy come-on. The lingering leer. These are some of the milder forms of sexual harassment that women have been reporting in the wake of the #MeToo outpouring. Other women have made allegations of sexual assault and even rape at the office.
While once such accusations would be met with — at most — a monetary settlement and a non-disclosure agreement, today they are more likely to be publicized and investigated. Some have welcomed this change but are worried it won’t last. Others are worried #MeToo has gone too far already and that perpetrators of harassment aren’t getting a fair chance to defend themselves — or that the movement will spark a backlash that’s ultimately worse for women.
We talk with UC Hastings professor Joan Williams about history and the law, HBR’s Amy Gallo about different ways to say “This is making me uncomfortable,” and Stony Brook University professor Michael Kimmel about how men can be allies.
Our HBR reading list:
Now What? by Joan C. Williams and Suzanne Lebsock
Getting Men to Speak Up by Michael S. Kimmel
Have Our Attitudes About Sexual Harassment Really Changed? by Sarah Green Carmichael
Training Programs and Reporting Systems Won’t End Sexual Harassment. Promoting More Women Will by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev
The Omissions that Make So Many Sexual Harassment Policies Ineffective by Debbie S. Dougherty
What Works for Women at Work by Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey
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Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.
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