Synopses & Reviews
Does it really help women to think of sexual harassment primarily as a legal issue?
High-profile sexual harassment suits, such as that of Paula Jones against President Clinton, are often life-changing events, with all parties coming away with careers, reputations, and lives profoundly affected. Women have long suffered on the job from sexual extortion, now called quid pro quo harassment, but today the controversy centers on "hostile environment" harassment. Every one has an opinion about it; managements spend more and more money training people not to do it; and still the suits strike like lightning-devastating and seemingly random. Women and men often feel polarized in the workplace by what they perceive to be general hostility couched in sexual terms.
What to Do When You Don't Want to Call the Cops questions establishment assumptions that women are, by definition, passive victims who require government help. It sees instead a period of transition toward a more balanced population of women in the workplace, with accompanying disruptions that can be minimized by understanding. Joan Kennedy Taylor presents what we know about the workplace and interviews managers, labor experts, and workers in such male-dominated fields as construction, engineering, business, and medicine to shed light on the male group culture that exists without women. She illustrates expressive behaviors that may be objectionable but are not sexual harassment and proposes specific strategies by which these objectionable behaviors can be countered, including a new feminist approach in company training programs. Taylor examines traditional and nontraditional workplaces, and female on male as well as male on male harassment, in order to apply these strategies to the entire picture.
Lively and anecdotal, Taylor's balanced, non-adversarial study fills an important gap by providing strategies for businesses and employees, as well as for those who find themselves the target of sexual harassment.
"...the souvenir of an unabashed and often triumphant erotic life, rediscovered after nearly two hundred years, the story of [Anne Lister's] desire- and of the comic, gallant ways in which she satisfied it-seems especially poignant...the passion women find together has always existed, and we have only now begun to uncover its remarkable, lyrical history. " -The Women's Review of Books,
"An interesting historical record, edited with great sensitivity . . . . [Lister] reveals her lesbian affairs with remarkable honesty, offering a rare insight into the mores of the time."-Sunday Independent,
"As a document of one woman's revolt against conventions and as a celebration of love between women, this is an uplifting book." -The Independent,
"These remarkable diaries, a veritable Roseta Stone of lesbian life in the early nineteenth century, tell the story of the life and loves of Anne Lister, a outwardly conventional upper-class Englishwoman, who, from adolescence onward, was involved in a succession of passionate affairs with other women. Composed in a secret cipher - a kiss is Lister's codeword for orgasm, as in Two kisses last night, one almost immediately after the other, before we went to sleep- and ably decoded by Helena Whitbread, who spent six years editing them, the diaries trace not only Lister's relationships, but her attempts at self-definition and her strikingly confident and guilt free outlook. Lister's account of her daily life and her sometimes snobbish, but always compelling and unflinching commentary about the failings and shortcomings of her friends and acquaintances only add to the book's readability. One may take delight in what is here: the souvenir of an unabashed and often triumphant erotic life . . . . Rediscovered after nearly two hundred years, the story of [Anne Lister's] desire--and of the comic, gallant ways in which she satisfied it--seems especially poignant . . . . What Lister's diary suggests is that . . . the passion women find together has always existed, and we have only now begun to uncover its remarkable, lyrical history."-The Women's Review of Books,
Upon publication, the first volume of Anne Lister's diaries, I Know My Own Heart
, met with celebration, delight, and some skepticism. How could an upper class Englishwoman, in the first half of the nineteenth century, fulfill her emotional and sexual needs when her sexual orientation was toward other women? How did an aristocratic lesbian manage to balance sexual fulfillment with social acceptability?
Helena Whitbread, the editor of these diaries, here allows us an inside look at the long-running love affair between Anne Lister and Marianna Lawton, an affair complicated by Anne's infatuation with Maria Barlow. Anne travels to Paris where she discovers a new love interest that conflicts with her developing social aspirations. For the first time, she begins to question the nature of her identity and the various roles female lovers may play in the life of a gentrywoman. Though unequipped with a lesbian vocabulary with which to describe her erotic life, her emotional conflicts are contemporary enough to speak to us all.
This book will satisfy the curiosity of the many who became acquainted with Lister through I Know My Own Heart and are eager to learn more about her revealing life and what it suggests about the history of sexuality.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 205-222) and index.
About the Author
Joan Kennedy Taylor is the National Coordinator of the Association of Libertarian Feminists, a founding member (and present vice president and co-chair of the legal committee) of Feminists for Free Expression and author of Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
pt. 1. The scope of the problem. ch. 1. The starting point. ch. 2. What sexual harassment is and isn't : history and the law. ch. 3. It may not be a legal problem. ch. 4. Failure to communicate. ch. 5. How to communicate your concerns -- pt. 2 Male group culture. ch. 6. Sticks and stones. ch. 7. Seeing sex as dirty. ch. 8. Pictures that embarrass. ch. 9. Competition and hierarchy. ch. 10. Indoctrination into society -- pt. 3. What's to be done? ch. 11. Can sexual harassment be forestalled? ch. 12. What's wrong with sexual harassment law? ch. 13. The larger picture. ch. 14. Training for success. ch. 15. Toward a feminist theory of training.