Lady Problems at the Office

Sexual harassment on the job cover

Sexual Harassment on the Job
How to avoid the working woman’s nightmare
Backhouse and Cohen
1980 (originally published in Canada in 1978)

This was still in active circulation as of this writing.

When this was published, there wasn’t much talk on sexual harassment. It was mostly treated as a joke. I remember several dudes back in the 1980s constantly saying “we need more sexual harassment around here.” (Hilarious.) There weren’t a lot of protections or policies in place. It’s still a decade before Anita Hill’s testimony.

The advice is lukewarm. Since there was no mechanism to report or enforce policies, anyone that complained was probably fired or harassed until they quit. This book does talk about the range of behaviors, but without the legal definitions, laws or policies, women didn’t have a lot of options. The general advice amounts to: saying that you have a boyfriend/husband, avoiding being alone, and ignoring the overtures.

Given the general state of affairs for women in the United States these days, you might make an argument that these books might eventually be relevant again.

Don’t mind me, I am a cranky old lady who is sick of idiotic old white men from Washington, D.C. and other places.


back cover

definitions of sexual harassment

The women's movement

prevention do's and don'ts

talk about family


  1. I totally agree with that last statement. Everything is terrible now, not just the library books.

  2. Women’s rights shouldn’t mean trampling the rights of other human beings, unborn children are just as human as us and there’s no reason they shouldn’t have the same protection from murder.

    1. If the fetus/baby’s dead inside the woman, should she still have to carry it around festering till the sepsis infection kills her? (see Savita Halappanavar)

      Should a raped 10 year old be forced to give birth, at great peril of permanent mental and physical harm?

      Should a woman who already has children to take care of die because another pregnancy will kill her, leaving her living, breathing, walking around kids without a mother to raise them?

      Should people without a uterus have any legal opinion on the subject?

      1. You can make abortion arguments about bodily autonomy, but arguing that life begins at birth is just unscientific. If life begins at birth, why did a hand specialist tell me that my daughter’s shorter finger started developing with a lowered knuckle when I was around six to eight weeks pregnant? How did my unalive daughter get hiccups and wake me up when I was thirty-two weeks pregnant? How did she manage to kick me from inside my uterus?

        If an embryo or fetus inside a woman isn’t alive, she’s had a miscarriage.

    2. A potential life should never be held above an existing life. Aborting a fetus is not murder because that is not an existing life. This is my opinion.

    3. A fetus is NOT a living being and therefore has no rights. Abortion is HEALTHCARE, not murder. Especially in cases of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages where the fetus doesn’t evacuate the body and therefore can rot and go septic inside the pregnant person.

      And children who have been raped should not have to give birth to their rapist’s spawn.

      Also, go read Numbers 5:11–31. Seems to me if the Bible itself says a man can FORCE his wife to miscarry if he thinks she cheated, then abortion itself is not forbidden at all.

      Surprised your moronic statement that makes it out that those with uteruses are nothing more than brood mares got published.

  3. I’m with you, Mary.

    This book should have been one piece of paper long — describing what it is, and then on the back giving the “advice” on avoiding it, and reminding you that you’ll get fired, not the perp. A small pamphlet at most.

  4. Sure, but 3 of those people were appointed by an old white man (who’s paid for women to have abortions in the past!) and his old white men donors, so your argument isn’t as strong as you think.

  5. I thought the book would invite the woman to see what she did to bring it on herself and give instructions for maintaining a pure reputation.

    Oddly, the book seems more progressive than the average American does in 2022.

  6. I see a previous commenter just referred to dudes in their late 60s and 70s as “younger men.” Yeah, real whippersnappers!

    I too, am feeling cranky over the news. Thanks for keeping the awful books coming.

  7. It was because of stupid white CONSERVATIVE men that we have those 4 white guys, black man and white woman. All SIX of them are conservatives…

  8. The shoddy reasoning and lack of a good constitutional argument in Roe v. Wade is something every law student has heard of by the end of 1L. The pro-choice movement relied on a bad legal argument for 49 years and it came back to bite them in the butt. Now they get to deal with each state, make their case, and let people vote for officials who promise to do one thing or another on state abortion law.

    You want to blame an old white man, blame the late Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade.

  9. Exactly. This blog posts about the racial/sexual insensitivities of countless books, and then Mary literally acts like Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett don’t exist.

  10. What does Dobbs have to do with sexual harassment in the workplace ? Stay on topic !

  11. Doesn’t matter. Since many religions like Judaism actually not only allow abortion, but it’s part of their religious LAW to abort if the pregnant person’s life is endangered by the pregnancy, SCOTUS has violated our constitutional rights to freedom of religion.

    Banning abortion is unconstitutional. SCOTUS should be impeached. (And yes, they can be.)

  12. With how things are going, it’s likely soon women won’t even be allowed to have jobs in the first place.

    1. Yeah, there’s a reason protesters have been going around in “Handmaid’s Tale” outfits.

      Margaret Atwood should be given air time to look into a camera and say “I told you so.”

Comments are closed.