Sexual harassment on the job cover

Lady Problems at the Office

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 is no mechanism to report or enforce policies, anyone that complains is 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 you have a boyfriend/husband, avoid being alone, and ignoring the overtures.

sexual harassment book cover

Sexual Harassment for the 1990s

The 9-5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment
Bravo and Cassedy
1992

In 1991, Anita Hill testified that she was sexually harassed by Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearing. In my opinion, this was when sexual harassment became a mainstream discussion topic. I also remember watching the hearings on television. Fast forward to the mid 1990s, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal during the Clinton administration. Keep fast forwarding and you can add Robert Packwood, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Gary Condit, Anthony Weiner, Mario Batali, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Roger Ailes, etc. You get the picture.

sexual harassment on the job cover

Sex Harassment on the Job

Sexual Harassment on the Job
Petrocelli and Repa
1992

For the early 1990s this was a pretty good guide to understanding the legal remedies to sexual harassment. Spoiler alert! There aren’t that many. The authors frequently acknowledge that most women cannot afford to go down the road of making a complaint due to lack of resources and backlash. However, this book is excellent at giving straight up scripts to confront harassers and document your experience with sexual harassment.

I remember watching the Anita Hill testimony and thought finally someone is sharing the reality of working women everywhere. (Insert your own #metoo story here)

The librarians need to be aware of how legal material does expire, even if nothing much changes. Regardless of the topic, a 1992 pub date throws this book’s accuracy into question.

sexual harassment at work cover

Fun and Games at Work

Sexual Harassment at Work
Is it just ‘fun and games’?
Read
1982

Not a bad book, but unfortunately, the cover absolutely negates the seriousness of the writing (and the topic for that matter). I am sure someone in an editorial meeting thought that made the topic “sexy”. This was a British publication, however, the situations are pretty universal to any type of employment situation. I will defer to our Brits on knowledge of the law on this in Britain, but for Americans, this was still a decade before Anita Hill’s testimony pushed this topic into the forefront. Evidently, some people just don’t learn. I’m looking at you: Mr.President, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, etc.

Sexual harassment cover

DIY Sexual Harassment

Everything You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment
Bouchard
1990, 1997

Submitter: Apparently, judging from the cover and pictures included in this Sexual Harassment book, this is a How-To manual.

Holly: It doesn’t even matter which edition this is – they’re both too old!  They won’t include online harassment, for one thing. That cover is totally creepy, too!