Philobiblon: A reminder of how bad things were ...

Friday, October 28, 2005

A reminder of how bad things were ...

before anti-discrimination legislation:

Today we are appalled by the story told in "North Country," a film that chronicles the first class-action lawsuit brought for sexual harassment. The suit was led by Lois Jenson, a single mother trying to provide for her family, who became one of the first women to work at Minnesota's Eveleth Mines.

The sexual harassment she and other women at Eveleth Mines suffered in the 1970s and '80s was, indeed, appalling. They endured lewd jokes, taunting and unwelcome physical contact. One female employee opened her locker to find sexual fluids on her personal belongings. Others experienced stalking and threatened assault outside of the workplace....

It brings back nasty memories - although nothing as concerted as this. I've dealt with Playboys scattered around the workplace; a really unpleasant calender (which disappeared when we put up one with an equivalent picture of a male); and endless innuendo. It reminds me that workplaces have, at least outwardly, really improved in the past 20 years.


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