Sexual Harassment Essay, Research Paper
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very big problem today. It is a
problem that hasn’t really drawn much attention until now. More and more sexual
harassment cases have been brought up today than ever before. We here about a
harassment case in the papers almost everyday. Sexual harassment has even drawn
attention to movies. One movie that has drawn its most recent attention to
sexual harassment is Disclosure.
In the movie Disclosure, sexual harassment draws its attention to the
workplace. The workplace is a very common area for harassment to occur. In
some cases we might not know that it is even taking place. What is sexual
harassment? The dictionary definition of sexual is relating to, having or
involving sex. The dictionary definition of harassment is to annoy persistently.
The definition of sexual harassment then is to persistently annoy someone
through the use of sexual tactics.
The movie Disclosure portrays an act of sexual harassment in the
workplace. It involves a male and a female. In this case the male is the
person who is sexually harassed. In the movie the male character Michael
Douglas is sexually harassed by the Female character Demi Moore. The two
characters used to share a very sexual relationship at one time. The two split
up and did not here from each other in a long time. Demi than shows up at the
job where Michael works. She is Michael’s boss.
Demi calls Michael into her office one night to go over a few things a
bout work. She than asks Michael to rub her back. Taking it as a friendly
gesture Michael returns the favor. The back rubbing is taken a little bit
further leading to other sexual advances. After feeling uncomfortable Michael
shouts no, no, no and pushes Demi away. He then leaves the building and heads
Since they had past relationships Demi felt that Michael would want to
engage in sexual relations. Michael was know a married man and felt that the
actions were wrong. He had very strong feelings toward the act and decided to
take action in fighting the case. During the movie Demi continues the
harassing. She also brings in the issue of Michael losing his job if he doesn’t
After a tremendous amount of arguments and negotiations the case is won
by Michael. Unfortunately not all cases are won but winning numbers are on the
rise. Sexual harassment cases are becoming a lot more popular now than ever
In A Step Forward by Susan L. Webb sexual harassment is explained in
depth. In earlier court cases such as Miller v. Bank of America the court
interpreted sexual harassment based on sex as a personnel matter between the two
individuals not as actions directed at or effecting groups of people. It wasn’t
until 1976 in the case William’s v. Saxby were sexual harassment established a
cause for action.
In 1982 two federal courts of appeal adopted a classification scheme for
sexual harassment. One classification was Quid pro quo which means this for
that. Quid pro quo is defined as all situations in which submission to sexually
harassing conduct is made a term or condition of employment or in which
submission to or rejection of sexually harassing conduct is used as a basis for
employment decisions affecting the individual who is the target of such conduct.
The movie Disclosure follows the basis of Quid pro qou. Michael’s job
was at stake for not participating in sexual relations with his boss. Today he
and many others are faced with a similar case scenario.
The problem of sexual harassment has continued to get a lot of attention.
In A Step Forward surveys show evidence to this. In a military survey of
sexual harassment out of 20,000 military respondents 64 percent woman and 17
percent men said they had been sexually harassed. In business 40 percent women
and 15 percent men said they had been harassed. On college campuses 70 percent
of females said that they have been harassed.
Sexual harassment is an extremely big problem that should be taken very
seriously. The only way something can be done is if more people come out to do
something. If you are being harassed tell somebody about it as soon as possible.
The longer a person waits the less chance they have of something being done
about it. If you feel threatened by someone confront that person about it. If
you feel that the situation is harassment but your not sure, talk to someone to
gain the proper information you need. Don’t become the victim of such shameful