SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WORKING WOMEN: A Case of Sex Discrimination by Catharine A. MacKinnon

SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WORKING WOMEN: A Case of Sex Discrimination

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the first major book on the subject, attorney MacKinnon tackles the problem of on-the-job sexual harassment of working women, a practice so common that it seems ""natural,"" strictly ""personal,"" or ""harmless"" fun to perpetrators and courts alike. Maintaining that sexual harassment constitutes discrimination based on sex, and that courts should find it so, MacKinnon argues her case within both of the ""conceptual frameworks"" that guide discrimination law: the ""differences theory"" which holds that women shall be treated like men except where ""real"" sexual differences exist, and the ""inequality theory"" which holds all practices discriminatory that systematically deprive a sex because of its sex, MacKinnon patiently builds her own argument, unravels the snarls of existing legal theory and the kinks (and sheer idiocies) of landmark cases, and offers illuminating parallels to laws regarding racial discrimination, rape, and wife abuse. (Appendices for attorneys include further legal argument on application of sex discrimination doctrine and a brief applicable to employment or education.) Trying to appeal to both general readers and legal experts, MacKinnon fully explains cases and points of law--but, alas, all in a wordy, passive-voiced legalese that staggers even the most tenacious reader. Still the book is an important contribution to legal and political theory and a giant step forward in discrimination law.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1979
ISBN: 0300022999
Publisher: Yale Univ. Press