CORPORATE ATTRACTIONS: An Inside Account of Sexual Harassment with the New Sexual Rules for Men and Women on the Job by Kathleen Neville

CORPORATE ATTRACTIONS: An Inside Account of Sexual Harassment with the New Sexual Rules for Men and Women on the Job

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A TV executive who sued Taft Broadcasting for sexual harassment pours out her cautionary tale and offers advice. In 1981, Neville's ""bright future"" as ""the first woman account executive"" at WGRTV in Buffalo dimmed. Neville describes (partly in ersatz diary form) how her boss pursued her in and out of the office, and after a client meeting ""grabbed"" her and ""kissed"" her ""squarely on the mouth."" After she refused his advances, he became ""hostile."" She reported the harassment to a manager, and was fired. Suing Taft for $800,000, Neville began a seven-year battle that cost her around $50,000 and much of her personal life. In 1987, two years after hearing the trial, the judge decided that Neville had proved sexual harassment (a form of Title VII discrimination), but that she ""was dismissed for legitimate business reasons."" She also lost the appeal. In the book's second half, ambitiously titled ""New Sexual Rules for Men and Women on the Job,"" the author suggests ways to handle harassment incidents so that they never get to court. While Neville openly admits mistakes she made along the way, too much of the advice delves no deeper than ""better communication."" Overall, the book undercuts its points by vague reporting, a self-absorbed perspective, and embarrassing prose. (""Once out of the shadows, presidential candidate Gary Hart didn't have a chance of recovering from his social/sexual no-no."") Readers will find relevant legal information (including Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) in the appendices. According to Neville, a Working Woman magazine survey reports that ""nearly 90% of Fortune 500 companies have received complaints of sexual harassment."" The author's account, unfortunately, does little more than raise this difficult-to-legislate issue.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Acropolis