Dismantling Sexual Harassment

Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas in 1991 made sexual harassment a matter of public discussion, five years after the Supreme Court recognized that some forms of sexual harassment violate federal civil rights laws. But Clarence Thomas was ultimately confirmed, and it would take decades for the public to engage in a deeper reckoning about this pervasive form of abuse that affects women (and men) from every walk of life.

Today, the #MeToo movement has prompted increasing numbers of women to share their stories. Attention is turning to perpetrators and the structures that protect them. For the first time, from Hollywood to the restaurant industry, we are seeing powerful abusers face real consequences for sexual harassment.  

But we shouldn’t assume that this important moment will last. How do we ensure that this movement will address the abuse of women in low-paying  industries, immigrant women, trans women, and women of color? What are the tools we need to hold perpetrators accountable? How can educational reforms play a role? This article series will examine the legal, policy, and cultural issues raised by the movement and what’s needed for lasting change.

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