In Search of the Reasonable Woman: Anti-Discrimination Rhetoric in the United States

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION DISCOURSE AND PRACTICES, Silvia Niccolai, ed., 2011

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series

36 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2010 Last revised: 23 Aug 2011

See all articles by Francis Joseph Mootz

Francis Joseph Mootz

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

This article emerged from my participation in a Symposium addressing global perspectives on the topic, "Anti-Discrimination Discourse and Practices," sponsored by The Jean Monnet Chair of European Law at Cagliari University, Sardinia. The article examines the rhetorical development of the "reasonable woman" standard of hostile work environment sexual harassment under Title VII. I argue that the rhetorical framing of the standard has unnecessarily limited its impact, perhaps to the point of undermining its potential to radically revise our understanding of gender discrimination. I suggest how the rhetorical power of the standard might be recovered.

Keywords: Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment, Title VII, Reasonable Woman, Rhetoric, Gender, Feminist Theory

Suggested Citation

Mootz, Francis Joseph, In Search of the Reasonable Woman: Anti-Discrimination Rhetoric in the United States (October 1, 2010). ANTI-DISCRIMINATION DISCOURSE AND PRACTICES, Silvia Niccolai, ed., 2011; UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1697256

Francis Joseph Mootz (Contact Author)

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law ( email )

3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
United States

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