Queering Sexual Harassment Law

128 Yale L.J.F. 67 (2018)

18 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2018

See all articles by Brian Soucek

Brian Soucek

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: June 18, 2018


Franchina v. City of Providence, a recent First Circuit decision involving the sexual harassment of a lesbian firefighter, may be the first judicial opinion of the #MeToo movement. But the opinion also points beyond the #MeToo movement’s dominant conception of sexual harassment. By foregrounding the experience of a lesbian firefighter harassed by her male subordinates, Franchina describes harassment that is sex-based without always being sexualized, thereby supplementing the stories of unwelcome sexual advances and assaults that #MeToo has emphasized. Franchina’s brutal narrative demonstrates, as Vicki Schultz argued twenty years ago, that sexual harassment is motivated not by sexual desire so much as a desire to maintain gender roles. And by showing this, Franchina also illustrates why harassment based on sexual orientation — which similarly arises from and enforces gender stereotypes — constitutes sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII.

This Essay is part of the Yale Law Journal Forum's Collection "#MeToo and the Future of Sexual Harassment Law."

Keywords: Sexual Harassment, #MeToo, Sexual Orientation, Title VII, First Circuit, Franchina v. City of Providence

Suggested Citation

Soucek, Brian, Queering Sexual Harassment Law (June 18, 2018). 128 Yale L.J.F. 67 (2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3195301

Brian Soucek (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

400 Mrak Hall Dr
Davis, CA CA 95616
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.ucdavis.edu/faculty/soucek

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