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Directions in Sexual Harassment Law: Introduction and Afterword

71 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2003  

Catharine A. MacKinnon

University of Michigan Law School; University of Chicago Law School

Reva Siegel

Yale University - Law School


In "Directions in Sexual Harassment Law," 38 authors explore the past and future development of the field, with an introduction by Reva Siegel and an afterword by Catharine MacKinnon, the volume's co-editors. Siegel opens the collection with "A Short History of Sexual Harassment," which recounts striking changes in the practice and protest of sexual harassment in the past and in our own day. She analyzes legal recognition of sexual harassment as sex discrimination, treating it as an important chapter in this history that reveals much about the ways antidiscrimination law enables and limits challenges to the social world of which it is a part. MacKinnon closes the book with an assessment of the changes wrought by sexual harassment law in the quarter century since she argued for legal recognition of the claim in "Sexual Harassment of Working Women" (1979). Anchoring her analysis in the national debates spanning the Thomas-Hill hearings and the Clinton impeachment, MacKinnon charts the norms and practices this body of law has transformed, as well as the entrenched understandings and arrangements that it has yet to disturb. (Siegel's and MacKinnon's essays are posted with this abstract.)

"Directions in Sexual Harassment Law" will be published by Yale University Press in January of 2004. Its 37 essays are grouped in seven parts. In Part I, Contexts, Andrea Dworkin, Guido Calabresi, Anne Simon, Pamela Price, and Gerald Torres offer brief observations on the law's role in addressing sexual harassment. In Part II, Unwelcomeness, Carol Sanger, Louise Fitzgerald, Kathy Abrams, Jane Larson, and Robin West analyze the role of notions of consent in sexual harassment law and theory. In Part III, Same-Sex Harassment, William Eskridge, Katherine Franke, Janet Halley, Marc Spindelman, and Chris Kendall debate the relation of gender and sexuality and the role of law in regulating sexual relations and redressing sexual injury. In Part IV, Accountability, Judith Resnik, David Oppenheimer, Deborah Rhode, Ann Scales, and Cass Sunstein & Judy Shih explore questions of institutional responsibility for sexual harassment in both the employment and education settings. Part V, Speech, considers how, if at all, law ought take account of speech values in the ways it defines and regulates sexual harassment, in essays by Frederick Schauer, Dorothy Roberts, Robert Post, Kingsley Browne, Janine Benedet, and Jack Balkin. In Part VI, Extensions, Adrienne Davis, Tanya Kateri Hernandez, Lea VanderVelde, Sally Goldfarb, and Diane Rosenfeld trace the life of the sexual harassment paradigm in other legal contexts. Part VII, Transnational Perspectives, considers sexual harassment law in comparative perspective. Orit Kamir, Susanne Baer, Abigail Saguy, Yukiko Tsunoda, Martha Nussbaum, and Christine Chinkin respectively analyze sexual harassment law in Israel, Germany, France, Japan, India, and under international human rights law.

Suggested Citation

MacKinnon, Catharine A. and Siegel, Reva, Directions in Sexual Harassment Law: Introduction and Afterword. DIRECTIONS IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAW, Catharine A. MacKinnon and Reva B. Siegel, eds., Yale Press, 2004. Available at SSRN: or

Catharine A. MacKinnon

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

University of Chicago Law School

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Reva B. Siegel (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-6791 (Phone)

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