chapter  4
20 Pages

Regulating sexual harassment at work

ByCELIA VALIENTE

The contention that societies are structured according to a gender system – even if it not an explicit or highly visible one – has become firmly established in feminist thought and scholarly research in a number of disciplines. The methodological approach that we are using of gendering political and social systems of a specific polity is a tool for revealing its underlying gender system. Yet if this endeavour is not to paint a picture of the system as a static structure, it needs also to factor in the new policies advocated by feminist activists and equality advocates in pursuance of remedies to the inequity and powerlessness experienced by women. This perspective will highlight the dynamic aspects of the system, how it evolves and mutates. One of the key new policies engendered by the women’s movement is the creation of work environments free from such traditional forms of male-female interaction as: one-sided flirtation, requests for sexual favours, sexual stereotyping, denigration and victimisation of female colleagues.