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SOCB51 Lecture 11 Notes – March 28
After a week of people wondering about the dress, there were domestic abuse campaigns.
Sexual harassment is governed by administrative law. Jian Ghomeshi Case. The verdict
didn’t say that the women were making it up or they didn’t happen. The judges didn’t say
any right way to act after someone has been assaulted. There was no real right way to act.
Some victims deny or become silent, some are infatuated with the assaulter or some
remember things that don’t make sense. They couldn’t find a guilty verdict. This was a
setback for victims coming forward to the police.
Universities and sexual harassment and sexual assault on campuses. This issue is driven
by media coverage. There are different legal verdicts by Canada and the US. In Canada,
it’s governed by provincial human rights codes. In the US, most American universities
have large police forces. In Ontario, we have peace officers and they’re not armed in
universities. Sexual violence can be handled by outside police forces who handle serious
criminal offenses while universities handle sexual harassment cases. There’s incredible
pressure to expand their concerns beyond sexual harassment and to be much more
responsive to crimes of sexual violence and victims of sexual violence. Media coverage a
couple of years ago about no universities in Canada having a sexual harassment policy.
Universities to have a stronger and more coherent responsibility for people’s safety.
Queen’s University and what their protocol is if someone experienced sexual assault.
When did people realize that sexual harassment was an issue? The confirmation hearings
of Clarence Thomas.
Anita Hill was a formal law clerk of Clarence Thomas and was a well-respected law
professor. The level of sexual harassment she endured from him. She said that Clarence
Thomas would put a coke can on her desk with a pubic hair on it. He would share details
of cartoon characters that were sexually explicit. He would constantly pressure her to go
out on a date with him while she was a clerk. There was a particular racial dynamic here.
Gender roles were switched. Anita Hill was composed and calm when giving her
testimony while Clarence Thomas practically cried and complained bitterly that he was
being victimized because he’s a black man and how this is racism. Many people didn’t
believe Anita Hill. A lot of women in a public poll didn’t believe her as well. Before this,
women put up with it, there was no name for it and may have complained since it was
wrong. After Anita Hill, the name sexual harassment came about. It gave ordinary,