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65 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1445 (1991-1992)
Sexual Harassment: The Nature of the Beast

handle is hein.journals/scal65 and id is 1463 raw text is: SEXUAL HARASSMENT: THE
The response to my Senate Judiciary Committee Testimony has
been at once heartwarming and heart-wrenching. In learning that I am
not alone in experiencing harassment, I am also learning that there are
far too many women who have experienced a range of inexcusable and
illegal activities-from sexist jokes to sexual assault-on the job.
My reaction has been to try to learn more. As an educator, I always
begin to study an issue by examining the scientific data-the articles, the
books, the studies. Perhaps the most compelling lesson is in the stories
told by the women who have written to me. I have learned much; I am
continuing to learn; I have yet ten times as much to explore. I want to
share some of this with you.
The Nature of the Beast describes the existence of sexual harass-
ment, which is alive and well. A harmful, dangerous thing that can con-
front a woman at any time.
What we know about harassment, sizing up the beast:
Sexual harassment is pervasive...
(1) It occurs today at an alarming rate. Statistics show that any-
where from forty-two to ninety percent of women will experience some
form of harassment during their working lives. At least one percent
experience sexual assault. Yet the statistics do not fully tell the story of
the anguish of women who have been told in various ways on the first
day of a job that sexual favors are expected. Or the story of women who
were sexually assaulted by men with whom they continued to work.
(2) It has been occurring for years. In letters to me, women tell of
incidents that occurred fifty years ago when they were first entering the
* This article is based on remarks presented by Anita Hill at the National Forum for Women
State Legislators late last year. It was previously published in the January/February 1992 issue of
** Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma.


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