Sex, Power, and Boundaries

Peter Rutter, Author Bantam Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-09954-6
As women have increasingly moved into the workplace and into higher-level positions, the consciousness of sexual harassment has grown, as have legal sanctions against it. Ritter (Sex in the Forbidden Zone), on the faculty at UC-San Francisco, lays great stress on the subject of boundaries beyond which people should not go nor permit others to go. A term that recurs in his excellent study is unwelcome--applied to the unwanted boundary-crossings that constitute harassment. He examines the role of fantasy (more of a problem for males) and flirting, and always returns to the definition of the Reasonable Female and the Reasonable Male as individuals who do not misinterpret a collegial pat on the shoulder as an advance. He offers useful advice for women (and occasionally men) who are sexually harassed, especially in situations of unequal power, and for organizations that want to avoid the public embarrassment of harassment suits. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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