Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash

Alexandra Brodsky. Metropolitan, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-26254-7
Civil rights lawyer Brodsky (coeditor, The Feminist Utopia Project) offers a clear-eyed assessment of how to improve the adjudication of sexual harassment claims within schools, businesses, and other institutions. She notes many reasons why victims often don’t come forward, including opaque reporting and decision-making processes, fears of retaliation, and the historical inability of the criminal justice system to convict perpetrators. She also explains how arbitration clauses in hiring agreements favor institutions, and notes numerous examples of corporations and organizations protecting high-level harassers and silencing victims. Brodsky persuasively argues that timely and structured due process for those accused of sexual harassment is essential to the credibility of any enforcement system, and outlines criteria for a fair hearing, including a clear definition of what constitutes sexual harassment, a mechanism for both sides to submit questions to the other, a ruling made by “unbiased decision-makers,” and an appeal process. Her most radical suggestion is that sexual harassment claims should be “de-exceptionalized” and handled through the same disciplinary process as race-based discrimination and other civil rights disputes, because “singling out sexual assault for extra punishment... make[s] it harder for a victim to prove her case.” Policy makers and institutional leaders will appreciate this balanced look at how to address a thorny problem. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 08/03/2021
Release date: 08/24/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-250-26253-0
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-83936-7
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