Citadels of Pride: Sexual Assault, Accountability, and Reconciliation

Martha C. Nussbaum. Norton, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-324-00411-0
Nussbaum (The Cosmopolitan Tradition), a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, examines in this scholarly yet impassioned account the “culture of sexual violence and sexual harassment” in America and the “institutional and structural solutions” necessary to reform it. She explores the concept of objectification and the harms it causes, and how male pride fuels the denial of a woman’s autonomy and subjectivity. Nussbaum also digs into changing standards of consent and accountability as she tracks the history of legal efforts to combat sexual harassment from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which defined sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination) to the #MeToo movement. Probing systemic failures that cause sexual misconduct to go unaddressed, Nussbaum discusses cases from the federal judiciary, where clerks are held to strict standards of confidentiality; the performing arts, where “certain people with great power and wealth can influence everyone’s chances”; and Division I college sports, where the system is so structurally corrupt, Nussbaum argues, that it should be done away with altogether. Though some sections may be too dense for lay readers, Nussbaum persuasively argues that the law, when applied correctly, can provide justice “that seeks reconciliation and a shared future” for men and women. This carefully reasoned account convinces. (May)
Reviewed on : 01/12/2021
Release date: 05/11/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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