Lin Farley: On Coining The Term “Sexual Harassment”

January 26, 2018 – Lin Farley was a journalist and an instructor at Cornell University when she coined the term “sexual harassment” to summarize what so many women were experiencing at their jobs across the country. She went on to write the book “Sexual Shakedown: The Sexual Harassment of Women on the Job.”

It was a watershed moment the abuse of power so many women experienced in their jobs finally had a name. Many realized they weren’t alone, that other women were experiencing the same things they were, and there was great optimism that workplace culture would change.

When Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1992, many advocates believed, again, that real change would take place. There has certainly been progress, but as we have learned, sexual harassment and abuse have continued to thrive in many workplaces, from Hollywood studios to agricultural fields and factory floors. Lin Farley told correspondent Megan Kamerick what she thinks needs to happen to create a truly equal workplace without harassment.


Guest:

Lin Farley, author and workplace harassment expert

WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
There is some language in this interview that might make some people uncomfortable.  In addition, some of the words may violate FCC rules about appropriate on-air content.

When we aired this segment, we “bleeped” the most controversial words and phrases. The web video, however, is unaltered.

As you will hear, Farley thinks it is important to use specific language when talking about sexual harassment, even if it makes people cringe.

What do you think about her stance on how we talk about sexual harassment? And what do you think about our decision to edit the broadcast version? Leave your comments here or fill out our contact form.

Additional Reading:
Who Came Up With The Term Sexual Harassment? Washington Post
I Coined The Term Sexual Harassment. Corporations Stole It. New York Times
Women Begin To Speak Out About Sexual Harassment New York Times 1975 article
The First Brave Woman Who Alleged Sexual Harassment Legacy.com
Sexual Harassment, Revisited On The Media
Women Are Speaking Up About Sexual Harassment. Is A Sea Change Coming? PBS News Hour
What Men Didn’t Say At the Golden Globes The Atlantic
This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex. It’s Really About Work The Cut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *