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Consenting Adults?: Why Women Who Submit to Supervisory Sexual Harassment Are Faring Better in Court than Those Who Say No... and why They Shouldn\u27t

By Kerri Lynn Stone

Abstract

When, in 1998, it came to light that a twenty-one-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky had carried on an affair with U.S. President Bill Clinton while he was in office, the ensuing firestorm of media coverage of the story was predictable. So too were the President\u27s initial denials of an affair, and, eventually, the impeachment proceedings brought against him. What was perhaps less predictable was the variety of ways in which Ms. Lewinsky was characterized in the media. A self-professed feminist writing for The Washington Monthly, which calls itself a \u22progressive magazine,\u22 wrote about a \u22painfully sentimental, pathologically vulnerable, sexually available young woman,\u22 noting that if she (the writer) were not \u22a feminist, I guess I\u27d call her a pathetic little slut.\u22 In the media, Ms. Lewinsky was reduced to either a cartoonishly two-dimensional, predatory seeker of validation and attention, or a completely mindless victim. Under either characterization, she was viewed as incapable of existing among thinking adults in a world of constrained, albeit present, agency

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:yjlf-1278
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