1. Loss of job or Promotion/Sexual Harassment

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
1

Reports of sexual harassment similar to those described in the "Physical Injuries" section were also submitted as forms of social injuries. The witnesses stated the harassment was attributable to the presence of pornographic materials and served to reduce their social status:

I was working as a telephone repairwoman for Southern Bell in Florida. Porn was everywhere. They use it to intimidate you, to keep women out of their territory. They had pin-ups in the workrooms. Male workers would draw pornographic pictures of women workers in the cross-boxes and write comments about what we would do in bed. One day I went to the supply room to get some tools. The inside of the room was covered with pornography. The guy who ran it shoved a photograph at me of a woman's rear end with her anus exposed and asked, 'Isn't this you?' I was humiliated and furious.[903]

When I got on the job, three of the trades had set up a nice little shack and had lunch there. And it was a real shock when I walked in because three of the four walls in the room were completely decorated with pictures out of various magazines, Hustler, Playboy, Penthouse, Oui, all of those. Some of them I would have considered regular pinups but some of them were very, very explicit, showing women with their legs spread wide and men and women performing sex acts and women in bondage. It was very uncomfortable for me to go down there and have dinner and lunch with about twenty men and here is me facing all these pictures and hearing all these men talking about all the wonderful things they did on the weekend with all of these women. I put up with it for about a week and it finally got to the point where I could no longer tolerate sitting there and realizing that all of these men were there, I felt totally naked in front of these men.[904]

A working woman called the Pornography Resource Center in May 1984 to report that her employer had called her into his office, pushed her down on the floor, ripped her dress, taken a gun out of his pocket, and stuffed it into her vagina. A pornographic picture on the lunchroom wall showed a woman sucking a gun."[905]

Many of the complaints received by Amici are from women workers in nontraditional jobs. The following is typical:

"I've been a brakewoman for a railroad for almost nine years.... I've seen pornographic pictures of a woman with spread thighs being raped by a huge dismembered penis with my name below."[906]

Notes

  1. Letter to Women Against Pornography submitted to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  2. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session II, (Dec. 1983), pp. 85-86.
  3. Testimony to Women Against Pornography, Feb. 1985.
  4. Letter from Montana woman to Women Against Pornography submitted to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.