washingtonpost.com
Outlook: Sexual Harassment

E.J. Graff
Senior Researcher, Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism/Senior Correspondent, American Prospect
Monday, November 14, 2005 12:00 PM

Do you think sexual harassment in the workplace is just about some off-color jokes, an unwelcome pass, or a little fanny-patting? You might be forgiven for the misimpression, thanks to movies like "North Country," the Charlize Theron vehicle based on a true story of sexual harassment at a Minnesota mine in the 1970s and '80s, says journalist E.J. Graff . Though it had the opportunity to expose the brutal reality of workplace harassment, the film blinked, and ends up doing a disservice to the thousands of women who live in workplace war zones of sexual harassment to this day. Because despite 30 years of lawsuits and settlements, sexual harassment training courses and court orders, men's fear of female incursion into their territory, and their determination to drive women out of better-paying "blue" paycheck jobs, lives on.

E.J. Graff , a senior researcher at the Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism and a senior correspondent for the American Prospect, was online Monday, Nov. 14, at noon ET to discuss her Sunday Outlook article, Too Pretty A Picture, ( Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2005 ).

The transcript follows.

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E.J. Graff: Since yesterday, I have heard from a number of people who have themselves experienced sexual harassment or sex discrimination. I want to urge everyone to look at the book I wrote for lead author Evelyn Murphy, called Getting Even. The book tries to lay out a global look at the problem; Evelyn Murphy proposes a solution. I truly believe she has a chance to change workplace attitudes around the country.

I also hope that everyone will look at www.wageproject.com, which is keeping a repository of stories about sex discrimination (submit yours!); lists many cases of sex discrimination and sexual harassment; includes ideas about what to do; offers a "calculator", whereby women can see what they've lost compared to men, because of the wage gap; and much more.

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washingtonpost.com: Getting Even : Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men--And What to Do About It ( By E.J. Graff )

The Wage Project

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Rockville, Md.: While I agree that the movie's ending is overly rosy, I disagree with your assertion that the film did not show egregious acts of sexual harassment. In fact, many of the acts you claim did not occur in the movie, were shown quite graphically (ex. semen on clothes, repeated requests for oral sex, explicit graffiti, penis sculptures found in the women's lockers, groping, attempted rape). I also felt that the film showed how threatened these women felt and the enormous toll it took on the women's physical and mental health.

I was outraged and surprised to learn that the kind of behavior exhibited in the film actually occurred in the workplace. The harassment was systemic and was used as a method to keep women out of the workplace. The movie did a good job of showing that these women were scared every day they went to work.

Did the acts shown in the movie really not bother you? I thought they were quite horrific. Perhaps they were not AS BAD as some incidents that may have happened in real life, but they were disturbing enough to give a grim view of what life was like for these women. Any more and I think it would have been too disturbing to watch.

E.J. Graff: Thanks for the feedback. I did wonder whether other people would find it more horrific than I did--particularly if they hadn't been exposed to sexual harassment in depth before. To me, the single incidence of each thing did not create the tension and anxiety that facing repeated, day after day, extreme sexualized hostility did; it did not destroy the women's lives in the same way that actual "hostile environment" does. I did not see an attempted rape, or the daily requests for oral sex (made publicly), or women's heads being forced toward men's crotches while other men laughed and cheered. I didn't see the group violence, the clear intent for public humiliation. The graffiti was in private, in the locker room, rather than everywhere on the line. The dildo in the lunchbox wasn't much; I never saw a faux-vagina sculpture with a rod rammed through it or Hustler-type "pictures" labeled with the women's names appearing in their work areas. The semen in the locker happened once, not repeatedly; it didn't become a proud tale told amongst the men, terrifying the other women; I saw none of the stalking; the lawsuit was anything but a nightmare.

Let me post here an email I received from a woman who had herself been through Wall Street sexual harassment, and agreed with my review:

"Your words crystallized what I had hoped to see in "North Country", but did not. I kept thinking that the ripping apart of a woman's entire life that sexual harassment causes, not to mention the fact that our brains are completely exploded and are never quite the same again, was nowhere evident in that film. There were a few examples in "North Country" of the actual harassment, but nothing like I experienced, the daily expanding harassment and the intimidation on top of it.."

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Harrisburg, Pa.: Isn't it a shame that we seem to have two senses of how to handle sexual harassment: the overreaction and the total neglect of it. While there are bosses who physically grab and demand sex from women and the company looks the other way, there are other companies that make it a rule that there are to be no jokes of any kind whatsoever and, essentially, no socializing at all so the place is a drab place to work. What will it take for managers to realize the seriousness of the problem without reducing it to ridiculous levels?

E.J. Graff: That's a very astute comment. A number of people have written in saying that, at their workplaces, someone can get their hands slapped simply for telling a bad joke. In other places, there's no limit to what gets done to women. I don't know what to do about the overly managed workplaces, but I can say this: only when there's "zero tolerance" for real harassment (as in, day after day of: hey, honey, while you're down there, why not give me a blow job?) can it be stopped from metastasizing into a truly hostile experience that exhausts women and puts lives at risk. Good luck lightening up the overly careful workplaces, but I worry more about the women with no protection at all.

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Va.: What about sexual harassment by women towards men? I was laughed off by the mostly female HR staff.

E.J. Graff: Talk to an EEOC officer or a lawyer to see whether what happened to you rises to the level of genuine sexual harassment. Yes, there is such a thing as female-male harassment. There's also male-male or female-female sexual harassment. All forms are actionable. However, female-male harassment charges make up a relatively minuscule percentage of overall sexual harassment charges.

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Richmond, Calif.: From your research, do you have a sense of how much sexual harassment is "hostile environment" as opposed to "quid pro quo"? I don't mean what appears in the courts, but what people are experiencing at their jobs.

E.J. Graff: That's an excellent question! I did not do that assessment. Please do go check out my book, Getting Even (shameless plug!). We've got charts of sexual harassment of various kinds, which go on for pages and pages; perhaps you can do the counting and comparison for yourself. I can't just now -- too many questions lined up!

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Washington, D.C.: Hi,

Thanks for an eye-opening article. I'll keep a lookout for your book, too.

I worked in the video game business as the first and only female programmer at the company, and I did have to put up with quite a few chauvinist jokes in spite of the generally friendly and creative work environment. Eventually, one of my colleagues started harassing me, and the official response from the HR department tried to sweep it under the carpet. Worse, the small studio in which I worked all found out about it and drew their own conclusions. They offered to move me somewhere else in the company, but, upset as I was, I gathered my strength, took them to task over the whole thing and walked away with a reasonable settlement. Now I make twice as much money working in a "real" software company.

It burns me up to think that a person like me who loved games, worked hard and produced results, had a great sense of humor, and was comfortable and confident around guys still ended up as a target for inappropriate behavior and unable to continue doing what I loved; worse still, I had to turn my company loyalty aside in order to fight for my rights. I believe perception is a key issue. One of my closest friends is a guy, so I'm used to being friends with a man on "equal terms" (without always drawing attention to gender), and I have this expectation for other people I work with, too. But other people at work were often constantly comparing men with women, making gender-biased jokes, making arrogant generalizations about men or women, then assuming (erroneously) that the individual in the office also shared these qualities. Sometimes when I heard these things (the classics: "women can't drive", "women can't do math", etc.), I was confused, but it's difficult to argue sensibly against someone's opinion. One of the reasons I was so unprepared for what happened is that I just didn't think another guy, someone I considered just another work buddy, could marginalize me so much.

Luckily for me, the situation wasn't life-threatening. It shouldn't be such a struggle to spread awareness in a software company. While the company did state that it was an equal opportunity employer and discrimination was illegal, there was no clear policy on sexual harassment in its company manual or employee contract. If companies spread awareness surrounding the definition of sexual (and other) harassment, and ensure that the policies are well-documented in the employee code of conduct and public company manuals, these incidents will hopefully decrease because the victims will have more tools with which to fight back.

E.J. Graff: So sorry that all this happened to you. This is exactly why good employers have zero-tolerance policies: nip it in the bud, and it won't get out of hand.

I do hope you will go document your story and submit it at the WAGE (Women Are Getting Even) Project, at www.wageproject.com. Look at some of the ideas there for what you can do to keep all this from happening to the *next* generation of women.

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Washington, D.C.: Your recently published book talks about ways to solve the male-female pay gap. As long as women are more likely to take time out of their careers to care for children, shouldn't some gap be expected?

E.J. Graff: Actually, no. The wage gap is figured using only apples to apples: full-time working men to full-time working women. If anyone (male or female) is on leave, drops out to go to grad school, leaves the workforce to care for a sick spouse or raise a child, he or she is not counted. Same thing if he or she is unemployed, or working part time or as a consultant. Check out that chapter in our book, "Working While Mother," for a fuller explanation.

So what about women who lose a few years of their working lives: do they bring all women's average wages down? No more than men who get laid off for a few years.

Here's what does increase the gap: discrimination against working mothers. For more information, please go look at my article on TomPaine.com called "The Working Mommy Trap," at The Working Mommy Trap, TomPaine.com, October 5, 2005

The Working Mommy Trap

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Washington, D.C.: Even in supposed "enlightened" workplaces, such as academics, sexual discrimination is alive and well. As one of few women in my business school PhD program, I felt that I was being held to a higher standard. I passed my comprehensive exam; my (male) cohort did not. He took a week off to "think about what he wanted to do" and the (male) senior faculty offered him the chance to design a course he would teach if he stayed on. When I needed consideration, I didn't get it. He finished his PhD; I did not. (But I do have the student loans to pay back.)

E.J. Graff: You're absolutely right. There have been lots of winning sex discrimination cases against universities. The sexual harassment policies seem to be strong enough that s.h. doesn't metastasize there into a "hostile environment," at least from what I've heard. (If I'm wrong please let me know.) But there is an enormous wage gap in academia, due to rampant discrimination. go look at our book (shameless promotion!) to see some stories and charts of lawsuits about discrimination in academia and the professions.

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Anonymous: Slightly off topic, but this seems to be the appropriate forum to point this out.

Just because the new cute girl is pleasant and friendly, doesn't mean flirting with her at work is a good idea. Work couples do happen, but when the male's behavior set off alarms for other members of the office? Then it's not a good idea.

E.J. Graff: hear, hear!

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Germantown, Md.: I am currently going through the process of a sexual harassment complaint. I worked for a church in MD and was harassed by both the church council president and the pastor who would physically touch me against my protests, called my home at all hours, send me love notes and poems, go in to my office and read my emails, and monitor my phone calls and voice mail without my knowing.

If I thought the harassment was bad, it was nothing to the retaliation I faced once I rebuffed the pastor and then complained. I went through the proper channels of the church and did not make it public. The bishop told me I should take these behaviors as a compliment and that this couldn't be the first time this had happened to me. He also told me that I would ruin these men's careers and marriages if I continued to press the issue.

Well I did and I lost my job. The retaliation was fierce. But that was nothing compared to the horrible legal process I am currently enduring. It is brutal. There has already been one trial (which I won) and I was on the witness stand for 4 days. The pastor was on for a couple of hours.

The kicker is that the pastor has never denied his behavior, rather he claims that there is nothing I can do about it because of the separation of church and state. This has been the church's defense all along because there is no evidence of wrong-doing on my part and the evidence against the church is overwhelming. The church did not even attempt to hide the evidence because they were so convinced they could get away with it.

In any Christian organization the majority of clergy are men and majority of staff are women. This is a frightening situation if the church eventually prevails in the courts. This means that any predator need only become a pastor (which is pretty easy in many denominations - I worked for a Lutheran church) or a prominent volunteer (as in the church council president)and the female staff will be helpless to do anything about the sexually toxic environment.

Needless to say I will never work for a church again in this country.

E.J. Graff: It happens everywhere. I do hope you will submit your story to the WAGE Project, if you can.

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Alexandria, Va.: As a survivor of sexual harassment that I experienced principally from three of my bosses (and just about every other male) on a Wall Street trading floor about 10 years ago -- once I read your article, it was hard for me to accept the fact that things haven't changed at all for working women anywhere in America. I would like to set up a nonprofit organization, "Sexual Harassment Survivors" -- which would also include a SWAT team that would be on call to head to wherever anyone was being sexually harassed in this nation. We need to also do a much better job of sharing and outing the companies where sexual harassment is acceptable behavior -- so that women and the men who love them, boycott these firms. They will only change when they lose money. Separation and confidentiality agreements only benefit the harassers, and lawyers. What do you think about a nonprofit, and a SWAT team? All I am saying is that we need to protect each other, but we need to do it so that it is seen by all Americans, "in your face" activism. Then we can expand this worldwide.

E.J. Graff: Oh gosh, I'm going to sound repetitive: please contact them at the WAGE Project! I'm hoping they'll help you find others who might want to work with you on a productive solution, something other than a lawsuit, that can really make a difference.

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Morgantown, W. Va.: You just said: "However, female-male harassment charges make up a relatively minuscule percentage of overall sexual harassment charges."

But isn't that because female-male sexual harassment isn't taken seriously, men are laughed at when they issue reports, and men are less likely to report such incidents for fear of being laughed at?

I know from studying rape statistics that there are many rapes of men, either female-male or male-male that are not reported because they were not forcible (coercion via drugs, alcohol, locking the door, or emotional blackmail) and because male victims fear that no one will take their claims seriously.

How many men file charges is not proof of how many men are harassed, wouldn't you say?

E.J. Graff: But that would be true of women filing charges, too. All the plaintiff bias lawyers I spoke with agreed that women (as a class) are less likely to file charges than other classes: African-Americans, say, or older people (presumably men). For whatever reason--nature, nurture, or culture--women try extremely hard to work things out, to avoid that open rupture or conflict. Most know by now that sexual harassment charges are almost a direct line to losing your career, being ostracized, creating enormous stress in your own life and your family's life. They file charges only at the very very end of their ropes, when they have nothing left to lose.

Is that kind of end-of-the-rope harassment happening to men? Is it holding down the income of a significant proportion of men? I don't know. If you (or others) think so, do the investigation and expose it for us, please.

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San Antonio, Tex.: I saw "North Country" and was uncomfortable, not because of what it depicted, but because it was so eerily similar, in some respects, to what happened when I was working for one of the nation's top supercomputer firms. The time frame was the same. I remember listening to Anita Hill testify on the radio during work hours, the only time I brought my radio to work.

There were three women and more than 20 young men. The atmosphere, when work was not being done, was one of a constant frat party. There were naked women and women's parts as screen savers. There were a number of girlie posters on the walls, women in various states of undress or exposed--and when the mandate came down to remove them, an assistant manager simply moved his behind his opened office door. I was handed a thermos telling me that it contained an unusual flavored coffee, only to have a plastic phallus pop out. The corporate gift for a year's employment was a tie tac. The message: You are really not welcome here.

This was no deep pit mine in Minnesota; this was a satellite office in California's Silicon Valley for one of the country's top computing firms. So what is the "message" for stopping this kind of behavior?

E.J. Graff: Yet again: please submit your story to the WAGE Project. In fact, please start a WAGE Club, working together with a few others to figure out what barriers you can help dismantle, either individually or within your company or as a larger group. The only way we can stop this sort of thing is if women get together (with the help of sympathetic men) and say: Enough. We have a right to earn a fair day's pay.

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Rockville, Md.: Too little or too much.

I have to state that this should never happen in a an office or work place, but in my experience "zero-tolerance policies" means that nobody sorts out what is important from what is trivial. And that there is no thought when deciding what to do about it. Is there a way to do both?

E.J. Graff: Good question! I don't know the answer. I hope some management consultant will take this up!

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Lexington, Ky.: You just said: "Is that kind of end-of-the-rope harassment happening to men? Is it holding down the income of a significant proportion of men? I don't know. If you (or others) think so, do the investigation and expose it for us, please."

Given that you're the expert, why don't you do the investigation? Don't you care about the welfare of men? Aren't you interested in equality? Don't you think ALL sexual harassment is bad? Or do you care ONLY about women?

E.J. Graff: I'm not so arrogant as to think I can investigate or fix everything in the world. There are an enormous number of problems in the world, and many people to work on them. So I encourage everyone to pick their spot and work hard on it.

Just now, I'm concentrating on discrimination against women. Women still earn 77 cents to a male dollar. That gap has been stuck in place for more than a decade; it's not getting better. And as few of us realize, that wage gap adds up enormously over a lifetime. How much? Consider this:

--a female high school graduate will make $700,000 less than the male graduating right beside her.

--a female college graduate will lose $1.2 million compared to her male peers

--a female professional school grad (JD, MD, MBA) will lose $2 million.

That means women don't get paid fairly. Why? Because of illegal sex discrimination.

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Ft. Belvoir, Va.: I must say that many of the words you've used in your chat today, such as "vagina", "dildo", and "blow job", would get me a written reprimand were I to utter them here on an Army base working as a civilian contractor, a place that you might expect to be a fountainhead of sexual harassment, but is not. Also, as a professional man who treats the professional women with whom I work with dignity and respect, including my female supervisor, I resent the tone of much of your rhetoric, which seems to suggest that all men are just like the uneducated rednecks who work in a mine, just waiting for a chance to harass the nearest "gal". You turn people, especially men, against your cause when you treat us with such open hostility and always assume the worst about us.

E.J. Graff: Actually, I think very few men are like this; the men that I love most dearly are shocked to hear the stories that turn up from my research. They find it as hard to believe as I do.

But the men who *do* it get away with it. Why? Sometimes the boss doesn't believe it's really happening. Sometimes the other guys are made sick by it, but complaining would get them fired, or ostracized. But we need you, and men like you, to stand up for women and say: Enough. That is utterly unacceptable behavior. Please do!

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Washington, D.C.: Thank you - I agree with you that the film did indeed clean up the harassment too much.

I'd also like to add that it doesn't need to be as bad as it was for these women to qualify as sexual harassment. I had a boss once who decided that I should get pregnant and become a stay at home mom. Every day he would make comments about it. He would joke that for Christmas I should be given only baby things. He would tell me how having a child was the only way I would ever be a "real woman." He would tell me that I would never amount to anything, so I should have a boy child and hope that my child would become someone. He made my life horrible. Yet when I told him I was going to report him for sexual harassment if he did not stop, he laughed it off. And yes, the men in the HR office laughed it off too - only speaking to him because it was required by law, and making it plain to me that they thought I was over-reacting to "a little friendliness." Nowhere near as horrific as it can be, but still bad.

I find it amazing that people cannot see - simple civility would solve our problems. Yet harassers don't think they are wrong.

E.J. Graff: That was pregnancy discrimination as well.

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Albany, N.Y.: Comment for the video game programmer: I'm sorry this happened to you, and there's no excuse for it. Unfortunately, it's hard being the first one to do something different. They throw rocks at you while you're alive and build statues of you when you're dead. It's always best to go in with support, if that's possible. Unfortunately, often it isn't. If you can't, and you can't find anyone to stick up for you once you started, life gets very tough.

E.J. Graff: But we can't fix it as individual women in the workplace. We have to fix it in groups, with the help of our colleagues, bosses, and especially the top boss or CEO.

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Baltimore, Md.: Could your complaints about the lack of repeated harassment be the result of the nature of a movie and the language of film? In order to fit a story into a limited time period and keep the plot moving, a movie will often give one example or stand-in for something, and the viewer is expected to fill in the blanks and fill out the plot. I thought the incidents shown were enough for the viewer to get the message that the sexual harassment was extreme, pervasive, and frightening.

E.J. Graff: Several people have made this comment. I think it's entirely possible that I was already inured to single incidents, because I had been so steeped in documents, interviews, etc., and that the film had a different effect on anyone to whom this behavior was new.

But here's the important point: we have to realize that this kind of behavior is still happening, and that it's absolutely unacceptable for women in our country to be attacked simply for wanting to earn a living.

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Washington, D.C.: In my job I see court opinions in sexual harassment cases, detailing harassment that includes stalking and sexual assault up to and including rape, where the victims get little help from their employers. Do you have any idea if many victims file police reports in such instances--it doesn't seem that many are. But why not?

E.J. Graff: You know, I don't know the answer to that. Maybe someone else online does.

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Washington, D.C.: Why is there a threshold for sexual harassment acts, i.e., touches, comments, etc. Where does creating an environment full of terror, intimidation, and sabotage play into a case for sexual harassment?

E.J. Graff: I am a journalist, not a lawyer, so I'm afraid I cannot tell you the exact moment when behavior crosses the line from legal into illegal. Terror, intimidation, and sabotage are indeed part of a "hostile environment." There's also a category called "sex harassment," which involves those three things without the grabbing, groping, sexualized comments, and so on. One of the cases that I found extremely upsetting was Dupont v. Pollard, in which a woman was terrorized over a few years, her life put in danger, her production sabotaged, because she was a woman. It wasn't sexual; it was about her sex. Her side has won repeatedly in court--including all the way up to the Supreme Court--but last I checked Dupont was appealing yet again. Try Googling for the opinion, and read the trial court judge's description of the facts: you'll be horrified.

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Denver, Colo.: Isn't it true that women are less likely than men to try to negotiate a higher salary? That's the reason for part of the wage gap. It's certainly not all of it, but it is a chunk of it.

E.J. Graff: Yes, women are less likely to negotiate harder. There are social reasons for it: women are more likely to be treated negatively if we bargain as hard as some men do. (When was the last time you heard a successful male negotiator called a " castrating b***h"?) But women *do* have to learn how to negotiate. We discuss this in the book, and urge women to form WAGE Clubs--which will include taking some time to learn how to negotiate, to practice a style that's comfortable. We do not think this accounts for a significant portion of the wage gap, but since this is something women can work on, we have to do our part!

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Washington, D.C.: "That was pregnancy discrimination as well."

Hm. Ok, I was not pregnant at the time, and had never indicated to him that I intended to become pregnant. (and as a matter of fact, I am childless by choice.)

E.J. Graff: Sorry, I misread that.

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Albany, N.Y.: Regarding same-sex harassment, females harassing males, etc: a woman can be held liable for helping a man harass another woman.

E.J. Graff: Interesting. I didn't know that.

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Springfield, Va.: Regarding the wage gap--I've always found it hard to believe that men and women whose qualifications are exactly the same would be offered different starting salaries and given different raises for equal performance. Maybe this is because I work for a woman-owned company, where all management positions from the President on down are female. From what I can glean talking to my co-workers, men and women, regardless of race or "mommy" status, are paid the same for equal qualifications and equal performance. Even though I'm a middle-aged white male, I happen to think this is exactly as it should be. So do all the other men in the office, as far as I can tell. So women shouldn't give up hope of wage equality. There are many women-owned and minority-owned contractors in the D.C. area, where the work environment is likely to be much more friendly for women and minorities.

E.J. Graff: In fact, we have stories about exactly this in the book. I've been astonished at how many women find the paychecks of their male peers and discover that they're being paid much less. I've heard it from engineers, lawyers, skilled woodworkers, health investigators, university professors--you'd be shocked. Same credentials, same productivity.

It's very odd how the human mind works. We're not rational creatures. Bias and stereotyping get acted out--sometimes without conscious intention--unless people work hard to overcome them. But perhaps that line of thinking is for another chat.

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Munich, Germany: I've heard that the States has much more stringent laws regarding sexual harassment than Europe. Is there any truth to this?

Also, have there been any legal cases where people were harassed by their employer after indicting that they wanted to sue a colleague for sexual harassment?

E.J. Graff: I don't know the comparative law; sorry. But absolutely, the retaliation against women who file sexual harassment charges can be more brutal than the original harassment was.

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Alexandria, Va.: For Ft. Belvoir, Va., my neighbor:

And need I say Tailhook, the Air Force Academy, or countless other sexual discrimination and sexual harassment cases that have come to light recently in the military?

>Group Cites Sex Crimes Against U.S. Troops

Associated Press

Friday, February 18, 2005; Page A11

A support group for victims said U.S. service members have reported 307 sexual assaults that allegedly took place while they were stationed in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan or Bahrain.

A statement from the Connecticut-based Miles Foundation, which first raised concerns about assaults on women serving in Iraq and Kuwait last year, said the alleged assailants included other members of the military, allies and foreigners. Most of the victims were women.

About one-third of the cases reported to the Miles Foundation also have been reported to military officials, the statement said.

Thirty-nine women have reported being assaulted while preparing to go overseas, the foundation said.

In January, Pentagon officials said the military will begin providing confidentiality to alleged sexual assault victims in the immediate period after an attack, in a policy change designed to persuade more people to come forward.

In a report last May, the Pentagon acknowledged problems in preventing, treating and investigating sexual assaults on military personnel. The task force that wrote the report recommended a series of primarily administrative changes aimed at increasing awareness throughout the ranks of how to respond, both medically and judicially, when a woman in uniform reports being assaulted. 2005 The Washington Post Company

E.J. Graff: No comment.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: It seems like federal government agencies are the last to get rid of sexual harassment. The "good-old-boys" are slowly retiring and things are getting better, but we still encounter unwanted comments from older male employees.

E.J. Graff: I wouldn't say the "last." It's still in every career, profession, and industry. Men still outearn women in almost every job: nursing, teaching, running nonprofits, and so on.

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E.J. Graff: Thank you everyone!

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Arlington, Va.: I have a background in mathematics and statistics. I'm very unsure about your use of statistics here when saying women only get .77 for each dollar a man gets in income. How many factors influence that comparison? Can you be sure you're comparing apples to apples? Someone mentioned women having babies and staying out of the income generation for a period. Also, is there a testosterone effect here, where men take risks more and get ahead because their willing to take risks? Proportionally, how many men are in clerical or retail positions compared to women?

E.J. Graff: Please do take a look at the book--we go into these things in detail.

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