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漫长的斗争:女性对抗职场性骚扰简史

更新时间:2017-10-19 12:00:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Do We Believe Women Yet? The Battle to End Sexual Harassment
漫长的斗争:女性对抗职场性骚扰简史

The phrase most commonly used to describe a particularly noxious form of workplace aggression is sexual harassment. But sexual predation is more apt in many instances. What is it if not predatory when a male boss abuses his power to demand physical gratification from a female employee?

有一种危害特别大的职场攻击形式,最常用来描述它的词语是“性骚扰”。但在很多情况下,“性掠夺”这个词更为恰当。当男性老板滥用职权,要求从女性员工那里获得肢体上的满足时,这还不算是掠夺吗?

The problem is age-old. But as is obvious to anyone reading or watching the news, concerns have intensified lately with allegations of serial predation by the moviemaker Harvey Weinstein. He joins a parade of celebrities and business powerhouses accused of treating women as mere pleasure providers: Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Uber and Amazon Studios employees, swaths of Silicon Valley — a quorum of indecency. Not to mention that a man who boasted of grabbing women by the genitalia sits in the White House.

这是一个历史很悠久的问题了。但是,对于那些阅读或收看新闻的人来说,近来有关电影制片人哈维·韦恩斯坦(Harvey Weinstein)的一系列性掠夺指控的报道,加剧了人们的担忧。被指将女性视为纯粹乐趣提供者的其他名人和商业巨头,还有比尔·科斯比(Bill Cosby)、罗杰·艾尔斯(Roger Ailes)、比尔·奥雷利(Bill O’Reilly),以及优步(Uber)和亚马逊影视工作室(Amazon Studios)的员工,还有硅谷的一些公司——都是一群下流胚。更不用说一个住在白宫、炫耀抓握女性生殖器的男人了。

Retro Report, a series of video documentaries that examine the enduring impact of major news stories of the past, explores the unfolding of this issue across several generations, starting with how it came to be labeled. You have to go back to the mid-1970s, when a writer named Lin Farley was teaching a course on “Women and Work” at Cornell. “I kept thinking we’ve got to come up with a name,” she recalled, “and the best I could come up with was sexual harassment of women on the job.” The phrase stuck.

本报的“历史回眸”栏目(Retro Report)以视频纪录的形式重新审视过去的重大新闻事件及其持久影响,该栏目从这个问题被贴上标签开始,探讨了它在几代人中的发展。在1970年代中期,有一位名叫林·法利(Lin Farley)的作家在康奈尔大学教一门“女性与工作”的课程。“我一直认为我们必须给它取个名字,”她回忆说,“我可以想出的最好名字就是女性在职场上遭受的性骚扰”。这个表达方式流传了下来。

New laws and workplace regulations came to pass in the hope of addressing the problem. Nevertheless, it persisted. Fast forward to 1991. That was when the lawyer and academician Anita Hill testified before an all-male — and strikingly unsympathetic — Senate committee that was holding hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Hill described having been sexually harassed by Justice Thomas when he was her superior at two federal agencies, the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He denied the accusations, and ascended to the Court. Yet Ms. Hill struck a chord that still reverberates.

为了能够解决这个问题,颁布了一些新的法律和职场规定。然而,问题仍然存在。时间快进到1991年,律师及大学教师阿尼塔·希尔(Anita Hill)在一个完全由男性组成的——而且是毫无同情心的——参议院委员会作证,那是提名克拉伦斯·托马斯(Clarence Thomas)进入美国最高法院的听证会。希尔说,托马斯大法官在两个联邦机构——教育部和公平就业机会委员会(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,简称EEOC)——担任其上司期间对她进行性骚扰。而他否认了这些指控,并进入了最高法院。然而,希尔却引发了很多人的共鸣,影响延续至今。

“One of things about my testimony, I believe, that resonated so much with women was that it seemed so regular, so much like what was going on in their day-to-day lives,” she told Retro Report.

“我认为,我的证词中有一点引起了女性的很大共鸣,那就是这种事情太多了,就像她们生活中的常态一样,”她对“历史回眸”栏目说。

A quarter of a century later, the Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson became a new symbol of the issue when she sued the network’s chairman, Roger Ailes. It was as if nothing had changed through the years. Ms. Carlson said that Mr. Ailes, who died in May, had demanded she have sex with him. Like Justice Thomas, he denied the charges. But the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, settled the matter by paying her a reported $20 million. More women at Fox News then stepped forward with allegations of a corporate climate of sexual aggression.

四分之一个世纪后,福克斯新闻(Fox News)女主播格雷琴·卡尔森(Gretchen Carlson)成为了这个问题的新象征。她起诉了该电视台董事会主席罗杰·艾尔斯(Roger Ailes)。这些年来,情况好像没有任何改变。卡尔森说,今年5月份去世的艾尔斯曾要求和她发生性关系。像托马斯大法官一样,艾尔斯否认了这个指控。但是,该台的母公司21世纪福克斯(21st Century Fox)和她达成了庭外和解,报道称给了她2000万美元。随后,福克斯新闻的更多女性站出来,指控那里存在一种性攻击的职场氛围。

“I never ever expected to be the face of sexual harassment,” Ms. Carlson said. But she is.

 “我从来没有想过要成为性骚扰问题的代言人,” 卡尔森说。但她现在就是。

She is also aware that sexual hostility on the job falls most heavily on women who are far less privileged than she or than many of the women in movies, television, high tech and other glamorous industries who also report being hounded by predatory bosses. Victims are more likely to be lower-paid workers whose plight rarely makes headlines: waitresses and female bartenders who have to fend off employers and customers with hyperactive hands, or women just trying to get through the day unscathed in the male-dominated construction industry.

她也意识到,职场性敌意的最大受害者是这样的一群女性:她们的条件远不如卡尔森,也远不如电影、电视、高科技和其他光环笼罩的行业中同样也举报过被掠夺成性的老板骚扰过的很多女性。受害者更有可能是低收入的工作者,她们的困境很少成为头条新闻,比如女服务员和女酒保,她们必须挡住雇主和顾客的咸猪手;又比如一些女性,她们只想在男性主导的建筑行业中毫发无损地度过每一天。

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission — Justice Thomas’s old workplace — reports receiving more than 12,000 allegations of sex-based harassment each year, with women accounting for about 83 percent of the complainants. That figure is believed to be but the tip of the iceberg. In a study issued last year, the co-chairwomen of a commission task force said that roughly three of four people experiencing such harassment never tell anyone in authority about it. Typically, they said, what women do is “avoid the harasser, deny or downplay the gravity of the situation, or attempt to ignore, forget or endure the behavior.”

公平就业机会委员会——托马斯大法官之前工作过的地方——每年会收到超过1.2万份涉及性骚扰的指控,其中女性约占投诉者的83%。这个数字被认为只是冰山一角。在去年发表的一项研究报告中,委员会一个工作团队的联合女主席说,遭受性骚扰的每四个人中,大约有三个从未向当局举报此事。他们说,女性通常只是“避免骚扰,否认或淡化情况的严重性,或试图忽视、忘记或忍受这种行为”。

Think about the vulnerability of a single mother holding down a minimum-wage job or working two jobs, Ms. Carlson told Vanity Fair last month. “There’s no way in hell she can try and come forward,” she said.

卡尔森上个月告诉《名利场》(Vanity Fair)杂志,想像一下吧,一名只拿最低工资,或者打两份工的单亲母亲在职场上有多脆弱。“她完全没有办法去试着站出来,”她说。

Even when women do try to speak up, they can effectively be silenced. Some may receive fat settlements, as Ms. Carlson did, but routinely they are forced into nondisclosure agreements that keep them from discussing the details of what happened. Mr. Weinstein is reported to have a history of insisting on those sorts of arrangements. If one accepts that sunlight is the best disinfectant, as an old saying goes, then pathogens inevitably abound in this atmosphere of secrecy.

即使女性试图站出来说话,她们的声音也可能会遭到压制。有些人可能会像卡尔森一样,收到大笔钱达成庭外和解,但是她们常常被迫签订不公开的协议,其中禁止她们讨论事情的细节。据报道,韦恩斯坦一直就是靠这样来摆平的。有一句老话说,阳光是最好的消毒剂,如果你同意这个说法,那么在这种保密气氛中,病原体存在就是不可避免的。

“We really aren’t helping push society forward because nobody’s hearing about these cases,” Ms. Carlson said. She added, “So many times — well, almost all times — society does not find out how prevalent sexual harassment is in the workplace.”

“我们真的没有帮助推动社会前进,因为没有人听说过这些案例。”卡尔森说。她还表示,“在很多时候——几乎所有时候,这个社会都没有发现职场性骚扰是多么普遍。”

One remedy suggested by some advocates is to stretch the bounds of so-called “sunshine in litigation” laws that several states have enacted. Applied to tort cases in general, they essentially nullify the confidentiality clauses of legal settlements if the result is to hide conditions that qualify as “public hazards.” Some advocates argue that a workplace pattern of sexual harassment deserves to be called such a hazard, but this approach has yet to be tested in the courts.

一些倡导者建议的一个解决办法是,扩大已在几个州通过的所谓“阳光诉讼”法律的范围。它们适用于普通侵权案件,本质上是在结果会隐藏造成“公共危害”的情况时,使和解协议的保密条款失去法律效力。一些倡导者认为,职场性骚扰值得被称作这类危害,但这种方式尚未在法庭上接受过考验。

There seems scant reason to expect the Trump administration to play a leading role in tackling the problem. After the Fox News scandal broke in the summer of 2016, around the time Donald J. Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, he was asked by a USA Today columnist what he thought should happen if his daughter Ivanka were to fall victim to similar treatment. Mr. Trump did not call for rooting out the harassers. Instead, he said, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

看上去几乎不能指望特朗普政府在解决这个问题上发挥带头作用。2016年夏天,就在唐纳德·J·特朗普接受共和党的总统提名前后,爆出了福克斯新闻(Fox News)的丑闻。之后,《今日美国》(USA Today)的一名专栏作家问特朗普,如果他的女儿伊万卡成为类似遭遇的受害者,他认为应该怎么办。特朗普没有要求开除骚扰者,而是说,“如果属实,我会认为她应该换个职业或换一家公司。”

Half a century ago, the makers of Virginia Slims cigarettes pitched their product to women with a slogan that spoke of new empowerment: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” At all too many workplaces they’ve come a long way, maybe.

半个世纪前,弗吉尼亚女士香烟Virginia Slims的制造商在向女性宣传产品时,使用了一个带有新赋权色彩的口号:“亲爱的,一路走来辛苦了。”也许,她们是在太多工作场所太辛苦了。

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