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Pornography at work

Sarah Pallas pallas at cephalo.neusc.bcm.tmc.edu
Mon Jan 31 17:18:40 EST 1994

In article <2iba10$9vs at mserv1.dl.ac.uk> <ADREGER at ucs.indiana.edu>
> [stuff deleted]  The use of high tech
>computers as yet another medium for pornography infuriates me anyway, but
>the fact that this is going on in your workplace, on company (or university)
>owned computers is really upsetting.
>	I was wondering as I read your letter if perhaps your colleague's
>behavior might count as sexual harrassment of some form?

I've written to the original poster but I'll post this as a point of
general information for the net.  In Robinson vs. Jacksonville
Shipyards, Inc, it was ruled that nude pictures may be considered
sexual harassment if they create a hostile or offensive working
environment.   The ruling came in late '90 or early '91, I'm not sure
which.  The judge wrote that it is damaging and illegal for women
workers to be given the message that they are welcome at work only so
long as they accept the stereotypical role of sex object.  I quote
here from the judge:  "A pre-existing atmosphere that deters women
from entering or continuing in a profession or job is no less
destructive to and offensive to workplace equality than a sign
declaring "men only"."   This ruling would certainly include computer
graphics, and many campuses now have policies against distributing
graphics which violate civil rights of various groups.  That said, it
is pretty tough to define pornography.  Seems to me though, that no
matter how you define it, pictures of women portrayed as sex objects
really have nothing to do with the objectives of the laboratory, and
the supervisor could certainly make a policy statement to that effect.

Sarah Pallas

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