As soon as the door was shut and the mother was out, the student and teacher brought out their books to read together. The student had her geography textbook in hand when the teacher brought out a pornographic magazine out of his briefcase.
As it happens in such cases, the student was uncertain how to react and still wanted him as a teacher (Sawyer, 2001, 10). She refused to say what happened next, but we all heard that she left that particular high school making excuses about it to her parents. She did not complain about her teacher to the authorities. She did not tell us whether he had had sex with her. Had she complained to the authorities in that case, the teacher might have faced a felony because the law recognizes that teachers hold "a position of trust, authority or supervision" over the victims (Gutowski, 2000, 1).
My friend was enrolled in a different high school at that time. She graduated successfully from school and college to enter a top notch garments business. Strangely enough, her manager turned out to be that self same teacher who had sexually harassed her in ninth grade!
The lady decided to stick to her job nevertheless. She tried hard to maintain cordial relations with her manager. One fine day he called on her at the workplace itself. Although he had called on her on many previous occasions, this time he closed the door of her office behind him. After seating himself he casually took her hand to open the folder he had brought with himself. She nervously removed her hand from his grasp. He opened the folder by himself to reveal a bunch of naked pictures of women that he had collected. To the woman's astonishment, all of the women in the pictures had the same hair color as she, and similar eyes! The pictures were personalized. This form of sexual harassment had been the subject of the Robinson versus Jacksonville Shipyards case as well (Schultz). Vicki Schultz describes this scenario thus:
Consider also the myriad complaints about pornography. Contrary to the popular
libertarian perception, these complaints are not always launched by prudish women
who can't stand the sight of naked bodies, regardless of the context. Instead, in many
of the published Title VII cases involving pornography, there is very real evidence that
male employees are creating gender-based hostile work environments designed to
drive women away from the job or denigrate their work competence. In these cases,
the women who are being harassed may focus their outrage on the pornography
because they believe such protests will command attention; in the watchful eyes of
human resource managers, feminist litigators, or conservative judges, the presence of
pornography in the workplace stands out as a crude violation because of its sexual
content. Yet, in the eyes of the women themselves, the pornography itself isn't the
problem; it's merely a symbol of the real problem, which is a deliberate campaign of
sex discrimination and harassment involving a host of sexual and nonsexual actions
designed to put women back in their place.
In my friend's case, this time she was not going to allow her teacher turned manager to make her uncomfortable enough to leave the place where she had planned to spend many years of growth and