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The history of sexual harassment in America: 5 things to know

Just like many movements for equal rights in America, the path for women to seek recourse from sexual harassment has been through the courts. But grassroots activism in the 1970s opened the space for a nationwide conversation, and the Civil Rights Movement can be credited for building a legal foundation that feminist legal theorists expanded upon to fight sexual harassment. Many of the first lawsuits were brought by African American women like Mechelle Vinson, whose case led to the Supreme Court’s landmark 1986 ruling that employers could be liable for the sexual harassers who preyed on women at their workplace.
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