ABSTRACT

Sexual harassment was not originally conceived in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when Congress included protections for sex discrimination along with the hard-fought racial discrimination protections of the civil rights movement. In the passing of the Act, the word 'sex' was added late in congressional debate by Congressman Howard Smith. Sex discrimination protections were likely an ill-fated attempt to kill the bill benefitting minorities. However, discrimination protections for women were not completely without support inside and outside Congress. Congressman Smith had been supportive of (white) women's rights in the past, and the ban on sex discrimination was supported in earnest by a coalition of five congresswomen and women's rights groups outside Congress (Saguy, 1999; Bird, 1997). As passed, Title VII of the Act states: