For centuries, women have been placed on a pedestal beneath that of their male counterparts. In 1848, a convention was held by women in Seneca Falls, New York in order to combat this terrible problem. At that time, several women came to the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony. These women, impassioned by earning equal rights for women, were pioneers in an unequal, male-dominated society. Today, women are held in the same regard as men—at least to a certain extent. The law is blind to gender, but unfortunately, the societal shift still has much progress to make. Today, we honor the memory of those incredible women by making strong attempts to shorten the gender gap and give women their equal rights.
One of the major problems that we must address is the existence of sexual harassment in the workplace. Although this is not a universally female issue, the vast majority of cases involve female victims. This problem is caused partially by the gender gap, but it is also caused by a lack of integrity and respect in many American workplaces. Sexual harassment is not something to joke about over the water cooler, nor does it take place solely at the place of employment. When employers or fellow employees are accused of sexual harassment, the consequences are severe.
According to the Times-Picayune, Kip Holden, the current Mayor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been implicated in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed four years ago by a Missouri woman named Cynthia Sloan, did not name Mayor Holden as a defendant, but implied his involvement by using the term “Mayor of Baton Rouge.” Sloan filed the lawsuit against her former employer at TetraTech in Kansas City, Missouri. That employer later attempted to run for a city council position, but lost the race because of the pending lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, which was settled in 2012 for an undisclosed amount, Sloan was apparently sent to Washington D.C. in October of 2010 at least twice by TetraTech. She claimed that she met Mayor Holden at several different technology conferences. She said that she was subjected to unwanted groping, touching, and other sexual advances by Holden during her stay there.