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Title VII, Sexual Harassment, Gender Stereotypes, Gender Discrimination


This Article, which is part of a symposium on the 40th Anniversary of Title VII appearing in the Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, evaluates the progress of women in the workforce by critically analyzing the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Written in the early 1960s and made into a 1967 movie, How to Succeed follows the adventures of J. Pierrepont Finch, a window washer who, with the aid of a sarcastic self-help book, schemes his way up the corporate ladder. It also includes the sexual exploits of the exclusively male executive corps among the female secretarial pool. As "How to Succeed" was written and first performed contemporaneously with the passage of Title VII, the musical offers an opportunity to examine, from both a law and literature and law and popular culture perspective, how the view of women in the workforce has either progressed or remained stagnant during the past forty years. Although progress has been made toward gender equality, many issues highlighted in the musical are still problems today: sexual harassment; sex segregation of the workforce and pink collar ghettos; and the glass ceiling. This Article discusses these issues seriatim.


2 versions of this paper.