Sonya Michel

Sonya Michel is a professor emerita of history, Women's Studies, and American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her most recent book is Reassembling Motherhood: Procreation and Care in a Globalized World.

Recent Articles

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Behavior

Are women invariably the victims or do women bear any responsibility?

Erin Lefevre/Sipa via AP Images
Erin Lefevre/Sipa via AP Images A demonstrator holds a "Me Too" sign during the Second Annual Women's March in New York R epresentative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio recently “shocked” fellow Democrats when she suggested that the way women dress might have something to do with sexual harassment. “I saw a member yesterday with her cleavage so deep it was down to the floor,” Kaptur told her colleagues. “And what I’ve seen … it's really an invitation.’’ Her remarks, according to Politico , “left many others in the room stunned.” While defiant at the time, Kaptur later felt compelled to walk back what she had said, releasing a statement that read, Politico reported, “Under no circumstances is it the victim's fault if they are harassed in any way,” How is it that Kaptur’s comments—not a member’s décolletage, much less the threat of sexual aggression—were what shocked her Democratic colleagues? Why is it taboo for her to imply that the way women dress may have something to do with sexual harassment...