Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work

Because of Sex One Law Ten Cases and Fifty Years That Changed American Women s Lives at Work Meticulously researched and rewarding to read Thomas is a gifted storyteller The New York Times Book ReviewBest known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement the Civil Rights Ac

  • Title: Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work
  • Author: Gillian Thomas
  • ISBN: 9781137280053
  • Page: 457
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Meticulously researched and rewarding to read Thomas is a gifted storyteller The New York Times Book ReviewBest known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America s working women Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate because of sex But that simple phrase didn t mean much Meticulously researched and rewarding to read Thomas is a gifted storyteller The New York Times Book ReviewBest known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America s working women Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate because of sex But that simple phrase didn t mean much until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job and some took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court Among them were Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool age child Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard a man s job Mechelle Vinson, who brought a lawsuit for sexual abuse before sexual harassment even had a name Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed a course at charm school and most recently, Peggy Young, UPS truck driver, forced to take an unpaid leave while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting.These unsung heroines victories, and those of the other women profiled in Gillian Thomas Because of Sex, dismantled a Mad Men world where women could only hope to play supporting roles where sexual harassment was just the way things are and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip.Through first person accounts and vivid narrative, Because of Sex tells the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few tenacious women changed the American workplace forever.

    One thought on “Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work”

    1. I'm a bit biased because the author is my boss/mentor/friend, but this book is great. I work in "women's rights" as a lawyer, so a lot of these cases are familiar to me, but this book does a masterful job of presenting the ins and outs of ten seminal Supreme Court cases in ways that even I found tremendously illuminating. Like the popular podcast "More Perfect," this book elucidates what went on behind the scenes--from personal life events, quirky coincidences, and disturbingly biased Justices. [...]

    2. In 1964 Title VII was put into law to stop employers from discriminating against employees based off race, religion, national origin, color, or sex. A huge step but not one that changed overnight, or really even today. This book, as made obvious in the title, focuses on the sex part of this. Not only does it discuss the law but also 10 landmark cases ranging from 1971-2015(!) where women stood their ground and said "Wait, this isn't right!". An interesting book. But so much to go through and a l [...]

    3. We stand on the shoulders of giants. These women went through hell before getting their cases to the Supreme Court, and we owe them so much.

    4. Late in the debate over the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Representative Howard Smith, a firm opponent of the bill, added the word "sex" to the prohibitions against discrimination in employment so that the bill read “because of . . . race, color, religion, sex, or national origins." This addition came only two days before the bill’s passage in the House, without prior hearing or debate. He believed that his amendment “[would] do some good for the minority sex.”Well, thanks to Ms Thomas' asto [...]

    5. Wow. Just, wow. I expected this book to be a dry, prosaic read, but instead it was engaging all the way through. I take so much for granted and am a bit ashamed to learn how oblivious I have been to major stuff happening right under my nose during my lifetime. No wonder so many women in my mother's generation are aggravated at women in my generation and younger for not properly respecting/understanding the fight for equal rights for women. After reading this book, I can even understand the senti [...]

    6. Features what's usually missing (and most interesting) in law school treatment of civil liberties - the actual parties behind the cases. The random explanations of legal concepts are a little annoying but probably makes this more accessible to non-legal audiences. Interesting to see how far women in workplace have come and liked how epilogue highlighted potential future areas of development. Would have liked a little more of author's viewpoint- is fairly matter of fact.

    7. From the book jacket "rough first-person accounts and vivid narrative "Because of Sex" tells the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few tenacious women changed the American workplace forever"Readable, informative, a reminder hard work is still needed to keep the law movingever forward.

    8. Wow. Women 50 and under will not believe what our foremothers went through in the workplace. A good read for those interested in women's rights and legal history. Warning. Somewhat dense and filled with legal complexity not familiar to the average reader, although they are explained well.

    9. Well written and informativeThis overview of the cases related to gender based discrimination was entertaining and informative. With each chapter focusing on one case - the flow is easy to stick with - and avoiding the repetition common in other books of this type.

    10. Excellent review of some of the less famous cases that made up the modern workplace regulations on sexual harassment and discrimination. You really get a sense of how bad things were and how much work went into achieving these rights. I highly recommend reading this book.

    11. This collection of case histories is one that most every American working woman should read to remember how far we have come toward equality in the workplace and how far we still have to go especially for our blue-collar sisters.

    12. Great book! I would recommend this to anyone; don't want to discriminate. Very informative and for the most part enjoyable to read, some dry sections that perhaps could have been given a reworking. I learned a lot reading this book and it altered my perspective. Thank you, Ms. Thomas!

    13. Straightforward, efficient and engaging history of the major victories over sex discrimination in SCOTUS.

    14. "Because of Sex" is a lively, people-oriented discussion of the evolution of the US Supreme Court's interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act with respect to its protection of women at work. . The women at the center of these cases were diverse: one left school at 15, another had a graduate degree; some were White, some Black; some were pregnant or had preschool children; others were intentionally childless. What they had in common was being victimized by discrimination and/or harassment at wo [...]

    15. One would not expect a book about Title VII litigation to be at all compelling— useful and informative, maybe, but not fun to read. Thomas achieves this by bringing in just enough biographical detail of the women involved in the lawsuits to make each case into a story, but not so much that she ever loses the focus on the the legal issues at stake. Title VII cases also tend to get into the weeds very quickly, involving all kinds of questions of definition and legal tests, but Thomas also manage [...]

    16. I learned so much about the cases, and the women, that had such a huge impact on the workplace today. This was a highly enjoyable, readable and knowledgeable book about the ten cases that were tried and succeeded in helping women start the journey towards true equality in the workforce. Our journey isn't complete, but it helps to take the time to learn about where it all started. Highly recommended for women's studies, history of Title VII, workplace culture and women's history. Not to mention s [...]

    17. Because of Sex has an excellent premise for a book but unfortunately gets muddled in the execution. There is a lot of great information here but the format and style of the book prevents the reader (or least at me in this case) from enjoying it more.The book sometimes read like ten magazine articles as opposed to a more cohesive product.If you care about the topic or want to learn more then you should at least give it a chance though. Might end up enjoying it more than I did.

    18. Every American woman in the workplace should read this work, whether they have a legal background or not. The work is written with plain meaning; anyone should be able to read and understand how the author broke down the cases. This work is a perfect illustration of how far women in the workplace have come, but also, how far we still have to go. Highly recommended to anyone who have an interest in (American) women's rights.

    19. I have to thank the women at the heart of these cases: Dianne Rawlinson, Mechelle Vinson, Ann Hopkins, Teresa Harris, Sheila White, and so many other women who had the guts and fortitude to help earn the rights working women have today. Also if I read more books like this, I run the risk of becoming a Supreme Court junkie.

    20. Great book! Quick read that I didn't want to put down.I've always been interested in, and passionate about, womens' legal and social issues. This book gave me a great refresher of the relevant laws and federal cases over the past 50 years that have led us to where we are today.

    21. This book is absolutely fantastic - I like this book so much I'll be incorporating it into my future course on women in the workplace. The author obviously knows the law and writes about these cases in an approachable way.

    22. I really like the topic of this book, but I found the writing style particularly hard to get into. It seemed very dry to me, almost like textbook reading rather than a more traditional nonfiction book. That said, these are important stories and I'm glad they're being told!

    23. An eye-opening look at just how recently laws preventing discrimination "because of sex" were put into place and how precarious (and in many cases, non-existent) civil rights protections based on sex and gender continue to be.

    24. Excellent overview of critical Supreme Court cases that have helped working women across America. An important reminder of just how long it has taken to get this far, and of how much work is still left.

    25. Excellent book that goes case by case establishing the law and the people who helped shape it. Very enjoyable.

    26. If you enjoyed The Notorious RBG, or are interested in women's rights, or Supreme Court Decisions this is for you. It should also be required reading for CEO's , COO's, HR, and everyone who supervises staff and especially women in the work force. Fox News, Roger Ailes and male crew certainly finally got caught. Most important, perhaps every female worker should keep it in mind to reference this book when they have to make a complaint. Let's make sure harassment, unequal pay and the glass ceiling [...]

    27. Fantastic book to read the back story behind the leading ten Title VII cases that shaped women's rights in employment. I actually used one chapter when I taught sex discrimination this semester and the students really enjoyed learning about how the cases were brought - nor just the resulting Supreme Court decisions.

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