No Human Rights for Sexy Librarians at Harvard

Librarian loses ‘pretty girl’ lawsuit against Harvard,” CNN, 4 April 2005, (from Democratic Underground).

Perhaps not as inflammatory as No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel, but still good hyperbole

Harvard University did not discriminate against a library assistant who claimed she was repeatedly turned down for promotions because school officials saw her as “a pretty girl” whose attire was too “sexy,” a federal jury found Monday.


Goodwin, who has worked as a library assistant at Harvard since 1994, claimed in the lawsuit that she had been rejected for seven promotions at the library since 1999.

She said she was shocked when, in late 2001, her supervisor told her she would never be promoted at Harvard. In court documents, Goodwin said her supervisor told her she was “a joke” at the university’s main library, where she “was seen merely as a pretty girl who wore sexy outfits, low cut blouses, and tight pants.”

I don’t know the facts of the case. It is symbolic, though, of the wrong state of American law. Since the Warren Court the United States have pushed laws to reorder society. These attempts at creating a New Style Man and New Style Woman have succeeding in increasing misery. Instead of informal dress codes that tilt one way, we now have formal dress codes that tilt the other.

No progress has been made, or could be made. Earl Warren’s legacy is made of painful lawsuits and cruel injustice.

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