I recently found out about the plot of the book 50 Shades of Gray. Apparently, in the book, a young woman signs a non-disclosure agreement with her boss upon joining his company. Shortly after that, her boss recruits her for bondage/sadomasochistic sexual acts.
This book is quite popular, and even Cosmo’s current issue is advertising all of the sexual techniques that women can learn from this book.
This leads me to the question at the top of my post: When did sexual harassment become cool?
When I was a young girl, I saw this commercial about sexual harassment. The boss was sexually harassing his female employee, and she was literally shrinking, like Alice after eating one side of the mushroom. At the end of the add, the woman, once again regular size, challenges her boss, saying “This is sexual harassment, and I DON’T have to put up with it.” I didn’t know what sexual harassment meant, but I ran around the house repeating that line over and over again. I just loved the way she just threw that line back in his face and almost taunted him with it. I loved it!
But now, a book about a woman being sexually harassed and coerced by her boss is a big hit, and a popular woman’s magazine is encouraging women not to protest the book, but to learn sexual techniques from the book.
So, when did sexual harassment become cool? Is it Mad Men? I doubt it, but I don’t understand when the cultural shift took place.