https://i0.wp.com/genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/metoo.png?fit=1500%2C430 430 1500 Debra Fitzpatrick http://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gendereport.png Debra Fitzpatrick2017-11-14 17:18:272018-03-05 21:19:32Nondisclosure Agreements: Sexual Harassment and the Contract of Silence
On October 5, 2017, the New York Times revealed that Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, paid eight settlements in response to allegations of sexual harassment, dating back to 1990. The article detailed a behavioral pattern in which Weinstein lured women into meeting with him on the pretense of work and then appeared in various states of undress, demanded a massage, touched women without consent, or asked them to watch him shower. Weinstein’s conduct was condemned, but contextual questions soon emerged: who helped him create opportunities to harass and assault women, and who refused to see the harassment and hear victims’ complaints? Many people privately knew about Weinstein’s behavior. His sexual violence did not become public, however, due to the use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) in settlements with victims. Purportedly part of the solution to harassment (i.e., legal settlement), NDAs can facilitate harassment by keeping sexual violence secret and victims silent.