A history of sex and the office traces the evolution of women: from threat to a man’s attention, to threat to a man’s job.
As Julie Berebitsky points out in Sex and the Office: A History of Gender, Power, and Desire, sexual relationships—consensual or not—have long been considered a threat to productivity and morale, eclipsing the mid-century trope of the secretary sitting on the boss’s knee. Employers labor to strip their offices of expressions of id, encouraging their sublimation elsewhere. (She said “strip”!) But all that this repression suggests is the persistence of what needed repressing in the first place.
Story length: 1,514 words
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