Feminists have been debating what constitutes appropriate female attire since the beginning of the feminist movement in the United States. Since the early 1990s, when Naomi Wolf's book The Beauty Myth was released, feminists, law professors, and popular culture critics have tried to understand women's dress in the present day. In spite of years of criticism of these beliefs, the bias this injects into rape trials, and even with the enactment of rape shield laws, this evidence still sneaks into rape cases. With this in mind, one would expect a similar phenomenon to occur in sexual harassment cases. As the Supreme Court stated in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, no per se rule exists barring the admissibility of evidence of a victim's provocative dress and publicly expressed sexual fantasies. Meritor opened the door to the admission of such evidence in the sexual harassment context.
Theresa M. Beiner,
Sexy Dressing Revisited: Does Target Dress Play a Part in Sexual Harassment Cases?,
14 Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/djglp/vol14/iss1/3