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Overheard: The Conversation, in Context

"Sticks and stones may break some bones, but harassment can hurt forever."

—From the First Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in favor of Lori Franchina, a fire lieutenant who filed suit against the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and the local firefighter's union under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, claiming she was harassed because of her gender and sexual orientation. Title VII bans sex-based discrimination in the workplace, but the federal government remains divided over whether the provision protects gay employees. Meanwhile, one 2016 survey shows that nearly 80 percent of female firefighters feel they have been treated differently because of their gender.

A version of this story originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Pacific Standard. Subscribe now and get eight issues/year or purchase a single copy of the magazine.