Thursday, November 17, 2011

Old Sexual Harassment Accusations are Seedy Way to Sink Political Candidates

The media feeding frenzy over allegations of sexual harassment by Herman Cain is going to cause a shift in how we view sexual harassment. According to a University of Michigan research study last year, 90 percent of women report being sexually harassed in the workplace. This number sounds absurd. If acted upon, it would turn workplaces into Gulag camps. At some point when are women just being overly sensitive or incorrectly construing annoying behavior as sexual harassment? What percentage of sexual harassment complaints are filed merely in order to get back at a co-worker?
At the same time, 86 percent of women say they would flirtwith a co-worker in order to get what they wanted. This contradictory finding makes it unfair to punish unwanted flirting with draconian measures. Yet this is precisely what is being done to Herman Cain, who is about to lose his presidential bid over sexual harassment allegations from years ago.
The workplace is one of the best places to meet quality members of the opposite sex for dating. Studies suggest that 40 percent of employees have dated co-workers. These romances start with much of the same flirting behavior that feminists label sexual harassment.
Many men are socially awkward and inexperienced at flirting and dating. Some men are brought up in a cultural background that is friendlier and more open with the opposite sex. What they perceive as harmless flirting to a receptive audience, may be construed as offensive by a few women.
Sexual harassment accusations can be really unfair because it is his word against her word. Usually employers settle complaints rather than going to trial, because a trial is costly and unpredictable due to not knowing who to believe. But when there is a settlement, a perception is created that the man was probably guilty of sexual harassment. Two of Herman Cain’s accusers complained about sexual harassment by him to their employer years ago. There was never any trial or conviction, just a couple of out of court settlements. There is a reason why settlements like these result in no punishment for the accused. If there had clearly been misbehavior by Cain, some adverse action would have been taken against him such as a civil lawsuit or prosecution.
It comes down to who do you believe, a Cain accuser like Sharon Bialek who lives in the same building as Obama advisor David Axelrod, has a troubled history that includes several lawsuits and problems maintaining employment, or Herman Cain, who rose from a poor upbringing to become a famous businessman and presidential candidate? Cain denies even knowing Bialek. Bialek claims Cain groped her in 1997 when she came to him for assistance finding a job. I have had hundreds of guys give me bear hugs over the years, never thought twice about them, and would not remember who had hugged me in 1997. Bialek never filed a complaint against Cain. If she thought his behavior was that egregious, why didn’t she file a complaint against him?

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