Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Same Old Play

Where do these people keep coming from? I don't know about you, but I am tired of this same old play. It seems that every time someone begins to ascend, here comes the women (or men) claiming sexual harassment. It's the same old play. My question is why weren't the allegations made at the time they allegedly occurred? This is not an attempt to defend any of these men or women for that matter because if they did indeed sexually harass someone than they need to suffer the consequences that go along with it, however, it just seems strange that the stories don't surface until the person is running for office or being nominated for a position. Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton immediately come to mind. Regardless of if the allegations are true or not, it is not the point of this post. The question is why isn't the issue (sexual harassment) dealt with prior to the person running for office? Why does it always only become an issue when the person is now in the spot light?  Where do these people come from? 

My guess is, when all of the commentary, flirting and bantering is going on, it is a two way street between the parties and then when one of the parties now becomes famous or is seeking political office the conversations and fun now becomes sexual harassment. My thesis for my Master's Degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications dealt with sexual harassment. I was completing my degree about the time of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas case and I learned a lot about sexual harassment during my research. Sexual harassment occurs when one party has clearly said "stop" or makes it very clear that actions or words are indeed making him/her uncomfortable. If one of the parties is in a position of authority over the other party, it takes on an even different meaning. If neither of the parties have expressly asked the other to stop, sexual harassment has not occurred. Calling someone attractive or positively commenting on someones attire does not constitute sexual harassment. If either party continues after it has been made known that he/she is to stop and he/she continues, then a case can be made for sexual harassment.

I am always just a little skeptical of these claims only because of when they are made. I always wonder did someone put the person up to making the claim at that particular time. I sometimes think that Anita Hill was threatened in some way causing her to make her accusations of Clarence Thomas. I am hardly a Clarence Thomas fan, but I do always wonder why did Ms. Hill make the claims at the point of his nomination to the Supreme Court and not earlier when he was virtually unknown. I am wondering the same about these women who are making the claims public about Herman Cain, now that he is running for president. I am not saying their claims are not valid; I just question the motive behind their timing. It would seem to me if it were really that much of an issue, it would have been dealt with at the time that the harassment occurred and not wait years later before speaking out. Had the person not been nominated or decided to run for president would the information have remained dormant? Would the issue never have been resolved? Something to think about.


Loria said...

Good article, Mark! They sure seem to come out of the woodwork as soon as success is on the horizon, probably as a result of some extensive dirt digging. But there's a lesson to be learned here: live a clean life or it may come to haunt you.

Marc A. Medley said...

Loria, I agree whole heartedly with you about the lesson that ought to be learned. For some reason they don't seem to learn from each other. Eventually you are going to get caught. There is no way around it. Thanks for your response.