I have written a couple of post over the past few weeks concerning the vulnerability of most men to an accusation of sexual harassment from some time in their past. The posts were not to justify inappropriate behavior by men, but to warn against a ‘lets clean the house’ mentality – a social inquisition aimed at all men by women.
I had in mind to write a third post on the possible consequences of a perceived war against men; but decided that it would come off as sexist to the female readers that might visit my blog – and I would regret that.
But today on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski voiced the comments I would have written.
I believe this world would be more peaceful and saner with women in charge. For women to attain positions of authority, especially in corporate America, they must compete for positions with men.
It goes without saying that the work place should be safe and unthreatening for women; it also goes without saying that a man who makes a female uncomfortable in the work place should be censured and that men who are sexual predators should lose their jobs.
But, there must be a flexible standard. A purge mentality against all men for past indiscretions will backfire.
Any business man looking to hire a permanent staff person, with two equally qualified young applicants – one female and one male - must decide which applicant can smoothly transition into the position as the best fit to the existing staff.
However, the young female, from the very beginning, is at a disadvantage. It is a given that some time in the future a temp will have to be hired and trained to replace the young woman while she is on paid maternity leave.
Now add to this the specter of having your whole business disrupted by a sexual harassment charge leveled at some male member of your staff. As an executive you must now think twice before taking a business trip with a female employee, you must think twice before having a private business lunch with a female employee, and even a private business meeting or evaluation meeting alone with a female employee would be uncomfortable. This is the new business atmosphere concerning female employment.
The obvious choice: hire the man.
I don’t have an answer to this; and it is not right; but in the business world that exist today, this is a reality.
It is also a reality that a man’s career, his employability, his finances, his family, and his life can be destroyed by one accusation of sexual harassment from his past.
In the military we use to say: One ah-shit can nullify ten attaboys.