Chicago woman Sharon Bialek became the fourth woman to make sexual harassment allegations against presidential candidate Herman Cain, but she was the first woman to do so publicly. During a press conference in New York City on November 7, 2011, Bialek said she sought Cain’s help after losing her job at the National Restaurant Association when he placed his hand up her skirt.
Bialek’s allegations are also the first that did not involve the harassment occurring while employed at the restaurant association during Cain’s tenure as president. However, one would hope that perhaps a public face will reduce some of the ignorance regarding sexual harassment in general. Ever since the website Politico first wrote about the issue on Halloween, there have been a disturbing number of pundits not so much defending Cain as they are denying the very concept of sexual harassment.
In the National Review, John Derbyshire began a column by asking, “Is there anyone who thinks sexual harassment is a real thing?” During her radio show, Laura Ingraham said, “It always ends up being an employee who can’t perform or who under-performs and is looking for a little green.” And in his own column for the National Review, former senator (and presidential candidate) Fred Thompson actually referred to sexual harassment as a scam. “It’s obvious that these alleged victims and their lawyers — no matter what they may say publicly — are champing at the bit to come forward for their day in the limelight and the inevitable book deal,” Thompson wrote. “Who can pass up being the new Anita Hill, who to this day periodically receives glowing newspaper profiles?”
Actually, one of Cain’s accusers told the Star-Ledger that the very exact reason she does not want to release a public statement is because, “I don’t want to be another Anita Hill.” Victims of hostile working environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment do not sue with dreams of “glowing newspaper profiles.” Many are too frightened to even come forward. The anonymity behind the majority of the allegations against Cain seems to be fueling a furthering of the worst type of stereotypical views. The very suggestion that sexual harassment cases are entirely made up of women seeking a lucrative settlement could not be further from the truth, for as we mentioned in a separate sexual harassment lawsuit just last month, men know what constitutes sexual harassment too. If you are a victim who simply needs to speak to somebody about harassment, our Los Angeles employment lawyers want to hear from you.
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorneys