Jeffrey Epstein is being sued, again, for the same reason; this time an unidentified woman claimed that she was brought to his mansion and paid $200 to give the money manager a massage. Not only is this girl coming after him for $50 million, but another girl made similar claims against him last month, in that case he was charged with solicitation of prostitution.
These claims aren’t that similar to claims made against Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly, the only exception being that the woman suggesting that Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted her suggested that he did so at her home in Philadelphia after having drugged her, and Bill O’Reilly’s accuser was an actual coworker of his. Yet it is all too bizarre; why would a man with millions of dollars have to resort to taking advantage of anyone when he can obviously be with anyone that he wants to.
The other argument to that is that when these men run up against women who aren’t impressed with their wealth, power and influence that it has the ability to put men in a position to act from a position in which they have felt emasculated somehow. The only problem with such a theory is that it suggests that despite a man’s accomplishments, they are still using an empty, linear, emotionally challenged archaic approach to dealing with women (which actually isn’t that far fetched), or that they feel the need to challenge what is perceived as a woman’s unwillingness to acknowledge them in that way. It isn’t that the woman is unable to or can’t respect them because, Lord knows she could just be doing her job and trying to make the best of it (it isn’t as if women are getting paid the same as men anyway) but she is just outright unwilling to.
In a sense, it gives birth to the idea that sexual harassment is just a more sophisticated level of the sexual abuse that goes on in modern society, tailored perhaps for the workplace. It is interested that while the coin “sexual harassment” was termed back in 1974 at Cornell University it wasn’t brought to national attention until the confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas almost 17 years later. So why the huge gulf in academics knowing that sexual harassment was indeed a real possibility and liability of the workplace and American corporations creating such a hostile environment to begin with?
In “Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson” (1986) the United States Supreme Court recognized that sexual harassment was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII and began to lay the groundwork for establishing the standards that would be used in determining how best to sort out the details of such accusations. Nothing changed overnight, but the process was underway. Even still, even that was a good 12 years after this was talked about at Cornell University, suggesting that while the ideas were out there, women weren’t filling the lawsuits or challenging sexual harassment in a way that begged for the perception of it in corporate America to change.
So it is no wonder that the public perception of sexual harassment isn’t what it is because of the long process that it took to put the term in America’s households, plus the fact that it took a case dealing with one of the most prestigious positions for a judge to truly get us to talking about it. What of the men who are accused of sexual harassment; you usually hear about them settling out of court rather than fighting it tooth and nail to the end. Those that do are unsung heroes simply standing up for what is right and disproving the ideas that we have about men in such positions of power? Not necessarily …