A story in the news right now is that some anonymous women once accused presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexually harassing them. Herman Cain admits the existence of the past allegations and denies the allegations themselves.
My question is: Does anyone really care? This allegation seems to me like a defective indictment that fails to allege an actual offense. It’s like, even if we assume that any of this were true, so what? So what if he did sexually harass some women? I don’t see much point in having good-looking women at your business if you can’t harass them every now and then. (But then, do we even know whether these anonymous women were attractive, and thus worth harassing?)
People keep talking about this story even though I suspect that most people do not even know what sexual harassment is. Broadly speaking, Wikipedia defines sexual harassment as “intimidation, bullying, or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors” (emphasis added). I highlight the conjunction “or” to emphasize that sexual harassment does not even necessarily include sexual solicitation. Notably, another website specifically points out that “[s]exual harassment isn’t limited to making inappropriate advances.” Rather, “harassment” can include just saying things that are “suggestive,” or making “lewd jokes,” or making “sexual gestures,” or communicating “sexual comments about appearance.” I would go out on a limb and declare that even if a person were married and did any of the aforementioned forms of harassment, it would still not actually be wrong.
As far as legality, who knows. Everything is a crime nowadays. For example, I had a bonfire at my house recently. According to Tennessee, that is illegal unless I first ask for permission from the government. Come get me, Sheriff Long!
But whatever. I guess it’s always cool when you can throw vague accusations against people without backing anything up. My whole life story.