I’m a glutton for punishment. Not only did I read the Sam de Brito column on Sunday, and Brian Holden’s anti-women rant yesterday, but today I read Miranda Devine’s piece in the SMH: Nobody died, so why is she demanding a king’s ransom? I know, I must be nuts.
The start is actually quite funny, with gems such as:
Now Abbott is no better than a rapist. What an insult to a family man who is anything but anti-women.
That’s right, Devine thinks Abbott is anything but anti-women. Oh, how I chortled.
It is just this kind of hysterical overreach that is behind the $37 million sexual harassment lawsuit launched against David Jones by its former publicist, Kristy Fraser-Kirk, 27. By claiming that absurd amount, she has lost credibility. The sympathy and respect she earned from her initial dignified and private handling of the case flew out the window. She is no longer seen as a victim but as another litigious, gold-digging, high umbrage woman egged on by lawyers using feminism to advance a personal cause.
Devine is conveniently ignoring the fact she also uses feminism to advance her personal anti-feminist cause. And is “high umbrage woman” another way of saying “high maintenance and without a sense of humour”?
But this is what it boils down to:
Playing up your victimhood rather than getting on with life invariably makes for an unhappy life.
I’m sure women who have been raped, assaulted and harassed will suddenly slap their foreheads and say, ‘of course, if I’d just gotten on with my life instead of reporting the crime, then I wouldn’t be unhappy about the illegal thing that happened to me’.
That is not to say that Mark McInnes, 45, wasn’t a sleaze who got away with much more than he should have in the way of predatory, overbearing behaviour towards female underlings. And that’s not to say the David Jones’ board should not have known of the CEO’s proclivities, even if it didn’t know of specific sexual harassment, as it has said. If even half of what is in Fraser-Kirk’s statement of claim is true, McInnes deserves everything he got.
How very generous of you, Miranda, after that nice spot of victim blaming.
The worst Fraser-Kirk alleges of McInnes would have distressed most women but it should not ruin her life – unless she dwells on it.
Oh, no, back to the victim blaming.
In any case, comments by the designer, Alannah Hill, making light of Fraser-Kirk’s lawsuit, tell you how complicated sexual politics can be today, with some women evidently welcoming McInnes’s passes.
No, it’s not complicated at all. If someone says they’re not interested, then don’t grope them. And don’t keep asking them for sex. How complicated is that? Suggesting that because some women welcomed his advances so therefore he couldn’t sexually harass anyone is like saying that just because someone has had sex once, then they can’t be raped.
[Hill] has since apologised but her remarks demonstrate the divide between the women of Fraser-Kirk’s generation Y who refuse to accept disrespectful behaviour from men and the more laissez-faire attitude of older women.
Hysterical legal hyperbole does not help women of any age. Greedy lawsuits only damage women in the workplace by making male colleagues resentful and wary. In the real world, this is a severe handicap for women making their way on their own merits.
And here we are, back at blaming women for everything.
Yes, $37 million is a fucking shitload of money. But since laws against sexual harassment in the workplace clearly don’t work, and many people in management still don’t take the issue seriously, why not go for the colossal kick in the financial nuts? It might finally work.