I can’t find the link, but I was reading an interesting op ed piece on the recent Cain sexual embarrassment stories. There was a line in the piece that resonated with me and my personal perception of the corporate world. Parenthetically, the piece was written by a NY defense lawyer, who apparently specializes in corporate litigation (and presumably sexual harassment suits/claims).
The writer said to the effect that the current sexual harassment landscape has rendered the workplace an environment where you cannot make a joke or offer an otherwise innocent compliment. The “life” so to speak, has been sucked out of the workplace. The writer did not expressly lay the blame at the feet of women, but where does it belong? Women, the Courts that have interpreted this area of law or, the HR Departments that bend over backwards to create an environment where no one can be offended?
There is sexual harassment (quid pro quo) for instance, and legitimate harassment is wrong and cannot be tolerated obviously; but damnit if we didn’t start down this slippery slope of trying to guarantee anyone in the workplace that they have a right not to ever be offended. And that idea - that you have some right against being offended, has leaked into the public arena as well.