"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."
The two words that jumped out at me were 'resentful and wary'.
The situation, from either side of the legal fence, is a very serious one. It is serious either because the woman concerned is pushing her concerns 'beyond' the logical or legal or socially acceptable limits; or else it is serious because she is absolutely correct and former David Jones CEO Mark McInnes has been abusing his authority and position of power, that some men in leadership positions have been doing since time immemorial.
In some similar cases, women have been known to use the current public sympathy to advance their own position in some way or another. I have seen this lead to absurd lengths to which general conversation between men and women can become restricted, because of the fear of a legal nightmare if the man is 'seen' to be overstepping the mark.
I have seen reputations at stake when a false claim is shown to be just that. There is really no recourse in these cases for the hapless gentleman who has to pick up his life, quite often separation or divorce looms, estrangement from his children, his career path suddenly lurched into free fall. Then there are the legal costs.
However, as a former Industrial Chaplain, I have also seen the emotional and physical wrecks that result for some women, when they are physically, emotionally or sexually abused by someone who has power over them – whether it be a stepfather, a member of their family or someone in authority at work.
In these cases, it sometimes takes years and years for the woman to actually admit what has happened, so frightened is she of recrimination and so cowed by the domination of the man. Some recent cases of ongoing, and tolerated, sexual abuse of female Naval officers illustrates this point.
In our free society, if the bounds of the Company Policy on reasonable behaviour have been proven to be breached, then there is the Law and there are various forms of mediation. At least each side can have the opportunity to put his/her own case.
No one, certainly not Miranda Divine, is saying that a man's bad behaviour is tolerable. Any $37million claim however, illustrates that the pendulum has swung so far that women have run the risk of placing, themselves in impossible situations, where they may get society's finger pointed back at them and the 'truth' may never be known.
Every Minister, in any case, has always had to be wary…in this time and age, doubly so.