Suzanne Fields

Sharon Bialek was too timid when it happened to tell the details of Cains inappropriate behavior to her boyfriend the pediatrician and her mentor the businessman. But after what must have been years of shyness therapy to conquer her squeamishness, she had no trouble telling millions in a television audience of a hand under her skirt when he asked her, You want a job, right?

Feminist lawyer Gloria Allred says she has taken the case pro bono, but she benefits handsomely from thousands of dollars' worth of free advertising as a harassment lawyer. (Merchants call this taking a loss leader.) Nor was she reluctant to crack a tasteless joke in trying Herman Cain in the court of public opinion, describing his offense as a personal stimulus package. She would never have spoken that way before a judge. Cains lawyer was a sobering contrast when he said would never put his clients in the spotlight of television.

No one can excuse authentic sexual harassment that makes a hostile workplace or leads to a woman losing her job when a boss hits on her, but the power balance moves in the womens direction when a mere accusation results in a handsome settlement and more cash and fame in a brief career in show business.

The womans movement has gone through several stages since Betty Friedan described the life of a housewife as a comfortable concentration camp. This was followed by post-feminists complaints two decades later that womens liberation only liberated men to delay commitment and marriage to enjoy the flight of Peter Pan to an adolescence extended into adulthood. Jezebel, a popular blog, describes the newest stage as The Rebirth of the Feminist Manifesto. Its an estrogen revolution that defends the Slutwalk, where young women dress like prostitutes in reaction to blaming the victim of abuse for dressing provocatively.

Sharon Bialek insists that the furor over Herman Cain is only about the man who's running for president. It isn't about me, she says. Shes quite right. It's about her motives.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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