Ha ha! Sexual Harassment!

David Bernstein, wingnut that he is, calls this the “most ridiculous case of the year”. What case is it? Well…

Two secretaries will share a settlement of around $450,000 from the Atlantic City, N.J. school district and its insurer after filing sexual-harassment charges. Carol Lee and Jennifer Torres sued following a comment Assistant Superintendent Thomas J. Kirschling made to them and two others in July 2002. At some point mid-month, Kirschling said “I ride them hard and put them away wet.” The two secretaries sent him a memo saying they were outraged. He later explained and apologized, according to a subsequent memo. Kirschling was apparently using a rural idiom that means someone is tired or worked hard. The phrase is taken from the need to cool down a horse after strenuous exercise. Only a mistreated horse is stabled while it is still sweating. After the women complained, the district assigned an outside attorney to investigate, but that probe inadvertently lapsed…

Regardless of whether or not he meant it to be sexual, telling women that he “ride[s] them hard and put[s] them away wet” is sexual harassment. Hard as it may be for Bernstein to understand, but to the women, the connotations were obviously sexual, and very offensive. But Bernstein, of course, finds no problem with sexual harassment in this instance. And also, as he later willingly allows, with calling black women “coonass[es]. Wonderful fellow, he.

2 thoughts on “Ha ha! Sexual Harassment!

  1. According to your thinking, if an employee should mishear what someone says, then sexual harassment has occurred. After all; what matters is not the intent of the speaker – but the inference that the person to whom the comment was made takes… right?
    Clearly, there is ample evidence in the case of the secretaries that the superintendent meant nothing more than to imply he caused the secretaries to work hard – nothing sexual whatsoever. But – because YOU and the secretaries assume that the word “wet” is sexual, the school district and insurers have to fork over almost half a million bucks. (And we wonder why school districts need more and more money to educate our kids!)
    A simple “sorry, this is what I was thinking” wouldn’t have worked?
    If you read the details of the other case, you’re appreciate that there, too, no racial slurs or discrimination were intended.
    The death of common sense assuredly has occurred.

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