Arndt spoke of Klein's attempt at making a powerful argument in his Psychology Today column, suggesting there is a difference between sexual harassment and unwanted sexual attention. He described the legal, ethical and social differences between the two.
The point Klein argued was that sexual-harassment law was never designed to protect women from merely feeling uncomfortable and that in a typical workday, for instance, both men and women face many sources of discomfort (and then lists numerous examples).
Bettina Arndt says that Klein concluded that surely we should be able to handle a friendly sexual invitation in a genuinely safe environment without losing our composure. Arndt quotes the feminist website ffeusa.org : ''Overbroad restrictions on sexual material infantilises women and shores up destructive Victorian stereotypes that women are (or should be) so pure that any expression about sexuality offends and demoralises them.''
Ridiculous assertions discredit
Ridiculous sexual harassment and assault assertions distort the entire system and it's made even more alarmist when the media reports Hollywood sensationalising with this or that sexual claim, and with (huge) dollar amounts changing hands.
The danger is that the entire process becomes warped and disfigured. The very idea of a sexual harassment claim against someone (man or woman) who is found not to have a case to answer, of any such situation, has a seriously detrimental affect upon their life.
Such situations get regularly highlighted which brings into disrepute the entire system and none less so than rugby league start Brett Stewart. For 18 months his life was on hold and it took only a few minutes for the jury to find the whole thing, one of fabrication. How many times has this occurred? This news.com article suggests it holds women back. But should every little comment which makes even one woman feel uncomfortable end up in court? (www.news.com.au)
The political nature of such claims
Politics at corporate level, in business, sport, cultural pursuits such as the ballet club to the aerobics class, the church and missions - is all deadly! Anyone who has ever played a part of these types of committees are well aware of a host of “manoeuvring scenarios”. There is no better way to see someone off than to make mischievous accusations of a sexual harassment nature and hiding behind the committee system to do it.
The church and missions are no different to politics, when there is a “mind-afoot” to see someone moved-out and another moved-in. Congregations (lay leaders) where a Minister is “Called” by the congregation are inevitably adept at this when the “mind-afoot” believe its time for the incumbent Pastor to conclude their ministry.
Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher the Pastor's Pastor on his web site John Mark Ministries, the largest Christian site in the southern hemisphere has what seems like an endless list of similar situations from churches and ministries, many of them associated with sexuality and not surprisingly, numerous false accusations toward a political outcome. (jmm.org.au)
On thing is clear. One can have all the correct methodologies of Christian organisational administration down-pat, but it means nothing and bears no semblance to the reality of life when it comes to political manoeuvrings. Those willing to make false accusations, and superiors who flout accountability, allows what Arndt makes plain: it discredits the entire system that leaves a lifelong taint on the character of those unjustly attacked.
Those who have ministered in this area of church and mission politics is an area of integrity that requires the “Arndt 101 course” as does the corporate sector, business, cultural pursuits, sport, academia, social clubs and such like. This means, most of us! And it is this that the Church and Missions have run from as far away as possible as it implies an uncomfortable accountability of friends and associates. I stand corrected, two days ago, the Newcastle Anglican Bishop has done just this, defrocked three Priests and admits some Anglicans will never forgive or forget his actions. (www.abc.net.au)
The remarkable success of the WWII English Police Series “Foyle's War” is partly how the script writers have Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle holding “everyone accountable” even to the point where a Deputy Chief Constable is forced to resign and in another episode a highly decorated Chief Intelligence Senior bureaucrat follows suit.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at