Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

When victim is just another word for coward

Silence is golden, especially when you get a payoff

When victim is just another word for coward

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So one of the women who got her payoff (I mean ‘settlement’) from the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s now wants to tell her story about the Herman Cain ‘affair.’  But she doesn’t want to actually tell it herself.  She’s afraid of becoming another Anita Hill, twenty years and one month after the fact.

My reaction?  Tough.  She took the money, she agreed to the terms of the confidentiality agreement, her name hasn’t been mentioned in public so no one actually knows who she is anyway, so she doesn't get the right to have her Godfather’s pizza and eat it, too.

 This is the problem I have with a lot of cases where gag orders are in effect.  In fact, this is the problem I have with cases alleging either rape or sexual harassment where the woman gets to lob charges against a man who may or may not be innocent, but whose reputation is thereafter suspect, even if they are later acquitted.

If Cain’s accuser wants to come clean about what happened, and she gets the okay from the Restaurant Association, that’s fine.  After all, if “just letting Herman be Herman” meant that he harassed a co-worker, that should be made clear for prospective voters, and the sooner the better.

 But the so-called aggrieved party, the one who cashed the settlement check, should not be able to tell her story from behind the protective cloak of a lawyer.  It’s not fair, and it’s not kosher.

 For, as poor Cassio said in Othello, “Reputation, reputation, reputation,  O  I have lost my reputation, I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.”

So before we accuse Herman Cain of being a beast, let the accuser have the guts to come out of the shadows and tell it to his face.  Otherwise, she doesn’t deserve another moment of our time.


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