Debriefing at Dawn

The latest tale of political correctness gone mad involves an associate lawyer at London firm Shearman and Sterling who went out drinking with a bunch of mates. He took a female intern with him and she later went on with him to a strip club where he tried it on and was rebuffed. The next day the intern filed a complaint, claiming he'd made suggestive remarks and tried to touch her. The lawyer was subsequently fired for something that happened after hours.

The intern claimed that she did not realise she was entering a strip club [didn't the nude gyrating women tick her off?] and that she told the associate that she should leave, but that he responded that he had already paid for the entrance fee and they should stay a while longer.

The firm confirmed that the associate paid for the entrance fee to the strip club on the firm’s credit card.

“This guy’s an associate and I’m an intern,” the intern told the press later, “I didn’t want to piss him off.”

To which I say to the intern unless you were brought up in an Amish community you should not have gone into a strip club with a drunken lecherous lawyer unless you wished to er, take things further. I mean, surely the girl should take some responsibility? What did she think they were going to discuss in there, the finer parts of a brief, rather than be the recipient of an attempted debriefing?

All I can say is this story is the start of a slippery slope and may mean that many workers get in trouble at work for what they do off the clock, which is wrong.

On the other side of the coin, there's Russia where sexual harassment seems to be a bit of a gray area and where only two women have ever successfully sued for sexual harassment. In a survey, 100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses, 32 per cent said they had had intercourse with them at least once and another seven per cent claimed to have been raped.

Eighty per cent of those who participated in the survey said they did not believe it possible to win promotion without engaging in sexual relations with their male superiors.

Surely there's a middle ground here somewhere?