Before Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of outrageous sexual allegations in 1991 as he was going through the process of being confirmed to the U. S. Supreme Court, our laws in this country were based almost entirely upon verifiable actions and not upon subjective criteria.
Because of the brouhaha raised by Anita Hill, by the women's libbers, and by the leftists when they launched their attack on conservative Clarence Thomas, the entire "perceived" issue was elevated; and the aftermath is that now we have accusations of hate crimes, anti-discrimination, bullying, verbal abuse, etc. in which an innocent victim can be found guilty based upon the feelings, emotions, opinions, and perceptions of the "victim" even though no verifiable actions ever occurred on the part of the accused.
Having been a classroom teacher for more than 33 years has prepared me well to realize that just because a student perceives something does not necessarily mean it is so. Case in point: A friend of mine is a school bus driver. The other day a first-grade student named Chris came up to the bus driver and said, "Billy is calling me names." In Chris's mind, he perceived Billy was insulting him. When the bus driver questioned Billy, he found out that Billy had called Chris "Christopher Columbus." The bus driver explained to Chris that Christopher Columbus had discovered America and that Chris should consider that comment by Billy as a compliment. A satisfied Chris went back to his seat and sat happily by Billy for the rest of the ride home.
Classroom teachers are frequently having to deal with the "perceived" wrongs that occur among students because perceptions are subjective and are oftentimes built upon intellectual deficits, emotional instabilities, prior hurtful experiences, inferiority complexes, neurotic behaviors, victimization sensitivities, and other dysfunctional responses that lie within students' minds. An innocent word, a gesture, or some other occurrence can trigger an emotional response in a student. It is for this reason that teachers try to base their disciplinary measures not on perceptions and feelings but on observable actions. Our society should do the same.
The allegations against Herman Cain occurred in the years following the Anita Hill debacle. Because Anita Hill nearly succeeded in destroying a conservative man's reputation, liberal feminists have used the same ploy frequently, basing their allegations upon the highly subjective terms "perceived" and "inappropriate," particularly when monetary rewards can be gained such as in the case of the woman (or women) who made allegations against Herman Cain. According to the story in Politico, a five-figure settlement with the National Restaurant Association occurred. It is sad but true that corporations, organizations, and groups have found that it is cheaper to pay off the accusers than to hire expensive lawyers to fight the allegations. I imagine this is exactly what happened in the case against Herman Cain.
Let's be truthful, gals: Is it "inappropriate" for a woman to wear a dress that is so low that people can see her navel? Is it "inappropriate" for a woman to wear a dress that is so tight it looks as if it has been ironed on? Is it "inappropriate" for a woman to laugh louder than men do when a nasty joke is told? Is it "perceived" or "inappropriate" when a woman makes sexual advances toward every married man in the office? Women are very much aware of their intent, and our society definitely maintains a double standard toward men and women. What is verifiably wrong for a man to do should also be verifiably wrong for a woman to do.
Unfortunately, the words "perceived" and "inappropriate" are continuing to take on new and even more troubling consequences in the U. S. Senate.
S. 555 was introduced into the U. S. Senate on March 10, 2011 by Democrat Sen. Al Franken and by a list of leftwing, co-sponsors (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:SN00555:@@@P).
The Student Nondiscrimination Act (SNDA) would prohibit discrimination—including harassment — on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in any program receiving federal funds. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.555:)
Here are various troubling excerpts from S. 555:
"to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity"
"to allow the Department of Education to effectively combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools, through regulation and enforcement, as the Department has issued regulations under and enforced title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other nondiscrimination laws in a manner that effectively addresses discrimination"
"the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person with whom a student associates or has associated"
"SEXUAL ORIENTATION- The term `sexual orientation' means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality."
"In General- No student shall, on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of such individual or of a person with whom the student associates or has associated, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
"Harassment- For purposes of this Act, discrimination includes harassment of a student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of such student or of a person with whom the student associates or has associated."
"Cause of Action- Subject to subsection (c), an aggrieved individual may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction, asserting a violation of this Act. Aggrieved individuals may be awarded all appropriate relief, including equitable relief, compensatory damages, and costs of the action."
"State Immunity- A State shall not be immune under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution from suit in Federal court for a violation of this Act."
Status of the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.00555:
ACTION STEPS: Please contact your U. S. Congressmen and tell them that you definitely do not want S. 555 or anything like it to be passed. The term "perceived" is far too subjective to be implemented into new federal laws to regulate society.
To read and listen to further disturbing details about the loss of students' rights to express their opinions, please go to: "LGBT Attempting to Sneak Into School Curricula [AUDIO]" -- 10.30.11 -- EducationViews.org :