A few years ago the American Dialect Society chose "sexual McCarthyism" (first coined by OJ Simpson's defender Alan Dershowitz) to be the "word of the year." Since that time, the term has found a place in American society, and more recently as the title of Alan Dershowitz's (also President Clinton's defender) new book. Dershowitz explained to the public that he wrote his book "Sexual McCarthyism" because he feared a return to the "bad old days" when Senator Joseph McCarthy used the power of government to pry into the private lives of public figures. He feels that the key to sexual McCarthyism is the use of governmental power. A prime example is the Starr Report, the allegations against President Clinton prepared by Federal Prosecutor Kenneth Starr. This concept has now expanded far beyond the confines of our government. Some people simply call it "political correctness." However, according to "political correctness," almost anything can be seen as sexual harassment, and anyone can be a target of blame. .
Sexual harassment has become the latest tool in the hands of censors. By using this device speech, which could otherwise not be censored by any politician or police officer, can be banned for offending the sensitivities of any employee with a prudent eye and a hungry lawyer. Real sexual harassment has traumatizing effects, but accusations of this crime have become a trend, and like any trend, they have been taken to extremes. After a woman won a case proving that Playboy "pin-ups" in the work place cause a "hostile environment," a professor at Penn State demanded that a print of Goya's "Nude Maja" be removed from a classroom wall because she felt sexually harassed by the idea of male students looking at this artist's interpretation of the female body while she was lecturing. A committee on women's concerns at Penn State backed the professor, and the "Nude Maja" was removed. They wanted to ban Playboy.