| By Sandy Rapp
Why wasn't it a grand jury? Because it wasn't secret! Grand juries are permitted extremely wide intakes of unexamined testimony because such testimony is secret. This body was by design (its destination was always an unrestrained Congress), as well as by leak, releasing every wild and unsupported utterance to the global media.
And the President is also charged with obstructing justice in the case that isn't, by speaking to Betty Currie, the witness that wasn't.
Remember, Ms. Currie was never a witness in the civil case, and when the President of the Unites States spoke of the civil deposition to Ms. Currie, he had no idea that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr had by then, through the collusion wrought by Linda Tripp's agency in both cases, overreached his investigation into the civil case.
Not every injustice can be righted by the government. Some people are nasty and stuff happens. Victims of these phenomena should not thereby gain control of the world. No, it is not a good thing if employees are fired for declining sex with their bosses. But the law must at least stop there.
The idea that a clumsy pass among co-workers, whether similarly or dissimilarly ranked, could be ratcheted up into a million dollar civil suit is outrageous. And it is dangerous governmental trespass into heretofore sacred First Amendment free speech protected territory.
A clumsy pass, or an unwanted dinner invitation, should not be fodder for the courts, let alone grounds for criminal charges when they're lied about. What's more, the sex related imbalance of the workplace, which reflects the sex- related imbalance of the world, will continue as long as the world insists upon squeaking at pink babies and growling at blue ones.
That is, if society wants to preserve its gender assignments, with pantyhose, heels, and dresses assigned to one half the world while forbidden to the other, men will remain the primary pursuers, and women will continue unprepared for dealing with unwanted sexual attention.
Employment protection should exist for disadvantaged groups, including women. And, as I have long argued, these protected categories' omission of sexual- orientation in and of itself constitutes governmental, institutionalized discrimination.
But the inroads of these protections into office banter and Americans' social life is a chilling effect on societal discourse, magnified in 1998 to the dimensions of a national coup d'etat.
Sandy Rapp is a feminist singer and author of God's Country, a book about the religious right.
(c) Sandy Rapp 1998