I am happy that Knicks marketing exec Anucha Browne Sanders won her high-profile sexual harassment suit against her employer. Having monitored the case with great interest, I concluded that she was harassed, that the Knicks and Madison Square Garden are bad places to work, that Stephon Marbury is gross, that it’s no more appropriate for a black man to call a black woman “bitch” than it is for any other individual, that people in professional sports by and large suck, and that the Knicks training camp isn’t off to a fast and focused start. I’m also happy that Anucha is getting more than $11 million in damages.
Where I get off the Anucha bus is just before this statement, which she made after the verdict. From the Washington Post: “‘What I did here, I did for every working woman in America,’ Browne Sanders said outside the court after the verdict. She added that she pursued the case ‘for everyone who doesn’t have the means to do what I was able to do.'”
Why is it that every time someone gets involved in some lawsuit, they’re suddenly a popular hero?
She filed the suit because she was harassed. A jury agreed. A big, rich, and powerful organization, full of very arrogant jerks, got taken down. Hell, that’s good enough for me.
But just how do the benefits trickle down to the everywoman? Is Sanders prepared to share her payout with the rabble, to finance sexual harassment suits that she finds meritorious? I haven’t heard of any such plans. Did the case plow new ground, somehow, that’ll make it easier for other women to get redress for their grievances? I haven’t heard Stuart Taylor say so.
Lawsuits are long, exhausting affairs that amount to hand-to-hand combat via keyboards and depositions. So I guess it’s no surprise that people invest a great deal of symbolism and principle in their causes. After all, Roy Pearson, the pants lawsuit guy, the one who sued his dry cleaners for gazillions, claimed that his famous frivolity was not about the money but about principle.