I know sexual harassment is common. I've seen it and heard it. There is no excuse to tolerate it. I've seen women reduced to tears in embarrassment and shame and walk away from sexual innuendo and harassment. Too few have the courage to stand up to their tormentors. The reason is often that too few male co-workers will support them and they fear the repercussions of filing a formal complaint.
There are two common options for a woman to exercise. One option is to put up with it and the other is to file a complaint and get a financial settlement and move on to another company, oftentimes in a new city, most often secretly, so her former co-workers don't "inform" on her to her new co-workers.
I've been writing about the Herman Cain accusations on my political blog, The Political Stream. From what I have seen in video clips the typical harassment pattern is pretty recognizable. The women are reluctant to say anything at first, fearing for their jobs and how they will be perceived by co-workers. The accused man denies, vehemently, that he is guilty of anything. He doesn't remember anything. Oftentimes, in the face of a corroborating testimony, the accused man falls back on his easiest defense, "she invited the attention, and now complains about it." The accused man, often in a powerful position, survives to repeat his behavior again and again.
I find it all so disgusting. But in the Herman Cain situation, we have a man who is running for President. So there is also politics involved, and media attention, and lots of charges and counter-charges. I see the familiar pattern developing in full view of the World. This is the worst kind of sleaze. I am tired of it all.