FFS folks: just how long does the public shaming of Kristy Fraser-Kirk for daring to speak up have to go on?

What part exactly of “any punitive damages portion of up to 37 million dollars awarded by the court will be donated to charity” and “a private settlement of less than a million dollars does not include the originally sought-after punitive damages” are so many people finding so difficult to compute?

Kristy Fraser-Kirk has not reneged on any promise with regard to her sexual harassment case against David Jones and Mark McInnes. No punitive damages awarded means no punitive damages portion to donate to charity.

After she has paid her legal costs she will barely have enough funds to buy a modest home in Sydney mortgage-free. That’s hardly living the high life, that’s only just barely a modicum of financial security for future years after she voluntarily torpedoed a high-flying career by speaking out.

I imagine that a woman with her advantages will manage to find alternative employment within a not terribly prolonged period, although more likely overseas than here in Oz. But it won’t be nearly the same sort of employment opportunities she might have expected had she not spoken out. I have no problem with her keeping every single cent of the currently agreed private settlement amount to herself.

If she had managed to win millions more, then her obligations with respect to public promises made to others would be a matter of honour in the upholding. But she didn’t win those millions more. She settled for a very, very modest amount. She owes others nothing.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, media, relationships

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10 replies

  1. I am honestly disgusted by the whole behaviour of everyone else in this matter. Kristy Fraser-Kirk was courageous enough to speak up about the inappropriate actions of her boss, and yet she’s the one that was slagged off by the media, not the creepy harassing boss. I actually saw a news bulletin yesterday that was mourning the trouble he would have as a result of this. Well boo-hoo, the tiniest violin is playing today for Mark McInness. I hope Kristy manages to do well out of her settlement, and all the power to her in her future endeavors.
    I’ve been reading rather a lot of articles that seem to involve victim shaming, recently. And frankly it is a trend that I am liking – not at all.
    Some of the people who I’ve seen doing this need a huge reality check. As do the media.

  2. Agree, agree, agree.
    And that modest amount allows Mark Innes to continue proclaiming his innocence, he hasn’t experienced nearly as much ‘trouble’ as Kristy Fraser-Kirk has over this business and he’s the one that has broken the law.

  3. I haven’t followed this case too closely because the victim-blaming has been so repugnant. I did see “the none of the money to go to charity!” article yesterday and today, Fairfax is afraid that other women will pursue sexual harassment claims as well! Surely this (if anything untoward even happened) was an isolated incident! /sarcasm.

  4. I heard this on Triple J news yesterday. The words were along the lines of she “reneged on her promise to give a portion of the money to charity”. I was trying to imagine what the real story was as the reader went on to say that she’d settled for $850,000 or thereabouts rather than the $37million. Well, yes, that’s quite a difference, I thought. And a significant measure of editorialising in the writing of the news too. It’s a 3-5 minute bulletin, there really shouldn’t be added spin.
    And the settlement does nothing to dissuade DJs from allowing such behaviour to go unchecked again either.

  5. @Catherine I know exactly what you mean. Funny that no one is talking about making sexual harrassment unacceptable in the workplace, just whether or not making claims like Fraser-Kirk’s should be acceptable for not.

  6. @Ariane, that’s disappointing from Triple J. I don’t know why I keep expecting more from them, because their track record is not rosy, but I keep on doing it.
    I found the majority of the media when the case was first announced to be surprisingly positive, and critical of McInnes. I suppose it couldn’t last.
    @Beppie: Yes. Exactly that.

  7. The Age seems to think that this ENORMOUS and UNTOWARD settlement will open the floodgates of [heavily implied] opportunistic women taking advantage of innocent, helpless employers.

    Fraser-Kirk was entirely clear on what she was going to do. I wish her all the best and hope that future employers recognise her courage and forthrightness, rather than cowering away from those qualities.

  8. Julie and everyone, I hope this cheers you up (not to mention that it’s also from Fairfax, temporarily in this case not Failfax, and written by a bloke, at that). It certainly cheered me.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/spin-doctors-preserve-boys-club-status-quo-20101018-16qte.html

  9. (Well, I suppose “cheers you up” is a misnomer, I mean “temporarily restore your faith in the intelligence of our online journos”.)

  10. SO agree, thank you for covering it.

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