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Chamber Of Debate
11 December 11
Chamber of Debate
GAY & LESBIAN - compensation for hurt feelings
From THE WEEK, 6 December 2008, page 14
TOO HIGH A PRICE FOR HURT FEELINGS
Catherine Bennett, The Observer
In the sliding scale the MoD uses to determine compensation for soldiers who lose body parts on the battlefield, a single eye is valued at £48,875. Compare that to the sum awarded to Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher for the sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of her sergeant, who didn't appreciate the fact that she was a lesbian. "Look, I might be able to convert you," he wrote in one of the many spiteful text messages he sent her, in compensation for which Fletcher received £187,000 - the equivalent of nearly four lost eyes. You need not doubt that her experience was "unpleasant and disturbing" to question that peculiar arithmetic. A mutilated soldier must live with his loss for a lifetime; his career is destroyed; he needs physical support and equipment for decades. All that, surely, costs a great deal more than "a young woman's recovery from textual advances". Indeed the very idea that cash could "assuage hurt feelings" seems faintly absurd. But even if it could, a society that can tolerate the MoD's miserly tariff for lost limbs and organs should be able to accept an equally strict standard for the valuation of unhappiness.
Should a lesbian who suffered sexual harassment from a male colleague have been awarded £187,000?
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That poor Sergeant, what he must have suffered, being rejected by a stablegirl with a numberplate TART, yet claiming ambiguously to be a "lesbian". Then dragged through the courts & barracked by his comrades in arms. The effect on his own family life and his children bullied at school. Surely all this was worth compo?
The compo for hurt feelings should not go to her but to the Sergeant whose advances she rejected, on the grounds that heterosexual men are a small, vulnerable minority in need of special protection, because they hold the future of humanity between their thighs.
Would that we could all be awarded for hurt feelings.
"I need to buy a house, would you hurt my feelings please, I can then take you to Court, and Bingo...Jackpot"
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