Sounds backwards, doesn’t it? It is usually put the other way around, with the male pronoun first, even though the situations described by this phrase are overwhelmingly ones which begin with a woman saying a man engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct toward her.
Placing men before women seems to be a cultural norm. In the Judeo-Christian mythology, God first created Adam. Eve was an afterthought and was actually Adam’s idea, not God’s. God had tried to please Adam by creating animals, but when they did not solve the problem of Adam’s loneliness, God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. [Here is an interesting university forum
discussing the question whether every fetus begins as a female.]
Please forgive a digression. Opponents of same sex marriage point out that "God did not create Adam and Steve". But since God sent animals to Adam before he sent Eve, what if Adam had been the kind of guy who likes sex with animals - would that have made Eve unnecessary? Bible students point out that only Adam and Eve could procreate, but former Jesuit Priest Jack Miles, in his Pulitzer Prize winner, "God: a Biography
", shows the Old Testament indicates God was not that clear from the start as to just whether, and if so how, other humans would be coming along.
Egg production and child bearing have been exclusive domain for women. Some people think sperm banks with enormous deposits could make men unnecessary. Egg banks could eliminate the need for women if the artificial uterus is developed. Truth is, neither women nor men want to see the other permanently disappear. Heterosexuals, constituting the significant majority, have a mutual attraction to the opposite sex; homosexual attraction exists in both sexes; and bisexuals of either sex are attracted to both women and men.
The healthy pursuit of these sexual attractions is one of the spices of life. Consensual mutual attraction is a delight for both people. But men have a long history of sexually attacking women as Susan Brownmiller excellently documented in her classic book, "Against Our Will
". When such an attack is alleged, and when there are no witnesses to the actual attack other than the woman claiming to have been victimized, that is a "she said / he said" situation - her word against his. The case involving Kobe Bryant is the most recent high profile example. When the alleged victim calls off the criminal prosecution and reportedly accepts a large cash settlement, some people question whether she was being honest in making the claim.
Sexual harassment by a workplace superior can also boil down to a she said / he said situation. Such cases have come to play a role in American politics. I am currently reading David Brock’s book, "Blinded by the Right
", wherein he explains how he operated as a right wing hit man in writing his first book, "The Real Anita Hill", in which he unfairly attacked and maligned the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Brock cites the Hill & Thomas case as opening the door to use of sexual harassment claims against targeted politicians - like Bill Clinton, with the claim of Paula Jones being funded and exploited by the right wing establishment . The Courts said she had no legal case, but Paula
still got a significant settlement, nose job, maybe other plastic surgery and "spreads" in Penthouse and Playboy, and the right wingers diverted Clinton's energies away from doing much of the meaningful work for which we elected him.