Friday, 21 December 2012

Wait, what?

This hurts my brain a little lot. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a decision of a male dentist to fire a female employee at his wife's request because she was attractive and could have caused further sexual tension or even *gasp* an affair.

Here's the story from the wire should you wish to have your brain hurt as much as mine does. This panel of judges are all patting themselves on the back for making the decision and claiming it had nothing at all to do with gender. I have little faith that the same ruling would have been upheld if any of the gender roles were reversed or if the genders were the same. Actually I'm quite sure that if the man in question had been attracted to a male employee, he would have found some other reason to fire him and this would never had hit the news wire.

This whole fiasco is entirely about gender. Reading the article it comes about that the man in question had actually sexually harassed the woman before firing her, but there wasn't a complaint made, since she wasn't offended. Personally, I would have been offended by some of the remarks quoted in the article, specifically if they were coming from my boss unsolicited.

What this ruling sets a precedent for is that it's okay for a male employee to think and act with his penis then fire the object of his desire instead of using some manner of self-restraint or applying the ability to do some soul searching about why he might be thinking about having an affair.

"Oh, please Iowa Supreme court, please take pity on this lowly middle aged professional and protect me from the dangerous feminine wiles of my own employees (and their wardrobes) who've never even blatantly flirted with me. Because I have no self-control and can't think with anything other than my dick. Save me from having to save myself. Oh, and my wife is jealous, so let's make this about the law and not about avoiding a difficult conversation with her."

That sum it up?

First, the terms of someone's employment should not be entirely contingent on their employers ability to keep it in/out of their pants and/or to keep their desires in check.

Second, the only person responsible for the stability of a marriage is the two people involved in it. If your partner can't keep their libido in check at the workplace where it absolutely must remain in check, the solution is not to fire all the pretty employees. The solution is to confront your partner, have a rational discussion and maybe even separate if need be.

Third, the whole notion of 'hooray we're not sexist because this isn't about gender because we said so therefore it's true', bull shit? Uphold the same ruling for a different mix of genders and I will believe you. Until then, the all-male panel of judges are full of crap. Dear Iowa judges, congratulations for trying on a little feminism but you're doing it completely ass backwards.

Fourth, this makes slut shaming kind of legal. Apparently the woman who was fired wore 'tight clothing'. So this is all her fault? How about NO. Wearing tight or revealing clothing is NEVER an invitation for harassment of any kind and it shouldn't be the basis for legally firing someone for being too attractive.

I think that's enough anger and brain hurting for one day. It's the holidays after all and I've picked up a cold from somewhere. Though I forgot about it for a moment in my ranting...

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