I don't pretend that you're living under a rock and haven't seen the news, BUT IF YOU HAVE there is a bit of a controversy going on right now: The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that to fire a woman for being too attractive would not be illegal gender discrimination.
I know, I know. I'm thinking it too. How am I going to keep a job down?
Given the above picture (and hundreds like it on Instagram), I'm sure you understand my concern.
The case the Supreme Court ruled on was about a dental assistant named Missy who worked for her older boss for 9 years with no issues. The last year or so, the dentist (Dr. Knight) started making comments about her clothes being too tight (She wore scrubs to work, so, OK). They occasionally texted each other, like things about their kids. They were both married to other people and seemed happy. He was occasionally creepy to her. Whatevs, Missy's a chill girl. Doesn't bother her too much. Then one day she's called into Dr. Knight's office and his pastor's sitting there with him. Dr. Knight informs her that she's being fired... because she has become an irresistible temptation for him, and he thinks it's best that they don't work together anymore.
It turns out that Mrs. Knight (his wife) also works there and had recently found out that Missy and the dentist had been texting. She flipped out and demanded Missy be fired, which is what brought this on in the first place. Dr. Knight later called Missy's husband and told him that Missy was the best dental assistant he's ever bad, but that he's concerned if he and Missy continued to work together, he will be unable to resist and they will have an affair.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that Missy's case wouldn't even make it to trial, because no jury could reasonable find that Missy was fired because she was a woman. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that this had nothing to do with Missy Nelson being a woman, since Dr. Knight employees many other women. He fired her because he had feelings, and since in Iowa, employees can be fired for any reason except an illegal one, his feelings do not constitute gender discrimination.
Was Missy was fired because she was a woman? Yes. Dr. Knight has testified that he is a heterosexual man and is solely attracted to women. He has been asked if he would have been attracted to Missy had she been a man, and he has said that he would not. Dr. Knight has said, and continues to say, that Missy was a great employee; she was just an irresistible temptation to him.
There are many things about this which bother me immensely. Scrubs have suddenly become irresistibly sexy, so that's cool. She also wore Target long-sleeved shirts underneath, so let's all start wearing those to get some attention from DE MENFOLK. Dr. Knight, of course, brought his pastor in to inform Missy that she was a secret harlot, so that's also awesome. Or humiliating. One of the two. This decision to pry himself away from her was clearly so hard for him (a moral and pious individual) that he needed his pastor there to hold him to this and give him support. And, naturally, Dr. Knight assumes that Missy - who has never flirted with him or shown any signs that she was sexually interested in him, and who is 20 years younger than him and thought of him as a father figure - would be TOTES down for an affair. It's not like she's happily married with kids or anything. He just assumes she would be helpless to resist his succulent charms.
And now we come to my favorite part... irresistible. Oooh yes. He would be unable to resist making the sexes to Missy if she had continued working there. Dr. Knight just wouldn't be able to help himself guys! He would continue to have sexual feelings for her sexy scrubs and would be UNABLE TO RESIST. BOOOOBZ.
As I'm sure you know, people have this thing called self-control. It's that little thing that stops you from doing things like hitting other people, or raping other people, or stealing things. It's basically that thing that helps you resist things you know you shouldn't do. We don't let people steal things because that big flat screen tv was irresistible. We don't let rapists off because that girl's bod was SO irresistible. You know why? Because it's common sense - nothing is irresistible. People have self control, and we're expected to act like adults and use it, or face the consequences.
The Supreme Court claiming that Dr. Knight was just motivated by feelings might seem logical for about 5 seconds, until you think of what other arguments people can make... "Oh, I didn't fire that guy cause he was black! I fired him because darker skinned men make me uncomfortable." There goes racial discrimination! NO SUCH THING. Just people with feelings. Now, I like feelings, but firing someone for being black because you have feelings is still illegal. Why is this any different for a woman?
Don't get me wrong - I understand that it may have been uncomfortable for Dr. Knight to have worked with a woman he was getting pants feelings for. I get it. I understand why his wife probably got jealous, cause Missy really is a hottie and Dr. Knight clearly was interested in more... But how does that NOT have to do with her being a woman? And if it does, how is her being fired not illegal in the state of Iowa?
I'm a little biased about this case. My mom just happens to be the attorney for Missy Nelson. I'm a future law student, and I'm very interested in women's issues... However, I fail to see how the Iowa Supreme Court ruling makes any sense. Do you agree with their ruling? Do you agree with me? Do you find other people irresistible sometimes? DO YOU FIND ME IRRESISTIBLE? Do you steal things because feelings? Let me know - comment below!
Love - Madie
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