Author of Adam and Steve, a novel about reexamining your prejudices

Posts tagged ‘too pretty to work’

Too pretty to work

The all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that a woman can be fired for being too pretty. That’s what happened to a dental assistant after ten years of service. Dentist believed assistant was “stellar”, but tempting; wife believed marriage was threatened (though there was no affair); assistant was fired; dentist was sued for unlawful termination; dentist won and divorce was averted.

A woman can now be fired for any reason as long as the employer cites the temptation factor. The decision places women in a no-win situation. From childhood, men impress on women that pretty is better. The notion has been screamed from tv’s, radios and throughout the print media.  That indoctrination has now been turned against the indoctrinated. If she’s pretty, then she could lose her livelihood. There’s little consolation in the flip side of the argument. To save her job, she must be homely.  The too pretty, too tempting standard is simply too subjective and too meaningless to form the basis of a legal decision of such magnitude.

The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling was not the first time nor the last to require women to bear the consequences of men’s inability to control themselves. To insure that he thinks and focuses better, behaves better, learns better and works better, women for too long have been relegated to the back seat in the workforce, military, academia and religious institutions. By demanding that women protect men from their baser natures, society not only has kept its women down, but has belittled and patronized its men.

Really, guys – exert some self-control.  It’s tough enough for women to protect themselves from themselves and protect themselves from men without having to protect men from men. Justice in this situation might be served if dental assistant collected disability based on the court’s decision that she’s too pretty to work. Now that’s a case I’d like to take.

Too hot to work

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