Bosses in Iowa can now “fire irresistible workers” legally, as we reported earlier, in a revealing ruling that legally codifies sex shaming as a career-jeopardizing thing about which we officially have to worry, now. Thanks, Iowa.
The all-male Iowa supreme court that decreed it was legally sound to fire “irresistible workers” did, of course, suggest there was no specific bias against women in their decision — after all, males can be considered threateningly attractive, too, right?
It should further be noted that in much of America you can be fired for any reason, particularly in right-to-work states where worker protections tend to be even weaker. So it would seem this legal acknowledgement of slut shaming is not one that allows a practice that previously didn’t happen to occur — it just throws legal weight behind the idea that it’s okay to speculate upon a woman’s moral character based upon the way she appears, to you.
The case at the heart of the Iowa decision to allow firing of “irresistible workers” is perhaps not surprisingly one fraught with “family values” and moral judgment, involving a dentist, 53, who admits openly that his 32-year-old assistant was exceedingly competent at her job — in fact, Melissa Nelson was the best dental assistant with whom he has ever worked, he says.
But James Knight, DDS’s wife did not like the fact that Nelson was attractive near her husband, and she was displeased to learn the pair shared platonic but unrelated to work text messages. Knight consulted with his pastor, and subsequently fired Nelson for reasons unrelated to her performance — simply because she was born looking a certain way and didn’t wear a burlap sack to work.
An Associated Press article about the case indicates that Knight worked with Nelson for ten years, but his increasing inability not to be a dirty old man began to strain the workplace. The newswire reports:
” … in the final months of her employment, he complained that her tight clothing was distracting, once telling her that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion. He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, ‘that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.'”