Did you hear the one about the Iowa Supreme Court ruling that you can be fired for cause from your job because you’re just too pretty and tempting?
Standing by a December decision, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that a male dentist who fired a female assistant because she was too attractive and threatened his marriage did not commit sex discrimination.
The all-male court ruled against Melissa Nelson, who sued her former employer James Knight, alleging Knight’s wife told Knight to fire Nelson because “she was a big threat to our marriage.” Knight fired Nelson in January 2010 after more than 10 years working for him, later testifying that she was not fired for performance reasons.
Here the fascinating, circuitous, conjunctive, reasoning of the Midwestern mindset of the court — with emphasis added:
The communication between Nelson and Dr. Knight included comments by Dr. Knight that were marked by sexual overtones. These communications have been explained by the majority. One evening after texting her about the tight shirt she wore to work that day, he followed up with another text message indicating it was good that her pants were also not too tight because he would “get it coming and going.”
Another time, in response to a comment regarding the relative infrequency of her sexual activity, Dr. Knight told Nelson, “That’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and not ever driving it.” Dr. Knight also once texted Nelson to ask how often she experienced orgasms.
While these comments would commonly be viewed as inappropriate in most any setting and, for sure, beyond the reasonable parameters of workplace interaction, they nevertheless were an undeniable part of the consensual personal relationship enjoyed by Nelson and Dr. Knight. The banter, at least, revealed a relationship that was much different than would reasonably be expected to exist between employers and employees in the workplace.
Conservative activist courts are terrible for the overall goodness of the common human core because more people are wounded in the contemptuous name of niche justice. If something doesn’t make common sense, then moral problems and political manipulations become the burden of the perjured majority as a necessary minority correction begins to take place.
When people in the majority power are viewed by powerful people in the minority as being purposefully cruel and truculent — mistrust and civil dissent dissolve into a questioning of core values — and consequence beings to fester and burst into a righting mutiny.
People want to be included, and not unraveled, and if they are excluded because of their looks or skin color or economic incapacity, then the historical trend commands action and never tempts passivity.
If you want to protect and preserve power — you need to bring as many minds and hearts over to your side as possible — and you never want to purposefully turn people away from the mission of the ideology because that creates vested enemies who demand justice and who want the restoration of human kindness. Narrowness and punishment only leads to a quicker end as condemnation is tempered by the specter of cruelty in human history.
One can never hide, or prevent, a reckoning — when the actions to begin the event are born of fear and mired in repression.