A ruling in favor of a boss who fired an employee for being "too irresistible" was made public yesterday to nearly universal backlash. A woman was fired after ten years of employment because her boss viewed her as a threat to his marriage once their text-messages were discovered by his wife. In the suit, the woman stated the boss complained about her tight clothing. Over 1,100 pitchforks were raised in the comment section of the Huffington Post article within hours.
"This is Taliban-style thinking"
"and next that all male court will decide that all women should wear burqas because men just can't control themselves..."
"Oh I forgot, Iowa's Sharia law."
I was enraged reading the article too, until I got to the part where she divulged information about the frequency in her sex life to her boss and the wife caught them text messaging outside business hours. Obviously those were inappropriate messages or there wouldn't have been a problem.
That's an emotional affair.
She worked there ten years. She didn't suddenly become so hot the boss couldn't see straight. What more likely happened was something changed in their interaction. Tell me, does your boss know the frequency of your sex life? The woman hinted she wasn't having very much sex, to which the boss replied, "it's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and not driving it". Sure, that's a skeezy thing to say out of the blue, but it's flirtatious banter when you invite the conversation by opening up about your sex life.
A boss has every right to employ who he wants and that includes getting rid of the counterpart in an emotional affair. This woman wasn't just a qualified worker who was too pretty for the job, she was engaged in behavior that was not appropriate and now she wants a payout. If she had engaged in the same exchanges with a different employee and the boss fired her, it looks at lot more like cause and a lot less like sexism.
Equality in the workplace doesn't mean a woman can act and behave any way she wants and then complain about male behavior. I've been there. I was the first and only female hired in a notoriously all-male department, so I understand toeing the line between "frigid" (a criticism I received) and flirtatious. If you're an attractive woman in a professional environment, you don't get to have it both ways: flirting to gain approval then complaining when it doesn't work out. If we dish it out, we better be able to handle the consequences, like getting a new job when the boss's wife catches us. We're free to make our choices and free to suffer the consequences. Not everything is someone else's fault. Ladies be complainin'!!
This woman wasn't fired based on gender, she was fired in an at-will state for being a willing-participant in an emotional affair. Unfortunately, she wasn't the boss and someone had to go. Buh bye!
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Filed under: Court of Public Opinion