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“IF SHE SAW HIS PANTS BULGING, SHE WOULD KNOW HER CLOTHING WAS TOO REVEALING”

Shelby Chiasson

By Shelby Chiasson || Remember that time when we believed women were finally equals in this male-dominated world?

Oh wait, never mind.

Last month the Iowa Supreme Court ruled a dentist could fire his employee because he found her too attractive. Dr. James H. Knight apparently found the beauty of one of his dental assistants, Melissa Nelson, comparable to that of Scarlett Johansson. The presiding judge, Justice Edward Mansfield blamed this “irresistible attraction” as the reason the man’s marriage was in jeopardy.

Sadly, this is not a joke. This is not an article of satire. The bottom line in Iowa is that yes, if your boss thinks you are smoking hot, you can be released from your position. It doesn’t matter if there is a mutual attraction. Even if your boss is a disgusting and repulsive slime ball, if he thinks you have the potential to tempt him into having an extramarital affair – you’re gone.

You’ll still be smoking hot … but you’ll be smoking hot in the unemployment line.

Both Knight and Nelson insist there was no sexual relationship, as both are married with children. Court records indicate Knight told Nelson “if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing.” She wore scrubs to work. Knight also told that Nelson her lack of a sex life was equal to “having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”

The sleaze also texted her, asking how often she had orgasms.

Wow. I think I would rather have Gargamel ask me how often I orgasmed before my boss.

After an extended period of Nelson dodging Knight’s unwanted advances, someone began to notice the activity. That someone? Knight’s wife, who also works at his office. Eventually Knight fired Nelson at his wife’s insistence. His reasoning behind the termination? That he eventually would have succumbed to his desire and had an affair with Nelson.

What does this mean for other states?

Who knows … but these idiotic justifications have been used by men for years. Maybe some men find women intimidating in the work force. Maybe some believe they will out-perform them – that their masculinity will be called into question. Nelson’s case was built on the fact she was terminated from her job based on her gender. And unfortunately she was – but only because she was hot.

Hopefully 2013 will see a reversal of this case – and this sort of ridiculousness in general. For now, though, as you try to make your way through a difficult economy – remember not to be too attractive.

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Shelby Chiasson studies journalism at Winthrop University and writes The Charlestononion.

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