As the story is told, Dental Assistant Melissa Nelson had sex appeal in spades and her employer found it irresistible.
So he fired her.
America is now wondering whether or not this was fair, right, or legal. We make the case for our opinion in this matter by making appeals to what we should have the right to do as men or women.
Does a man have the right to fire a woman in an effort to save his marriage? Does a woman have the right to be beautiful and employed in the dental industry?
Before making brash statements about a situation like this it helps to do a little self check about what we believe about ourselves and other people.
- Do I think that most women have a pretty good idea of how attractive they are?
- Do I think that most women dress to “accentuate their positives and downplay their negatives”?
- Do I think that most women enjoy being admired for, and complemented on, their appearances?
It’s not only probable that a reasonable person would answer yes to these questions, but that as a society we would also believe that these are perfectly normal and acceptable behaviors for either gender.
The second battery of questions is where things get a little trickier.
- Do I believe that some people will be considered desirable regardless of what they wear?
- Do I believe that a woman usually knows when a man is interested in her sexually?
- Do I believe that a man will entertain as much mental fantasy as he can while still hoping to preserve his physical reality?
It’s not only possible that a reasonable person would answer yes to these questions, but that as a society we also tend to feign ignorance whenever the subtle nature of human flirtation and attraction gets us into trouble.