Yelp to the rescue

Remember that dentist who fired his female assistant because he couldn’t control his own boner? And the Iowa courts that said it wasn’t discrimination and she has no recourse? Looks like Yelpers are taking matters into their own hands.

Author: has written 5268 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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279 Responses

  1. A4
    A4 December 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

    O_O

    “matter of public record” has become a much more interesting attribute now that the public record is vastly accessible.

    This is… delicious.

  2. Mariam
    Mariam December 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Awww yea. Looks like Yelp will keep me busy during lunch.

  3. Marni
    Marni December 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

    Um, this ability of the internet to casually destroy people’s lives in a patriarchy is NOT a feminist friendly feature of life today. So go to another dentist if you like. But rather than destroy some dude’s business, as much as he might deserve it, why not ask what is happening to the unemployed hygienist?

    1. Mariam
      Mariam December 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

      why not do both?

      1. Gina
        Gina December 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

        Because it is not just his life, but that of his (ex)wife, daughters too, if he has any, whom might depend on him directly, or through alimony/child support, when the marriage ends (which seems to be on track) . So you set one man back, but in the process you hurt 2 or more women.

        1. Andie
          Andie December 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

          To be honest, I’m not particularly sympathetic to his wife in this situation.. Yes, it sucks to find out your husband is a horn dog creepy creeperson, but perhaps there were better ways to deal with his wandering eye than jumping to “Fire the little floozy!”

          If there were kids, the fallout, in my honest opinion, still rests on his shoulders.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

          I guess he should have thought of that before he let his boner dictate his rational processes.

        3. EG
          EG December 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

          I agree with Andie. His wife is complicit in perpetuating sexism by holding another woman responsible for her own husband’s sexual problems and thus depriving another woman of her livelihood. I have very little sympathy.

          Any pain this brings to his wife and children, if there are any, is his fault, and nobody else’s.

    2. Lindsay Beyerstein
      Lindsay Beyerstein December 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

      Prospective patients have a right to know that this dentist is incapable of controlling his sexual urges, by his own admission.

      Would you trust this guy to put you under sedation?

      1. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

        Good point.

      2. yes
        yes December 28, 2012 at 2:09 am |

        In general, I hate the tendency of the internet to gang up on someone, even someone that I fucking loath like this dipshit. There’s something kind of monstrous about it. It makes me think of one of those tacky “Anonymous” posters with the tag line “Because none of us are all cruel as all of us.”

        That said, you are so incredibly right. The reality that this guy puts people under sedation is chilling, and really does justify what would otherwise feel like a mob spirit. IMHO, people whose careers put them in a position of power over other human beings have slightly less of a right to privacy than others. If you have trouble controlling your sexual urges to such an extent, I want to know if you’re around unconscious people. And I really, really want them to know.

    3. Kasabian
      Kasabian December 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

      Michelle Nelson didn’t sign up to be under public scrutiny. This jackass, by owning and operating a business with unfair business practice, did.

      1. Tim
        Tim December 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

        Michelle Nelson didn’t sign up to be under public scrutiny.

        Whenever you file a lawsuit, that’s a chance you take.

        1. samanthab
          samanthab December 27, 2012 at 5:07 am |

          So she’s not entitled to recourse? If she can’t be treated respectfully as she seeks recourse, then both our legal system and our society are dysfunctional.

    4. William
      William December 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

      Um, this ability of the internet to casually destroy people’s lives in a patriarchy is NOT a feminist friendly feature of life today. So go to another dentist if you like. But rather than destroy some dude’s business, as much as he might deserve it, why not ask what is happening to the unemployed hygienist?

      Yeah, no, using speech to destroy the lives and reputations of people who have done repugnant things is pretty much the reason why freedom of speech is important. More importantly, its not even a new thing. Instead of leaflets or boycots or marches we have social media. This is a good thing. People need to learn not to say shit in public if they aren’t comfortable with everyone knowing what the fuck they said.

      1. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

        Sigh. My point is that people often destroy the lives of people who are NOT repugnant. The pack mentality, I see it everyday.

        1. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

          Sure. Everything can be used for anti-feminist ends. Why not use it for feminist ones as well?

        2. Andie
          Andie December 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

          This guy, however, IS pretty damn repugnant.

          Pack mentality, as you put it, can be a good thing when it means a bunch of people, at one time, standing up and saying “this is bullshit and people should not support it.”

        3. Amanda Marcotte
          Amanda Marcotte December 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

          So the key, then, is to not hold men publicly accountable?

          So many, many men who like to rape and harass benefit with our male-specific unease with the concept of a reputation.

        4. noodleworm
          noodleworm December 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

          @mari
          this is the world we live in now, most people are unwilling to compromise on what they consider to be a moral truth, and mob rule is a way to enforce those morals without the intervention of the law.

          You can also be judged for not wanting to judge others (see the last Chris Brown thread) so be aware that attempting to be neutral towards people that other people think you shouldn’t be neutral towards can also cause people to target you.

        5. tomek
          tomek December 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

          marni i am curious of what you think solution is. you suggest this sort of itnernet action can harm those which do not deserve it, because people have not full information, or because people are bigot. this is true. however how you solve this? ban freedom of speech? I think not so!

          but still this make me uneasy very much. in fact most of public effort by public to affect change of society seem very… not bad to me, but dangerous. we see in history, such movement take dogmatic mentatlity. though it have positive goal in mind very often it cause much harm and witch hunting of people whom do not deserve.

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

          My point is that people often destroy the lives of people who are NOT repugnant.

          And….?

          No, seriously.

          AND….?

          I mean, let’s really take a moment here to speculate.

          AND!?!?!?!?!!?!?

          I mean, that one time someone got eaten on a Greyhound, so does that mean everyone who gets on a Greyhound wants to eat people? Making someone’s (freely spoken) words known to the public is not the same as making up or misinterpreting something someone said in order to denounce them. The one is free speech; the other is slander/libel depending on the medium. If we’re going to stop doing things because somebody used them for evil, I guess that takes away not only guns and internet campaigns, but cars/alcholol/salad forks/peanuts/mercury/frilly panties/the Force/whatever.

        7. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 3:48 am |

          If this guy loses his business, he’s no worse off than the assistant he fired.

      2. yes
        yes December 28, 2012 at 2:14 am |

        It is worth noting that people are also slandering him pretty ostentatiously on bing. Despite that, as said above, dentists sedate people, and that changes a lot.

        Pardon me, I need to take a shower after thinking about the implications too much. Fuck this guy.

    5. Amanda Marcotte
      Amanda Marcotte December 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

      Ah yes, there’s always a person out there who believes the right of men not to be judged by their choices and behavior outweighs the right of women to equal protection and rights.

      But don’t call that belief “feminism”, please.

      Reputations are a facet of human existence. We’re not making them go away, but we can shape them based on actual justice instead of oppressive social norms. If a man is a sexual harasser, creep, or rapist, it’s not wrong to say so to others. You can protect him or protect his potential victims, but you cannot do both.

      1. robotile
        robotile December 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

        I think the comments on Yelp about this guy’s totally disgusting behavior towards the hygienist are completely on point and awesome. But I wonder about some of the other reviews, which allege that he was “creepy” with them even though the reviewers live in other locations and thus probably never went to him for a cleaning or dental service. That’s just straight up lying and could potentially be considered libelous if it actually ruins his business.

        1. Marni
          Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

          Exactly, robotile. Some commenters here seem to think all these ANONYMOUS people are telling the truth. And I’m the naive one? As for

          most people are unwilling to compromise on what they consider to be a moral truth

          in my experience (and I’m not young) the opposite is true. Almost everyone makes hideous compromises that I would not make myself. Is there an obvious solution? Of course not. Will I be vilified for doing no more than pointing out the truth about the mob? Yes, every day.

        2. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

          Some commenters here seem to think all these ANONYMOUS people are telling the truth.

          Examples? Evidence?

          I don’t care if they’re telling the truth; I think he deserves anything he gets. Some of the reviews are lies? Gee, that’s a real shame, asshole. I guess you should have thought about truth and responsibility before you fired a woman for something she has no control over.

        3. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

          Will I be vilified for doing no more than pointing out the truth about the mob? Yes, every day.

          Oh, climb down off the cross, your martyrship. It’s winter where I am, and we need the wood to burn.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

          Some commenters here seem to think all these ANONYMOUS people are telling the truth.

          Yes, because we’re all wide-eyed fuzzy puppies who believe everything we read on the internet. Jeez, can you even point to somebody saying that? Or is this the Autist Genocide Performance Art V. 2.0 and nobody told me I was attending?

        5. samanthab
          samanthab December 27, 2012 at 5:11 am |

          Marni, that’s how Yelp is set up. The “mob” didn’t invent that. You have to weigh any review against its source, and yet Yelp is very popular. That’s not any one reviewer’s doing.

        6. anon
          anon December 27, 2012 at 10:58 am |

          People can move though. How long has that dentist been in business? At least ten years? There could be people who have been to him and subsequently moved out of state.

        7. William
          William December 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

          Exactly, robotile. Some commenters here seem to think all these ANONYMOUS people are telling the truth.

          Who said anything about the truth? This guy admitted to being a scum bag, now he’s paying the price for it. I never understood that whole “don’t stoop to their level” mentality, its always reeked too much of the vile “turn the other cheek” fetishizing of being a victim that the kyriarchy rams down our throats. Nope, sorry, this guy brought it on himself and I’ll smirk while his business burns because he couldn’t control his dick.

        8. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

          William,
          I have never thought about “turn the other cheek” as institutionalized fetishizing of victimhood before.

        9. yes
          yes December 31, 2012 at 12:50 am |

          A religious ethos of “offer someone who hurts you the opportunity to do it again with ease” always seemed a very clear directive to submit and aid in your own abuse to me.

        10. matlun
          matlun December 31, 2012 at 8:02 am |

          William,
          I have never thought about “turn the other cheek” as institutionalized fetishizing of victimhood before.

          It is not a new idea. Nietzsche wrote whole books attacking what he saw as the slave morality of Christianity.

          I also think it is a very poor morality to live by. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” is probably something that is better to keep in mind.

        11. William
          William December 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

          It is not a new idea. Nietzsche wrote whole books attacking what he saw as the slave morality of Christianity.

          I also think it is a very poor morality to live by. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” is probably something that is better to keep in mind.

          Exactly. How much better a world this would be if the phrase “pro-life” meant what that old stateless person has used it to describe?

      2. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

        Amanda, and where did I say that?

    6. king ten butts
      king ten butts December 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

      First they came for the repugnant dentists, and Marni did not speak up because he was not a repugnant dentist.
      Then they came for the non-repugnant people, and Marni did not speak up because he was not a non-repugnant person.

      Hmmm…

      1. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

        EXCUSE ME? I am using my REAL NAME here and my whole life has been destroyed because I am an ACTIVE feminist. Your credentials please?

      2. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

        BTW, I’m a woman.

        1. king ten butts
          king ten butts December 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

          You have my sincerest apologies for misgendering you, but your defence of this guy is still disgusting.

      3. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

        OK, so one last pointless point in non communication. What are the facts? Did this dude, who we do not know, do anything much different from what the average dude would do in the same circumstances? Probably not, given that he was called upon to defend himself. Do you treat all dudes on the street or in your office in this way? I’m guessing not. What is the difference? To me, it looks like the anonymous mob mentality.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm |

          Looks like a nifty bit of protesting the patriarchy to me, but what do I know, I’m not an ACTIVE FEMINIST.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

          Did this dude, who we do not know, do anything much different from what the average dude would do in the same circumstances?

          ….you….you do realise that that’s the problem, right? I mean, is that something only visible to relatively couch-potatoey feminists like me, that men are generally allowed/encouraged to behave like this? And so when we see someone openly stating/standing up for those fucked-up beliefs, we yell at them over the internet?

          Also, really, your standard for moral consistency that you’re advocating in that comment is “do you treat completely random nonoffenders in exactly the same way as you treat offenders, just because those nonoffenders might conceivably behave that way? If not, you’re a hypocrite.” I mean… wow, as far as I understand, people have to be guilty of things before they’re treated as being guilty of them. MAYBE my (fuzzy awesome) male supervisor might pull this shit tomorrow, but… until he does, I’m not going to act like he ALREADY did, if that’s all right by you.

        3. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm |

          Did this dude, who we do not know, do anything much different from what the average dude would do in the same circumstances?

          You mean, take away the livelihood of a woman who had worked for him without any trouble for ten years because he wanted to fuck her? I feel pretty confident that that is an out of the ordinary reaction. Further more, even it were not, it is such egregiously shitty and sexist behavior, that I fully support trashing anybody who does it. Anybody. He took away her ability to make a living as she had been doing for ten years. I see no problem taking his away; then he can see how he likes it. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. So to speak.

          Do you treat all dudes on the street or in your office in this way? I’m guessing not.

          My office is unionized. No dude in my office can fire me or any of the other women because he wants to fuck me. Therefore, I have no reason to treat the men in my office like this.

          Looks like a nifty bit of protesting the patriarchy to me, but what do I know, I’m not an ACTIVE FEMINIST.

          Well, I used to get to the gym a few times a week, but that was years ago, and I stopped because I hated it. Nowadays, I try to get in my exercise by walking places and suchlike. I guess it would be fair to say that I was a rather sedentary feminist, myself, or, at best, a pedestrian one.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

          I guess it would be fair to say that I was a rather sedentary feminist, myself, or, at best, a pedestrian one.

          Well, I’d say your life was destroyed by feminism. I mean, the feminist mob has clearly already taken away your gym rights by writing trashy reviews of your musculature on the internet.

        5. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

          Looks like a nifty bit of protesting the patriarchy to me, but what do I know, I’m not an ACTIVE FEMINIST.

          Mac, have you tried spinning classes?

        6. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 3:55 am |

          Marni, do you seriously think most male bosses suddenly get the hots for female employees (after nine years, no less), harass and then fire them (with or without their wives’ and pastors’ involvement)? Makes me wonder what sort of environment you live in if you think that’s standard practice. It happens too often, yes – even one harassment or unfair dismissal is too many. But you seem to have a fairly low opinion of men in general, or else come from a pretty toxic place, if you’re almost shrugging off what he did to her in favour of saying it’s so normal he shouldn’t be singled out.

          I dunno, I’m just glad Oz hasn’t succumbed completely to US-style employment relations if that’s what it looks like.

    7. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |

      Only 3 comments in, and someone’s gotta be a clueless douchebag and defend the dentist. 9_9

      1. robotile
        robotile December 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |

        I’m not defending the dentist, but I think there are some potential legal implications for people who are posting reviews that contain lies. People should totally rip this guy to shreds using the truth (i.e. , bullshit he pulled by firing hygienist). But it seems like he could sue for libel if, for instance, several yelpers post false reviews that directly lead to this guy’s practice suffering.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 3:58 am |

          I think Bagelsan meant Marni’s prolonged defence of teh poor dude, not your comment, robotile. Hers was the third one.

        2. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

          Yeah, I meant Marni.

  4. rain
    rain December 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    I would use “casually destroy people’s lives” to describe some of the campaigns of harassment I’ve seen that have no valid foundation, like when people pile onto a woman for saying something feminist. But this is not that. If anyone is responsible for destroying Knight’s business, it will be Knight, not a bunch of random internet posters, even if they are piling on. Disseminating information such as the particulars of this case (and that first review, a copy of an article, gives a generous hearing to the defense’s position, IMHO), so that people can make an informed decision on their choice of dentist, is a good thing.

    1. rain
      rain December 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

      Oops. This is a reply to Marni’s comment.

    2. Tim
      Tim December 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

      … and that first review, a copy of an article …

      Why not read the actual court decision?

      1. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia December 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

        Court decision is based on a mutual relationship. Does it really sound like they had a mutual relationship? Or does a man desiring a pretty woman automatically make it mutual?

        1. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

          Of course it’s mutual–you’re not suggesting that women can have desires and preferences independent of men’s, are you, Sophia?!

        2. matlun
          matlun December 27, 2012 at 7:09 am |

          Court decision is based on a mutual relationship. Does it really sound like they had a mutual relationship?

          Yes?
          What in that court decision do you not agree with?

        3. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 27, 2012 at 9:07 am |

          Exactly, but the reason it was not actionable (gender discrimination) is because the court said it was a mutual relationship. This is the same court that allowed gay marriage. Something went wrong here. Did they not hear all the facts (or were they not presented)? Did business interests pay them off? Given what her employer said (texted) to her, he was pursuing a relationship, but she clearly was not. This decision makes governmental protections irrelevant. Why bother with protections against gender discrimination and sexual harassment when anyone can “prove” those forces aren’t at play, when they clearly are.

        4. matlun
          matlun December 27, 2012 at 9:15 am |

          Exactly, but the reason it was not actionable (gender discrimination) is because the court said it was a mutual relationship.

          Where did the court say that?
          It certainly did not use those words, and I can not see which part of the decision you read that way.

        5. EG
          EG December 27, 2012 at 10:09 am |

          No, I know and agree–I was just being sarcastic.

      2. rain
        rain December 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

        … and that first review, a copy of an article …

        Why not read the actual court decision?

        Because we’re talkin bout the reviews at yelp and nobody linked or copypasted the court decision at yelp? Question mark cuz your comment makes no sense in the context of my comment being a response to Marni’s comment.

        1. Tim
          Tim December 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

          well, true, valid enough point I guess, but where I cut off your quote with the ellipsis, you went on to say, “gives a generous hearing to the defense’s position, IMHO.” My point was only that people could look at one of the source documents rather than relying solely on an AP article. That particular article wasn’t too bad, but I have seen some, including my own “hometown” paper the Des Moines Register get the whole story horribly wrong one way or the other. As far as I could recall, nobody had yet linked to the actual decision at that time in either thread, so I did. My apologies if that was too much of a derail from the yelp thread.

    3. Amanda Marcotte
      Amanda Marcotte December 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

      I’m long noticed that it’s only when a man is outed as a creep and a harasser that the very concept of a “reputation” becomes a Great Social Evil that must be eradicated. That people have reputations that precede them does not bother if a person is known as a cheat or a liar, nor does it bother if a restaurant is known to be in violation of health codes or a teacher is known to be lazy and disinterested in helping her students. Even when feminists decry how women develop reputations for being “sluts”, we’re not saying that the concept of a reputation itself is wrong, just that the content of the rumors is based on the false premise that sex is immoral.

      But when a guy is a creep or even rapist and outed as such?

      Then the very concept of a reputation must be questioned.

      Fascinating, really.

  5. Rachel Tyrel
    Rachel Tyrel December 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

    Why bother to read the court decision when it is sixteen pages of drivel, containing some of the worst legal reasoning ever put on paper?

    The Yelpers are correct: if the dentist cannot conduct himself in a professional manner, he does not deserve to practice his profession.

    The fact that a misogynistic judge happened to agree with the dentist’s silly position that he fired his assistant because her outward appearance could pose a threat to his marriage, and ignored the counterpoint that the assistant couldn’t be perceived as a threat but for her gender, is of no consequence here. The judge is flat-out wrong, his reasoning is faulty, and if this case had happened in a venue with a more progressive Labor Code (like California, for example), the court would have decided differently.

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out the mistakes that government agents make, and with allowing the market to correct an error that the courts cannot.

    1. Tim
      Tim December 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm |

      The dentist is vile, and I would be delighted if every last one of his patients cancelled their appointments and stopped going to him, even though that would be too bad for the rest of the women on his staff. I don’t care that much about what the Yelpers are doing one way or the other. Some of those comments are not exactly beacons of feminist enlightenment (“A good looking assistant is an asset to the business.”? lolz) Some of those yelp posters are likely lying about having been there, which seems slightly problematic, but whatever. I doubt many people in Fort Dodge, Iowa, use yelp.com to choose a dentist, and I’m pretty sure most everybody in the town already knows far more about this than we do already.

      But how can you say the decision is 16 pages of drivel if you haven’t read it? And I don’t think you have read it or you would know that it wasn’t a “judge” who issued it but the unanimous ruling of seven judges, supreme court justices to be exact. I don’t know if they are all misogynists or not, or just some of them, or none. It seems unlikely, given that the court has also ruled in favor of women plaintiffs as well. The decision does not say that Dr. Knight is a good guy; in fact, they pretty much explicitly criticize the cheapness of his severance payment. But judges have to rule based on the law of the relevant jurisdiction, not whether people are deserving or being nice.

      I am not familiar at all with the California Labor Code, and a quick perusal reveals that it is indeed lengthy and comprehensive and would take a long time to look over. Can you cite some particular part of provision of it that might have allowed a similar suit to succeed in California where this one failed in Iowa?

      1. Rachel Tyrel
        Rachel Tyrel December 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

        I read the decision, Tim. Further, it is improper grammar to begin a sentence with a conjunction. Now that we’re even (a mansplain = a grammar Nazi lecture), let’s move on to the actual point of the post.

        The reason I referred to the author of that decision as a “judge” is because, typically, even state Supreme Courts, despite being made up of a panel of an odd number of judges – in this case, seven – tend to have a “Chief Justice” who publishes the court’s opinions on behalf of the whole panel.

        Because I didn’t read any dissent in that opinion, I assumed that none of the other justices on the panel prepared one.

        Whether one or seven really makes not one whit of difference to me, when it is patently obvious that the plaintiff’s argument, (i.e. but for her gender, she could not have posed a threat to her supervisor’s marriage) was either not considered, or was found unpersuasive toward proving a cause of action.

        In response to your query concerning the California Labor Code, I’m sure there are more cases than could be reasonably cited in a blog post about the “but for her gender” argument in regards to gender discrimination.

        The long story short of it was that this particular woman lost her suit because she failed in her performance of femininity. In as much as the employer’s wife made it a special point to notice when this employee didn’t act eager to “get home to her husband and children” exactly at quitting time, “like the other women” who worked in the office. Seems to me like she was an extraordinarily disciplined worker who wanted to improve her skills by studying the work of a master practitioner. Whether she had specific designs on attending dental school is beside the point. The pleadings make it clear that she was good at her job, which fact is undisputed.

        Let’s not forget that it was the dentist’s wife who brought this situation to a head, whose judgment was so clouded by her jealousy, that she decided that her only option was to end someone’s ten-year career rather than train her husband to control his own sexual impluses. Perhaps if she’d had her own career and her own source of income (rather than “working” in her husband’s practice), she’d have been more confident in herself and less worried about what her husband might be thinking with regard to the plaintiff.

        1. Tim
          Tim December 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

          Thanks for the reply, and I apologize for the mansplaining. I really did not mean to be doing that. I should not have accused you of not reading the documents.

          The “but for her gender” argument does seem to be the best part of her case. It did seem that the court addressed it and I thought I understood their reasoning for finding it insufficient, but you have obviously read and analyzed more legal stuff than I, so I/they/he may be wrong. They did acknowledge Knight’s action was unfair, but that wasn’t what they had to rule on. I still think that calling the whole thing 16 pages of drivel written my a misogynist judge and saying it was some of the worst legal reasoning ever put on paper might have been a bit hyperbolic.

          My question about the California Labor Code was I suppose overly broad and unfocused. What I mainly wondered was if it contained some exception to the at-will employment concept that Iowa has. It’s my understanding that at-will employment tends to be the rule in the USA, but I’m certainly no expert in employment law.

          Best,

        2. Henry
          Henry December 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

          rather than train her husband to control his own sexual impluses

          Train? Lol. Yeah that’s the wife’s role isn’t it, to tame the raging hormone beast male.

      2. Alana Smithee
        Alana Smithee December 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

        Actually, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) would have significantly more teeth in a situation like this than the Labor Code.

        I don’t claim to have read the LC cover to cover (it’s the size of a 3-inch thick trade paperback and in 8 pt type), but I work with it daily as a workers’ comp adjustor. The LC is a hodge podge of many things, but if you’re being discriminated against… Almost every time I’ve seen someone allege discrimination, their counsel has hustled it to FEHA.

      3. ginmar
        ginmar December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |

        The fact that the decision resulted in one of the most bizarre, primitive, and sexist legal decisions of this century hints at why people have little interest in reading justifications for it. We’ve all seen the same bullshit before.

  6. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll December 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    “Today, we remember and honor the 38 Sioux men hung/lynched in 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota – who were fighting to protect their families, homelands, Nation, and way of life. This remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Few know that this brutal act was committed under the authority of Pres. Lincoln.” -Seventh Generation Fund

    Since the Idle No More movement hasn’t made it here yet.

    1. thefish
      thefish December 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

      hey look derailing.

      1. konkonsn
        konkonsn December 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

        No other place to reasonably post it.

    2. Andie
      Andie December 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |

      I don’t know if you’d be interested, but I’d love to see you guest post on the subject. (Not my call, of course but if Jill et all could make it do, and providing you had the interest to post, i’d definitely be interested in reading. I like reading your comments here and think you’d be an amazing guest-poster.

      1. EG
        EG December 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

        Seconded.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

        Thirded.

        1. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho December 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

          I’ll pile on with my ‘yes please’

        2. Storyphile
          Storyphile December 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

          I agree Idle No More needs more mentions and discussion! Please Pheeno!
          All Canadians should be supporting this movement and I personally think the word needs to be spread.

      3. PrettyAmiable
        PrettyAmiable December 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

        Also agreed. I know you’re not posting to educate the privileged, but I learn a lot when you do post.

        1. Andie
          Andie December 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

          X2. I’m for doing my own research but Google has been failing me on this front.

      4. librarygoose
        librarygoose December 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

        YES. I would love to read some posts by Pheeno.

      5. LC
        LC December 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

        Fifted? It’s been pretty big news up here in Canada, so I’d love to see a good post on it.

      6. KayAy
        KayAy December 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

        Oh definitely would like to see a post too. The origins of Thanksgiving for one thing really opened my eyes.

    3. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll December 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

      ok

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

        \o/

    4. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated December 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

      Lincoln’s grandfather was killed by Shawnee. He hated Native Americans as long as he lived, and was an open advocate of genocide. Pheenobarbiedoll, looking forward to your guest post, as one of Old Abe’s numerous hillbilly (and Cherokee) cousins.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll December 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

        It’s nothing fancy, so I hope no one is expecting poetry lol

      2. Donna L
        Donna L December 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

        I know it isn’t saying much, but he did pardon 265 of the 303 men who had been sentenced to be hanged, rejecting the request of the authorities in Minnesota that all 303 be hanged immediately. And yes, I know what he promised in exchange. What I don’t know is the extend to which that promise was carried out.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L December 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

          “extent.”

        2. Donna L
          Donna L December 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
        3. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll December 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

          It’s not saying anything, given that the “trials” weren’t even passable as trials and those Indians weren’t even afforded a real defense. He was wrong to order ANY of the hangings, period.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L December 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm |

          Point taken. They weren’t allowed defense counsel. I do wonder what would have happened had he pardoned all of them, given how bloodthirsty the cries were to execute every one of them, but that doesn’t excuse sacrificing the 38, even if the goal was to save the rest.

        5. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll December 28, 2012 at 1:10 am |

          He only pardoned them from the hanging. The rest were still imprisoned. And, as far as anyone knows, completely innocent of all charges, given the fact that merely stepping off the reservation was a crime, punishable by shooting on sight. The warriors responsible for the initial “attack” (as if stealing the food they were owed is an attack, and HUNTING for food is an attack) would have been shot at ON SIGHT, simply for not being on the reservation.

          So they starved them, and then when the warriors went hunting and stealing, shot them. So who attacked whom?

        6. Donna L
          Donna L December 28, 2012 at 2:47 am |

          If you do write a guest post, I look forward to reading it. I know there’s been an attempt to have one man pardoned who was admittedly executed despite the fact that Lincoln commuted his sentence. What about the other 37?

        7. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

          I sent one in but it was about Idle No more, and basically just the facts about the rallies, the purpose and Chief Theresa Spence on her hunger strike (now 14 days in).

        8. Donna L
          Donna L December 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

          Well, I look forward to reading it whatever the specific subject!

        9. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll December 29, 2012 at 12:19 am |

          Tomorrow is the anniversary of Wounded Knee.

          Dec. 29, 1890

        10. Dave W.
          Dave W. December 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm |

          There is an extended discussion of this case together at Douglas Linder’s Famous rials website. One thing that I have noted from reading this and other trial accounts there from the 19th and early 20th century is how much lynching or the threat of lynching of minorities influenced the formal justice institutions. The Sherrif Shipp case is a particularly strong example. This seems to have a strong influence on Lincoln’s actions in this case. He initially wanted to execute only those convicted of raping women or children, but when only two such cases were found, expanded the criteria in an apparent belief that only two executions were not enough to head off mob justice. Given that there were already attempts to lynch all the prisoners before even the military commission trials (inadequate as they may have been) were held, it’s hard to argue that he was necessarily wrong on that point.

    5. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll December 29, 2012 at 12:22 am |

      122 years ago today, on December 28,1890, Chief Spotted Elk was deathly sick with pneumonia.. His band of Lakota set off in the snow from Cheyenne River to seek shelter with Red Cloud at Pine Ridge reservation. Big Foot’s band was intercepted by Major Samuel Whitside and a battalion of the Seventh Cavalry and escorted five miles to Wounded Knee Creek. That evening, Colonel James Forsyth arrived to take command and ordered his guards to place four rapid-fire Hotchkiss guns(cannon) in position under cover of darkness around the camp. The soldiers numbered around 500—the Indians, 350.- all but 120 were women and children. The soldiers had orders to escort them to the railroad for transport to Omaha, and to disarm them before proceeding. A shot was fired at the end of the disarmament. 1 soldier claimed that the medicine man’s Ghost Dancing & throwing dust into the air caused the attack, while others blamed a deaf Lakota, Black Coyote. As the cannons began firing into the camp, many of the unarmed men, women and children ran for cover in a ravine only to be cut down in a brutal cross fire. At the end, 300 Sioux lay dead. Official reports listed the number killed at 90 warriors and 210 women and children. Army losses numbered 25 dead and 39 wounded, mostly by their own troops. Forsyth was later charged with The Killing of Innocents, but was exonerated and promoted. 22 of the soldiers that day were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor… – “I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes young. I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. My people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream… the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.” -Black Elk (1863-1950); Oglala Holy man

  7. thefish
    thefish December 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

    The first reviewer committed a disgusting act of piracy and criminality.

    Then we got more people implying that this somehow makes him a would be killer or sexual assaulter.

    Another person implying that he and his wife are more “un-Christianlike” than Hitler, or in fact anyone else I can imagine. You heard right people, firing someone because you are attracted to them is more “unchristainlike” that murdering millions of people.

    There are some good reviews, but a lot of crap too.

    1. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen December 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

      Yes, someone who comments to his employee about erections in his pants is totally someone I should trust to not sexually assault me during dental sedation. We’re being way too hard on him, folks — never mind the red flags, because that’s just feminists going overboard with this accountability crap!

    2. Fang
      Fang December 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

      copying an article to repost it may be copyright infringement but it is neither piracy nor criminal. Stop exaggerating to support your misplaced moral outrage.

    3. RoryBorealis
      RoryBorealis December 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

      You guys, structural sexism in the justice system is so beneath our notice! Won’t somebody focus on the real problem, that Yelp reviews aren’t totally objective and sometimes employ hyperbole?!

  8. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

    Ooh, ooh, can I write a fake review?

    “Went to this dentist. His conduct and services were impeccable, but he charged me $100,000 for cleaning my teeth. When I asked him why, he replied that I had drawn up to his clinic in a Ferrari while wearing Manolo Blahniks and he had an uncontrollable charging response when in personal contact with rich women.”

    1. Mariam
      Mariam December 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

      love it!! lol

  9. Marni
    Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

    OK, I think see the problem here.

    EG: You mean, take away the livelihood of a woman who had worked for him without any trouble for ten years because he wanted to fuck her? I feel pretty confident that that is an out of the ordinary reaction.

    Actually, in the world I move in, this is par for the course. I am truly sorry that I momentarily forgot that this is not the case for couch potatoes.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

      Actually, in the world I move in, this is par for the course. I am truly sorry that I momentarily forgot that this is not the case for couch potatoes.

      Oh my god, you fucking martyr.

      Also, if you live in a part of the world where women are routinely fired for being good-looking, congratulations. I lived in apparently an even more athletic society where they just wind up being raped for it. HA HA I BEAT YOU AT THE FEMINIST PRIVILEGE GAME ARE YOU SORRY ARE YOU CRYING ARE YOU A DEACTIVATED FEMINIST I JUST DESTROYED YOUR LAIFU DIDN’T I ADMIT IT HAHAHA.

      Or you could try to be fucking mature (she said resignedly) and discuss sexual harassment as an actual problem instead of relentlessly harping on omg someone told a lie on the internet, but I suspect that your athleticism has left you sadly unable to spend time on trivial things like perspective-gaining.

      1. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm |

        Yes, a very mature response there, macavity.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm |

          Just thought I should engage as equals.

        2. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm |

          As opposed to yours, Marni? Gee, I’m so sorry that my life doesn’t validate your martyrdom.

          Nonetheless, when I was growing up, my mother told me that “everybody else does it” was not an acceptable reason to do something immoral. So you’re going to have to find another justification for Dr. Disgusting, DDS.

    2. Andie
      Andie December 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm |

      What the actual fuck? Who are you to get all feministier than thou and assume that you know what an of the posters here do when they’re not here.

      1. Marni
        Marni December 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

        Actually, if you revisit the context of that comment, you will observe that I was replying to someone who appeared to think I was an MRA troll.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm |

          Yes. How awful that someone might think that, when your comment sounded completely different from exactly like an MRA’s response to this situation! You have all my sympathies for being mistaken for your complete opposite when you were in total agreement with them.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

          (To clarify; I don’t think you believe that AT ALL, just that your comment repeated an MRA talking-point accidentally, and so the mistake was made.)

    3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:08 am |

      What’s with this “couch potatoes” BS you’re spouting, Marni? You’re talking like that mansplaining idiot LibraryGander in the other thread about this, as if you’re the only person who’s experienced work life and everyone else here sits around eating bonbons all day. Nice way to generalise your experience to a Universal Truth and invalidate other people when their lives don’t match yours.

    4. speedbudget
      speedbudget December 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

      If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?

    5. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla December 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

      Actually, in the world I move in, this is par for the course

      G-d, I hate this fatalistic crap. Just because it’s “par for the course”, does that make it right? Does that make it something that we shouldn’t fight against? Does that mean that dudes engaging in reprehensible, sexist, misogynist, behavior should never ever until the end of time face any consequences of their behavior?

  10. Marni
    Marni December 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    By the way, I was not at any point defending this dentist dude. What happens to him cannot be a priority for all feminists/justice etc people, as much as one would hope that such behaviour would end.

    1. Marni
      Marni December 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

      I fail to understand how anyone who criticises a certain kind of vilification is automatically an MRA.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm |

        I…think you’re replying to me?

        Your problem was timing and persistence in the total absence of people disagreeing with your point. It’s like coming into a discussion on which brand of kitchen knife is best and going “Well, sometimes people KILL people with knives!” The best response you’re going to get is “Uh…yes. But irrelevant, unless you’re a campaigner for carrot rights.” If you keep on and on at it, with a generous dose of looking down your nose at other people, you’re going to be treated like an annoying little nit, because at that point that’s basically how you’re behaving.

        1. Marni
          Marni December 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

          Yes, that is right. That is how ASD people are always treated.

        2. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm |

          No. Just no. I have known plenty of people with Aspergers. They are not all self-righteous annoying twits with martyr complexes. That’s just you as an individual.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

          That is how ASD people are always treated.

          Personally, I find the autists anywhere along the spectrum I’ve known in my life less annoying than I’ve found you; they tend to do nifty little things like listen to reason and analyse situations in which people react to them negatively.

          …you do realise that “discriminated against for being ASD” and “snarked at for being an asshole” aren’t the same thing, right? I mean, I could blame my sarcasm on my anxiety, or my wife’s quibbletastic approach to grammar on her depression, but that doesn’t make them correlates either.

          Ooh, damn it, Adobe Flashplayer needs updating! CURSE YOU ADOBE FOR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE WITH FIBROMYALGIA.

          Fuck, I hate people who use ASD as an excuse to be assholes without consequences. “Being a condescending asshole on the internet” isn’t part of the diagnostics for any disorder I’ve ever heard of. I know many ASD people who would be annoyed as fuck – and yet more politely than you! – at being informed by Active Feminist Marni that this is so.

        4. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers December 27, 2012 at 10:51 am |

          OK, this pisses me off.

          You do not get to claim you are being oppressed for your ASD when you are in fact being treated like a twit for arguing that Yelpers should not publicly denounce this dentist for his behavior because sometimes mobs can destroy a person’s life and besides it is perfectly normal for a man to fire a female employee he’s attracted to.

          You can be being oppressed for your ASD when your significant other stomps off in a huff because you did not magically read his or her mind to figure out what weird NT bullshit they wanted you to do that they refused to tell you because you “should just know”; you can be being oppressed for your ASD when you don’t get a job because you were standing too close to the interviewer and laughing too loudly and failing to notice that you were making them uncomfortable; you can be being oppressed for your ASD when you’re treated like a potential school shooter because every so often when you’re in class you yell “Bathroom!” and then run to the bathroom, instead of politely trying to not piss your pants like the NT kids.

          My cousin, my son and I are all on the spectrum. I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of bullshit. I’ve been called cold, aloof, an emotional cripple, stuck up, and a robot. I’ve had people taunt me because I was smarter than them but couldn’t figure out they were making sexual innuendos. I have, however, never come into a discussion about justice being served against an asshole and argued that justice should not be served against the asshole because sometimes there is a mob mentality that attacks non-assholes and besides what the guy did was perfectly normal. And if I did do that, people would treat me as an annoying condescending twit, not because of ASD but because that would be exactly what I would be doing.

          If you’re an active feminist, you ought to know that the purpose of feminism is to identify things that “always happen” to women that are unfair and do not happen to men at nearly the same frequency, AND FIGHT THEM. Not complacently say “Well, where I come from this happens all the time.” That just makes it more important to fight back against it. And yes, a mob mentality can be destructive, but when a bunch of people are giving a business a bad review because the business owner was sued for totally unethical behavior and the person he harmed lost their case against him due to judicial stupidity, this is not one of those cases.

        5. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:10 am |

          Aaaaand just how is anyone here supposed to know from an internet comment whether you (or anyone else) has ASD?

  11. Andie
    Andie December 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm |

    So Marni, what would YOU suggest would be a suitable way for people to express their outrage at this guy being a vile dickbag, remembering once again that he fired a competent employee of nine years because he was afraid he would be unable to keep it in his pants?

    1. Marni
      Marni December 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

      Andie, it depends so much on the details of the case and the people involved. But with that caveat, what might I do if I was, say, a colleague of the unemployed woman? First, I would be concerned that she obtain new employment with a decent reference from the dude, for her professional skills. If he is reasonable, within his own world view at least, he should not refuse to write a good reference for a deserving someone whose livelihood depends upon it. I would then consider the case closed, assuming that she was not required to deal with him further in any way.

      If he refuses this kind of assistance, then what? Then it would be clearer that he is an atypical ahole. Perhaps one could approach the other employees in his office for assistance, explaining that he needs to understand he can’t just ruin people’s lives. What can they do? They could speak to him as a group. Being confronted by a group of colleagues would presumably be daunting for even the stanchest misogynist.

      In no case would I write vilifying, anonymous, public reviews of anyone, no matter how much they deserve it.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

        Oh my god, this comment. I am torn between laughter and horror at the failspew that it is.

        If he refuses this kind of assistance, then what? Then it would be clearer that he is an atypical ahole.

        Unlike, of course, all the typical assholes who fire women for being pretty but graciously provide them with good references – that totally closes the case for you, after all.

        Perhaps one could approach the other employees in his office for assistance, explaining that he needs to understand he can’t just ruin people’s lives. What

        If someone’s so amazingly stupid that they can’t tell that losing a long-held job during a recession isn’t potentially destroying someone’s life, they sure don’t have the brainpan to be sticking sharp drills in somebody’s mouth.

        Also, I love the wide-eyed idealism that if you just explained that Misogyny Is Bad to misogynists, they’d understand and Fix All The Things. It’s like you think feminists (you know, the inactive ones) haven’t been writing and talking and working, in their own fields, to do just that. It’s like you think Explaining Things just wouldn’t occur to us, with our feeble ladybrainz.

        Being confronted by a group of colleagues would presumably be daunting for even the stanchest misogynist.

        Oh, noes, a group of people kindly explaining to him that he should write a reference! (Since that’s all you want him to do, after all.) I…I can’t imagine anything that would make misogynists quail like a group of coworkers making people write references! Reference-forcing coworkers are totes the Batman to the patriarchy’s Joker, yo.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 27, 2012 at 12:57 am |

          Mac, why ya gotta be so darn mean to Marni? Don’t you understand that she is a real feminist with real problems (unlike your totally straight lily-white American abled ass, amiright? ;D) and you are ruining her life by saying things on the internet! You’re just like a Yelp reviewer right now! Or Hitler!

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 1:07 am |

          Don’t you understand that she is a real feminist

          Now, be fair, how could I know she was a real feminist? All she ever said was that she was an ACTIVE one! She could be a very-athletic-figment-of-imagination feminist!

          *wibbles*

        3. samanthab
          samanthab December 27, 2012 at 5:20 am |

          I don’t get your logic, Marni. Why is it mob mentality when Yelp reviewers express a collectively held opinion, but it’s not mob mentality when co-workers express a collectively held opinion?

      2. Andie
        Andie December 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |

        1) He gave the woman one months’s severance for nine years of employment. So I’m not entirely convinced he’d be willing to make sure she had a good reference.

        2) why would he listen to a group of co-workers when a court of law has already given him the A-Okay and basically said “yeah, it’s cool that you can’t control your dick. We understand.”

        1. Marni
          Marni December 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

          Andie, I’m not claiming these are helpful ideas. Just pointing out that individual solutions are often more just than general, anonymous vilification.

        2. trees
          trees December 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |

          @Marni

          Public shaming can be an effective motivator of behavioral change, and the dentist has already done a pretty good job of creating a crummy reputation for himself. If he decides pack up and reopen the practice in a new local, maybe the Yelper reviews will ensure that his reputation follows him. It may not do much or anything to help his former employee, but I reckon many potential patients would welcome this knowledge about his past. The Yelp reviews are more public service than libel.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm |

          So…Andie asked you what you would do instead, and you… rattled off suggestions you yourself know won’t work, but it’s okay, because that’s better than doing something Active Feminist Marni would tsk-tsk over.

          o_O Your cognitive dissonance, does it ever actually make parts of your brain leap out your ears and scuttle away on little neuron-tentacles?

          (It’s also telling that you went immediately to what Person Immediately Involved In This should do, rather than what Person Somewhere Across the world – which most of us are – would do. Talk about giving yourself a puffball question – and then you STILL couldn’t find one useful thing that didn’t involve direct action!)

        4. EG
          EG December 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

          individual solutions are often more just than general, anonymous vilification.

          How is talking seriously to somebody who fired a woman about writing her a good reference (“Sally is an excellent dental hygienist; I had to let her go due to my inability to take responsibility for my own sexual desires”) because he wanted to sex her up “more just” than vilifying him? Vilifying him and fucking up his ability to make a living seem pretty damn just to me.

        5. piny
          piny December 27, 2012 at 8:05 am |

          Andie, I’m not claiming these are helpful ideas. Just pointing out that individual solutions are often more just than general, anonymous vilification.

          By coming up with a couple of shitty anonymous solutions that by definition are unworkable in this scenario, i.e. improper action by an entitled sexist boss who feels no obligation to treat his employee with respect?

      3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:15 am |

        So now you’re putting it onto the colleagues of an unfairly dismissed woman to try to get the sleaze to write her a reference?

        Is this comment for real? I think my ears are starting to bleed reading it.

  12. spot
    spot December 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

    So, who exactly has Yelp rescued here?

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm |

      Right, because you know for a fact that every single person who commented on Yelp has done nothing to help this woman?

      Tell me more about the world, o mighty reader of internet minds. I must know more truths.

      (last line totally borrowed from librarygoose, lol.)

      1. librarygoose
        librarygoose December 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |

        Hey, as long as you don’t start calling yourself librarygoosling or something I’m cool.

    2. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers December 27, 2012 at 10:54 am |

      Every person who would have gone to this dentist otherwise but would be totally horrified at the thought of giving money to a misogynist ass who fires his long-term employee because of *his* personal, unreciprocated desires.

  13. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |

    All right, Imma analyse this whole ASD/asshole thing.

    Let’s replace (ASD) with (disability). Let’s replace (asshole) with (character trait).

    (Disability) can lead to being perceived as possessing (character trait). (Character trait) can lead to being perceived as possessing (disability.) However, if (character trait) can also be possessed by people who do not possess (disability), then (disability) is not the sole causative factor of (character trait), though it may be perceived as leading to (character trait).

    Therefore, since not all expressions of (character trait) are sourced in (disability), (character trait) and (disability) do in fact exist as separate aspects of behaviour. Therefore, it is entirely possible that a person with (disability) can be CONCURRENTLY rather than CAUSATIVELY (character trait).

    (But maybe I’m talking out my ass because every ASD person I’ve ever met who was an asshole to someone instantly went to asking for explanations/providing explanations/apologies rather than condescension/martyrdom as a response. I don’t know.)

    1. orangedesperado
      orangedesperado December 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |

      Here is a good long article about this very topic:

      http://nymag.com/news/features/autism-spectrum-2012-11/

      (Thanks to White Rabbit several topics ago for mentioning this).

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

        Well, orangedesperado, I wouldn’t claim to know if Marni’s ASD or not. If she says she’s ASD, why would I doubt her? All I have an issue with is her hiding behind ASD for being a condescending douchebag with a martyr complex.

        I mean, I COULD hide behind an anxiety disorder diagnosis in order to be a creepy controlling abusive spouse (hey, it’s been done to death), but that wouldn’t make me just a poor misunderstood sufferer of anxiety; it would just make me a sufferer of anxiety who’s ALSO a creepy controlling abusive spouse.

      2. White Rabbit
        White Rabbit December 27, 2012 at 2:45 am |

        (You’re welcome!)

    2. mythago
      mythago December 27, 2012 at 1:42 am |

      I’m sure marni is perfectly aware that being on the spectrum doesn’t mean “complete inability to refrain from acting like a douchebag.”

      ASD means having trouble picking up on nonverbal cues and intuitively understanding subtext and social mores (e.g., that when an acquaintance asks “How are you?” it’s not actually a genuine request for information about your feelings, it’s just a social convention). ASD does not mean a complete inability to learn manners.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |

        ASD means having trouble picking up on nonverbal cues and intuitively understanding subtext and social mores (e.g., that when an acquaintance asks “How are you?” it’s not actually a genuine request for information about your feelings, it’s just a social convention). ASD does not mean a complete inability to learn manners.

        Yes, I am entirely aware that ASD does not mean/require a complete inability to learn manners. I do not believe, and this was the point of my comment, that Marni was displaying the former in her conversations on this forum.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 1:49 am |

          The former of your examples, that is.

  14. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve December 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |

    What I don’t actually understand and maybe someone can explain this: How can Knight credibly argue that his assistant was ‘irresistible’ if she was not interested in him? Is he admitting he’s a rapist?

    1. Mariam
      Mariam December 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm |

      That’s pretty much the logical conclusion. Another case of sexual harassment where it is the woman’s fault. BUT DOESN’T THE ‘SUPREME’ FUCKING COURT SEE THAT THIS IS UNFAIR?
      Sometimes… I just can’t fucking believe it… I don’t even…. just what. the. flying. fuck.

      1. Tim
        Tim December 27, 2012 at 11:32 am |

        BUT DOESN’T THE ‘SUPREME’ FUCKING COURT SEE THAT THIS IS UNFAIR?

        Yes, they do. From the decision (p. 11):

        The civil rights laws seek to insure that employees are treated the same regardless of their sex or other protected status. Yet even taking Nelson’s view of the facts, Dr. Knight’s unfair decision to terminate Nelson (while paying her a rather ungenerous one month’s severance) does not jeopardize that goal.

        So, the ISC does admit that it was unfair. Their task was to decide whether the firing fit the definition of sex discrimination under Iowa law. Not whether Knight’s behavior was unfair or even morally outrageous, which it was. Nelson did not file a sexual harassment complaint and we really don’t have enough information to know why she didn’t.

      2. jennygadget
        jennygadget December 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

        “Another case of sexual harassment where it is the woman’s fault.”

        Yes, EXACTLY. Which is why, no matter how many times the Tims of the world try to argue otherwise – this is, indeed, sex/gender discrimination – over and above the sexual harassment. Because that shit would not fly if it was a woman doing the firing and it was a man that she was firing.

        It’s not so much about the employer being male and the employee being female as it is that he gave a gendered reason for why he was firing her. Not just in the sense that he’s never claimed to be bi, so his attraction is only going to affect women’s employment, but more importantly in the sense that he fired her based on gendered expectations about women being responsible for men’s sexuality, attraction, and subsequent actions.

        People keep bringing up the sexual harassment not just because it shows what an ass the dentist is, but also because it shows how immersed in that worldview he is. The sexual harassment isn’t just wrong by itself, it’s also supporting evidence that he treated her differently not only because he was attracted to her, but also because of her gender.

        1. Tim
          Tim December 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

          It’s not so much about the employer being male and the employee being female as it is that he gave a gendered reason for why he was firing her. Not just in the sense that he’s never claimed to be bi, so his attraction is only going to affect women’s employment, but more importantly in the sense that he fired her based on gendered expectations about women being responsible for men’s sexuality, attraction, and subsequent actions.

          You make valid points here, but these factors are not written into Iowa civil rights laws. That is what the ISC had to base its ruling on, that and federal case law.

          People keep bringing up the sexual harassment not just because it shows what an ass the dentist is, but also because it shows how immersed in that worldview he is. The sexual harassment isn’t just wrong by itself, it’s also supporting evidence that he treated her differently not only because he was attracted to her, but also because of her gender.

          Yes, “people”, including me, have not only brought up sexual harassment but said that the dentist’s actions qualified and that sexual harassment might have made a better case that would have given Nelson a better chance at getting some justice. I’ve said it several times on this thread and the other one on this case. Unfortunately, Nelson didn’t file a sexual harassment case. I have no idea why.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L December 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

          It’s almost inconceivable to me that she didn’t file a sexual harassment case initially. There would have been no downside, really. If she didn’t, it certainly raises the possibility of bad advice by her lawyer.

        3. Tim
          Tim December 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

          OMG, Donna, if you are saying that it went bad because of something [Nelson] didn’t do, you must be blaming the victim!

          /> snark/sarcasm off

          Yes, exactly this. It is one of the baffling aspects of this case. That’s all I been tryin’ to say, really. I have theories as to why, but without more information, it’s just speculation.

        4. Tim
          Tim December 29, 2012 at 1:00 am |

          I can’t say that I personally had even heard of Paige Fiedler, Nelson’s lawyer before this, but there have been comments on local blogs that say she is a very good plaintiff’s attorney. Some googling and perusal of news sites indicate that she has gotten some very good awards from some big companies. So I suppose she had her reasons.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L December 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

          By the way, litigating employment law cases under federal and state law (including discrimination cases) probably represents about 10-20% of what I do these days, so my bafflement is not based on total ignorance of the area.

    2. EG
      EG December 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

      I wondered about that as well.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L December 27, 2012 at 12:14 am |

      Her mouth said no, but her body sent out irresistible signals. Something like that, no doubt.

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan December 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

        A dentist of all people should really be paying attention to the mouth, now shouldn’t he? :p

  15. Mariam
    Mariam December 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm |

    Okay, so I am very new to the US, and I don’t really know a lot about the way the government really works just yet. I did some research though and found that you can’t appeal a supreme court decision unless either side, within 25 days of the decision, requests a rehearing which is difficult to argue for/obtain. Is this true? If so, what do you think can be done? Another option I found was to lobby the congress, which is annoying but doable. What do you all think? :o

    1. Unree
      Unree December 27, 2012 at 1:05 am |

      This decision came from the Supreme Court of Iowa, not the Supreme Court of the United States. Could be appealed to the SCOTUS, but optional only, very unlikely to be heard.

      1. Mariam
        Mariam December 27, 2012 at 4:33 am |

        Why do you say it’s very unlikely? This is a pretty big issue, no? :o
        BTW Is it true that SCOTUS does 90 hearings a year?

        Also, what is there that we can do then, say if there is no way this can be heard in the US Supreme Court?

        1. catfood
          catfood December 27, 2012 at 8:58 am |

          Nothing.

          Seriously, the Iowa Supreme Court is the last word when it comes to the law in Iowa. Nelson lost. It is over.

        2. matlun
          matlun December 27, 2012 at 9:20 am |

          For it to be heard in federal court there would have to be an argument that there are applicable federal laws or constitutional issues that must be considered.

          Unlikely is putting it mildly IMO (IANAL, etc)

    2. Tim
      Tim December 27, 2012 at 11:51 am |

      Nelson filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission based on sex discrimination and subsequently got a “right to sue” letter from them. If Nelson had added sexual harassment as a basis to the complaint as well (it’s possible she did and she and her attorney decided to proceed with the lawsuit based only on the sex discrimination; I haven’t found any mention of a second basis), she might be able to go back and file a suit based on sexual harassment instead of sex discrimination. There are time limits on each of the steps in the process which I don’t have at hand.

      Several people on these threads, including myself, have commented that the facts of this case seem to fit a sexual harassment complaint/lawsuit, rather than one based on sex discrimination. As I commented above, I don’t have enough information (and I don’t know if it is available but I haven’t found it yet) to figure out why Nelson and her attorney didn’t do that. There are clues here and there and I have some ideas but they are just speculation at this point. If Dr. Knight failed to follow some kind of progressive discipline procedure warning her about the dress code, etc., there might be a remote chance of putting together some kind of wrongful termination lawsuit but I doubt it and it would be a real long shot.

      As Unree and catfood said, this is a state matter, not a federal one, so you could lobby the Iowa legislature (good luck with that!) if you felt there was some change in the law that would improve a situation like this, but it would not help Nelson as it could not be made retroactive for this case.

  16. Foxy
    Foxy December 27, 2012 at 3:57 am |

    i firmly believe an employer has complete right over he should employ and discrimination lawsuits have really gone overboard and small businesses are suffering from them

    1. Mariam
      Mariam December 27, 2012 at 4:36 am |

      I highly doubt that the discrimination laws have “gone overboard”

    2. samanthab
      samanthab December 27, 2012 at 5:23 am |

      Evidence, please? I might think that small businesses are suffering from inadequate supplies of potato chips in the workplace, but if I don’t have evidence to back that belief up, it really doesn’t amount to jack shit.

    3. Jane
      Jane December 27, 2012 at 7:20 am |

      You are entitled to that opinion, but it is a cruel one.

    4. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia December 27, 2012 at 9:12 am |

      …and if I were your employer I’d fire you for believing that. If you were to say anything other than “o.k.”, then, obviously, you DON’T actually believe that.

      1. matlun
        matlun December 27, 2012 at 9:31 am |

        …and if I were your employer I’d fire you for believing that. If you were to say anything other than “o.k.”, then, obviously, you DON’T actually believe that.

        Logically, that does not follow. It is very different thing to say that you have a right to do X and that doing X is fair or the right thing to do. See for example the court decision in this case, where the court recognizes that the firing of Nelson was unfair but still judged it legal.

        Perhaps a clearer example: I believe in freedom of speech, so I believe that people have the right to spout racist nonsense. That does not mean that I approve of that speech.

        For the record, I disagree with Foxy. IMO an employer should have to be able to show some sort of reasonable cause to fire an employee. And I see no evidence for that discrimination lawsuits have gone overboard.

        1. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

          “IMO an employer should have to be able to show some sort of reasonable cause to fire an employee.”

          It’s Iowa. You don’t have to have any reason to dismiss an employee, or rather, “continued employment is at the sole discretion of the employer”.

          Ah, but you said “should”. If it was like that here, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation right now.

        2. matlun
          matlun December 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

          Ah, but you said “should”. If it was like that here, I don’t think we’d be having this conversation right now.

          Exactly. I disagreed with Foxy about this kind of fire-at-will legal situation being a good thing.

          It is the current legal situation in Iowa, however, as can be seen from this judgement.

    5. Andie
      Andie December 27, 2012 at 9:18 am |

      I’m not surprised you have a problem with discrimination laws. Not a shock at all coming from the one who insists Obama only won because we let women and Hispanics vote

      1. EG
        EG December 27, 2012 at 10:12 am |

        Which is true, but Foxy seems to believe that that somehow makes Obama’s victory less legitimate instead of more.

    6. mary
      mary December 27, 2012 at 9:21 am |

      You know what else causes small businesses to suffer? Firing competent, experienced employees because boss man has a boner. If I were one of the women still working for this creep, I’d be looking for a new job ASAP.

    7. EG
      EG December 27, 2012 at 10:11 am |

      It’s very nice that you want to return to the glory days of the nineteenth century. Why am I not surprised?

    8. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers December 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |

      I’m a small business owner.

      Small businesses are insane. No, seriously, we are. (In the sense that the “mind” of a small business does not work the way the “mind” of a business is generally supposed to, and often in ways that end up harming the business… this isn’t a slur on the mentally ill.) Small businesses are started by people who do not want to play inside the corporate structure, who want power and control over their own work environment and they want it now and they’re willing to work 80+ hours a week to get it. And then, because the small business generally has only one or maybe two or three decisionmakers at the top, there is nothing to check really bizarre decision making.

      Small businesses have kiboshed a project that they’ve invested thousands of dollars in because the owner came back from a month of preparing for an art festival to discover that everything was not exactly how they wanted, called up their contractor the day the guy was getting a root canal and sitting in his dentist’s office, and when they did not get him to drop everything and fix their problem right now, they fired him. Small businesses have invested a lot of money in building a web site and then lost all of it by refusing to pay their vendor. Small businesses have thrown petty shitfits at competitors. Small businesses have pursued a lawsuit, at personal expense, for three years, to be told at the end “no, the vendor really does has proof that he did the work, just like he told you three years ago.”

      My business deals a lot with other small businesses (all of those examples are things other businesses did to us.) We ourselves have done some things that make absolutely no sense, like spending a great deal of money on really nice doors for an office we were *renting*.

      A small business is capable of making decisions that are harmful to it and seem to have no basis in rationality, because a small business is, essentially, a human being… but humans are not expected to be fully rational actors (except by economists) and businesses are. This is why the term “professionalism” means “separating your personal feelings from your job”. A human, making emotional decisions that are personally harmful, is a normal human. But a business making emotional decisions that are harmful to it is not how the “mind” of a business is supposed to normally work.

      Small businesses need to be stomped to the curb for really awful behavior just like big businesses do, but for different reasons. Big businesses are incredibly powerful and if they are not stomped on for abuse they will abuse everyone. Small businesses are much weaker, but much more capable of making really, really dumbass decisions for purely emotional reasons. It is for the good of the small business to make the owner fear discrimination lawsuits, because if you double and triple check to make sure that the person you are firing really, truly deserves to be fired and you’re absolutely certain they are not behaving in the same way as all the people you are not firing, it only benefits your bottom line; firing good workers for emotional reasons is stupid and will harm your business, so making you afraid of doing it because you might get sued is actually of benefit to your business.

      So as a small business owner I disagree. Small businesses are healthier when they fear getting sued for making really stupid decisions on purely emotional grounds, because they make really stupid decisions on purely emotional grounds all the time and this is why 80% of them go out of business within 5 years, and anything that makes them think twice about making certain stupid decisions is good for them.

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:31 am |

        ::applause::

        I’m an employee in a small business and I really appreciated reading that, Alara. The business was bought out before I started there, and the bloke managing it now is … incompetent, to say the best of it.

      2. samanthab
        samanthab December 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

        Yeah, I’m a mentally ill person who also owns a small business. You can preface a slur against the mentally ill by saying it’s not intended as a slur against the mentally ill, but your (almost certainly disingenuous) intent is not really relevant. You’re still using a slur against the mentally ill.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

          I don’t read “insane” as a slur against the mentally ill. It just means that someone/thing is out of touch with reality. Which both mentally ill people and (apparently) small businesses are.

        2. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

          samanthab,
          I am mentally-ill, I’ve been in and out of inpatient facilities my entire life, and am unemployable… and I often find myself using words that are slurring to the mentally-ill (and I don’t think it’s from self-loathing). That doesn’t change the effect of those words, but I think assuming intent is “almost certainly disingenuous” dismisses the pervasiveness of that language in culture. I can’t automatically assume someone using it is attempting to be hurtful or dismissive.

    9. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:25 am |

      So, Foxy, if your employer had the hots for you and you weren’t interested, would you think it just if they fired you?

      If they decided they didn’t like the look of you, or that they didn’t approve of your lunch choices, or your handwriting, or anything – would you think it fair that they sack you?

      This is stuff that has Nothing To Do with the employee’s ability to do their job, their diligence or anything else. It’s purely about prejudice (in my frivolous examples) or in this particular case, a man who was harassing a woman who was not interested in him. She’d worked there for nine years. If she hadn’t been a good worker, she’d hardly have been there that long. There’s no justice in him firing her or in the court’s decision.

      Maybe this is a foreign concept, but employees are human beings with the same rights and dignity as employers. They’re not slaves, not property. It seems so bizarre to me that so many people in the Land of the Free seem under the impression that “employer” means “person” but “employee” means “thing”. Makes my country look like a flamin’ workers’ paradise, which it most definitely is not.

      1. Tim
        Tim December 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

        It seems so bizarre to me that so many people in the Land of the Free seem under the impression that “employer” means “person” but “employee” means “thing”.

        Sad to say, Kittehs’ (love your posting name, BTW), it is not so much just an impression that some people have as it is the actual state of the law in much of the USA. And as bad as the laws are now, many want to make them worse. Besides the vicious War on Women going on here, there is also a War on Workers. The goal of the Koch Bros., the Waltons, etc. and their lower-level (but well paid) neocon shills really is to reduce employees to the status of “things” like machinery or raw materials. The awful laws rammed through by the GOP in Wisconsin, Michigan and elsewhere in the last couple of years are just the start.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 29, 2012 at 6:56 am |

          Yes, the bits and pieces I read of what’s going on in the US are damned depressing, and just … I dunno, baffling and infuriating. The sheer regressive power of corporations and the uber-wealthy and their utter disregard for everyone else makes me so angry. We’re not free of it here, by any means, but it’s not so extreme or prevalent. Not yet, anyway, though by gods the conservatives are working at it, and we’ve our own individual horrors, like extreme right-winger (and wealthiest woman in the world) Gina Rinehart. She likes to claim that not being wealthy like her means you sit around watching telly and drinking all day. Did it all on her own, she did … she doesn’t see fit to mention that she doesn’t actually earn any money at all. She’s a mining magnate: all the work is done by other people. Oh, and she inherited billions – BILLIONS – from her father. And she’s trying to get foreign labour into the country and lower the requirements for English, so she can have workers who won’t know when she doesn’t maintain OH&S standards, and she can pay them less all around.

          Gah. Derail. But I loathe this sort of thing.

        2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 29, 2012 at 6:57 am |

          Yes, the bits and pieces I read of what’s going on in the US are damned depressing, and just … I dunno, baffling and infuriating. The sheer regressive power of corporations and the uber-wealthy and their utter disregard for everyone else makes me so angry. We’re not free of it here, by any means, but it’s not so extreme or prevalent. Not yet, anyway, though by gods the conservatives are working at it, and we’ve our own individual horrors, like extreme right-winger (and wealthiest woman in the world) Gina Rinehart. She likes to claim that not being wealthy like her means you sit around watching telly and drinking all day. Did it all on her own, she did … she doesn’t see fit to mention that she doesn’t actually earn any money at all. She’s a mining magnate: all the work is done by other people. Oh, and she inherited billions – BILLIONS – from her father. And she’s trying to get foreign labour into the country and lower the requirements for English, so she can have workers who won’t know when she doesn’t maintain OH&S standards, and she can pay them less all around.

          Gah. Derail. But I loathe this sort of thing.

          PS ta about the name! :)

        3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 29, 2012 at 6:57 am |

          Whoops, double post!

    10. mxe354
      mxe354 December 31, 2012 at 12:28 am |

      i firmly believe an employer has complete right over he should employ and discrimination lawsuits have really gone overboard and small businesses are suffering from them

  17. Steve
    Steve December 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    Misogyny and sexual harrassment should not be tolerated anywhere. Good job exposing this creep.

  18. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated December 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

    Look at this from another angle, please. Pretty women almost always are hired over less attractive but more qualified women. This decision essentially empowers the employer to practice a discrimination against the skilled, in favor of those with lesser skills but more sexually attractive features, and then dismiss the already undeserving for any reason whatever, and claim boner privilege.
    In theory, the Iowa Supreme Court has the intelligence to recognize the situation (in Alabama, not necessarily).
    Yes, I feel the employee was mistreated, since I have no clue about the quals of her or her competitors. This, though, establishes a legal precedent to reward looksism and personal corruption, if I’m reading it correctly.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

      Sorry, what? I don’t get it.

      I’m not disagreeing OR agreeing, I just genuinely can’t parse what you said here. Maybe my brain’s just gone all radio-static again D: but I can’t make out what you’re getting at.

      1. lbd
        lbd December 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

        I think they are trying to say:

        a) pretty people get hired over unattractive people, even if said pretty person does not have the same credentials as the unattractive person

        b) the Iowa decision now sets precedence that means: not only are unqualified pretty people hired, they can now be fired for the exact quality (prettiness) that got them the undeserved job in the first place

        c) the commenter doesn’t know if the pretty person in this case was qualified or not (vs her unattractive competition), so they assume that the pretty employee in this case was mistreated.

        However, their statement implies that if the pretty employee WASN’T qualified, if she was fired for being too pretty, then that wasn’t mistreatment. I hope that this is not the implication that they wanted to make.

        Their conclusion is that this judgment sets legal precedent supporting “looksism” (re: giving preferential treatment based purely on physical attractiveness), as well as personal corruption.

      2. umami
        umami December 28, 2012 at 7:20 am |

        I was interpreting the comment as: “right to fire because boner implies right to fire because no-boner.” Like, if attractiveness is a legit reason to fire someone (in jobs where attractiveness isn’t relevant to job performance) then it’s probably not pretty women who are going to be worst off from that.

    2. EG
      EG December 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

      We don’t have any reason to think that this woman is prettier than her colleagues, though. All we know is that the thought of her gave the dentist a hard-on.

    3. Unree
      Unree December 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

      Mac, I think what Angie is saying is that if the case had come out the other way and the worker had won, then that would be a bad outcome because it gives too much privilege to conventionally attractive women. Dr. Asshole DDS would favor somebody over other applicants because she is pretty and then he wouldn’t be able to fire her when he couldn’t control his arousal. Whereas if he decided he didn’t like a less attractive hygienist because she didn’t turn his crank, he could probably contrive a work-related excuse to not hire her, or fire her after she started working, and get away with it.

      TL;DR, concern troll.

      1. anon
        anon December 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

        In other words, Angie was saying something outrageously stupid and offensive.

      2. snorkellingfish
        snorkellingfish December 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

        I could easily be wrong, but I interpreted it the other way:

        - Employers have a habit of employing more conventionally attractive women over less conventionally attractive women, even where the latter is better qualified. This is bad, because of sexism, racism, etc.

        - The court, in saying that it is acceptable to fire a woman for being “irresistibly” attractive, have said that attractiveness is an acceptable consideration in hiring and firing decisions: if a woman can be fired for being too attractive, she can also be not hired or fired for not being attractive enough.

        - This entrenches oppression by leaving women who’ve been discriminated against for not being sufficiently conventionally attractive without legal recourse. It implies that it’s not sexist for (usually) a man taking (usually) a woman’s looks into account in deciding whether that person is a good employee, even when they wouldn’t do the same for a man.

        Basically, I interpreted her as saying this decision can have a whole bunch of shitty ramifications.

  19. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps December 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    This case just straight floored me really. I’m shocked by nothing anymore, since I’ve been reading and researching feminism for three years now. 600-count threads about rape, schrodinger’s rapist? Check. I’m a male that presents quite feminine and has an all-female social circle so I’ve directly seen, been targeted for, and heard scores of stories of harassment. Nothing really shocks me anymore but this story is just so ludicrous I have to convince myself The Onion wrote it. This person should feel the full weight of the public for being a hideous person.

  20. Marni
    Marni December 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    All I was saying is that justice is not served by the lynch mob. That is all.

    1. EG
      EG December 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

      And if a group of racists were kidnapping this man and publicly torturing him to death, that would be an apt statement. Since that is not what is happening to him, there is no lynch mob, and you don’t have to worry.

      I’m really getting sick of certain terms being appropriated in a way that completely devalues the horror of what they actually mean: lynch mob, genocide, Nazi, rape. These words have actual meanings, and they don’t mean “people who are mean.”

      1. Unree
        Unree December 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

        Ramen to that, EG. I won’t forgive Clarence Thomas for calling his Senate hearing–which was successful: he was given a life-tenure seat on what’s probably the most powerful court in the world–a high-tech lynching. It wasn’t. And negative comments about a dentist on Yelp, even if they are a coordinated attack (which they probably weren’t), do not make a lynch mob, Marni.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

      LYNCH mob?

      Really? You went for lynching as a metaphor?

      You’re white, aren’t you? Christfuck, I hope so, because that’d spare me the contact embarrassment of watching a fellow non-black POC appropriate black people’s realities (AGAIN).

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

        That said. Yelp reviews are not a judiciary decision. Yelp reviews are not a ritualised racist hanging, or a tarring and feathering, or a burning at the stake, or a (insert violent thing here). Don’t like that people are leaving negative Yelp reviews on a guy who has admitted that he has no control over his sexual impulses? Leave a fake review of your own, or, ideally, don’t ignore it. Personally, I would be infinitely happier if I could hear about such a person on the internet via easily found information before I wound up in his office being groped or harassed. Nobody goes to google news to check up on a dentist; a lot of people go to Yelp. Makes sense to spread the news around there. If they were hacking his Facebook or his kids’ school accounts, that would be a different thing, but I can’t really care about this.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L December 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

      Marni, that was disgusting, and pretty much unforgivable. I’m sick and tired of ignorant people appropriating terms like that. Go look carefully at every goddamn one of the photos of actual lynchings on http://withoutsanctuary.org/main.html,* and then come back here and explain how what you said was appropriate. It was repulsive when Clarence Thomas used the word, and it’s no less repulsive when it’s applied to anything else that isn’t an actual lynching.

      * Trigger warnings, obviously. They’re very explicit.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

        Somehow the asterisk became part of the url of the link, which is why it doesn’t appear to work. Delete it before you go there.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L December 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

          I just looked at all 81 of those photos again, every one of them, because as horrifying as they are, I think everybody — especially white people in the USA, perhaps* — should know, and be periodically reminded, exactly what the word means. Having done so, I’m even angrier at the misuse of that word. (Like EG, I get just as upset when people throw around words like rape, Nazi, genocide, etc., and use them in contexts that aren’t remotely analogous.)

          * About 95% of the photos show the lynchings of black people (mostly men), from the late 19th century onwards. (The last “traditional” lynching was in 1968, although the murder of James Byrd in 1999 differed only in method. The most notorious lynching in the 1950′s was the murder of Emmett Till in 1955.)

          The handful of exceptions include the lynching of some white accused kidnappers in San Jose, California in the 1930′s. According to Wikipedia:

          Most lynchings from the late 19th through the early 20th century were of African Americans in the South, with other victims including white immigrants, and, in the southwest, Latinos. Of the 468 victims in Texas between 1885 and 1942, 339 were black, 77 white, 53 Hispanic, and 1 Indian. . . . More than 85 percent of the estimated 5,000 lynchings in the post-Civil War period occurred in the Southern states. 1892 was a peak year when 161 African Americans were lynched. The creation of the Jim Crow laws, beginning in the 1890s, completed the revival of white supremacy in the South. Terror and lynching were used to enforce both these formal laws and a variety of unwritten rules of conduct meant to assert white domination. In most years from 1889 to 1923, there were 50–100 lynchings annually across the South.

        2. Marni
          Marni December 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

          Many apologies for the bad choice of terms. Unfortunately, I am not American and my choice of words is sometimes bound to be different. Not making excuses. Just saying.

        3. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

          Marni, I’d really love to know what you meant without the hyperbole. Because it sounds to me like any collective action that you personally disagree with is categorically wrong. I happen to think it’s incredibly just to use social mechanisms to regulate accordingly when conventional methodology fails .

    4. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:37 am |

      You said a lot more than that. You practically dismissed what Knight did because it was so ordinary, and asked why he should be singled out for this CRUEL treatment of having people say “Don’t go to the business of a dentist who is a sexual predator.” Which doesn’t sound like anything but very sensible advice, to me.

  21. Midday open thread | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web

    [...] love instant karma: Remember that dentist who fired his female assistant because he couldn’t control his own boner? [...]

  22. Midday open thread - Online Political Blog

    [...] love instant karma: Remember that dentist who fired his female assistant because he couldn’t control his own boner? [...]

  23. Marni
    Marni December 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

    I happen to think it’s incredibly just to use social mechanisms to regulate accordingly when conventional methodology fails.

    And what prevents ‘social mechanisms’ degenerating into injustice themselves? Who decides what is justice? Is this not an important question for our time, just as for any other? Surely from an objective perspective, the most guilty party is the court. Why do the yelpers not destroy the careers of the judges?

    1. Marni
      Marni December 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

      BTW, I’m not defending the dentist by calling the court guilty.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L December 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

      Surely from an objective perspective, the most guilty party is the court.

      I’m not sure I agree with that.

      1. matlun
        matlun December 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

        Surely from an objective perspective, the most guilty party is the court.

        I do not agree. The function of the courts are to uphold the law. They do not have the authority to just judge according to what they believe to be just or fair. That is the whole point of having the principle of rule by law.

        And what prevents ‘social mechanisms’ degenerating into injustice themselves?

        This can easily happen. Mob rule is not generally known to lead to good end results. It is however a different issue to discuss this principle and to judge whether it is unjust in this specific case.

        Personally I find the dishonesty and lies of these false reviews pretty bad, but for others the ends justify the means.

    3. EG
      EG December 27, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

      And what prevents ‘social mechanisms’ degenerating into injustice themselves?

      Nothing. So what? That doesn’t mean their very use is unjust in every case.

      Who decides what is justice? When I’m the one deciding what actions to take, I do. I have certain basic principles and I proceed from them. If someone can demonstrate that I am mistaken or wrong, I’ll adjust my opinion.

      Why do the yelpers not destroy the careers of the judges?

      Courts don’t have yelp reviews. They’re not businesses that can be used or not at the discretion of a client. That said, if you have some ideas for how to destroy the careers of people employed by the state with eight-year appointments, I’d be in favor of those, as well. Efforts to unseat them in the next election, perhaps.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

        Courts don’t have yelp reviews. They’re not businesses that can be used or not at the discretion of a client. That said, if you have some ideas for how to destroy the careers of people employed by the state with eight-year appointments, I’d be in favor of those, as well.

        This. I would be all in favour of such measures.

        Honestly, Marni, I think what most of us are pushing back against here is your insistence that simply pointing out the existence of a (freely and fearlessly made) utterly loathsome statement by someone in court is exactly like a lynch mob or is some kind of awful persecution, as opposed to the simple exercise of free speech.

        If he didn’t want people to point out that he said such a thing, he could have always…not said such a thing. That would be reasonable and shit. For instance, I would not want anyone to be under the impression that I would call for genocide against right-handed people. I have thus taken the elementary precaution of never hauling my portly brown ass to court and voluntarily letting the words “I want all right-handed people to be killed” fall from my failhole, it’s awfully easy for me to push back against people who claim I believe such a thing.

        1. Marni
          Marni December 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

          that simply pointing out the existence of a (freely and fearlessly made) utterly loathsome statement by someone in court …

          But this is not all they are doing. Some of them are clearly determined to destroy his career. Maybe he deserves that, but that is not the point. Your fear that he might assault you (for which you have almost no grounds, no matter how creepy his thoughts may be) does not trump his current right to carry on his life in the loathsome patriarchy that we all live in.

        2. EG
          EG December 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

          his current right to carry on his life in the loathsome patriarchy that we all live in.

          Excuse me? He has a right not to have to bear the consequences of pissing people off by being a misogynist douche? Where is that right enshrined? They want to destroy his business? Good. That’s what he did when he fired the hygienist. If he can’t take it, he shouldn’t have dished it out.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm |

          But this is not all they are doing. Some of them are clearly determined to destroy his career.

          He singlehandedly wiped out a woman’s career because he couldn’t control his fucking Manly Boner. What’s your qualification for having a career destroyed? Please do tell us.

          Maybe he deserves that, but that is not the point.

          Wait, WHAT?

          Me: He deserves this!
          You: Yes, but I still disagree with your statement that he deserves this!
          Me: *very confused*

          Your fear that he might assault you….does not trump his current right to carry on his life in the loathsome patriarchy that we all live in.

          In your bizarro alternate universe where Yelp reviews are exactly like public murders, I suppose you’re right. Over here where the rest of us live, a consumer has a right to make an informed decision about where he or she purchases goods and services. Sites like Yelp exist to provide such information. If you don’t like it, tough shit. Go back to the 1850s so your era fits your attitudes. Also, I’m very glad that you never have to make any risk assessment about whether or not someone’s a pervert before you let them knock you out and perform private surgery on you. It must be real nice not to ever have to worry about pesky things like that.

          And, by the way, fuck you for implying that I’m a crazy irrational ladyperson for fearing that a known sexual harasser would sexually harass me. I guess that’s the kind of shit us survivors have to put up with, with our crazy anxiety and shit, amirite? Lol.

        4. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

          Marni,
          I understand what you’ve been saying, but I think you forgot one thing: What about her right not to have her career and reputation destroyed?

          Do you believe it is bad to organize social media to ostracize someone we believe is detrimental, if not actually dangerous, simply because he has the right to continue his business unabated?

          Does this man indeed have the right to continue his practice (a right he denied, through no fault of her own, to another person)? If you answered yes then you need to ask why she doesn’t get that right.

        5. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho December 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

          But this is not all they are doing. Some of them are clearly determined to destroy his career. Maybe he deserves that, but that is not the point. Your fear that he might assault you (for which you have almost no grounds, no matter how creepy his thoughts may be) does not trump his current right to carry on his life in the loathsome patriarchy that we all live in.

          Marni, I think you said you weren’t from the US, so maybe this is an aspect of capitalism that you don’t understand. In the US, where we spend our money is part of our activism. Infringing on the financial well being of raging misogynistic douchecanoes who can’t control themselves and fire women because the blood rushes to their crotch every time they look at them is one method of ensuring that they stop being raging misogynistic douchecanoes and/or discourages other folks from being raging misogynistic douchecanoes. Letting other people know that business owners are raging misogynistic douchecanoes who they shouldn’t spend money with via things like Facebook and Yelp is a vital step in the process.

        6. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

          Honestly, Marni, I think what most of us are pushing back against here is your insistence that simply pointing out the existence of a (freely and fearlessly made) utterly loathsome statement by someone in court is exactly like a lynch mob or is some kind of awful persecution, as opposed to the simple exercise of free speech.

          Respectfully mac, I disagree, I think most of us are pushing back because she’s talking out of her ass.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 29, 2012 at 11:24 am |

          Respectfully mac, I disagree, I think most of us are pushing back because she’s talking out of her ass.

          I was only thinking of her most recent comment, but you’re right.

      2. Tim
        Tim December 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

        That said, if you have some ideas for how to destroy the careers of people employed by the state with eight-year appointments, I’d be in favor of those, as well. Efforts to unseat them in the next election, perhaps.

        Sorry, the guy who runs this thing beat you to it. Well, partially anyway, when he orchestrated the successful campaign to throw out three of the seven ISC justices who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Mr. Vander Plaatz will probably be trying it again in 2016, and I’m sure he would be happy to put you on the phone banks, as long as you dress properly in appropriately feminine clothes and assure him that you are a nice, Christian, heterosexual lady.

        Seriously, EG — and mac — you want to throw SC justices off the bench every time they issue one decision you don’t like? Who do you think gets to appoint their replacements? Google “terry branstad” if you want to get an idea of what kind of appointments he would prefer to make. I don’t think you would like the results much.

        1. EG
          EG December 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

          Where is this “every time” business coming from? An all-male supreme court decided that it’s a-ok to fire a woman because her boss can’t control his dirty thoughts. Maybe that’s no big deal to you, but I find it pretty repulsive and a direct strike against Iowan women’s ability to earn a living. If enough Iowans agree that they wish to make it an issue during the next election (I believe that they must be re-elected every eight years), I fail to see the problem.

        2. Tim
          Tim December 28, 2012 at 12:32 am |

          If enough Iowans agree that they wish to make it an issue during the next election (I believe that they must be re-elected every eight years), I fail to see the problem.

          Well, OK then. I hope you can at least appreciate the irony in the fact that voters following exactly that line of reasoning (about a different issue) kicked out the only woman on the Iowa Supreme Court in the 2010 retention vote. She was, in fact, the Chief Justice.

        3. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |

          Well obviously it’s a tactic that should be thrown out just because some bigot used it before. Means are neutral, but apparently the ends are irrelevant, because one time they were shitty. Makes perfect sense, Tim.

        4. Tim
          Tim December 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

          Well obviously it’s a tactic that should be thrown out just because some bigot used it before. Means are neutral, but apparently the ends are irrelevant, because one time they were shitty.

          Nice job of restating my comment as a ridiculous strawperson argument, lolz. Of course means are not neutral nor ends irrelevant. What ends do you imagine might be served in the event that voters in Iowa toss out three more justices in 2016? In the event that Gov. Terry Branstad runs for reelection in 2014 and wins and the vote in 2016 is against the three SC justices up for retention, he would be appointing their replacements. I suppose there is a chance that he would appoint at least one woman, but the replacements are damn sure not going to be progressive feminists.

          So, it’s not just that the ends were shitty one time, it’s that this particular means would be likely to result in shitty ends more often than not.

        5. EG
          EG December 28, 2012 at 9:18 am |

          I hope you can at least appreciate the irony in the fact that voters following exactly that line of reasoning (about a different issue) kicked out the only woman on the Iowa Supreme Court in the 2010 retention vote.

          Well, you’ve convinced me. We should never, ever hold elections again, because voters often make shitty choices. Good point.

        6. matlun
          matlun December 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |

          @Tim: I really do not understand your reasoning here.

          If judges are elected officials (which may be a bad idea, but that is a different question), then campaigning for or against different candidates are surely part of the normal, expected process?

          Because some people like this have done political campaigning, no one should do any political campaigning at all because it is all “tainted”?

        7. catfood
          catfood December 28, 2012 at 11:28 am |

          Branstad is governor again? Holy crap, I’m Grinnell class of 1988 and he was governor then. Is Roger Jepsen still in the freakin’ Senate too?

        8. Tim
          Tim December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

          Is Roger Jepsen still in the freakin’ Senate too?

          LOLZ! No, thank the dogs. Tom Harkin beat him in 1984 and his still there, being what passes more or less for a liberal these days. Mr. Jepsen had a little “massage parlor” scandal , among other things.

          Yes, Terry Branstad is the wonder of Iowa politics, a nightmare wonder, but a wonder nonetheless. Sixteen years (1983-1999) wasn’t enough; after we had another twelve years under a couple of lackluster, ineffective Democrats, the local insurance and real-estate dragooned Branstad away from his job as president of Des Moines University to run once more, or maybe several times more. Let’s do the time warp again.

    4. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm |

      And what prevents ‘social mechanisms’ degenerating into injustice themselves? Who decides what is justice?

      Are you seriously arguing the existence of an alternative viewpoint in this case? Perhaps you are, given your annoying comments upthread.

      Over here, where the sedentary feminist thing is going on, we’re making a distinction between social justice in the absence of formal justice, and racist mobs hellbent on killing black people. The courts did not do justice; we’re filling in the gaps in the most nonviolent way imaginable. Yes, yes, I know; you think sarcastic Yelp reviews are like public murders. Unfortunately, pesky things like reality and perspective don’t agree with you.

      1. Marni
        Marni December 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

        Over here, where the sedentary feminist thing is going on, we’re making a distinction between social justice in the absence of formal justice, and racist mobs hellbent on killing black people.

        This is the bit that is not clear to me. Those racist mobs are just as sure as you are that they are carrying out social justice. Now of course that doesn’t mean the yelp dentist case is in the same category, and I was happy to disparage the dentist in the last post. But this line that gets crossed somewhere, well, I just felt it was potentially being crossed.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

          Now of course that doesn’t mean the yelp dentist case is in the same category

          There, you seem to have gotten it now. Go you! It only took 150 comments.

          But this line that gets crossed somewhere, well, I just felt it was potentially being crossed.

          By…what?

          Do you seriously not want to know if your dentist has a history of sexual harassment and admitted uncontrollable urges when you’re sedated on his table? I suppose you also wouldn’t care if your priest were a pedophile, or your shrink were a stalker, but – and I really need you to listen for a moment here – I, and a whole lot of other women, would. This is a public fucking service, because if I knew that someone was a harassing pervert I would not in fact put myself at their physical mercy in a room that contained anaesthetics, sedatives and other potential rape-implements. Just to take the worst-case scenario.
          Maybe you’ve got magical pervert-repellent powers – I suppose they unlock them at Feminist Athletics classes – but I don’t, and I would really like to be informed if people are self-confessed sexual harassers and potentially creepy/rapey people before I get in personal contact with them.

          Even if nothing of the sort happens, I try not to purchase music albums by rapists/racists/creeps of whatever stripe or gender; I think I’d be a hell of a lot less inclined to pay $200 to an asshole than I would be to pay $8 to a recording company. Seems like putting this information – which he, again, FREELY VOLUNTEERED IN COURT – is perfectly legal and acceptable.

          How this is slipping your understanding is honestly beyond me.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

          Those racist mobs are just as sure as you are that they are carrying out social justice.

          Also, have a helpful link to better demonstrate the difference:

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=number+of+people+killed+by+anonymous+Yelp+reviews+in+2012

        3. trees
          trees December 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

          @Marni
          Are you simply opposed to any and all extrajudicial social movement? If so, where does that leave grassroots campaigns since time immemorial? How do groups of people with little relative power effect social change without using this time-tested method?

          And FYI: a series of shitty Yelp reviews, many of which are likely false, can in no way be characterized as a “lynching”. The hyperbole is highly inflammatory, and I pray you quit it already.

      2. EG
        EG December 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

        Those racist mobs are just as sure as you are that they are carrying out social justice.

        And they’re wrong. If the nature of that wrongness is in any way unclear, I’d be happy to explain it point by point.

        Plenty of people take reprehensible actions. That does not mean that those who disagree with them should refrain from any action at all. Quite the contrary.

        Now of course that doesn’t mean the yelp dentist case is in the same category

        That’s exactly right. In fact, it has absolutely nothing significant in common with lynching. So what’s the issue?

        But this line that gets crossed somewhere, well, I just felt it was potentially being crossed.

        Where? How? I feel quite comfortable making the distinction between yelp-users trashing the ratings of a sexually-harassing asshole who fires a woman because of his dirty thoughts and a racist lynch mob. Where, precisely, do you see the overlap?

      3. ginmar
        ginmar December 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm |

        Funny there’s no concern from Marni at all about the victim in this case. Oh, no, we only get these hair-splitting worries when we start quoting mens’ words exactly and then deciding they need to be punished for those exact words. Not lying, you know, but calling them on their own bullshit. The same people who find this so appalling, I suspect, are ready and eager to criticize women and not be so damned exact about it.

        No, Marni, let’s split hairs some more about how judging the guy for the actions he admitted he took, and taking him at his word—his own statements—-and then…not say what we think of his words and actions. Because that’s so totally unfair. To men. Because it’s only in situations like this, where men are absolutely guilty and there’s absolutely unimpeachable proof of their guilt—on top of their own words—where people get worried about punishing men. Why?

        There was a case recently where a young rape victim was ordered by the judge in her case to STFU about the two men who raped her, imposing a gag order that functioned only to protect the rapists from the consequences of their actions. The rape victim refused, but the same kind of bullshit prevailed there, too. What do you mean, they should have to deal with the consequences of raping an unconscious young woman, taping her, distributing the photos, admitting to guilt, and that too bad for them for not figuring this out beforehand? Possibly because they expected what nearly happened to happen, that is, despite their proven guilt, people would be terribly concerned about making sure that they not suffer from their own actions. The concept simply horrified people. The idea of punishing white men for their actions arouses that response. I really want to know why, and merely saying ‘privilege’ won’t cover it. The notion that men in general should have to deal with punishment, with inconvenience is unthinkable to people.

        1. ginmar
          ginmar December 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

          Dammit, borked up the bloody italics again.

  24. Marni
    Marni December 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Gandhi

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 29, 2012 at 7:05 am |

      So basically you’re appropriating Gandhi’s comment out of context to say that nobody should be allowed to say negative things about a sex predator. You’re perfectly fine with him having preyed upon and sacked a woman – and gods know when she’ll get another job in this climate, or if she gets the sort of victim-blaming that women usually do – but you don’t think it’s okay for people to warn others about him, especially when he is in a literal, physical position of power over any patients he sedates.

      Seriously, and you call yourself a feminist? What sort of definition of the term are you using? It’s not one I recognise.

    2. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable December 29, 2012 at 8:36 am |

      You’re absolutely right. Misogynists should never face consequences for their actions. Kudos.

      This is “active feminism”? Please. You’re literally advocating not doing anything in the face of the patriarchy.

    3. William
      William December 29, 2012 at 10:09 am |

      Its worth noting that, while Gandhi was personally nonviolent, wasn’t exactly an enemy of conflict, Marni. While his resistance was physically nonviolent he certainly aimed to destroy the British occupation, he pointed out things that he felt were wrong, he fought. He also said that “[a]mong the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest…” a statement that doesn’t exactly reflect this idea that human beings should just tolerate oppression.

      What you’re arguing for is that we forgive oppressors and not subject them to legal, nonviolent, pure speech responses with consequences that are almost certainly far lesser than those they willingly heaped upon others. This dentist fired a woman for being too sexy, and you’re arguing that he ought to be so insulated from criticism that his reputation cannot be damaged online because it might (but we all know probably won’t) lead to him losing his job. You’re arguing that valid, legal criticism of someone who deprived someone of work should be restrained because it might lead to people choosing not to go to him for work. What. The. Fuck.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |

        Yes. This. The fact that she’s chosen Gandhi of all people to decide to hide her whinge behind is particularly bloody egregious where I’m concerned, given her TOTES NOT RACIST comments about lynching (and she kept on after people pointed out they were racist, so I’m not buying any good intent argument from her at this point).

        You’re arguing that valid, legal criticism of someone who deprived someone of work should be restrained because it might lead to people choosing not to go to him for work. What. The. Fuck.

        No, no, William, you don’t get it. a MAN might lose his job. A MAN. You have to think about what a horrible thing we sedentary feminists are doing! People depend on this man! Like his megadouche of a wife! He…he might lose his reputation! Can you imagine what an awful thing that is in our feminist matriarchotopia? A MAN without a REPUTATION?

        How could you be a man and not feel sorry for him???

    4. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |

      “It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.” – Bill Watterson”

      (Seems more appropriate for you.)

    5. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 29, 2012 at 11:55 am |

      …Are you aware that he made that comment in the context of not engaging in violent retaliation against the British for their multiple mass-murders against peaceful Indians? Because if you are, you’re BACK ON THE LYNCHING TRAIN, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE.

      In any case, by the way, if you knew more than three things about Gandhi (I doubt you know three things about anything at this point, but maybe that’s just me), you would also know that his satyagraha campaign was essentially a brilliant manipulation of Britain’s policies based on…their international reputation. Which was rightfully smeared every time they acted horribly to the Indians, by his nonviolent responses. It was that dread of losing their reputation as being Good Colonisers that stayed their hand a hell of a lot of times. Which is, in fact, directly analogous to the reputation-targeted campaign being launched by these Yelpers. Congratulations! You have undermined the shit out of your own arguments.

      But please, feel free to appropriate one of MY fucking country’s people out of context, without understanding, and in direct opposition to the putrid point you’re attempting to make while hiding behind the convenient veil of “active feminist”. It’s making you look really fucking good.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 30, 2012 at 1:00 am |

        To expand on Macavity’s point about your appropriation of Gandhi’s words and policies to use them in a completely unrelated and non-analagous context, even Gandhi was known to make erroneous contentions about the applicability of his strategy in other contexts. As in the article he published on November 20, 1938 (less than two weeks after Kristallnacht, for anyone who doesn’t automatically make the connection) about, among other things, his advice to the Jews of Germany:

        Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution? Is there a way to preserve their self-respect, and not to feel helpless, neglected and forlorn? I submit there is. No person who has faith in a living God need feel helpless or forlorn. . . . If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment . And for doing this, I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy which no number of resolutions of sympathy passed in the world outside Germany can. Indeed, even if Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against Germany, they can bring no inner joy, no inner strength. The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the god fearing, death has no terror. It is a joyful sleep to be followed by a waking that would be all the more refreshing for the long sleep. . . .

        But the Jews of Germany can offer satyagraha under infinitely better auspices than Indians of South Africa. . . . I am convinced that if someone with courage and vision can arise among them to lead them in nonviolent action, the winter of their despair can in the twinkling of an eye be turned into the summer of hope. And what has today become a degrading man-hunt can be turned in to a calm and determined stand offered by unarmed men and women possessing the strength of suffering given to them by Jehovah. It will be then a truly religious resistance offered against the godless fury of dehumanized man. The German Jews will score a lasting victory over the German gentiles in the sense that they will have converted that latter to an appreciation of human dignity. They will have rendered service to fellow-Germans and proved their title to be the real Germans as against those who are today dragging, however unknowingly, the German name into the mire.

        Bad advice.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L December 30, 2012 at 1:06 am |

        Comment in moderation pointing out that even Gandhi was known to make mistakes about the utility of his words and strategy in other contexts, as in his notorious advice to the Jews of Germany, in an article published a couple of weeks after Kristallnacht in November 1938.

        People should also keep in mind that “an eye for an eye” was not generally interpreted literally, and really has nothing whatsoever to do with bloodthirsty, thoughtless revenge. To the contrary, it was one of the earliest examples of the concept of proportionate punishment — as in, you don’t cut someone’s head off to punish them for taking an eye out. You don’t execute them for stealing a loaf of bread. Etc.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 30, 2012 at 1:22 am |

          Oh, god, yes, Gandhi was incredibly inappropriate and disgusting about the Jews! And EVEN MORE inappropriate once the actual Holocaust started on account of aggressively not taking back his bullshit. Which wouldn’t have fixed anything, but would at least gain me a little respect for the guy. I just didn’t want to go into a massive rant about that on a totally unrelated thread, haha.

          I actually have a lot of issues with his policies re: everything not the Raj, and his personal behaviour. (And fuck, fuck, don’t get me started on Nehru and his assorted spawn. I cannot even.)

    6. ginmar
      ginmar December 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

      Except the only person here with the black eye is the woman he fired. He’s borne no consequences at all.

      Also, the martyr act is old. You’re not some noble defender of the little guy, finding an unjust society. You are fighting for society in the guise of white men like this asshole, arguing that other people should STFU about the guy and treat him with a delicacy he never displayed toward the woman he wronged.

    7. EG
      EG December 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm |

      “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”

      –Frederick Douglass

  25. Marni
    Marni December 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    Excuse me? He has a right not to have to bear the consequences of pissing people off by being a misogynist douche?

    In the world we live in, clearly yes. We’re not there yet.

    1. EG
      EG December 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

      No. Don’t confuse the existence of something with the right for it to exist. Legally, he does not have to bear the consequences of being a misogynist douche. That does not mean that he has the right not to bear those consequences.

      In the world we live in, a bunch of yelp commenters are doing their best to make sure he bears those consequences. You are the one arguing that they shouldn’t.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |

      So…because we’re not there yet, he has a right to be douchebag without consequences, and so people trying to impose informal consequences are totally Persecushuning him?

      What are you even talking about? You’re descending into total fucking wharrgarbl at this point. Are you trolling? Please tell me so I can stop being distressed by your towering wtf.

    3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help December 28, 2012 at 4:46 am |

      Gawd, is Marni of the mindset that nothing less than perfection is worth aiming for? That if something can’t be fixed completely and all at once, then it’s no good trying for any improvements?

  26. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |

    Oh, I’ve figured it out! Marni’s a Carrionite! No wonder she thinks anonymous comments on the internet are exactly the same as lynching.

  27. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps December 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

    Fyi, the assholes at Yelp are removing reviews on that dentist’s page. I may delete my account.

    1. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho December 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

      They’ve always done that. They actually have been trying to hit up my friend’s salon for a “premium” membership for years. It basically amounts to them removing negative reviews if she pays an annual fee.

      1. Kerandria
        Kerandria December 29, 2012 at 5:53 am |

        Seriously? What’s the bloody fucking point of the site, then?

        1. thefish
          thefish December 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

          Extortion.

        2. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho December 30, 2012 at 4:36 am |

          The point? Making money.

  28. Alkane Benzene
    Alkane Benzene December 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm |

    So, if the guy has wife and kids, what is he supposed to do, just suffer. Woman seem to want their men to be faithful, but sex drive is different for men than woman. So different we are.

    1. EG
      EG December 30, 2012 at 11:31 am |

      what is he supposed to do, just suffer.

      Yep. If by suffer, you mean “deal with the fact that he can’t fuck everybody he wants to like an adult,” that is exactly what he is supposed to do.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

      Negotiated nonmonogamy. Wandering around like a zombie and groaning BOOOOOOOBS while pawing blindly in the direction of whoever seems to have one in your vicinity. These two things are not the same.

    3. Marksman2010
      Marksman2010 December 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

      So, if the guy has wife and kids, what is he supposed to do

      His job.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

        LOL. PERFECT!

    4. William
      William December 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm |

      So, if the guy has wife and kids, what is he supposed to do, just suffer. Woman seem to want their men to be faithful, but sex drive is different for men than woman. So different we are.

      You know, between dating and marriage I’ve been with my wife for going on 15 years at this point. During that time I’ve gone to college, gone to graduate school, been to dozens of parties, fronted a fairly successful band, gone on vacations, and just generally been out in the world. In the last fifteen years I’ve run into thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of people I’ve found sexually attractive. Some of them I’ve found intensely attracted. Somehow, though, I managed to keep my shit together and do my job, drink at a bar, be given phone numbers, hang out with my friends, and just go through all the things I need to in my life without either cheating on my wife or going insane with lust. Hell, I’m not even prone to staring. While I’d like to imagine that this makes me the Übermensch I’m pretty sure its just basic fucking self control.

      Also, as a psychologist who is privy to the kinds of unguarded thoughts you really only run into on the couch, men and women ain’t all that different when it comes to their sex drives. Culture might beat some of us down more than other, might force us to deny or restrain our feelings, but they’re there in more or less equal doses. Some people might have lower sex drives than others but I’ve yet to see that be much of a function of gender. And, while we’re talking about gender, you do realize that men and women ain’t even close to the only options, let alone necessarily stable or biological categories, right?

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