I found this story at Return of Kings: a nasty, man-hating feminist harpie who makes videos about how much she hates men, got fired from her job in Sweden when her female boss discovered her viewpoints. I’ll confess to enjoying a few moments of petty glee at her comeuppance, but serious reflection forces me to acknowledge that this is a disturbing event with the potential to cause much more harm than good, if adopted widely.
It’s hard not to be completely hypocritical when people we dislike intensely get their asses kicked. That’s just human nature, but it’s a part of our nature we have to rise above, lest it come back to bite us in our own asses. EliSophie, the Swedish girl who got fired, worked at some sort of private clinic, and as a private business owner, her boss is free to fire her for whatever reason she likes. According to EliSophie’s boss:
The reason that EliSophie did not get to continue working for me was that I think her videos violate the ethical rules and that they can offend my patients.
I haven’t watched her videos but I can tell from her picture that I hate her guts. I doubt her videos would improve that opinion.
In order for the clinic’s patients to be offended over the videos, they would have to know about them. And even if they did know about them, and were offended, who cares? The only thing EliSophie should have been fired for was her behaviour, in my opinion. The moment she treated male patients with contempt or disrespect, buh-bye. Her poems about men having small dicks are her business, and if she keeps them her business and does not let her beliefs affect her job performance, then she deserves to have a job.
I find my thoughts are very muddled on this topic. Do I think Christian bakers should be forced to bake cakes for gay marriages? No. I don’t. I think the market should be allowed to punish bakers as the market sees fit. It’s just a cake, and as long as there are other bakeries that can serve gay customers, Christian bakers should be allowed to decline gay couples. Besides, do you really want to eat a cake someone was forced to make you? That sounds like a good way to up your intake of snot, kitty litter and fecal matter. If you privately own your business, you should be able to decline service to anyone, for any reason. You should also expect the market to punish you for choices we don’t agree with and don’t like.
That’s how markets work.
But isn’t refusing to bake a cake a behavior? By my own logic, my argument should be ‘I don’t care what you believe about gay people, but you must behave towards them as you behave towards all others’. And yet, that doesn’t feel honest or fair to me.
Let’s say a radically vegan couple set up a bakeshop. Anyone can buy their products, which are all vegan. Should that couple be allowed to decline to serve anyone wearing a fur coat on the basis of their own personal beliefs? I say yes. It’s their business. If they want to risk their livelihood turning paying customers away, they are free to do so. In all likelihood, their own customers will support chucking out the fur wearing customers, and they won’t suffer at all. It’s their business, and their choice.
So why then do I think the private clinic owner should not have fired the hateful feminist? It’s her business. Why can’t she hire and fire for any damn reason she pleases?
I can’t actually answer my own question here. I don’t know. I just know that hiring and firing people based on beliefs they do not manifestly bring into their workplace seems wrong. When you start punishing people for thinking wrong, it leads nowhere good. When has it ever?
There is an incredibly difficult conversation we need to have as a culture over these kinds of issues, and I do believe our very survival is at stake. Christian bakers should be able to refuse to make cakes for gay couples. Should Muslim bakers be allowed to refuse?
This will be hard to articulate, and I am going to do a clumsy job of it. I apologize. Fundamentalist Christians who oppose gay marriage and refuse to bake cakes for gays are on the wrong side of history when it comes to how the Christian public sees the issue. North America is still a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles, adhering to basic Christian doctrines like forgiveness, honesty, kindness, sin, redemption, etc. It doesn’t matter if you personally believe in God, or believe in some other God: we are a Christian nation founded on distinctly Christian values. The occasional baker who refuses to serve gay couples doesn’t, and won’t, dramatically alter the landscape for the majority, who have no issues with gay couples getting married and eating cake.
Muslim bakeries are refusing to bake cakes on the grounds of a hateful, violent religious and political belief system that is murdering gay men in horrific ways right now. And given the opportunity, they will bring that religious and political system into force across the whole planet. Part of forcing them to integrate with our values includes forcing them to bake cakes for gays, and if they can’t handle that we don’t want them here because they pose a legitimate threat in a way that Christian bakers simply do not.
Christian bakers think gay people are going to hell when they die. Muslim bakers want to torture gay people and kill them right here and now.
The wingnut radical feminists who want to kill all men stand not a chance in hell of doing so. They are a noisy, attention starved group of unattractive, unhappy women who have disproportionate power in the media, but that tide is turning. I think a lot of these women are just crying out for limits. They want boundaries set on their behaviors, and will not stop pushing until they get them. And once those boundaries are in place, they will become happier, saner and more balanced people.
Setting the precedent of firing someone who is relatively harmless for their beliefs, and not their actions, is not a good thing. It’s far from a straightforward thing, either.
Any thoughts? I know I’m missing a lot of critical ideas here.
Would love your help, as always.
Lots of love,