To: Twisty Faster
From: maria m. miranda
Subject: Jezebel: woman fired for being too sexy at job
Message: I know Jezebel covered this, but I want YOU to write about it.
Dear maria m. miranda,
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than catering to the whims of complete strangers!
Here’s my synopsis [pieced together from the original story at Village Voice and Anna North's essay on same at Jezebel]: Debrahlee Lorenzana is fired from Citibank for bankering while female. She’s suing the chumpass motherfuckers for discrimination.
Lorenzana’s story is older than a spinster’s bunions: because of the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, wherein is codified the equation of “women” with “sex,” Lorenzana’s Beauty2K-compliance, which is considerable, was deemed “too distracting” for her dude coworkers “to bear.” Citibank managers criticized her for looking too sexy, for not wearing makeup, for wearing high heels, for not wearing high heels, for wearing pencil skirts, for wearing sweaters, for wearing “fitted” business suits, for not straightening her hair, etc. They also performed an office-neuter on her: omitted to give her essential training which forced her to rely on male coworkers for favors.
It was further speculated in the Jezebel comments that Lorenzana’s female colleagues experienced her as a source of acute agony and contrived to “cut her off at the knees” forthwith.
In other words, Lorenzana was hectored, harassed, and discriminated against.
And then, when the Village Voice reports on her lawsuit, they include a weird 26-photo online slideshow of the “amihotornot” variety, asking readers to more or less rate Lorenzana’s sex appeal, this in addition to the patriarchy-affirming, porn-is-great language and tone of the article generally. As of this writing, the slideshow has nearly 300 comments. I stopped reading after the first 10 or so, which all voiced the same sentiment: she ain’t all that, she should “get over” herself, she must have deep character flaws that caused her female manager to give her the axe, obviously she is looking to parlay this frivolous lawsuit into celebrity.
Poor Debrahlee Lorenzana. Possessing a physique and — according to the Village Voice, which lovingly devotes a whole paragraph to her five closets of designer clothes — a sense of fashion that mirror precisely the sort of physique and sense of fashion most highly prized by dicks who consume pornography and prostituted women, Lorenzana was perceived to emit porn-rays too hot for Citibank.
Here is what is irrelevant to the case:
Lorenzana’s Christian Louboutin heels
Lorenzana’s point on the sexbot continuum
Lorenzana’s aspirations to fame and fortune
That Lorenzana unlikeably tried to save herself by ratting out some women tellers for wearing hooker outfits
Whether Lorenzana chooses to emit porn rays, or whether her natural self merely happens to conform precisely to pornulated beauty ideals.
What is relevant:
That Lorenzana is being punished for porn culture.
There’s a femininity tightrope that all public women are forced to walk, and she got bounced off, into the vat of boiling misogyny below. Whenever a public woman fails to balance the following factors just right, the some dick jounces the rope, and splat she goes. To wit:
Public women should be X amount feminine, X amount motherly, X amount hot, X amount beautiful, X amount young, X amount confident, X amount helpless, X amount exotic, X amount educated, X amount intelligent (required: the last two values < the men in the office), X amount gay (the last value almost always = 0). The ratios are fluid, shifting from day to day at the whim of public sentiment, so that a woman may think she’s got it pretty well sewed up, only to wake up one fine spring morn to discover that the parade being thrown in her honor has suddenly vanished. Later she finds out it’s because she stupidly forgot she was a member of the sex class, and had dared to imagine that she would be judged on merit rather than her ability to do femininity right.
Eventually we all fall off the rope.