Fuck Off Decency Police (Puritans vs MYOB)

What ever happened to “Mind your own Business?”.  With all the fuss over celebrities photographed being human, its like the nastiest of small town gossip has become the media norm.  This feeds a cycle of humiliation (Amanda, Pandagon):

The media’s desire to find white women misbehaving so they can humiliate them in public and then have them beg for forgiveness on TV—a routine narrative that allows the media both to distract from the real issues and promote a reactionary agenda, usually in opposition to female liberty—has reached a new low with today’s naughty-lady scandal.

Let’s take a look at how the social cages for “socially acceptable, decent” women are being crafted.  From an article by Wayne Parry (Newsday, emphasis mine):

Steven Jungman, director of recruiting for Houston-based ChaseSource LP, told of a young woman his firm helped land a job with a company working on a sensitive project.

“This was a project that had to be kept secret, that if the competition found out about it or the media wrote about it before it was rolled out, it would be very bad for business,” he said. “It even had a secret nickname.

“Every day, twice a day, the company did a … search for that title, just to make sure nothing was getting out about it,” Jungman said. “One morning, an interesting link came up, to someone’s My Space page. It went, ‘My name is so-and so, I’m working on such-and-such for so-and-so.’ And right next to that were photos that would make Anna Nicole Smith blush, and Paris Hilton go, ‘Whoa!”

Two days later, the woman was fired.

Ostensibly Steven Jungman’s initial description of the project appears to indicate mentioning the name of the secret undertaking is the issue at hand.  So why make a deal about the pictures?  If the company policy is “don’t mention our project online”, and a new hire does, then that is a clear violation of said policy.  Finding “photos that would make Anna Nicole Smith blush” is fucking besides the point.  The clear implication is that it is the unacceptable photographs were the reason for termination.

Other tales abound of job applicants getting passed over because their online pages showed them smoking marijuana, passed out after drinking, or flashing too much skin.

Have we become a nation of puritans?  Why is “flashing too much skin” grounds for passing over a job applicant?  Why not pass over an applicant because their hair cut doesn’t say “I’m a go-getter?”.  Or how about because their blog criticized your favorite in the ’08 race?  Why should any legal activity performed in one’s free time have any bearing on one’s professional prospects?

At least some people are listening. A survey last year by the Web site CollegeGrad.com found that 47 percent of recent graduates had changed or planned to change their Web pages because they were looking for a job.

And what if a friend or an acquaintance posts photos of you to their website?  What if its just a bunch of assholes who decided to post pictures of you with nasty comments (Jessica, Feministing)?  It isn’t a matter of changing your personal myspace page or your facebook profile.  Its whether or not you ever do anything that can ever possibly be used to embarrass you in any way:

“I used to say ‘Cover your tracks,’ but it really should be, ‘Don’t make tracks that need to be covered,”‘ Barba said Thursday. “Once anything is online, it’s free rein.

This isn’t just about celebrities.  This is about anyone who applies for a job or to school (how long before universities start browsing myspace looking at potential students?).

As a society we need to get a fucking grip and get over this puritanical ideal of public behavior.  People are people, and they shouldn’t have to hide their lives in a closet because a few repressed concern trolls don’t approve.

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3 Responses

  1. It doesn’t seem as though this ever ceased to be a nation of puritans. But yeah, amen to those last few sentiments.

  2. Come on now, don’t shoot the messenger, I gave an interview and answered questions, but the part that you didn’t see in print was that the employee in question did write some sensitive things about the project and call the project by name AFTER signing a confidentiality agreement saying that she would not discuss the project (for which she was well paid). The fact that she had also posted some racy photos was besides the point. I am neither a Puritan nor a saint, but all that was asked of her was to remove mention of the project (which she did) and two days later when she was released, it was for a no-call / no-show unexcused absence from work.

  3. Further proof that freedom of speech is near extinction. Speak your mind now while you still have the chance.
    “If you speak you mind and you have an empty head will it make a noise?” Michael D 2007 when I pressed the submit button.
    “The grass is alway greener for the people that know how to care for their lawns.” Michael D 2007 when I pressed the submit button.
    “The grass is always greener but it still needs to be mowed.” Some learned individual I can’t name.

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