Well, this is some sexist, patriarchy bulls**t right here.
A female employee of the Virginia Department of Corrections gets to move forward with her lawsuit for sex discrimination against the state after what she says is a wrongful firing caused by men being hopelessly ignorant of women’s health.
On a typical day in December 2019, Joyce Flores arrived at the Augusta Correctional Facility, where she did work as a dental hygienist for inmates. But the day didn’t stay typical as the body scanner she went through detected a foreign element.
That foreign object? A tampon. She had a tampon in.
Flores says she was interrogated for hours in the prison — treated like a criminal — despite trying to explain the situation. Prison staff searched her car and her work area and found no evidence of illegal activity. At one point, the lawsuit claims, she even demonstrated to some of the facility’s female guards that she was menstruating. Ugh, how mortifying. And they STILL DIDN’T GET IT?? THE FEMALE GUARDS??
As the suit states clearly:
“At no point did (Flores) bring or attempt to bring contraband into Augusta Correctional Center.”
However, she was fired anyway. Why? Per the suit, her “employment was terminated because she was a menstruating female utilizing a feminine hygiene product when she arrived to work.” That puts the case in the realm of sex discrimination.
Flores filed her suit in November of last year after the matter was investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Virginia Department of Corrections has been fighting back hard, requesting a judge dismiss the case out of hand because the lawsuit had not sufficiently shown that that Flores’ gender was a factor in her firing.
You know, because tampons are equally worn by male employees, and everyone is chill about it all the time. Oh wait…
Thankfully District Judge Thomas Cullen disagreed, issuing an opinion this week rejecting the motion to dismiss — as he determined gender had been demonstrated to be a factor, writing:
“But for Flores’s menstruation and use of a tampon — conditions inextricable from her sex and her child-bearing capacity — she would not have been discharged.”
We love it when judges call B.S.
Inneresting note — this is not the first time the Virginia Department of Corrections has gone viral over this very issue. Back in 2018 they instituted a policy barring female visitors who were wearing tampons, specifically because body scanners just detected foreign objects and couldn’t differentiate the feminine hygiene products from drugs, weapons, etc.
So… what did they do before body scanner technology? It kind of sounds like these guys are getting very lazy — and women are paying the price for it.
[Image via WJBF/YouTube.]