Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marking Territory? More than Irony, Assault

This news just in: Apparently, the Iowa Farm Bureau placed a camera in its office, and that camera caught an Iowa Farm Bureau employee urinating on coworkers' chairs. Not just any coworkers' chairs, but four of the co-workers who were women. He was fired.

According to the DesMoines Register the women started complaining about stains on their chairs in October of 2011. But surveillance cameras weren't set up until February. Apparently, it didn't take long for him to get caught on camera. One wonders why it took so long to listen to the women's concerns.

Some might point out that this is akin to animals marking their territory. No. He was committing a secret assault on his co-workers.

Some would say that this reminds them of the scene in Woody Allen's film Crimes and Misdemeanors in which a woman reports being urinated upon by her sexual partner. This time, the assault was covert, not overt.

Animal activists have pointed out the irony that the Iowa Farm Bureau has been strongly committed to criminalizing the videoing of factory farms ("the ag-gag law"). Such videos by animal advocates around the country have exposed the reality of life for domesticated animals on factory farms.

It strikes me that urinating on the chairs of women co-workers is an expression of rage unleashed. The Iowa Farm Bureau employee thought he would be secretly humiliating the women. This is very disturbing.

Let's not point to the irony of the situation without also acknowledging the actual assaultive behavior that had been going on for six months.


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  2. Why did it take to long to listen to the women's concerns? Would you expect a company to go to the extreme of setting up a hidden camera after one report of a stained seat? You can't assume the setup wasn't done at first because the victims didn't include men.

    Some might suggest (actually you did) that this is "akin to animals marking their territory". While I certainly don't condone the male employee's behavior, your remark is irrelevant and simply serves to ridicule him. I wouldn't expect that from a vegan-feminist "intellectual" such as yourself.