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Pregnant and Fired

I came across this article, titled “Christian Schools Fire Pregnant Woman over Premarital Sex”, on AOL News just a few days ago and I feel it is just another example of the clash between the rights of private religious schools and the rights of individuals, especially women. In it, one woman details how she signed a contract to teach at a private Christian school stating that she cannot engage in premarital sex (among other things), and was fired from that school when she became pregnant out of wedlock.

“A Day Without Feminism” in our book describes how women in the 1970s could be fired from a myriad of jobs, from teaching to being a flight attendant, for getting pregnant. This may not be openly practiced in most of those jobs anymore, but it does continue in some aspects of society. Now the issue seems to be focused in Christian schools. Many Christian schools are opposed to women—or men—engaging in premarital sex and their right to practice religion freely is clashing with the rights of women to make their own sexual choices. The school mentioned in the news fired this woman for her pregnancy, which I personally do not have a problem with because she signed a contract at the beginning of every year stating she would not engage in premarital sex. She was informed of this regulation and agreed to it, so that in itself does not violate her rights, at least in my opinion. Instead she is merely violating her contract. It is a very narrow-minded and strict contract that quite possibly has no basis in logical, work-related requirements, but it is a contract she agreed to nonetheless.

The problem lies in the fact that while she was fired for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, the same school offered a job to her then-fiancé, who had also engaged in premarital sex. By doing this the school implies that it is not pre-marital sex in general they are banning, it is women having premarital sex, and women getting pregnant from it in particular. This school is using their right to religious freedom to systematically violate women’s rights to sexual autonomy while letting men slip by unscathed. It is encouraging the sexual double standard.

I believe that private schools have a right to teach and practice any religion they choose as long as they are not publicly funded and both the teachers and students are aware of the religious requirements going to that particular school would entail. However, I do not support using freedom of religion as a method to persecute women while allowing men much more leeway and virtually no punishment. This woman may have violated her contract, but so did her fiancé; if the school is going to punish her for premarital sex they should equally punish everyone who engages in premarital sex. Firing only women is completely outrageous and sexist. It violates their rights to be treated equally under the law. 

 

source: http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2013/02/28/17106895-christian-school-fires-pregnant-woman-over-premarital-sex?lite


7 Comments

  1. falmuhan says:

    I agree with you that being fired didn’t violate her rights because she was informed and signed a contract. but hiring her finance was a violation to the rules and equal rights among men and women.

  2. mtmorgan2013 says:

    i understand what you are saying but the man wasnt under contract , therefor he couldnt have violated anything because what he did before he became part of the school cant concerne them . any way on another note i agree with the fact that the school is using school to opress women and they are sending subliminal messages to the children . and that message is saying the same thing society says . “its okay for men to participate in any thing they choose but women must follow societal guidelines ” which is totally unfair. #doubleStandard

  3. awiedmaier says:

    The school assumed this woman had premarital sex because she became pregnant. With the added information about her partner, I suppose in this case it was true. However, what would they do about a single woman who chose to be artificially inseminated and became pregnant out of her desire to have a child? How would they go about proving otherwise, without violating her rights to privacy? Would she also get fired based on an assumption? I think that is hard to prove. And what about the women who work there who do engage in it and never get pregnant so they are never found out!

    • meerkat93 says:

      You are absolutely right about the fact that women can technically get pregnant without having premarital sex (or any “sex”) nowadays. I didn’t even think of that angle. So not only is this school enforcing a double standard about what types of sex men and women can engage in, they are also being heteronormative and assuming everyone who is pregnant is pregnant because of heterosexual intercourse. Good point!

  4. ebarnesl says:

    After reading your post Pregnant and Fired My first thought that this young woman was in desperate need of a job to sign a concert like that, or the money was to good to pass up. What gives these types of schools the right to interfere in someone’s life like that.I agree with you about it being a clash between the rights of private religious schools and the rights of individuals. Theses religious types need to go some where and sit down. You can believe that she was not the only one having premarital sex, she’s the one that got caught. Over the last ten years or so every time you turn on the T.V. you hear about some so called religious person being called into questioned because of some sexual behavior. It must have been a slap in the face when the school hired her fiance’ and he was having premarital sex also. I don’t have a problem with her getting fired for being pregnant because as you say she did sign the contract, but letting men slip by for the same thing is where I have a problem. I would go talk with a lawyer because as Falmuhan stated it was a violation to the rules and equal rights among men and women.One of my co-workers made comment saying ” she walks around showing her pregnancy and gets fired but he walks around engaging in the activity but he gets the job, now that is a double standard. Here is a quote I use a lot when things like this happen “You need to sweep in front of your own front door before you come sweeping in front of mine.”

  5. Stephanie Jones says:

    I completely agree with what you said in this post. I don’t think banning premarital sex should have been part of the contract in the first place since it is really none of the school’s business what she does when she’s not at work, but she signed the contract, thereby agreeing to their demands. However, if she got fired from her job for engaging in premarital sex, her fiancé should have been fired as well. In most cases, it would have been a lot more difficult to prove a man was engaging in premarital sex, but not in this case. By not firing her fiancé, they might as well be saying that it’s not his baby.

  6. willisjm says:

    Wow, this was a great post. I can imagine that it was difficult to keep it within the 350-500 word requirement. I totally agree with your thoughts on this subject. I also find it interesting that staff is required to sign this contract agreeing to not participate in the act of premarital sex when there’s no actual way to know if one is having premarital sex without the outcome of pregnancy. This is so sexist. I think it’s safe to assume that this was not the teacher’s first encounter with sex but because she ended up pregnant, as only a WOMAN can, she gets fired. I support your idea that this school has written this particular portion of its contract against women and premarital sex.

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