April 27th, 2011
Witch Hunts…What They Say About Us

When I worked for the airline, there were a lot of FAA rules that I had to follow. These changed regularly. It was my job to know what they were and implement them. The one thing the airline itself required was that no employee do anything to tarnish its name. For example, one of our ground crew posed for Playboy (actually several employees did, but we’ll use her as an example), but she didn’t do so in her uniform. As long as she didn’t have her uniform on, the airline didn’t care what she did in her spare time. It was all about perception. And considering I used to work for the airline that had flight attendants wear hot-pant back in the day, you can imagine what ‘perception’ they were going for. Now I loved my job and the company. It was a great place to work. I’d wager it still is, but I couldn’t imagine being pulled aside and having my job threatened because I decided to write erotic romances on my days off. (Hmm…thinking about it, I was writing those on my days off. *grin) I also couldn’t imagine the company worrying about my extra curricular activities affecting my ability to do my job professionally. We’re not talking about showing up drunk on the plane or taking drugs, we’re talking about what someone does in their spare time. And this particular someone cared enough about her profession to use a pen name, so there would be no conflict. I’m not sure what else she could’ve done.

That’s why when I see things like what is happening to author Judy Mays, it makes my skull bleed. No one should be OUTED. Whether they’re gay, straight, or an erotic romance author. I find it strange that a ‘journalist’ (and yes, I’m using the term loosely, since I don’t believe a true journalist would bother writing this story) would write a salacious article that could destroy the career of an english teacher with 25 years under her belt just because the woman writes erotic romances in her off hours. The fact that a few parents have jumped on the bandwagon to bully her into either quitting writing or quitting teaching only makes it worse. Aren’t there laws cracking down on bullies these days? The sad funny thing is, some of the concerned parents have confused erotic romance writing with pedophilia. Blink. Blink. Blink. Yeah, I’m totally baffled by that one and a little frightened. Makes me kind of think someone should’ve perhaps researched the subject before they commented, not to mention looked up the definition of pedophilia. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Judy. From all accounts, she’s been a fantastic teacher. I can’t imagine losing my favorite teacher just because his lifestyle/passions didn’t gel with the majority of the community. (And believe me, there was a LOT of shit going on at my high school. Stuff that makes Judy’s ‘indiscretions’ seem like, well, child’s play.) Schools need every good teacher they can get their hands on. I really hope that calmer minds prevail. I thought we’d gotten past witch hunts, but obviously not.

Now I’m going to go workout so I can get rid of some of this ‘journalistic taint’.

6 comments to “Witch Hunts…What They Say About Us”

  1. This entire situation is appalling. I am happy to see her students rallying around her (witness all the supportive comments, the one-star rating on the article, and the growing Facebook page). I also hope she’s selling books by the ton. But none of that will be of comfort if she winds up losing her job as a result of all this. I do hope the school system does the sensible thing and just ignores the whole silly business.

  2. Ellen, I agree. I think much will depend on if it’s an election year. 🙁

  3. What, writers aren’t allowed to have jobs that provide steady income and benefits? Should we all be locked in unheated leaky garrets to die dramatically of pneumonia or starvation? The whole thing is beyond ridiculous and if she loses her job over it, well, it certainly won’t be to improve our schools. I can only imagine what I could’ve learned from an English teacher who actually knew how to write.

  4. FYI, I did learn two vital things from English teachers: one forced me to write without any to-be verbs at all. Another told me to get The Elements of Style. I owe them both.

  5. Charli, I guess that’s what they’re saying. Choose between your livelihood and your passion. In this life, you’re not allowed to have both. Those must be some pretty unhappy folks for them to want to ‘punish’ her for nothing.

    I agree. I also heard that the ‘reason’ the station picked it up in the first place was because someone reported Judy to the school board and the board was investigating. Again, I’m trying to understand what they could possibly be investigating. I guess they were already on a witch hunt. The reporter just jumped on the bandwagon.

  6. Charli, That’s wonderful. We covered that, but the teacher who did really couldn’t care less. Fortunately, my creative writing teacher was a cross between a hippy and scholar, so he taught us to fly with the writing.