If you go to work for a company called Feminist Apparel, you expect there to be a certain political slant. It’s a fair assumption, to be sure. I mean, it’s the name of the brand. That’s about as clear as you can get.
However, it seems the company’s founder and CEO, Alan Martofel, has a bit of a colorful history. It seems he wasn’t always the good feminist ally he likes to portray himself as today.
Well, in fairness, Martofel apparently had a male feminist version of what we down here in the South call a “come to Jesus moment.” As a result, he decided to change his behavior and start his company. At least, that’s the claim.
However, Refinery 29 claims that a June 21st post on Facebook accused Martofel of rape and tagged the company. As a result of that, the Feminist Apparel staff did some digging and found a post where Martofel discusses his change of heart. This apparently went against what he told people of the company’s origins.
Again, shocking, right? I mean, a male feminist actually being every horrible male stereotype out there? I mean, that, like, never happens. </sarcasm>
The staff decided to demand Martofel resign from his own company. Instead, the plan backfired and Martofel fired the mutinous staff, leaving only himself and a consultant.
“This is the patriarchy and toxic masculinity at its fu**ing finest,” now former art director Rebecca Green told Refinery 29. “I feel righteous and angry. I feel supported by my coworkers and friends. I also feel tired. I feel incredibly sorry knowing that there are survivors in this office who were led to believe that their contributions to this company were directly going to creating a safe space and platform for survivors, feminists, and marginalized identities. As an artist myself creating work based on my own experiences with the patriarchy, toxic masculinity, and harassment for this company — and by extension this man — I feel used and willfully mislead.”
Unfortunately for Green, this has nothing to do with supposedly toxic masculinity. It has everything to do with the realities of the workplace.
In other words, these women thought that because they made up the majority, they could pressure their boss to step down. The problem is, Martofel is the boss. It’s his company. If you demand your boss, who owns the company, resign, you face the potential that you’ll be fired. It has nothing to do with Martofel being a man. It has to do with it being his company.
He may have lied about a great many things. Had these women simply resigned and formed their own company, publicly expressing why there was such a mass exodus, that would be one thing. Instead, they wanted to essentially hijack someone else’s company and that’s just not how business works.
Don’t get me wrong, CEOs get fired all the time. However, those are companies who have separate ownership such as publicly traded corporations or even companies owned by people who don’t oversee day-to-day operations.
Martofel, however, is apparently owner and CEO. In other words, he doesn’t have to go anywhere, and that’s the reality that smacked these women in the face.
I’m not saying Martofel handled things correctly. In fact, he supposedly told the staff he’d step down and left the office, then began moving things behind the scenes before finally firing everyone by email.
Kind of a crappy way to handle things, but again, it’s his company.
It seems like a group of feminists just got a very abrupt lesson in how the workplace really works. Now the question is, will they retain the information or just bask in the narcissism and believe they handled everything right and are just victims in this?
I think we all know the answer.