Feminist Apparel CEO dismisses staff after his sexual misconduct - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Feminist Apparel CEO dismisses staff after his sexual misconduct admission surfaces online

After the staff became aware of the abuse admission, they demanded Alan J. Martofel step down from the company, saying 'he was exploiting the very population he admitted to abusing.' (Source: Feminist Apparel) After the staff became aware of the abuse admission, they demanded Alan J. Martofel step down from the company, saying 'he was exploiting the very population he admitted to abusing.' (Source: Feminist Apparel)

(RNN) - A CEO of an online apparel and accessories store that promotes feminism is under fire for dismissing his entire staff amid a resurfacing of a Facebook post in which he admitted to sexual abuse.

Alan J. Martofel, the founder of Feminist Apparel, claimed in his blog his employees lost their jobs because he was "made aware that they, unequivocally, do not share my views on either business or feminism."

After the staff became aware of Martofel’s abuse confession, they demanded he step down from the company in a June 22 meeting. The staffers allege "he was exploiting the very population he admitted to abusing," according to a news release.

According to the staff, he said at the meeting he would look into the "necessary next steps in order to extricate himself from the company." Instead, Martofel suspended operations for a week before ultimately cleaning house.

"(W)e, the staff at Feminist Apparel demanded accountability and in response he fired us without severance," the staff's news release stated.

"After much deliberation, and in accordance with both state law and our employee handbook, I made the difficult decision to proceed without them," Martofel said. "I truly believe in Feminist Apparel, it's (sic) mission, and in the important causes and individuals it supports. As a result, I also need to do what is best for the company's long-term success."

Martofel admitted his past misbehaviors in a 2013 Facebook note titled "What is rape culture?" which he republished on the company's blog, and said the his transgressions motivated him to create Feminist Apparel.

"We've all either faced this firsthand, seen it, heard a firsthand account of it or are guilty of it ourselves. I'm someone who's guilty of it," he admitted. "I've grinded up on women on buses and at concerts without their consent. I've made out with 'the drunk chick' at a party because it was easier. I've put a woman's hand on my (penis) while she was sleeping." 

Martofel said in the 2013 post that he created Feminist Apparel to push back against rape culture, "an online outlet store where consumers are able to purchase products that show and establish their solidarity ... shirts like 'Don't Call Me Baby,' condoms that read 'Got consent? Ask before unwrapping.'"

The former workers said it's wrong that someone who admits to a history of abuse should profit from products that fight the patriarchy.

"Until recently, he profited more than any employee there, at a rate of at least $60,000 per year (although it's difficult to confirm because all of the company's finances were linked to accounts in Alan's name and he compensated himself instead of using the payroll system like all the other employees,)" the news release stated.

A former employee said she feels betrayed.

"Alan took advantage of a staff comprised almost entirely of LGBTQ people and or people of color, and shut us out of a company meant to uplift minorities affected by patriarchy and white supremacy," said Claire El-Bee Quagz. "He put countless other Feminist Creatives in a state of duress, having to choose between being tied to an abuser or giving up their income, which is unfair to anyone at an economic disadvantage."

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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