Male feminist Alan Martofel recently fired nine employees after they went digging through his history and discovered that he was a sexual abuser. When they suggested that Martofel step down as CEO of the feminist-themed apparel outlet called Feminist Apparel, Martofel fired them.
The New York Daily News is reporting that the employees discovered Martofel’s history through some old social media posts. In those posts he revealed his true nature and why he decided to start Feminist Apparel back in 2013; it was to make amends for the sexual misconduct he committed in the past. In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Martofel admits to multiple counts of sexual abuse against women. The post was screen-grabbed and posted up over on a Tumblr blog, where it reads…
“Alan J. Martofel, founder and CEO of Feminist Apparel, recently fired 9 out of 10 employees after they confronted him about his history of sexual assault. This site is an attempt to counteract his repeated attempts to cover up and hide his manipulative and exploitative practices as he continues to profit from the experiences of survivors and the feminist movement.”
In the Facebook post from October 14th, 2013, Martofel talks about how he previously ignored the comments and articles discussing rape culture, but after being a participant in rape culture he decided to change his ways and start the for-profit organization Feminist Apparel.
“I’m someone who’s guilty of [rape culture]. 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 dick while she was sleeping. Before I started reading up on these topics and seeing the statistics, I would hear one of my feminist friends on Facebook bring up ‘rape culture’ in relation to rape jokes and I would laugh about I with my (obviously) non-feminist friends, ‘What’s the harm? It’s just a joke,’.”
Martofel talks about other situations where he mentions he saw harassment and abuse but didn’t do anything about it, and how it took a while for him to see through the “fog of rape culture” to change his ways.
He goes on to explain that this is why he created Feminist Apparel, where he states in the post…
“I’ve created an LLC entitled Feminist Apparel, an online outlet store where consumers are able to purchase products that show and establish their solidarity against societal traits that normalize rape and promote misogyny, sexism, racism, transphobia, and other forms of prejudice and inequality.”
“[…] these products are meant to spark conversations and give a voice to those of us who may be too afraid or insecure to speak up.”
The employees explained that after they discovered Martofel’s sordid past, they no longer felt “safe” in the spaces where they worked with him. They stated that they thought that Feminist Apparel was a place to “explore” their “oppression” and inform others about it, but then they realized that they were “sharing this [space] with an abuser”.
Martofel called a meeting and nine of the employees decided to use the meeting to address Martofel about his past sexual abuse. However, Martofel told all of the employees to stay home for the week and just after a week he then fired them all.
His explanation was that he felt that they didn’t share in his definition of feminism or for the goals that he attempted to achieve with Feminist Apparel, and therefore he had to let them go. In a post published on July 4th, 2018 over on the Feminist Apparel website, Martofel wrote…
“Sadly, in the meeting that took place with my now-former employees last Friday, I was made aware that they, unequivocally, do not share my views on either business or feminism. It is then that the operations of the company were halted for a week, while all employees continued to be paid and I assessed all available options for how to move forward at this juncture. After much deliberation, and in accordance with both state law and our employee handbook, I made the difficult decision to proceed without them. I truly believe in Feminist Apparel, it’s 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.”
Usually when sexual misconduct bubbles to the surface, the individual who committed the alleged crime steps down. However, in this case the perpetrator of said misconduct fired the people who wanted him to answer for what he had done in the past.
While Martofel’s social media history seems to be scrubbed off the net, making it difficult to pinpoint if he, too, was an anti-#GamerGate activist, there is plenty of schadenfreude to be had on the Feminist Apparel Facebook page, where many of its former supporters are now angrily making posts about the hypocrisy of its owner for firing employees after they confronted him about his past sexual misconduct.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)