ver the past few days, a lot has been written about me, my narrative, and the company I founded 5 years ago. I wish to bring some clarity to this dialogue – an important one worth having – in order to help center this conversation and keep it based in facts.
Two weeks ago, a Facebook note that I wrote when I first started the company resurfaced online. In the note (you can read it in its entirety below), I outline my intention for starting Feminist Apparel™ and what it is that brought me so firmly into the feminist movement. My story, however, is not one of oppression, but rather, it’s one of privilege and coming to grips with the ways in which society had conditioned me to be the oppressor. As a privileged man entering this space, I felt it necessary at the time to do a very honest audit of my own past behaviors and to put it out publicly. This was not a private message someone dug up. This was something I went out of my way to share with my community at the time as a means to spark dialogue around the negative impact of toxic masculinity. I acknowledged my wrongdoing and committed myself to work within this movement. Spreading the message of consent culture and feminism has been my life's work since that note was written. While I continue to regret my past behaviors, my ongoing reflection and conversations regarding them have helped to shape me into who I am and have given me the tools to build an organization that has always strived to be a safe and welcoming space for all.
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.
In terms of where this leaves FA at the moment, I want to make a few things abundantly clear: If you're a customer waiting on an order, rest assured that it’s working it’s way to you. If you’re an artist on our site who no longer wishes to sell their work with us, contact us and we’ll have it taken down immediately, although I do implore you to contact me personally if you’d like any further clarification on my positions or values. Lastly, for those of you who believe that the note I wrote 5 years ago, along with the contents within it, disqualifies me from having a place within this movement, while I appreciate your perspective, I wholeheartedly disagree with it. I look forward to seeing where Feminist Apparel goes from here as it continues to carry out its original mission of helping to spread feminist discourse and inviting all individuals into the conversation.