What Happens At Thinx
March 22, 2017 9:52 PM   Subscribe

"Thinx boss Miki Agrawal wanted to break taboos about the female body. According to some employees, she went too far." "Sexual-Harassment Claims Against a 'She-E.O.'" — New York Magazine, March 20, 2017

Some backstory:
"Panty Raid: Self-styled tech broad Miki Agrawal wants to disrupt the tampon industry, turn your time of the month into a cause, and make a lot of money in underwear" — New York Magazine, February 2, 2016


"Sources: Period Underwear Visionary and Thinx Co-Founder Miki Agrawal Is Out as CEO," Jezebel, March 10, 2017

"Thinx Promised a Feminist Utopia to Everyone But Its Employees," Racked, March 14, 2017

"MY THINX RIDE," from CEO Miki Agrawal, Medium, March 17, 2017
posted by Charity Garfein (62 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
At least once, she supposedly FaceTimed into a meeting from the toilet.

Using the ol' LBJ power move, I see.
posted by schroedinger at 10:13 PM on March 22, 2017 [17 favorites]


Jesus Christ, this is so awful to see. One would hope that a woman-led, almost-all-woman company would be better about sexual harassment and being protected by power, but nope. Women totally can and will be abusers as well as men. I was thinking about getting a pair of the boxer-brief period underwear, but nope. No longer giving money to this company. What a shame.
posted by scruffy-looking nerfherder at 10:16 PM on March 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


What is it about people who think that not having boundaries means they get to impose their boundary-less-ness on everyone? And think it's soooo original! And in this case, think that it's somehow taboo-breaking to comment on her female employees' bodies and grab at them whenever she wants? As if no one has ever done that before, wow what a concept.
posted by rtha at 10:17 PM on March 22, 2017 [50 favorites]


This screams cultural appropriation and is deeply offensive to creepy dudes everywhere.
posted by Ryvar at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2017 [108 favorites]


May there come a day when a corporate charter cannot so easily be utilized by wanton sociopaths, primarily in service to their egos, for the fulfillment of their every whim.

I suspect that day is quite far off.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:36 PM on March 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


Oh shit I just realized the REAL problem here - now she's available for a position in the Trump administration
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:38 PM on March 22, 2017 [13 favorites]


From her Medium piece: One problem area throughout our startup’s story and no different to many in our position: human resources.

No, one problem area that is common is that you think it's okay to harass and assault your employees. If you require an HR department before it occurs to you to not harass and assault your employees, you should go somewhere very far away from people and you should definitely never be in a position of power over anything more sentient than crabgrass.
posted by rtha at 10:45 PM on March 22, 2017 [45 favorites]


So if we didn’t offer “market based pay” upfront (#startuplife), they got paid a big bonus on the back end which more than made up for it and gave them an incentive to hustle hard with me.

“You should have gotten 100% of everything right the whole time Miki. How dare you.”

We haven’t had any pregnant women until now which is why we didn’t really have a real policy in place for that.
She's so full of shit and her behavior so out of touch with reality that I suspect she's a regular Sociopath CEO. She actually reminds me of Dov Charney.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:49 PM on March 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


We haven’t had any pregnant women until now which is why we didn’t really have a real policy in place for that. Like any start-up when faced with something new, you do your best in solving it as it arises. Our first employee just gave birth (10 days ago) and she is getting 5 weeks paid leave plus we found out that she can take an additional 2 weeks on paid disability leave too.

I do not think Dov Charney would have done that. He seemed to be much more focussed on the baby making portion of the program.
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 11:04 PM on March 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


When employees brought up the notion of expanding Thinx’s offerings into further plus sizes due to customer demand, Agrawal replied that anyone larger than a 3X ought to go to the gym and lose weight rather than purchase new underwear, according to multiple sources.


This whole affair suddenly explains a lot about how disappointing I found their actual product. It was so tantalizing an idea and so ill-fitting that I felt like it could have only have been designed by somebody with issues.
posted by bleep at 11:05 PM on March 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


Well, the article was interesting and enlightening but whatever redirect tracker NYMag uses does NOT work for me, so, I couldn't read any of the linked supporting information. Thanks, NYMag!
posted by Samizdata at 11:47 PM on March 22, 2017


This whole affair suddenly explains a lot about how disappointing I found their actual product. It was so tantalizing an idea and so ill-fitting that I felt like it could have only have been designed by somebody with issues.

I actually really liked the ones I got, and I was thinking of buying some more until these articles started being published. Thinx marketing has always been real off-putting to me, though.
posted by taskmaster at 11:52 PM on March 22, 2017


I feel for the workers described in this article. I'm a stripper, and while most female customers I've interacted with are lovely, I have occasionally had to deal with female customers who touch me without my consent.

(This comment is setting aside male customers entirely. Suffice to say, I have more frequent and more serious problems with male customers than female customers, by far.)

Being sexually assaulted by another young woman is jarring. The first time it happened, I was so shocked that I just stared at the girl. Like ... you're a girl, you must worry about sexual assault too — I thought we didn't do this to each other? Which one of us missed the memo?

In most of these cases, I think these female customers believed that I wouldn't mind, since they were women. (I'm sexually liberated enough to dance, they're sexually liberated enough to patronize a strip club, so what's the harm?)

I would bet money that most of them didn't understand my reaction, never mind understand that they had just technically committed sexual assault. I would bet some of them are self-professed feminists. And statistics being what they are, I would bet that some of them have been sexually assaulted by men. I would bet that they never intended to make me feel like that.

But they did. And I don't know if we can combat sexual assault by women in quite the same way that we try to combat sexual assault by men. I literally have no point of reference for how to deal with this, because it's not something we talk about in society.

I believe one of the next big topics in feminism is how we deal with women who commit sexual assault. I'm very curious to see how the narrative surrounding Agrawal evolves.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 11:59 PM on March 22, 2017 [65 favorites]


Not to trivialize or diminish but...even if the grotesque accusations were untrue (and I'll bet they're true) she sounds tedious as fuck. Like shades of certain people I knew who had to prove themselves by getting in your face and making an ass of themselves, and if you didn't humor them, it was because you were 'uptight'. The whole taboo-breaking exhibitionism is just some pressure tactic like out of some cult where the leader convinces the followers that the mind-fuckery is all good for you and if you don't play along it's because of your 'hangups' that you have to get over. Funny how what people need to 'get over' is exactly what the dominant, manipulative asshole wants to do to them.

oh and I confess to skimming; she pissed me off so hard I couldn't finish, so apologies for redundancies/obviousness.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:49 AM on March 23, 2017 [27 favorites]




L'il ol' innocent me, who had never heard of this company, thought "period underwear" meant, oh I don't know, something like vintage bustiers.
posted by chavenet at 2:25 AM on March 23, 2017 [8 favorites]


The complaint also cites at-work nudity as a common state for the CEO, usually while changing outfits or trying on new Thinx products, say employees, sometimes in her glass-walled office but often out in the open in their co-working space. “I forgot that’s not a normal thing to do until you brought that up,” another former employee said [...]

Oh, look, another reality distortion field. Yeah, she'd fit right into the Trump administration.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:31 AM on March 23, 2017


This is just another instance of it seeming like many of the changes around the roles women play in the culture often seem less a victory for feminism than simply examples of more space being made in traditional masculinism for women to join the existing power structure rather than change it.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:55 AM on March 23, 2017 [31 favorites]


Well, so, does anyone have recommendations for a replacement product? I've looked around and they seem to make a pretty unique product. (I have lunapads at home so I'm aware of period underwear in general, but I can't fine ones with the combination of materials these are made of that make them non-bulky and effective.)

I'm scheduled to have my Mirena switched for a Paragard tomorrow, so I'll be going from no periods back to horrendous ones, and I have a pair of Thinx on the way to try. But now I'd much prefer to go with an alternative.
posted by antinomia at 6:20 AM on March 23, 2017


That burning man piece is worth a skim, if only to get a sense of the bizarre place of woo-entitlement she's coming from.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:43 AM on March 23, 2017 [7 favorites]


Ahhh yes, that burning man drivvel really explains a lot for me!
Reading the article about her initially I was reminded of the "festival hippies" I've know (by living tangential to that culture and being way less cynical when very young). The performative lack of boundaries. The self obsession disguised as being "deep in ones journey", the collective agreement that boundaries are inherently oppressive, man...
I shudder to think.
posted by elke_wood at 6:43 AM on March 23, 2017 [8 favorites]


I have had more than one boss who mistook the idea that being brash, in your face, and openly derogatory made you successful. The funniest/ironic moment was when a woman I worked for went off on a male peer for speaking down to her and questioning her understanding of a concept who then later in the same meeting said to me, "Yeah, you don't understand the hard stuff do you?"

Being an abusive asshole is limited to one gender. Sadly.
posted by teleri025 at 6:45 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, so, does anyone have recommendations for a replacement product?

Dear Kate is one company. No personal experience, but my understanding is that reviews are pretty good. I think they've been around about as long as thinx, so they're not really a knock-off either. They even have yoga pants and dance leotards and things!
posted by R a c h e l at 6:57 AM on March 23, 2017 [9 favorites]


I was thinking of trying their underwear and then actually watched one of the 5,000 facebook video ads that came up about it (one that featured Miki in it) and the way she presented herself and her company's mission in those ads was more offputting than the fruit/lady sitting with a bloodbag still photos.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:14 AM on March 23, 2017


The key to the Burning Man piece is in the first paragraph; it's all about me.

Just getting back to the default world from Burning Man 2K16…what a week filled with revelations, release and a deep understanding of the concept of “why is this happening for me” vs “why is this happening to me”.
posted by chavenet at 7:24 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


what with her and that guy who patented his great idea to just glue your parts shut to keep the wickedness trapped inside, I think something is up with the kind of person who wants to make a living off of reproblematizing women's period management that can only be solved by annual preventative screenings of the sketch where Dave Foley has a Good Attitude Towards Menstruation. starting in the second grade or so and continuing until graduation.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:24 AM on March 23, 2017 [14 favorites]


And I don't know if we can combat sexual assault by women in quite the same way that we try to combat sexual assault by men. I literally have no point of reference for how to deal with this, because it's not something we talk about in society.

At the domestic and parental/elementary school level everybody should be training very young children of all genders the same way. if you teach a girl that her body belongs to her and nobody should touch it without permission, but don't teach also her that she should never touch anyone else without consent, reserving that extra lesson for her brothers, you are indoctrinating her to believe:

1. the eternal lesson that boys want sex but girls are allowed (empowering!) to say no (a step up from "girls have to say no"? sure, barely); 2. that her rights consist of saying yes or saying no, but the idea of being the one who asks is unspeakable, judged from the fact her parents don't speak of it; 3. that her sexuality has no inherent power or threat (see 1. and 2.) and therefore she cannot be dangerous or harmful to others because only active masculine agents can have this full adult human capacity. Smart and decent girls will still figure out the flaws in this training on their own, but it's no surprise that treating a potential impulse as unimaginable leaves some terrible women with no ability to imaginatively reflect on whether it's a good idea to indulge it.

it's all over the place including in ask.metafilter, people talk about how hard it's going to be to raise a boy to not hurt people or to raise a girl to stand up for herself. like you never need to teach a girl basic respect for others because girls have magic intuition and also, what, do they have aggressive sexual desires and full agency and intellect, like people? as if. But responsible feminist parents don't talk to daughters this way and they do exist. It is not a novel idea to treat girls as basically intelligent and capable of moral behavior and it bugs me to see people talk like it'll require a whole new movement.

I think some people rely on a sexist society to beat down girls so far that they won't ever assault anybody purely out of timidity and fear, not imagining that they'll reach a stage of autonomy where they must consciously choose not to. but nobody should rely on a sexist society to do their moral parenting for them because it teaches you hideous things.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:49 AM on March 23, 2017 [34 favorites]


The thing I took away from the Medium article she wrote about Burning Man was omg they have an Orgy Dome there? Like... I am so fucking sheltered and suburban. Good lords. It's like I just had an epiphany about how deeply uncool and mundane I am, like the quoting Dr. Who at my cat didn't give a big enough clue.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:05 AM on March 23, 2017 [11 favorites]


I have 2 pairs of Dear Kate products, one is great, another fell apart and I keep forgetting to email them about it.

I really wish there had been a product like this when I was young, it makes me want to shout about it to the world (or at least my friends with young daughters).

Oh boy, looks like I just added 2 things to my todo list...
posted by armacy at 8:07 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's like I just had an epiphany about how deeply uncool and mundane I am, like the quoting Dr. Who at my cat didn't give a big enough clue.--80 Cats in a Dog Suit

I doubt I'm the only one who thinks that you quoting Dr Who to your cat makes you a very cool person.
posted by eye of newt at 9:11 AM on March 23, 2017 [10 favorites]


I hate this kind of "abusive masquerading as progressive" type almost more than "outrightly abusive" type. The worst date I ever had was off okcupid (no surprise there), with a guy who self-identified as 'sex positive'. It was the first date, it was for coffee in the middle of the afternoon, and we hadn't talked all that much before hand. So, basically at Square 0.5.

He decides to spend some of the time very explicitly describing a sexual encounter with a person he was just previously dating. He could even tell i was uncomfortable because he began to explain how he was "progressive" and "liberal" and "sex positive" and how people should be more open or what the fuck ever.

People like this, people who are SUPER "pro-whatever", aren't actually progressive and thoughtful or considerate about a subject, they're typically trying to justify some of their behavior. It seems like Agrawal is in this camp. You're bad at respecting boundaries, personal space, and NOT exploiting power? Just say you're pro-taboo-breaking.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:17 AM on March 23, 2017 [18 favorites]


Underpayment is rampant and it's awful to see this happening in what markets itself as a woman-run, progressive company.

I have a few pairs of their period panties and they're great, too bad Agrawal's company isn't so great.

Has anyone seen the video about the Menstruation Man? It's an Al Jazeera video and highly inspiring.
posted by ciaobonjour at 9:36 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


the hat she's wearing in the Jezebel article linked in the FPP should have been a clear and unmistakable sign that this was a person destined to work evil in the world
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


I thought the same thing, chavenet!

When I think about it, I've only been clearly, undeniably sexually harassed by two supervisors and one senior co-worker. By far, the worst harassment came from the one female supervisor. She was one of those hey-look-at-me-world-see-how-FEISTY!!!-I-am!! types.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:58 AM on March 23, 2017


The thing I took away from the Medium article she wrote about Burning Man was omg they have an Orgy Dome there? Like... I am so fucking sheltered and suburban. Good lords. It's like I just had an epiphany about how deeply uncool and mundane I am, like the quoting Dr. Who at my cat didn't give a big enough clue.

My takeaway is that she manages to make the concept of "the Orgy Dome" uncool and unappealing by saying "we went to the Orgy Dome to try to conceive for the first time ever."
posted by atoxyl at 10:20 AM on March 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


Call me old fashioned, but I'd just tweet "raw doggin' in the Orgy Dome #blessed" and let the kid work out the dates fifteen years later.
posted by atoxyl at 10:37 AM on March 23, 2017 [41 favorites]


I hate this kind of "abusive masquerading as progressive" type almost more than "outrightly abusive" type. The worst date I ever had was off okcupid (no surprise there), with a guy who self-identified as 'sex positive'. It was the first date, it was for coffee in the middle of the afternoon, and we hadn't talked all that much before hand. So, basically at Square 0.5.

It's actually shit like this that makes me stubbornly refuse to identify as "sex positive," even when it often feels like that is a pretty unpopular tack to take in the circles I run in. I think there's a lot of room for hiding predators when you frame society's huge general problems with sex and sexuality as "society is just super negative about sex," because the opposite of being negative is positive, right? But the answer to never being allowed to say yes isn't to then insist that saying no is anathema as we resist mandatory "no".

In a similar way I find that a lot of sex-positive spaces can incubate this really vicious culture of pushing limits and pushing boundaries that can pressure people to say 'yes' when they really don't actually want to--and then cut them worse if they talk about it, because after all you said yes! or which otherwise sort of pressure and assume that if they show all the right markers of progressiveness and coolness and often queerness or kinkiness or polyamory or feminism or or or--whatever subcultures you're part of and embedded in--their desires must be okay, and if you're not okay with participating, that's your internalized mainstream indoctrination talking.

It's not like it's new, either--actually, you want to know what this reminds me of? The revelations that hit the internet a few years ago about Marion Zimmer Bradley's abusive behavior, both as a silent observer but also as an active participant. And that started happening before my parents were born. It's not the only similar incident or story I've heard of from counterculture groups in the Sixties, either, and you'd think that we would have learned and all but I've also heard plenty of similar narratives and stories from modern sex-positive groups.

And like. Look, there's literally nothing inherently wrong with being queer or kinky or poly or feminist or super into sex for yourself personally or any of those things. Those are all perfectly fine ways to be, and it's perfectly fine to look for communities of other people like you and to build them. What isn't fine is dealing with the scars that intolerance has left on you by deciding that anything that carries those markers must also be fine and ignoring signs of abuse for too damn long for fear of accidentally maligning broader ideological communities. I promise they'll suffer much worse if shit like this is allowed to fester in them.

So I'm glad that this has come out now, when it has. I'm glad it's coming out in public, too. I'm glad we're talking about it. Because I think that's the only way to keep all these fine ideas clear of people who see them as license to take what they want, instead of being license to want what they want and ask for it. I'm pretty sure that's the trap that Miki fell into, and we have to talk about it openly if we want it to stop. We have to talk about it openly if we want the victims of those traps to know what to look out for and to know how to handle it if it appears. We have to talk about abusive behavior from groups like this, because no group is free of abusers. And because not talking about it can really seriously compound the trauma that is inflicted on people from "non-stereotypical" abusers as they try to understand and conceptualize what's happen both to other people and themselves.
posted by sciatrix at 10:46 AM on March 23, 2017 [20 favorites]


Ahhh yes, that burning man drivvel ... I shudder to think.

If there is any mercy in the universe, the participants in the Orgy Dome were made sterile by rays generated from outer space.


If anybody isn't really suited to be a mother....
posted by BlueHorse at 11:00 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


We haven’t had any pregnant women until now

You. Do. Not. Know. That.

Employee policies should not be an afterthought, and certainly not something that is decided on an ad-hoc basis as issues arise. Bonus: the lack of a policy may have influenced people's decision to not get pregnant, since they didn't want to deal with the uncertainty presented by the company's lack of planning.

they got paid a big bonus on the back end

Cool! Their landlords deferred their rent and supermarkets let them run up a tab until then, right?

All of that said: as much as Agrawal should be on the hook for the above, so should every single male CEO who pulls the same stupid shit.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:26 AM on March 23, 2017 [10 favorites]


In a similar way I find that a lot of sex-positive spaces can incubate this really vicious culture of pushing limits and pushing boundaries that can pressure people to say 'yes' when they really don't actually want to

And they often do it by stigmatizing your "no." They take a lack of interest to be a sign that you're prudish, repressed - uncool.

I imagine this is what it's like in that company. If you don't want your boss to fondle your breasts, well, there's something wrong with you. You're not liberated like she is.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:30 AM on March 23, 2017 [13 favorites]


It's kind of really annoying that Thinx exists, because my mother and I were talking about wanting to design inclusive period panties, and then we saw Thinx and was like, "oh, I guess not" but they were priced so expensively. Now to add to insult, this CEO creates a completely unsafe and harassing company culture? Uuuuuuugh the community organizer in me is so disgusted and annoyed
posted by yueliang at 12:54 PM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also this CEO is basically a shade away from Haruhi Suzumiya, eesh.
posted by yueliang at 12:55 PM on March 23, 2017


It's kind of really annoying that Thinx exists, because my mother and I were talking about wanting to design inclusive period panties, and then we saw Thinx and was like, "oh, I guess not"

hey, why not? If you can offer a decent competing product (with, most likely, a way better work environment), you should go for it! Just because there's a pre-existing product out there doesn't mean it isn't possible to make something just as good or better.
posted by aielen at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2017 [8 favorites]


Having worked for years in an industry that is mainly female run with mainly female employees, I can say I am not the least bit surprised that a female CEO had boundary issues that amounted to harassment. Lots of women lack the understanding that, just because they are surrounded by people of the same gender, basic cultural work norms still apply. It's almost as though they don't think they can offend other women by the sheer fact of having the same gender, and are always so surprised when someone is hurt or offended -- Peppermint Snowflake's example sums that up well, but also applies to workplaces without any sexual theme. As a side note, I'm certainly interested in better options for menstruation, but the terrible ads kept me from investing in their incredibly expensive underwear.
posted by palindromeisnotapalindrome at 2:45 PM on March 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


The complaint also cites at-work nudity as a common state for the CEO, usually while changing outfits or trying on new Thinx products, say employees, sometimes in her glass-walled office but often out in the open in their co-working space. “I forgot that’s not a normal thing to do until you brought that up,” another former employee said

A lot of the things she did seem to me to fit into a pattern of infantile regression: the casual nudity and exhibitionism, the obsession with breasts and wanting to touch them, the desire to call attention to her own peeing, pooping and other bodily functions, saying whatever came to mind without self-censorship along with a general air of naughtiness, the narcissism -- even the fat shaming and being in denial about the possibility of pregnant employees. Plus, the product itself has somewhat of a form and function resemblance to diapers.
posted by jamjam at 4:25 PM on March 23, 2017 [9 favorites]


This is just another instance of it seeming like many of the changes around the roles women play in the culture often seem less a victory for feminism than simply examples of more space being made in traditional masculinism for women to join the existing power structure rather than change it.

Take a look at the composition of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Health.

The fact that some women who have power are jerks in no way negates every tiny victory of feminism to get more women in power.
posted by mrmurbles at 5:38 PM on March 23, 2017 [5 favorites]


Without birth control, I have extraordinarily heavy periods, so maybe things are different for other people, but I've yet to understand the appeal of these things. Pads, tampons, the menstrual cup -- all of these things can be disposed of or emptied easily at any restroom. This? Swapping out a pair of panties is way messier than swapping out a pad or a tampon. Even if you have a moderate flow, aren't you at least a little concerned about bleeding through the panties?

***

The fact that some women who have power are jerks in no way negates every tiny victory of feminism to get more women in power.

Bingo.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:20 PM on March 23, 2017


Miya Tokumitsu of Jacobin has an op-ed on Thinx in The New York Times: “What a Start-Up’s Scandal Says About Your Workplace”
posted by Going To Maine at 12:31 AM on March 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


"raw doggin' in the Orgy Dome #blessed" just made me lose my marbles with real-life laughter for a couple of minutes. I needed that. Thanks, atoxyl.
posted by lauranesson at 6:45 AM on March 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Even if you have a moderate flow, aren't you at least a little concerned about bleeding through the panties?

As a spotting ->heavy flow -> spotting person, I was thinking of using these as backups for when I bleed through the tampon or on the days right around the start and end of the period, when I'm just likely to deal with the spotting when it happens.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:47 AM on March 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Before entering the actual Dome, I was very pleased to have to go through a whole lesson on consent and the “I don’t care if you’ve been together for 5 years or 2 days, in this space, you must get consent at every point”.

If only she had treated her workplace more like an Orgy Dome.
posted by bunbury at 10:04 PM on March 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


hi @queenofbithynia
you've glued together some ideas that were floating disjointed fragments in my head, thanks,
posted by compound eye at 11:39 PM on March 24, 2017


I've been following this thread with interest. While the style of leadership Ms Agrawal espouses is annoying and stupid, it is inline with almost every other startup moron I have encountered (I did about 10 years in that world).

When you recruit a workforce and tell them they are taking high moral ground by coming to work every day , instead of giving them a living wage and appropriate benefits- it seems like they should question that before taking the job.

Plus just because there are sensationalist accusations of someone with a stupid hat doesn't mean they are true. Doesn't mean they aren't either. But isn't there such a thing anymore as innocent until proven guilty?
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 4:14 PM on March 28, 2017


> But isn't there such a thing anymore as innocent until proven guilty?

Are we a court of law? A seated jury?

And what's sensationalist about accusations that the head of a startup behaves inappropriately and unprofessionally - including in ways that may be sexual harassment? That's not sensational: it's sadly bog-standard.
posted by rtha at 4:55 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


No- but as far as startup culture goes, it sounds pretty tame to me. And for once, it's not some asshole "disrupting" something. While the high pressure world almost always produces bad behavior- she at least is trying to do something that has value . Again, I am not excusing her behavior, but I noticed the allegations come from someone who is looking to profit.

For comparison
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 9:58 AM on March 29, 2017


I noticed the allegations come from someone who is looking to profit.

Yeah, an apology should be all the recompense she requests for (allegedly) being sexually assaulted and fired. :eyeroll emoji:
posted by Etrigan at 10:04 AM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]


> Again, I am not excusing her behavior

You are framing it as not as bad as it could be and anyway she is doing something useful. That sounds like "give her a pass" to me.

We - readers of this site and actual or potential consumers of the products her company makes and sells - are allowed to decide if the allegations against her carry enough weight for us to stop buying or never buy her stuff, and to make our opinions publicly known. We don't have to wait for formal criminal or civil charges to be brought before doing so. Even aside from allegations of sexual harassment, she makes all these asinine excuses about how oh gosh they just didn't know from HR practices! and that's excuse-making bullshit. I didn't give whatsisface at Uber a pass on shit like that and I won't give it to her.
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on March 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lawsuits are very rarely about "profit."

In a capitalist society where few wrongs are punished if committed by those who make lots of money engaging in them, hitting them in the wallet can often be the only incentive society has to get them to stop.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2017


Lawsuits are very rarely about "profit."

Are you serious? What world do you live in? In the one I inhabit they tend to be about that.
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 1:26 PM on March 29, 2017


You realize there's a difference between "money" and "profit", right? By using the word "profit", you are (consciously or not) saying that there is some amount of money that is due to the plaintiff as payment, but that she is seeking more than that.
posted by Etrigan at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2017


Lawsuits are very rarely about "profit."

Are you serious? What world do you live in? In the one I inhabit they tend to be about that.


The one where we're talking about workplace compliance laws? Look, if I'm going to be filing a lawsuit against my former employer, I'm doing it with the knowledge that it is probably going to cost me money in the long run - not only legal fees, but it's going to probably hurt my chances of being hired in the future. Some people do it in order to cash out, sure, but the Underpants Monster mentions, lawsuits are oftentimes the only type of law enforcement employees have to report their employers' illegal and discriminatory activities.

It's kind of like suggesting that all compliance fines are because the government is greedy and want to take corporations' money - no, fines are instituted as a way to uphold the law.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:50 PM on March 29, 2017


Also the lawsuits people use to cash out are usually not sexual harassment lawsuits, which are really hard to prove. Also also the percentage of lawsuits that are used to 'cash out' is a fairly low number - it's not that they don't exist, but that's not usually the motive.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:52 PM on March 29, 2017


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