I’m mildly obsessed with Dov Charney. Despite financial naysayers galore, the guy believed in the power of American textile manufacturing and actually did something about it (his LA factory has roof-top solar panels!) Nevermind that American Apparel is almost bankrupt and apparently manned exclusively by illegal immigrants – any experimental business should be somewhat liberated from traditional ideas of success and failure. At least American Apparel tried to make a difference in the way we think about consumption.
From a public relations perspective, everything should go hunky-dory for Dov. His only real problem is that he’s kind of a megalomaniac perv. Some might even go so far as to call him a “rapist.” Unfortunately for Dov, we live in a morally absolutist society, and his PHAT HR folder really undermines public opinion concerning any of his life’s accomplishments. It’s like the guy never did anything right because he makes his hot female assistant hand-feed him his sandwiches. Or because he likes to masturbate in front of his “slut” employees (his words, not mine). Or because his ads are basically porn. Porn that I occasionally utilize when I’m worried youjizz.com is giving my computer STDs (who doesn’t want to be the chick who loves socks?).
At some point you want throw up your hands. Come on, Dov. There are plenty of voyeuristic young ladies who get off on sleaze-machines. Girls who want to see what a walking hard-on of a human being looks like in an office setting. Girls who would love to discuss marketing initiatives and alternative energies and sweatshop labor while you jack off into a pair of organic-cotton tube socks. Stop sabotaging your ideologically-aligned business and stick with your own pervy kind.
I lived in hotels for a while when I was a kid. Depending on how nice the joint was, “WE HAVE HBO” was often their main selling point. I grew up with Tony Soprano: Tony feeding the ducks, Tony fucking his assistant at the waste management plant, Tony trying to talk some sense into the deranged teen Bada-bing hooker (“You need another kid like you need a hole in the head”).
Well jeez, pre-pubescent me said half-consciously. I can’t wait to re-enact these power dynamics when I grow up and have a real live office job. It’s like desks are just… fuck-platforms.
And lo, another childhood dream dissipates into reality. First problem: I work in the humanities. Plenty of hot chicks and gay guys, but not many meat-eating, mobbed-up chauvinists ready to bend me over a copy machine. Second problem: changing cultural standards on workplace sex etiquette. What do you mean it’s no longer chic for my boss to pinch a nipple when I screw up data entry projects? Third problem: I’m just not the type of girl people want to hot and bother.
“So, wait,” 12-year-old me asks of the universe. “You’re telling me I have to be really pretty to be sexually harassed? That hardly seems fair.”
“Life isn’t fair,” my parents echo in the background.
“But that’s a sack of shit!” I scream into the vast expanse. “Beautiful people are such tyrannical assholes. Why do they get to decide what’s workplace kosher just because average-looking freaks can’t keep their hands off of their perfectly-formed loins?”
“Well,” the universe finally answers, “it probably doesn’t help that you’re such a ball buster. No offense, but perverts are looking to make someone uncomfortable. Preferably someone who’s only had sex with max three people. Watching those half-virgins squirm is quite a thrill! There’s no fun in harrassing you because the whole mess would be so distastefully….consensual. Even if they did manage to make you uncomfortable, you’re not the kind of broad who would wait til you got home to cry in the shower. Nah. You’re the kind of broad who would start yelling obscenities and force-feed your attacker laxatives.”
“Wait, what?” asks 23-year-old me. “You’re telling me that Dov Charney is never going to want to masturbate in front of me because I’d be too fucking emotionally and physically supportive of his penile eccentricities?”
“And because you don’t have that ambiguously ethnic look they like at American Apparel,” the universe sighs. “No one’s looking to threaten the job security of a baby yenta.”
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post