What’s the Deal With Hip Lifestyle Companies and Their Asshole Executives?

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

I was browsing over at Vox this morning and came across a piece by Rebecca Jennings about the “racial reckoning” in women’s media:

Black former employees at Refinery29 and Man Repeller are speaking out about the hypocrisy of feminist fashion websites.

The focus of the piece, obviously, is on race, but what really struck me was something simpler: the folks who run these companies are just assholes. I’ve seen this over and over in stories about hip new companies that appeal to millennials: regardless of how woke they may be when it comes to racial hiring and diversity, the one thing they seem to have in common is a CEO and an executive staff who are arrogant, cliquey, and nasty. To the outside world they project an image of lifestyle chic, but internally they pay young workers practically nothing and routinely demand 60 hour weeks or more—of which two or three hours seem to be spent being yelled at.

What’s up with this? Do I just notice it a lot because the occasional examples all get written up? Or are these companies really the hellscapes they’re made out to be?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate