The co-founder of a wildly successful mobile dating-app Tinder, Justin Mateen, is currently under investigation for sexually harassing Whitney Wolfe, another co-founder and former VP of Marketing for the company. IAC, the owner of Tinder and Match.com, has temporarily suspended Mateen while the investigation ensues.
Tinder, a dating app with over 10 million daily users, was launched in 2012 by Sean Rad, Jonathan Badeen, Justin Mateen, Whitney Wolfe, and Christopher Gulcynski. Initially piloted on college campuses, Tinder has quickly become the chosen dating app of millions of 20-somethings across the globe.
On June 30, 2014, Whitney Wolfe filed a sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit against both Sean Rad and Justin Mateen. Wolfe claims that she was never recognized as a founding member because of her gender and that she was fired from her position at Tinder in April 2014 after being called a "whore" at a company event. Wolfe saved text messages to her from Mateen that contain vulgar and inappropriate content. Among these texts, Mateen calls Wolfe a whore, slut and gold digger.
As Tinder joins the ranks of other notoriously misogynistic companies such as SnapChat and American Apparel, one has to wonder--what will it take for women to no longer be victimized in the workplace?
Illegal sexual harassment includes more than just pressure for sex or inappropriate touching. It includes vulgar gender-based comments such as those alleged here. How frequently do you believe such inappropriate gender based comments happen at work? I see it quite a lot among my clients.
image by Nicolas Raymond, Flickr
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