Fake Harassment News

Here’s a story about a VC who was accused of sexual harassment, except that the anonymous victim turned out to be a male business rival pretending to write as a female founder. #FakeBlogs

Right, of course that happened. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the last few months, it’s that the uncritical masses will pounce on any opportunity to attack an alleged gender discriminator, due process be damned! Anything that can be weaponized, will be weaponized.

Now, this comes as even less of a surprise:

Mike Pence has a policy of not dining alone with a woman other than his wife. He does this to avoid any potential misunderstanding by the woman, the press, or the wife. Good for Mike Pence.

I suppose it is unfortunate but rational that VCs are adopting a similar strategy. Let’s go back to @ktbenner’s original article, which rakes VC Chris Sacca over the coals for allegedly touching an entrepreneur’s face without her consent. The purported event happened at a party in Vegas in 2009 — Sacca disputes the account, but the author ran with it anyway.

2009! If VCs are being ripped on for things they didn’t do and faces they didn’t touch eight years ago, of course they’re going to avoid women! After my earlier post, a visitor commented that his company refuses to hire female employees for this very reason. I hear the sentiment echoed on the streets as well. Sorry ladies, but Equal Employment laws don’t apply until the company has at least 15 employees.

So I blame the FakeNews media for mucking up the tech industry. I suspect they’re causing trouble because they’re bitter about their jobs. Tech reporters spend their days writing about scrawny nerds much like themselves, except that the nerds have big fat salaries and juice machines and Teslas, while the reporter gets 7 cents per click. Can’t blame ‘em for wanting to take VCs down a notch.

Tech journalists – have you considered a token sale?

6 thoughts on “Fake Harassment News

  1. Thank you for stating this true, but little said point.

    By the way, did you read the bizarre lengthy apology-letter from Chris Sacca? After denying that he 8 years ago touched this womans face at a party in Las Vegas, he went on to criticize himself for many pages and repeatedly thanked Susan for her false accusations.

    https://medium.com/@sacca/i-have-more-work-to-do-c775c5d56ca1

    Seems unusual to publicly self-humiliate and thank the accuser while simultaneously saying that the accusation is false.

    Anyway, can confirm your observation:
    – from several women in Silicon Valley over past month saying that investors insisting seem unwilling to meet with them alone.
    – was also told by a small startup who were hiring that they are weighing female hires more carefully in light higher perceived risk. Specifically she described looking for ideological signs that the person may be a potential trouble-maker.

    On the other hand, at a larger company in the area they seemed to be doubling down on gender-influenced hiring, promotion and firing practices.

    1. Based on the NY times article, it sounds like Chris Sacca wrote his blog post without knowing about the accusation, and then the NYT article came out, and then Sacca prepended the update to his own blog post. Or something like that? Or maybe all the hemming and hawwing is just an attempt to appease everyone who might possibly be unhappy.

    1. Harassment? I think Silicon Valley is just like any other industry, where people do normal human things and make normal human mistakes. We just police ourselves extra hard.

        1. oh! on the streets, in the office, it’s all business as usual. I don’t know if things are different in VC offices.

          A couple years ago I had a meeting with a male VC, and a female admin had to be in the room as “chaperone” — this was during the Ellen Pao trial. I think people will forget about it in another couple months and find something else to worry about.

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