To: Marc Andreessen
Hi Marc, how’s your weekend going? Mine has been fantastic so far. The weather in SF is gorgeous and my hike from Ocean Beach to the Presidio was wonderful.
On the way home, I picked up some breakfast at Tartine. The line was actually bearable this morning because all the halloween drunks are still in bed. I ran into two women I know casually and one of them was lamenting the fact that you had recently blocked her on Twitter. “Man what a bummer,” I said rather disingenuously and ran out not really trying to engage with anyone talking about technology humans on such a beautiful day. These pastries aren’t going to eat themselves.
Fast forward a few minutes later, I’m at home catching up on morning Twitter as one does and I notice another woman I know is tweeting about being blocked by VCs and specifically people from your fund, Andreessen Horowitz.
Now my interest is piqued and I go to check your feed and of course you’ve blocked me. To be clear, to my knowledge we have never actually directly interacted on the platform before save a few tweets about our mutual appreciation of Mr. Robot.
So what was it exactly that did for you? Was it the Theranos or SXSW tweets?
or maybe the fact that I won’t shut up about the deplorable representation of women and people of color in Tech? To be fair, I also tweet a lot about my love of our savviest kontent kreator, Kimberly Noel Kardashian and how disappointed I am that Bobby Shmurda is still in jail. So who knows?
What I do know is that last year, women made up less than 20% of the people you followed on Twitter and that you tried to #changetheratio.
Women are under-represented in every trench of the Tech industry and venture capital is sadly no exception. I’m sure you already know that only 7.5% of senior VC investment partners are women or that Andreessen Horowitz scored abysmally low on this recent diversity study.
There’s been a particular canard going around since the dawn of the information age that women online are very thin-skinned and can’t handle criticism. It’s the biggest pile of garbage I’ve ever heard. In fact, due to years of dealing with both overt sexism and soft discrimination we are most adept at dealing with people whose opinions we don’t agree with…and that’s putting it mildly.
One of my sheroes, Michele Roberts — the first woman head of the NBA Players Association, once famously said “My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.” I think about that often when I hear stories from women in Silicon Valley. Don’t sleep on us, Marc. But we’ll be fine if you do.