There is no other way to put it — the latest revelations by @cherylyeoh have shaken me to the core of my being. She is right, this is not being inappropriate or making unwanted advances. This is a pattern of repeated sexual harassment in a context of power. And it sounds like there are more women coming out. I had no idea about any of this, and am in shock trying to reconcile the Dave McClure I thought I knew, to this new picture.
Hindsight is 2020. But I would not have written my previous post if I had known the full picture.
I have my own lived experience regarding what I went through at time of fund-raising, and had always planned to talk about it, and one day I will. In last few days, I had been seeing some VCs & Angels who I have experienced bias from directly (or heard about from other women I trust), starting to frame themselves as supporters of women, sharing words of support. Words are easy, but don’t change anything. With my previous article, I had wanted to make sure we don’t forget that the problem of women and VCs is insidious and multi-faceted, and plays out in subtle ways.
But after publishing, I heard feedback both from friends and other women I respect, specifically that I was not supporting the victims who spoke out. Although that was not my intention, I do see what you mean. They need support right now as we work together towards systemic long lasting change and creating a business environment that is free from oppressive sexism.
Lastly, I hope 500 Startups can continue making a difference for founders everywhere and takes a strong stand against all forms of harassment. It would be a loss for women and other diverse founders if that institution was irreparably harmed due to the revelations about its founder.
PS: I debated whether to delete previous post, but decided to link this update for now so people see this. I will delete that post in a few days.
Thanks to Beth Kanter, Cheryl Y. Sew Hoy & Allyson Kapin for their feedback on this post.