Paul, thank you. There are few men who are willing to speak up in this way, and even fewer founders who do so. It is rare, and necessary.
It is important that we assign responsibility to *all* parties involved in perpetuating this abuse of power:
The people who organize the events and extend invitations.
The hosts, and their “important” guests. The firms, and their representatives. The investors. The founders. The men and women who attend as their guests.
The people who feel a little funny, or see something strange, but say nothing. The friends who hear about it afterward, but hesitate to question.
And lastly: The people who make the excuses that enable it.
“But they consented…..”
“But they knew what they were getting into….”
“But they chose to be there….”
“But if they want to be included….”
“But that’s an extreme case, it’s not all….”
To those people I say: That is a weak definition of inclusion. A half-ass interpretation of consent.
We can set a higher bar for both consent and inclusion by leading dialogue about them, both publicly and with these individuals, in the moment, wherever the transgression takes place. We must insist that the parties involved address their own roles, and role that they play in enabling each other’s abuse.