This narrative reveals how male harrasment takes a blind spot for the myopic & judgmental majority of the audience that has run out of grey matter to think. Misandry is easy for most.
Murthy’s conduct was of course questionable, but so was of the pretentious plantiffs.
Harassment of the female gender should always be condemned but not at the cost of undermining the male gender. Harassment should not be retaliated with mean comments as it leaves no difference between the malefactor & victim.
After reading this, I feel it calls for a change — which shall be the preparation of guidelines document & set of best practices & code of conduct for VCs.
Harassment is not gender or industry specific. And unfortunately, as I read here, it crossed the boundary of office spaces & invaded into the ‘personal space’.
Male harassment is iminent from your stories & I’m pretty sure you must not be alone in the space. Try asking other male VCs if they faced similar accusations in the past. You need to bring in more people to speak up about it.
You guys are rich & intelligent. May be spend some money, book a space, brainstorm & define guidelines & code of conduct document on — how to identify the pattern / modus operandi of such gender trolls & avoid such harassment / exploitations.
Often fanatic founders working in flexi times blur the difference between work time & perosnal time & they assume everyone else does it too. Hence, an innocuous conversation over whatsapp, no matter how personal, becomes official for them. From now on VCs need to understand — For VCs, there is no territory called “outside office”. The code of conduct should dictate how a VC, irrespective of their relationship with another person, should behave — both at work & outside work.
I’m not saying ‘kisses under the mistletoe’ was an acceptable conversation as we immediately perceive it as flirtation. As a general practice, one shouldn’t exchange flirtatious texts with a party that doesn’t anticipate or doesn’t reciprocate such feelings. I’ve personally learnt it the hard way that — folks from the office (or related to office) are never friends.
Agree or not, but VCs are celibrities, especially troll VCs like Murty who give contentious opinions— be it politics or startups. While celibrities have long learnt how to walk, wear, talk & behave in public, VCs have not. It requires training, as I’ll mention shortly.
Airliners had some safety issues during 50s, primarily because of the authoritarian conduct of a captain in a plane. This was dangerous — for passengers & rest of the unwary crew members outside the cockpit. This called for re-training of the staff. Captains had to swallow their ego & make room for more peer communication for better leadership & so improved the safety.
VCs need some formal training like the above. No, not college degree, but some training & they have to sacrify their ego for it — access to wealth & resources should not become one’s eligibility criterion alone, there has to be a formal training where they should be trained how to deal with people, & hence, also with trolls. Also, with harassment, exploitation, corruption & other threats.
VCs need to learn how to apply common sense & see obvious red flags & refrain from engaging in banter or mud slinging or casual or fliratious exchanges. And that training should come with an expiry date, where they’ve to re-appear for certification, because, VCs deal with the world that changes rapidly.
One’s greatest strength can be exploited to make it their weakness.
In case of a VC, wealth is definitely one of their strengths. This wealth doesn’t remain a virtue but becomes a threat when revealed before men & women of evil intentions. So, it must also be the part of conduct — that VC learn how to stop brandishing their wealth & rather protect it from being revealed to avoid threats.
Money is often related to power & when wealthy people go fussy, the masses cry oligarchy. Be careful.
And. Murthy uncle, please gird your loins. Things are gonna get super dirty. You’ve already lost the argument because you were born male. And this was the last chance that you said something in your defense. If something like this comes up again then your reputation will be gone forever.