SILICON VALLEY'S ENDLESS RAPES, ABUSES AND PERVERSIONS - PART TEN
By The Stanford Research Interpretive Center
A series exploring the social and cultural echo-chamber of entitlement
and take-what-you-want frat-house extremism that typifies Silicon Valley
venture capitalists and their tech CEO's.
Every few years a burst of revelation articles appear and reveal the
latest batch of sexual abuses and misogyny horrors levied upon Stanford
interns and Palo Alto young ladies by Silicon Valley "Elites". After a
week of discussion, those very same venture capitalists grind out orders
to Facebook, Google and their main stream media to shut all of the media
coverage down. The news stories disappear and the tech oligarchs can get
back to raping and pillaging.
The VC's go into recovery mode. They put pictures of their female interns
and secretaries on their "Team" page on their websites in a grid of photos
to make it look like "we hire girls too" and they make the pictures the
same size as the old Jewish bosses who run each VC firm. They pay off the
pregnant ones and send the shell-shocked ones to another city. They issue
the boiler-plate "we will try harder" BS media statement (which actually
means "we will try harder not to get caught"). They pull a few Twitter
accounts and they continue to rape, abuse and pervert.
They can afford nearly undetectable date rape drugs, skin applied topical
narcotic night club stimulants, 60 proof alcohol, pheromone and oxytocin
mood manipulation vapor sprays and "I AM RICH AND I CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU"
Aston Martins and Ferrari's. For $800.00 they can get any girl or guy in a
sexual position that they never would have gotten into if they were in a
non- compromised mental state.
They could hire a hooker but the ultimate goal of Silicon Valley
Oligarchs is to control and manipulate vulnerable people. They are not
into it for sexual pleasure. They do these twisted things in order to
raise themselves up in their own eyes. The hookers that Google executives
hire say that the executives hire them so that they can be "dismissed"
after they are used for sex. Every intern says that they felt "used". The
vulnerable female entrepreneurs that they extort sex from (with promises
of funding) say that they feel "raped". Nobody feels good after an
encounter with these men.
The men's names are famous and notorious. Their firms are Greylock,
Accel, Kleiner Perkins, Intel Ventures, Google Ventures, Firelake, Khosla,
Westley and other names that you see in the news every day. Here are some
of these stories:
STORIES REVEAL SYSTEMIC SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TECH
HARASSMENT IN TECH:
WOMEN TELL THEIR STORIES
Sara O’Brien, with reporting from Laurie Segall
was 2001 during the dotcom crash, and Cecilia Pagkalinawan had a
tough choice: Raise more money for her startup or let 26
employees go. She set up a meeting with a powerful venture
capitalist in New York City, who she hoped would want to invest.
said the investor scheduled the meeting at an expensive
restaurant. When she arrived, he ordered a $5,000 bottle of
wine. She said he refused to accept no for an answer when she
said she didn't drink.
said she can't recall how many times her glass was refilled.
She does, however, remember the VC touching her leg, leaning
over to kiss her, and telling her that he wanted to take care
of her. She excused herself to the restroom, vomited, then
called a friend and fled the restaurant.
TECH JOURNALISTS SARA O’BRIEN AND LAURIE SEGALL
has stayed silent about the encounter for more than a decade. But
in recent weeks, a flood of all-too similiar stories about sexual
harassment in Silicon Valley has reopened the old wounds — and
inspired her to speak up.
can't believe after all these years it still hurts, you know?" she
told CNN Tech.
tide is starting to turn. In the past three weeks, two powerful
Silicon Valley investors —500
Startups' Dave McClureandBinary
Capital's Justin Caldbeck— have
resigned over allegations of sexual harassment. Both men have
issued broad apologies for their behavior. As a result, multiple
women have come forward to share their own experiences about
working in an industry rife with sexism and harassment.
Tech talked to six of these women about tech's systemic problems —
and their hopes for the future of the industry.
TELL THEIR STORIES
Bea Arthur was going over financial projections with an investor
when he exposed himself to her.
stood up, and he pulled out his erect penis," she said. "It was
awkward. It was uncomfortable. It was unfair."
said she tried to shrug off the awkwardness and never confronted
him about it. "He probably thinks we're close friends," she
a frequently touted ethos that investors fund people, not just
ideas. Because of that, investors need to get to know founders,
according to entrepreneur Susan Ho, one of the women who went
public about Caldbeck's alleged harassment.
of that building of camaraderie happens in social settings," said
Ho. "It happens over drinks. It happens over dinner."
said there's nothing wrong with drinks or dinner, but the
undefined relationship between entrepreneurs and investors —
coupled with the industry's power dynamics — can complicate those
casual meetings. It's especially complex for female founders, as
men control the vast majority of capital. 89% of those making
investment decisions at the top 72 firms are male,according
to one survey.And in 2016, VCs put $64.9
billion into male-founded startups, compared to $1.5 billion into
female-founded startups, according to new data from PitchBook.
means female founders are primarily pitching men. And it's typical
to meet investors in informal locations — restaurants, bars,
coffee shops. It's also the norm to take meetings after working
hours, especially for younger founders.
said that when the investor flashed her, she felt a "very deep and
sudden and overwhelming sense of shame. Like, 'I'm stupid. I
should have known this was going to happen. Why did I think he was
taking me seriously?'"
WOULD SAY TO HIM,"I’M HERE TO TALK BUSINESS, AND NOTHING
Wang, cofounder of female entrepreneur collectiveSheWorx,
was caught off guard at Consumer Electronics Show this year when a
pitch meeting quickly went south. "We're sitting at the Starbucks,
and he grabs my face and tries to make out with me, and I push him
back in surprise, and just didn't know what to do, because he
continued to try again, and was so aggressive."
said the investor tried to follow her to her hotel room. "I said,
'I'm not getting in this elevator until you leave."
[the male investor] looks at another man, he sees them as an
opportunity, a colleague, a peer, a mentor," said Arthur, who
founded a mental health startup. But if you're a female founder,
"he just sees you as a woman first."
RISK OF SPEAKING OUT
weeks ago, The Information published a story in whichsix
women accused investor Justin Caldbeckof
sexual harassment. Three of the women came forward anonymously,
but three put their names by their accusations. That's a rarity in
Silicon Valley where the prevailing advice is to stay silent and
avoid repercussions — both financial and emotional.
fear of earning a reputation as someone who's difficult to work
with, which could make it difficult to secure funding. Investors
may avoid financing a company with a founder they don't "trust" if
they're nervous she may speak out about their behavior, too.
That's helped keep those who've behaved inappropriately in
positions of power, according to Arthur.
at the top stay at the top, and they understand each other," she
said. "They have vouched and, more importantly, covered for each
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TECH: ASK THESE FEMALE CEOS
so, Susan Ho and Leiti Hsu, cofounders of travel startupJourny,
came forward with their stories about Caldbeck.
you talk about sexual harassment in tech or in any other industry,
it's like dropping a nuclear bomb on your career," Ho told CNN
Tech. "That fear of retaliation, of it impacting your business in
some way, is so, so real. We have a financial responsibility to do
what's best for our business, and if speaking out is going to harm
our business, is that OK?"
was the decision to go public — and have their names attached to
the accusations — that set off a firestorm in Silicon Valley.
Countless other women have come forward since then, sharing their
own stories of sexism in tech.
we spoke about it in hopes that at the very least, there would be
an article high enough on Google that the next time [Caldbeck] met
with a female founder, she would Google him and see this article
and at least be extra on her guard or think twice before meeting
him," Ho said. "[Caldbeck] preyed on a group of women who [he]
felt were too afraid, or not in the position to speak out against
[his] behavior, and [he] was wrong."
YOU TALK ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT, IT'S LIKE DROPPING A NUCLEAR
BOMB ON YOUR CAREER.
been picked apart on the Internet and received death threats on
got people tweeting [at me], 'I will cut your throat you f***ing
c***,'" she said. People have accused her of being "a damsel in
distress," suggesting she spoke out for "attention."
it all, Haas said she stands by her decision. "The risk of not
saying anything, living with this forever is way worse. I felt
because I had so much evidence, it was so clear cut. I had a
responsibility to say something," she said.
three of the women CNN Tech spoke to — Arthur, Pagkalinawan and
Wang — declined to publicly name the men they say harassed them.
This was partly because they didn't have any tangible evidence
that could confirm the specific encounter.
most difficult part of reporting is ... the fear of being in a
compromised position if you are the only one to speak up about the
offender," added Wang.
CHANGE REQUIRES MORE THAN JUST OPTICS
Ho and Hsu spoke out, they were concerned their stories wouldn't
appropriately outrage people in the tech industry. They credit
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman for focusing people's attention on
day after The Information's story came out, Hoffman publisheda
post on LinkedInthat called on investors
to sign a "decency pledge." He proposed that tech actively work on
building an industry-wide HR function so venture capitalists who
engage in inappropriate behavior face consequences.
took [Hoffman's post] to really give the issue weight," said Ho.
"It's my hope in the future that the accounts of countless women
is going to be enough to give an issue like this weight."
are early signs that companies may start taking swifter action
once alerted to harassment. This week, early stage VC firm
managing partner, Frank Artale, had resigned over misconduct.
The firm released a statement, disclosing that they'd
investigated a report of "inappropriate conduct" by Artale in
2016. Artale has not publicly released a statement about his
resignation. The firm did not reply to CNN Tech's request for
to Nathalie Molina Niño, cofounder of female-focusedBRAVA
Investments, pledges may be a start, but they certainly
aren't a cure-all. "Women can't pay the rent with symbols and PR
gestures. What's needed is real outcomes, and it starts by
accepting we, in all corners of tech, have a systemic problem,"
COVERING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TECH GETS PERSONAL
says until the gender gap is actually closed at tech companies,
the "institutional dysfunction" will still exist. She argues for
outcomes over optics, which she told CNN Tech includes focusing
not just on funding women but on funding all types of women from
all economic backgrounds. "Women exist. We aren't the exception,
we're the norm," she said. "Yet places that treat us as humans
are, in fact, outliers."
years after Pagkalinawan was sexually harassed, she said she was
disheartened to hear that little has changed.
really, really saddened me that this is happening [so]
prevalently," she said. "I really think sometimes that they
don't look at us as if we're humans, let alone their equals. I
want to look at them in the eye and say, 'How would you deal
with this if it happened to your wife or your daughter and [yet]
you did it yourself?'"
still reporting this story. Tell us your personal experience as a
woman working in tech. Emailsara.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY MY INVESTOR
SEXISM HAS FESTERED FOR SO LONG IN SILICON VALLEY
VC APOLOGIZES FOR HIS ROLE IN TECH'S SEXIST CULTURE
VALLEY INVESTOR RESIGNS AFTER SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS
MISTREATMENT OF WOMEN 'NOT JUST A CASE OF A FEW BAD ACTORS'
VALLEY INVESTOR RESIGNS AFTER HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS
FIRES 20 EMPLOYEES OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROBE
FAMILIES THE ELEPHANT IN THE WORKPLACE?
PRODUCERS: MAYA DANGERFIELD, JORDAN MALTER, JUSTINE QUART