There is a Silicon Valley sexual predator subculture that hides itself under the guise of “setting a new paradigm of behavior.”
There is a Silicon Valley sexual predator culture that helps explain a lot of sexual harassment and worse allegations. This was exposed recently by Emily Chang in Vanity Fair. These parties claim to be about being consensual and open, yet usually depend on inhibition-lowering drugs. For example, one woman who was invited to one of these parties was offered some “Molly”—an Ecstasy-related drug.
Soon, her guard dropped. Then, the male founder asked if he could kiss her. “It was so weird,” she says. “I’m like, ‘Your wife is right there; is she O.K. with this?’ ” The founder’s wife acknowledged that, yes, she was O.K. with it. Jane Doe, who considers herself fairly adventurous and open-minded, kissed the founder, then became uncomfortable, feeling as if she had been pressured or targeted. “I don’t know what I’m doing, I feel really stupid, I’m drugged up because I’d never taken it before, and he knew I’d never taken it,” she recalled. She tried to escape to a different area of the party. “I felt gross because I had participated in making out with him and then he kept trying to find me and I kept trying to run away and hide. I remember saying to him, ‘Aren’t people going to wonder?’ And he said, ‘The people that know me know what is going on, and the people that don’t, I don’t really care.’ ” Before dawn, she jumped into her car and left. “What’s not O.K. about this scene is that it is so money- and power-dominated. It’s a problem because it’s an abuse of power. I would never do it again.”
So what kind of boss or supervisor would someone be who prided himself on participating in this kind of culture? Chang also observes:
It’s worth asking, however, if these sexual adventurers are so progressive, why do these parties seem to lean so heavily toward male-heterosexual fantasies? Women are often expected to be involved in threesomes that include other women; male gay and bisexual behavior is conspicuously absent. “Oddly, it’s completely unthinkable that guys would be bisexual or curious,” says one V.C. who attends and is married (I’ll call him Married V.C.). “It’s a total double standard.” In other words, at these parties men don’t make out with other men. And, outside of the new types of drugs, these stories might have come out of the Playboy Mansion circa 1972.
Chang turns to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams (who claims never to have participated in this culture) to explain Silicon Valley perverts: “if you thought like everyone else, you can’t invent the future.”
Do we want these people inventing our future?
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