Many men in power will instinctually and subconsciously cut out women from their professional lives more than before, to the detriment of women's career advancement. Polls  suggest that this isn't a rare position even today. Mitigating this next challenge should be part of the current successful campaign that women and allies of women have been waging today, since even though to some it will be clear that basic attitudes of respect and professional distance will suffice, many others will make a fear-driven overreaction.
Billy Graham and Mike Pence are definitely not a fountain a good ideas, but that doesn't mean this rule is that bad, despite the nonsense place it comes from.
Whenever I need to have after work dinner/social communication with a female associate after 5:00pm, I just go out of my way to invite another woman so she won't be alone. If that is not an option I will try to make it a bigger group with men and women. I never shut the door to my office when I am with a woman. If we need to have a private conversation, we do walking meetings around the block in public areas.
This may be shutting some women out of the intense bonding that some male colleges have, but I'm not interested in friendships with men from work either, so I don't think I'm being unfair to anyone.
I also don't stand too close to women. I don't ever comment on their physical appearance even if they got a great hair cut. And I don't need to hug anyone I work with ever.
Maybe this makes me a jerk. But I feel like it keeps the relationships I care about most (those with my family) safe.
Don't be so negative. They do the same things in Boy Scouts now for the same reasons. The net result is a safer environment for leadership and children alike.
Frankly, I think he is not being cautious enough because the term "sexual harassment" has also moved into the realm of disagreement. Maybe you don't like her work and criticize it or maybe you are her boss and not agreeing with her performance. Most women quickly figure the criticism is being levied because he is overtly professional with them and also because they are women. I have had many women come to me and tell me these stories with this line of reasoning.
Most women aren't like this but the threat model the OP is using is legitimate. In 2017, if you get accused, you are done. Your family is done. Just move to Bermuda and retire. It is not something you can recover from.
> we do walking meetings around the block in public areas.
Please don't do this.
it is cheaper to just get rid of you even
if you are innocent
As best I know, this has never happened to anyone in / near my social network. That leads me to believe that this isn’t something that happens very often in the general population (unless I’m an outlier). And if it’s so rare, then it doesn’t seem to be worth going out of my way for.
This works till it doesn't. All it takes is once.
Raw statistics are worth internalizing, but in an era where a slip of the tongue is enough to hang you (socially), it's worth being overcautious.
Except that's not what we're seeing; we're seeing one spiral into historical many. It's not a witch hunt, it's a reckoning.
>> Please don't do this.
Can you please explain? Walking meetings are quite popular in my network. I thought this is a pretty safe trend.
I'm socially awkward and I still don't have problems having a closed door conversation with a member of the opposite sex. Are you just going to pass on interviewing women because that puts the two of you in a room?
Maybe it would be different if I was the CEO hiring for an executive position, and then I would make an exception. But for white boarding? Even if it were 1 on 1, I don't understand the need to have the door shut.
Privacy makes me uncomfortable anytime in a work environment. I like my home life private, but I'm fine having my work place conversations overheard by others.
Everything else is just being professional.
People might've known me as a weirdo who stuttered or referred to Star Trek too much, but no one would ever think of me as inappropriate, simply because I never was, not even close.
Alone in a room with Putin/Duterte in their homefields, and God knows to what you'd agree. If they coerce you, you might not be believed and, besides, they could have you killed.
Never walk into a room, alone with a dictator.
Or, if you're an 18yo store clerk for American Apparel, never do so w/ the CEO of your company.
And it's unethical to ask a subordinate to expose themselves by joining you, the authority, in such a situation.
... extenuating circumstances aside.
Unless you are an actor or dancer any sort of touching with coworkers is very inappropriate for all genders, sexual or non sexual touching included. Keeping your work and professional lives separate is just good sense. It's rude to make comments about other people's appearances unless you are very close friends with them. Closed door meetings are sometimes needed but you should never do them excessively or with only the young or attractive, that looks like you're being inappropriate.
Basically, it's just professionalism and should apply to everyone, all genders.
I an friendly with my colleagues but I don't want to be friends with them. I prefer to keep my professional relationships professional and my personal relationships personal.
Imagine if we applied the same standards to school.
I think this attitude is part of the reason why adults have a hard time making friends after college.
During work I am usually too busy, uh, working to really socialize. I mean, I'm friendly, there's water cooler banter, but I've got work to do.
I socialize plenty, just outside of the office with people who aren't my colleagues.
I've personally seen excessive fraternization backfire badly. You also realize, once you've been around the block once or twice, that friends you make at work are very shallow friendships 99.99% of the time.
Here's an argument for boundaries at work: https://hbr.org/2003/12/in-praise-of-boundaries-a-conversati...
>You don’t have time to make friends if you’re out socializing every night with pseudofriends. And on a smaller scale, the same is true in business offices. It is a terrific imposition for a business to ask people to give up their weekends and their evenings for unpaid work. I get these pathetic letters from 70-year-old retired executives who say, “I worked for 40 years in this office, and everybody loved me. They gave me this huge party when I left. And now nobody calls me. What happened?” What happened, I say, is that your colleagues aren’t your friends—and they never were.
I used to be like you, and I found it actually put me back in life richness. After I started seeing another non-work friend making friends from work and inviting them to social things, I realized it wasn't a bad thing to be open to be making friends. Your not going to make friends from most people you meet, just like school, but it is a possibility. I think part of the reason why you find them %99.99* shallow is because you might not be open to it.
It's also quite funny that article cites china, japan and so on as places with more formalized boundaries, where it's pretty much tradition that you go out drinking with colleagues every, single, night and you work a fucking shit ton.
What I'm suggesting is to not be afraid of it. If there is some optional board game night that seem enjoyable, and you like it, go do it! If you really click with someone that you have lunch breaks with on your team, it's not a bad thing! If you don't connect with anyone, there is nothing wrong with that either.
99.9% shallow is not because I'm not open to it, its been my direct observation from people around me throughout the years. I didn't start noticing it until I was in my late 20s. It's not hard to observe from being around the block a few times.
Drinking with colleagues in Japan is not actually socialization, its just an extension of the office. Its a highly formal and ritualized event even though there is alcohol. It's considered part of work.
I'm not going to board game nights with coworkers because I'm busy playing board games with my actual friends. Sometimes new friendships happen in the office, ok, but I'd like to avoid mixing friendship and business if possible.
1) Making friends with all your colleagues can become a minefield to navigate after a while, uh.
2) You know friendships with people you aren't required to be around are legitimate.
if it's important to you, that's why you have friends and family.
i'm sure as an adult you can handle not fondling other adults at work, because even if you think 'it's important', you don't know what kind of space other people are in and how they feel about you touching them.
Fondling is not even close to the word touching.
Fondling is about sexuality.
Touching is a physical action. You touch a cup. You touch a dog. You touch a touch screen. You touch someone when you shake their hand.
Roughly, you can't fondle a cup. You wouldn't say you fondle a dog, and you won't say you fondle friends and family.
(And I do know spaces my workmates are in... as much as family and friends, so should you if you are able. Human beings matter, a workplace is more than money)
if human beings matter to you, hopefully you can see this.
Weird. So I guess you never shake hands with someone in a business meeting, and it is only appropriate to do so if you are an actor or dancer.
> Closed door meetings are sometimes needed but you should never do them excessively or with only the young or attractive, that looks like you're being inappropriate.
When I worked at Evil Corp, the only meetings I could have were behind closed doors. I worked closely with a female colleague on another team - she was young and attractive, nobody thought it was inappropriate.
> Basically, it's just professionalism and should apply to everyone, all genders.
I can agree to that.
That they aren't being denied networking opportunities or opportunities to build working relationships?
What is a positive take-away for women from powerful or monied men saying, in public, "I am afraid of meeting with women, so I no longer will"?
For the record, I'm a dude and when I hear men say this, I think much less of them--for being cowardly and shutting women out of industry for their cowardice.
At work we discussed a customer who wouldn't shake hands with women because of his religion. A coworker said that's not sexist and the company should accommodate the customer.
I asked him how he'd feel if a customer's religion bars handshakes with white dudes. He looked down and had no response.
> I'd wager that people making these claims probably _do_ have this as a risk, for good reason.
why do you think they have this as a risk? why for good reason? why do you wager this situation?
your phrasing seems like a sneering insinuation, but framed such that you can say it doesn't mean any one concrete thing, should someone respond. this seems like "weasel wording" and it seems disingenuous to reply the way you did.
The people who think women should be equal ...
> Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.
Could you explain this?
When you go shopping do you take a chaperone so as to keep yourself out of a potentially unsafe shoplifting situation?
We're all always adjacent to a potential crime or difficult situation. But we're not supposed to live in fear of them.
it's not an insinuation, it's risk mitigation.
What I'm really worried about is keeping myself out of situations where mutual feelings of physical attraction develop. This could lead to situations that threaten my work and family.
I had an uncle who was a Catholic priest. They are not allowed to spend time alone with nuns, and I think its the same idea.
Back to your analogy.... I don't bring a chaperone to the grocery store to prevent myself from shoplifting. But I definitely bring my wallet. I also try to shop AFTER dinner rather than BEFORE, because when I shop while hungry it completely changes my buying behavior. I view this as the same thing.
I want to provide fertile ground for the type of relationships that I want to have, and make it difficult for the kinds that I am avoiding to even get started.
I find it easier to not have to consider the sexual preferences of my coworkers when I'm interacting with them.
Edit: I should add, if someone is going to attack my character, they're going to do it regardless of what I do. I'm not going to go out of my way to prevent that.
Similar to using encryption everywhere you can: it makes the use of it non-suspicious. The last thing I want is for being alone with a coworker to be implicitly suspicious because the new norm is this sillyness.
The worry is about him appearing plausibly improper, so their sexuality doesn't matter.
> If someone in power cannot meet with someone one on one without attempting anything
Uh, that's not what the paranoia is. The paranoia is about accusations.
Fear isn't rational.
You can't imagine someone in this situation that's excessively worried about a very unlikely but possible occurrence, and acts based on that fear?
I have zero sympathy whatsoever for those cowards, and I extremely abhor the implied insinuation that women won't receive opportunities in the future unless they allow themselves to be harassed and shut up about it.
American Beauty How to Quit a Job With Kevin Spacey
Why is that? I'm not American so I don't understand, is it because of self-defense against allegations or because you see it inappropriate?
Either way, I think you guys are a bit nuts over there, avoiding normal human interaction between genders, or people in general, is the solution?
I give PLENTY of compliments throughout the day. But I keep it limited to someone's thought's, actions, attitude, and quality of work.
Basically I try not to do anything that would be confused with one of those things.
If you don't do that, then yeah you're a jerk.
In many ways it seems like the Republican campaign against “voter fraud” or similar: a solution so obviously in search of a problem, that one seems sure there must be some ulterior motive.
1. Don't sexually assault / harass anybody.
2. Maintain clear boundaries with anybody you have a position of power over - even if it seems completely consensual you just can't hook up or have a romantic relationship with them.
It is of course possible that this is DFJ freaking out and cutting him loose despite his innocence but that is not the most likely explanation.
many others will make a fear-driven overreaction.
Asking for a VC
His point was: "... and not fear to ever be accused of anything,"
I've been on the receiving end of false (non-harassment) accusations and it sucks. I now take precautions to prevent that from happening again and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that BPD or sociopath women would use false harassment accusations to achieve their means.
"I am leaving DFJ to focus on personal matters, including taking legal action against those whose false statements have defamed me."
Given how many people have spoken up at #meetoo, it's really not astonishing. What's astonishing is that this has been ignored for so long.
"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." TJ
1. our country was created and formed by dissidents and rebels. Rebellion is really ingrained into our culture. If you look at our history in business, arts, and even technology; you can see that it is really pervassive and our non-obvious main competitive advantage
2. Democratic republics allow our society to have bloodless revolutions by voting out leaders we don't like. It happens so often that these bloodless revolutions become the norm and its effects go beyond just politicians
3. Obvious to some but not to everyone, since not everyone on HN lives in a democracy, but freedom of speech allows us to say and write whatever is on our minds - also giving us a Free Press, which makes bloodless rebellions more likely (and violent overthrows much less likely)
Combine the above ingredients and you get constant, non-destructive revolutions. Add a ubiquitous and currently open & free platform called the Internet and you get the current state of things.
When you think about it, it's a win / win for everyone, because even if you are one of the people getting overthrown; you're not going to get killed unlike in other countries
To be clear, you do realize that I'm criticizing both Marx and Mao right?
I don't know anything about whether Steve was inappropriate towards women or not. I've never worked closely enough with him to know, and I haven't spoken to him in many years. But I can't help but hope that he's doing ok. I hope he either gets vindication if he's innocent, or comes to peace with his actions if he is not. The rest of you may see him now as a powerful middle-aged man, but I still remember him as the young hotshot with something to prove.
And besides, I have a hard time imagining that a large VC firm would fire one of its founders on a flimsy claim. He’s obviously extremely valuable to RFJ, so you’d expect they’d have done some basic cost-benefit analysis before getting rid of him. To me, firing him sounds more like “preemptive damage control” in the face of very credible claims than it seems like “overcautious PC policing”.
Public disclosures of these kinds of actions
are meticulously calculated
They totally would have assuaged your fears by emailing you the evidence directly. Your sensitivities were on the top of their list, because God Man, THEY HAVE EMPATHY!
Also Steve wasn't fired from DFJ (not RFJ), he left to sue
I don't think there's a good solution to the problem within our existing legal framework. Probably the best short-term fix is to encourage victims to document incidences of sexual misconduct as soon they occur (including gathering e.g. biological evidence) and to report on them as soon as possible. Of course, the natural response to sexual misconduct is often to dedicate time to reconciling the fact that it happened, not to seek legal recourse, so this couldn't be perfect.
His career ended when she made the accusation. The standard of proof in these cases seems to be “I said he did it,” and that is wrong when the penalty seems to be instant banishment from your career and society in general.
There's also the fact that wealthy people can settle a sexual misconduct case even if they did commit it. You shouldn't be able to pay someone $900k to make an accusation go away and then face no criminal repercussions. Even if the victim is ok with that, the perpetrator is still free to harm other victims.
That doesn't seem to me to be true. DFJ carried out some kind of investigation, as the article mentions. I don't agree with your assertion that any evidence they found would have been leaked by now (or would necessarily ever be leaked). And I can't believe that DFJ's investigation into such an important person in their organization would have been cursory, nor that they would fire him without substantial cause.
We don't know what the investigation found, and we may never know. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything.
I'm sorry, but the "What about the men?" take is quite childish, and treats women like they have cooties or something.
My rule of thumb about these things is that if some guy is a creep, he will have been a creep to multiple women. See Louis C. K., Roy Moore, etc. By coming forward, the women will back each other up. I'll remain a bit skeptical until I hear more than one accusation.
Craaaaig Jurgenson, or whatever his name is, only has one accuser so far, but he took it seriously enough to let himself be fired. I won't say he's guilty, but it sure looks suspicious.
Secondly, will this is wrong, the main alternative seems to be years of unreported abuse. The men (and it is mostly men) have had years to take these kinds of accusations seriously, and work towards an environment where should accusations could be handled fairly. They have failed at that goal.
While I am fear a small number of people may get falsely accused, the opening of the floodgates will, I hoped be a long term good.
Has this ever actually happened?
unless "cleared" actually just means "insufficient evidence".
Let me be clear, I don't know whether he was guilty or not, the biggest reason being that the accusations are public.
But that's the rub, just an allegation can be enough to trigger all sorts of repercussions regardless of the guilt of the accused.
Accusations should be taken seriously unless prima facie absurd (the raped by someone who wasn't in the country for 20 years level of absurd). And in most cases should initially lead to suspension pending investigation for offences that would lead to a custodial sentence.
Firing and other forms of response where there is no way back is prejudicial and lacking natural justice.
[EDIT] added large clarification
however, it seems to me that journalists are being unusually careful about reporting these abuse allegations because of the exact pitfall you point out. some of the reports cite tens of sources (some named and some unnamed), so they're trying to play it safe when it comes to the reporting.
that's not to say that journalalists are infallible, but that they are taking precautions not to potentially destroy careers based on rumors alone.
I am not even sure what the attitude should be.
By default I would say that when there are serious allegations we should wait until a trial has been conducted.
But there are also cases emerging of dozen of people finally speaking out about an individual, where some kind of opportunistic fabrication seems very unlikely.
How should we balance the 2 ?
It hasn't. It still is a crime where criminal courts of law are the applicable courts.
It's also a tort where civil courts of law are the applicable court.
It's also a moral and PR issue where individuals in deciding their own personal business are the applicable decision-makers.
Journalists are relaying the information on which people make decisions on both responsibility and consequences, but they aren't making the decisions.
> It saddens me that society has become so blood hungry again that there are almost seasonal public lynchigs going on.
No one is getting lynched.
Conducting an investigation and reporting on factual information is not "lynching." Suggesting it is is a gross assult on freedom itself.
And the destruction is mutual for the most part. The moment the accusation is made, the accuser will experience some stigma too.
As sad as it may be, hardly frightening.
Wow. Given the well-supported allegations of sexual misconduct, published in reputable newspapers recently, yours is quite the claim. Who is doing this for attention? Do you have any evidence?
I think that traditional avenues have failed victims. This is especially true for Hollywood which has been abusing power long before the tech industry existed (see the exploitation of Judy Garland from the Wizard of Oz).
If there are any false allegations (through evidence or admission), we will need to see how the media treats that. If they don't give it the same coverage as the accused are currently getting, then that's obviously a problem with the media and society. That would clearly be bias and possibly sexist.
If all of these allegations hold true, then the media has successfully done the job where law and society could not.
Did you read the article you are commenting on?
> "... sources said that the investigation uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs."
So if the article is correct, your claim that there is nothing more than "mere allegations" so far is wrong.
And let's be clear, he's probably not innocent.
It sounds as if lawsuits are going to be filed, which means these claims may get examined in a court of law.
For these reasons I'm inclined to think there's likely something to this. If there isn't then the accuser(s) must have either nothing to lose, a serious axe to grind, or are being paid by someone to do this. These seem unlikely.
Back in the days of orkut.com, I do remember Jurvetson making what seemed to me like a huge effort to interact with pretty young women, especially from Estonia. I remember him having a few hundred friends on that service — more than most people there had — a list which included a very large population of pretty, young, single Estonian women.
Keep in mind that I never saw any behavior of his on orkut.com that I would deem harassment, but his social activity there did seem curious to me, considering his married, busy professional status. It was kind of similar to what I saw Marc Canter (of Macromedia fame I guess?) doing there, but again, for neither guy did I witness, or hear, of any harassment going on. it just seemed that what they were doing was merely using their professional status to flirt.
At the time, I figured that their flirting, and their collecting of young female friends, was harmless, and didn't indicate anything untoward going on. Especially since none of my female friends and acquaintances in these guys’ sights intimated to me that anything weird or unwelcome was happening. But now, I'm not so sure, considering how allegations, like the one in the featured article, are bubbling up.
God forbid I ever end up in a situation, and find people telling similar, about me. Even if completely true, this could still be irrelevant. How would I feel about my past self indulging in their consumption, as I am tempted to, right now?
How do others feel about this?
Edit: And: does it matter whether it turns out to be a false accusation, like he claims, or a real one? Because if it does (which I think it does), shouldn't we withhold these stories until the verdict is definite? But if it doesn't, then... surely, that can only mean that this comment is irrelevant?
> Jurvetson is the highest-profile venture capitalist to be forced from his job amid an industrywide evaluation of how Silicon Valley treats women.
And then later.
> The departure comes as Jurvetson was being investigated by his own firm for harassment. An entrepreneur had alleged predatory behavior was “rampant” at DFJ. The woman, Keri Kukral, did not name Jurvetson in her Facebook post.
So the "industrywide evaluation" is individual victims coming forward and reporting past abuse. That's a very charitable take that implies the industry is taking some sort of proactive action.
This is a much more proactive scenario than the KPCB-Pao situation several years ago.
Because all of that has clearly been happening this year. What else can be done?
Basically, it's irrational to try to cover up or ignore harassment in the vast majority of cases. Which is why HR is a perfectly decent solution for most of these issues, and we only hear about a few outliers in the media / law suits.
Engineers are also supposed to build bug-free software, but when your boss tells you to ship the product, you're going to ship it. If the company gets sued because your product has bugs, you're not going to be personally liable.
how did you reach that assessment? this would seem to only apply to behavior that was openly visible and recurring.
I believe HR departments handle this sort of thing very well in the vast majority of cases.
If that's true, which it may well be in that case, I'd say that Uber is an exception to the rule and the HR department was simply run in a (frankly) idiotic and irrational manner.
HR departments are intended to protect the company from liability. Generally speaking, they do that by taking standardized actions regarding harassment claims because otherwise they open the company up to lawsuits and negative PR. (see Uber)
Most company HR departments take harassment VERY seriously for this reason, especially if the harassment was written in black and white, such as Susan Fowler claims her harassment was.