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Judging by the comments on this article, it would appear that once you've been labeled a sexist it is downright impossible to dispel.

I'm not sure what people expect, exactly. Is pg supposed to give up all his worldly goals and possessions and live as some sort of equality monk? Should he know of and contribute to every one of the many groups and organizations involved in gender equality?

And what exactly is wrong with the "I have black friends" defense? Are you trying to say that pg is friends with someone in spite of his supposed hateful nature? That he's somehow looked past the person's "shortcomings"?

It seems to me more people are interested in being internet bullies than achieving true social justice.




This is the shallowness of that kind of P.C. bullying--Paul Graham has done much more for women in technology than any Internet bully, but he will continue to be attacked because it is possible to assign uncharitable interpretations to a few things he said once. When one realizes that this whole kerfuffle is not about being pro-woman, it's about posturing such that one appears to be pro-woman, then the attackers' views make more sense.

If you look at the comments below, the anti-PG crowd seems either to a) not care about YC's contributions to women in tech, or b) adopt a "so what" attitude. So what that YC has a disproportionate amount of women in high places and funds a disproportionate amount of female founders? I don't care, instead I'm gonna pick out some logical flaws in his arguments. (As an aside, there's few things more tedious than a nerd on the Internet concerned with "logical flaws" in peoples' "arguments".)


I'm reminded of Ted Kaczynski's take on P.C. activism:

"Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principle, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred."

http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/resources/fc/unabe2.html#c...

I think the aim of making the tech industry friendlier to women is better served by continued outreach efforts, rather than making an example out of individuals arbitrarily.


I was referring to a specific subset of leftist behavior which I called "P.C. bullying."

But good job applying it to all leftist activism. By quoting the Unibomber. Because the Unibomber has done so much more for the cause of women and blacks than have left-wing activists.

That is to say, I'm not interested in going all anti-leftist and turning things into politics. You have me mistaken.


I'm not saying you're anti-leftist, simply quoting someone's take on the psychology behind P.C. bullying. Not everything has to involve left/right-wing tribalism.


You say as you post a paragraph from a (whoops: not dead) terrorist's tirade against liberals. I don't think you could have possibly picked a worse example to hold up as not involving tribalism...


You are mistaken. The Unabomber is and was a horrible person. Yet I found mcantelon's quote from him to be very insightful, even if I don't agree with it in its entirety.

Judge the quote on its content, not the messenger. The only instance in which shooting the messenger is valid is when we rely on the messenger's credibility in evaluating the opinion, which is not the case here, at least for me.


I don't see how the example is tribalist. Ted Kaczynski, in my understanding, was a loner that was neither left or right wing. And I'm not sure why the fact he's a terrorist is relevant to his analysis.


You don't have to be in the opposite of a group to spew hate against that group. And I see very little "reasoning" in that quote, just lots of eloquently-worded polemic which weakly attempts to cast negative aspersions on an entire political view. Some of it is outright false.

In other words, it's content that wouldn't look at all out of place on a right-leaning website's "This is why liberals are bad" section.


That's true, but that's just one quote of his (he's still alive btw). Here's another:

> The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.

Dr. Kaczynski is an anarchist who opposes virtually all political establishments.


Mm. But notice the difference in delivery of those two quotes. This one concerns itself with a straight true statement (progress is at odds with tradition). The worst you can say here is that he says conservatives "whine".

Much unlike the other one which implies that leftists are all about power as opposed to what they say they are.


If he's an example of tribalism, as you claimed earlier, then he should be aligned with a tribe. "The conservatives are fools" is a fairly unambiguous denunciation of that tribe. Regardless of whether you feel he favors one over the other, he clearly rejects both.


Criticism and hate seem to be increasingly conflated these days. I don't see anything in that quote that would quality as hateful.


Well, the difference is that the first one is usually fact based and best delivered neutrally. The second one is usually emotion based and delivered with harsh invective, and additionally usually doesn't concern itself with facts.


Where's the "harsh invective" in the quote?


Title of the link I am providing

"Psychological assessment of the unabomber"

Here are the first few parts of the text

>"Dr. Sally C. Johnson's psychological report describes Theodore Kaczynski, the confessed Unabomber, as a man whose early brilliance was ruined by paranoid schizophrenia.

>"Johnson made her evaluation after interviewing Kaczynski, his family and people who knew him, analyzing psychological tests, and studing of the Unabomber's journals which document over 40 years of his life."

>"She cites "an almost total absence of interpersonal relationships," and "delusional thinking involving being controlled by modern technology" as examples of his illness."

http://www.paulcooijmans.com/psychology/unabombreport.html

below is a commentary by Paul Cooijmans on the report itself you might as well read that if you are lazy http://www.paulcooijmans.com/psychology/unabomber.html


Evidence suggests Kaczynski participated in MKULTRA:

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2000/06/chase.ht...

If so, this would have been a likely explanation for his chosen direction.


Your 'potential threat' level with the NSA has risen from 10 to 9.


He overflowed the int? Well shit...


That's why we can't have nice things. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Such bullying incidents may look like PR victories for the PC crowd in terms of shaping public opinion. What they miss though is that even when they don't backfire loudly (see "donglegate"), they turn off moderate people who are otherwise neutral or sympathetic to reasonable calls for equal opportunities. By trying to guilt trip the whole white/male segment of society as "privileged" and "misogynistic", some will bite but many won't, much more so when they feel they are unfairly put on the defensive. And while some will bend over backwards and become more Catholic than the Pope promoting their social justice causes, many will grow more and more resentful. They won't tweet and blog about it but they will be taking notes and making sure they stay the hell away from PC zealots and their ilk, be it in hiring decisions, investment funding or anything else. Congratulations, you have turned a sizable part of the silent majority into an opponent.


Yes, if only MLK and the civil rights marchers had been quieter and more obedient, I'm sure racism would be less of a problem today.


Actually MLK acted perfectly (if a little too quiet at times, though he was portrayed much more obedient that how dynamic he was).

The problem is with priviliged upper middle class white PC police, that are nothing like MLK -- and their "rage" is all show off and conforming to the social norms of their peer group.


>Actually MLK acted perfectly

  Q: How many times was Dr. King arrested?
  A: He was arrested 30 times.
(From http://www.thekingcenter.org/faqs)

Or go read Letter From a Birmingham Jail: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.h...

It was a letter rooted in anger: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/king-birmingham-jail-letter...

In it, he writes: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word 'tension.' I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth."

And of course part of what helped MLK's public standing was that there were much more radical people than him. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam shifted the Overton Window enough that MLK could look reasonable.

My point here is that social change is never comfortable, never easy, and certainly never welcomed by the bulk of the privileged group. Asking activists to be quieter and nicer is pointless; they already know what that gets them, which is being ignored. Which they've already had a bellyful of, or they wouldn't be activists.

People forced Paul Graham to confront the issue. And as he's a visible leader of the startup community, they're forcing everybody to confront it. Will that alienate some number of people? Sure. Would they have been advocates for change anyhow? Nope.

Ask yourself: what did those "more and more resentful" people look like in the civil rights era? Now ask yourself: is that the group you'd like to be remembered as being a part of?


  Q: How many times was Dr. King arrested?
  A: He was arrested 30 times.
Malcom X, by comparison, was arrested only 7 times.

The number of arrests have much more to do with the type/style of protest that they engaged in than it has to do with some nebulous concept of "social behaviour". The reason why MLK and his followers were confident that their tactics would lead to success is because they could force arrests for plainly absurd and not anti-social actions. Force arrests while "behaving well". Instead of getting arrested for smashing police cars, or firebombing businesses owned by racists, they got themselves arrested for things like sitting in a restaurant.


>>Actually MLK acted perfectly Q: How many times was Dr. King arrested? A: He was arrested 30 times.

Perfectly as in "perfectly good in my books", not perfectly legal or Mother Teresa like.

In fact in my very next sentense I lament that they present him as much more timid for how dynamic he was.


Ah, ok. Sorry for jumping to conclusions. I took it as more of the tone policing rampant in this discussion. I'm glad to hear that wasn't the intention.


Very true - MLK achieved his victories by misrepresenting and demonizing random white people who agreed with him.


The weird secret of Social Justice, including the "all white men are evil, because the group on average is successful" faction, is that it's mostly white men bullying other white men.


That reminded me of this gem from The Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-finally-put-in-charge-o...


Similarly, "slut shaming", pressure to be size 0, etc, are all things done by women to keep other women in line.


You're one of the few people here that understands this. Thank you. It's mostly white men trying to be someone elses savoir to free themselves from racial tension induced white guilt.


"White Knighting" is common enough around the world. Let me save you from those horrible people (who probably aren't that horrible).


Your right about the term P.C. Bullying.

Heck look at the last part of the post and you can see how certain subjects are a complete mindfield with one badly phrased term being pushed thru the descrimination door when not intended. Fact that so many people were asked by PG to check out the draft before posting is testiment to how much overhead is now placed upon those who will at best descriminate individuals to to that individuals actions and then after that individual proving the point many times over and given fair appeal. In short the types of people who only judge the guilty on a person by person basis based upon the actual 100% facts now spend more of there time treading other peoples minefeild that it becomes a overhead and distraction to the tasks at hand. Hell 19 people checked thru that draft (many women as well and no I have not counted how many women compared to men checked the draft as it is irrelevant too me, though some will I bet now). 19 people, that is a lot of people to have for a internet post, I bet even top News Papers have never had that many editors checking a post before (lawyers maybe) and that is all due to people being offended for things that were not intended. It is a mindfeild, it is a overhead and it is a measurable expense many people now have added to the time sinks in there lifes. Innocent non-sexist descriminating people are the ones that suffer, but hey the good `person` always suffers, is that not true :(.

"Thanks to Sam Altman, Alexandra Cavoulacos, Adora Cheung, Tracy Chou, John Collison, Patrick Collison, Danielle Fong, Kevin Hale, Aaron Harris, Elizabeth Iorns, Carolynn Levy, Jessica Livingston, Claire McDonnell, Kat Manalac, Kathryn Minshew, Kirsty Nathoo, Geoff Ralston, Garry Tan, and Olga Vidisheva for reading drafts of this." Would be nice if he added "And no lawyers were harmed in the process of this checking" Just for some sainity of this whole area and would highlight the whole overhead aspect in many other area's of life we see today. Patent Trolls, PC bullying and the like, its a time TAX nobody needs and yet we live it, least the honest good people do.


I think the kind of critique here is subconsciously and pedantically picking up on general tone and perceived lack of authenticity.

PG went on the defensive -- and attempted to dispel critiques with a negative attitude and a logical argument.

This isn't a problem you can logic away. What he needed to do was write from the perspective of social conscience, even if it's not logical, even if it's not strictly absolutely statistically true. He needed to prove that he is coming from a genuinely positive point of view, so that we can see that his great influence is not aimed simply toward the neutral or equal, but in fact good.

He failed to do this, and therefore he receives criticism. The arguments against him are focused on the wrong things, because they're not very self-aware, but they're fundamentally correct in the big picture.

There's a difference between simple absence of evil, tactless neutrality, and genuine good. We like to hope our idols and influences are as far toward the good as possible.


PG is high profile. His companies and their founders are high profile. For as long as I can remember there's been a thick thread of schadenfreude woven throughout this community's reactions to various stories that have come out about YC, from Dropbox to Airbnb to PG's supposed racism and now sexism.

Trying to defend yourself or setting the record straight is almost useless when everyone's already made up their mind before entering the debate, especially here where there is this odd presumption that PG et al are money-grubbing fools willing to sacrifice their morals. No benefit of doubt is given. I've met PG briefly, have been to Startup Schools and can say that all the YC folk I've met seem like genuinely great people. Unfortunately, I don't have a citation handy.

This place as usual reads like a den of rabid pussycats.


pg is neither a racist nor a sexist, but because he does not jump to support every pet cause of every self-described "social justice jihadi", he is lambasted as such.

Well, guess what? pg is his own person. He's just a guy who invests in startups, not some sort of idol upon whom you can project all your transformational, social-justice dreams for the tech industry.

Is there racism and sexism in tech? Sure. Is that pg's fault? No. Has he done things to mitigate this? Sure. Are the "social justice jihadis" appreciative of this? No.


Just a question, why is pg in person supposed to care about equality and what happens if he loses the fight? Do you have prison sentences or civil excommunication about that?


It's nice if he supports fairness - i.e. equality of opportunity, as opposed to guaranteed outcomes. That's the best that should be expected of YC or any other selector.


Everybody is a little racist and sexist. It's quite normal for you to react differently depending on the visible characteristics of a person you are talking to, it's ingrained through millions of years of evolution. What's important is that you're not a dick about it, and you give people a fair shot in situations where those characteristics shouldn't matter.

The cashier at the local taco shop speaks to people in Spanish or English depending on whether or not they look Mexican. Is that a problem? I don't think so.


Sure, but for most people "racist" or "sexist" aren't the first words that come to mind when they think of pg - that would be "investor" or "writer", for example. Bssed on his writing he seems like a reasonable, fair, and unbiased person. Misquoted out of context, you can make someone say whatever you want to further your agenda, of course.


I agree with you. I just think "not racist and sexist" is a ridiculously high standard. I don't know when we adopted the idea that X-ism is the worst thing in the world, but it's a completely impossible to stamp out. And is it really so bad to greet a guy in Spanish in an area with a significant Mexican population based on his appearance?

Let's say you give a Hindi greeting to an Indian guy who's second-generation American and doesn't speak Hindi. What's the worst that can happen? Well, if he's a SJW he'll spread your name on the internet as a "racist asshole". But if he's a normal person, you get past the misunderstanding quickly, and plus he knows that you know enough about his culture to have learned its language, and he might even appreciate that.

Our primate relatives are racist and sexist. What makes us think that we can not be?


I think we're on the same page.

Pretending to ignore race/sex differences out of some misguided attempt to be polite or "color blind" or "culturally neutral" does no one any good.

By "racist", I mean "actually despises others because of their ethnic background", not "has the odd awkward or confusing moment of ethnic / cultural misunderstanding".

Similarly, by "sexist", I mean "actually dislikes or has contempt for the opposite sex".

Of course the bar for these words has been raised to the point where the political Left can call someone a racist because they do not support a specific affirmative action policy, or a sexist because they disbelieve certain cooked-up statistics about the alleged "pay gap" between men and women.


> Everybody is a little racist and sexist.

I don't think we can assume that is the case if we are using the "power + prejudice" definition of racist or sexist. As far as I can tell, this is the prefered definition of racist and sexist among social justice warriors. If to be racist you must be prejudiced and have power over those that you are prejudiced against, then there are some people who literally cannot be racist.

Typically this definition seems to only be used to shield SJWs from 'friendly fire'.


>Judging by the comments on this article, it would appear that once you've been labeled a sexist it is downright impossible to dispel.

That's because it's easy. The "sexism-accusers" don't have to do anything themselves to fight sexism. Anything concrete I mean.

It's enough that they voice their anger and point their finger to this or that scapegoat (and ocassional real offender), and they can feel good, nay, champions of equality.

Plus, they have all their similar minded peers to high five, usually all people of upper middle class upbringing, that are oh so sensitive and oh so beautiful souls that even overhearing a guy telling a "dongle" joke in private to his friend can make them feel enraged -- until is time for their fair trade coffee break that is.

That leaves pg to prove a negative.


Or maybe they had something happen to them or someone they know? Maybe they had someone's head on their shoulder crying their heart out? Maybe they tried standing up for them and were fired? Maybe for whatever reason they really understand what it feels like in a world where most people don't.

I'm one of those rage-queens you so happily deride here. I know it myself. I became one after I complained about a manager openly discriminating against gay employees and having everyone involved in the complaint, except for the manager in question, mysteriously being let go in the three months that followed.

Plenty of those "sexism-accusers" probably have similar stories so, pardon my language, but go fuck yourself for pretending we're all just some spoiled middle class rage warriors.


>Or maybe they had something happen to them or someone they know? Maybe they had someone's head on their shoulder crying their heart out? Maybe they tried standing up for them and were fired? Maybe for whatever reason they really understand what it feels like in a world where most people don't.

>Plenty of those "sexism-accusers" probably have similar stories so, pardon my language, but go fuck yourself for pretending we're all just some spoiled middle class rage warriors.

No, those are different people you describe -- actual humans.

The pg-incident style outrage is not done by this kind of people, but by finger-pointers and "champions for the cause" with ideological blinders.

In my experience, it's mostly the overpriviled that champion such things -- the actual victims and women who try to empower themselves and move things forward pick fights that actually matter.

>I'm one of those rage-queens you so happily deride here. I know it myself. I became one after I complained about a manager openly discriminating against gay employees and having everyone involved in the complaint, except for the manager in question, mysteriously being let go in the three months that followed.*

Which sounds valid, but is quite different, I think you'll agree, to the kind of pg-gate/dongle-gate/upper-middle-class-drama incidents people make a fuss about.

>Plenty of those "sexism-accusers" probably have similar stories so, pardon my language, but go fuck yourself for pretending we're all just some spoiled middle class rage warriors.

I think you just proved my point. So sexual discrimination is bad, but telling people to "fuck themselves" because you disagree with their viewpoint is OK?

How about a manager telling that to a female employee he disagrees with?

Or do you have double standards for the workplace compared to online discussion? Would swearing/harassing at women/gays/etc online be OK to you then?


I've been openly gay for many years and I've become intimately acquainted with the varying degrees of discrimination vs, acceptance.

When you're in a situation like that your world divides into a) people who really treat you just like anyone else, b) people for whom what you are is a positive/item of interest, c) people who have some aversion for you but would like not to and d) people who just displaying like what you are.

The easiest way to recognize type c) is actually that the first thing they say when you say you're gay is something like "I'm totally OK with gay people. My friend/brother/xxx is gay."

I don't dislike these people at all; they're usually sweet and I can tell they're working on their issues which I respect very much.

From what I had read so far Paul was a type c) when it came to sexism, so when this issue surfaced I really hoped his essay would convince me that he was a type b) or maybe even an a) but, given all the experience I've had paying detailed attention to dynamics like these because they have such a disproportionate influence on my life, I came away fairly confident that Paul is still firmly a c) with one foot cautiously on type b)

That's why given that this is the topic of this discussion I don't think I'd be doing anyone a favor of I pretended I felt Paul came off scot-free in all of this.

So yes; that makes me one of those "sexism accusers" you just called finger-pointing, ideologically blinded, upper middle class, oh so sensitive, fair trade coffee sipping, feel good armchair activists.

In that case I do the same as when a male colleague makes a smart-ass joke to a female colleague about making them go get them a coffee, which is calling them an asshole for what they just did.

(And no, you're not getting a pass by saying you were only talking about the real armchair activist any more than saying you only hate the real faggots would.)


>That's why given that this is the topic of this discussion I don't think I'd be doing anyone a favor of I pretended I felt Paul came off scot-free in all of this.

That's where you are wrong.

Paul might be the worst sexist pig for all I know -- but nothing of what he (actually) said in the interview, his response post, and his general conduct with YC and women founders, has given any reason at all for him to NOT get scot-free for "all of this".

It's inventing reasons to accuse PG in "all of this", when none exists, that makes you a finger-pointer.

And by how fast you turned from champion of tolerance to your "go fuck yourself" to someone in conversation, you only cemented this.


Ah OK. So the real problem is that my opinion is just plain wrong!

The founder of an accelerator which has a reputation (earned or not) for being fratty and exclusionary and who runs a forum that's widely criticised for quickly silencing discussions on gender issues and being a bit of a hotbed for sexism spends several weeks coming up with an essay.

The end result of all that hard work is something that's decidedly defensive, demonstrates that neither he, nor anyone in his inner circle, has taken the trouble of properly reading up on the literature surrounding gender issues, doesn't go much beyond the "it's good for business angle" and replies to comments [1] in a way that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of internalized oppression, one of the most basic concepts when it comes to discussing systemic discrimination.

So because given all that I don't agree that PG now comes out looking like a saint I deserve to be described in the most derogatory terms you could think of; but me using a swear word invalidates my argument?

You know what, that's a classic 'tone argument' [2] from derailment bingo [3]. I doubt you've ever heard of it and judging from what I've read so far PG probably hasn't either, which is sort of my point.

And to reiterate once again; I very much appreciate what PG is doing and that he's taking positive steps in the right direction. That doesn't mean that I can't simultaneously believe that he has a long road ahead of him still.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7039270 [2] http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Tone_argument [3] http://mlkshk.com/p/9FOI


This is how things actually roll in the real world. You can stick to your principles, but it may cost you. I do think that the PG situation is a bit of damage control. While not having enough female founders (or founders with a foreign accent) is a symptom of what's wrong, the root problems go a little deeper.

The quality of the idea, execution, and team is what should matter. Not the color of skin, not gender, sexual orientation, accents, or anything else. But here we are...

We can't pretend that SWM are the only ones who can create a good product, and if our tech heroes happen to fuck up or say something that isn't right, I don't think it helps to ignore it.


The goal of a lot of the bumper sticker justice crowd is anything but justice: it's the promotion of a cause they're leeching off of, for the benefit of their own ugly vanity. It's identical to people putting a save Tibet bumper sticker on their car, while not actually doing anything meaningful. It's about the least amount of effort to pose as an activist.

I find that most good intentioned movements have more than their fair-share of the equivalent of fair weather fans. They don't understand the core of what the movement is about, they don't take the time to understand the best way to accomplish positive outcomes, and they use an as-seen-on-tv / mimicry approach in their activism without the fundamentals to support it. It's like putting up a simple search engine page layout, copying Google, without the engine behind the scenes to power it.


>And what exactly is wrong with the "I have black friends" defense? Are you trying to say that pg is friends with someone in spite of his supposed hateful nature? That he's somehow looked past the person's "shortcomings"?

The critics I've read aren't saying pg has a hateful nature. They're saying that he hasn't fully accounted for his unconscious biases.

Given that everyone's friends have actual shortcomings, it doesn't seem a stretch to say that people are friends with people they imagine to have shortcomings because of an unconscious bias.


>The critics I've read aren't saying pg has a hateful nature. They're saying that he hasn't fully accounted for his unconscious biases.

I've seen a lot of Twitter rage that is rather like this one: https://twitter.com/monteiro/status/416728196503973888


Nobody can ever account for all unconscious bias. It's the original sin doctrine of the social justice warrior community.


"Nobody can ever account for all bugs. It's the original sin doctrine of the programming community."

I'm not saying Graham should drop everything until every last bias is gone. I'm saying he shouldn't act as though sexism is a solved problem at YCombinator just because the percentage of female founders is up and it has women as partners.


How is he supposed to "fix" sexism at YC when no one is capable of identifying instances of it? Gender distributions isn't proof of sexism _at YC_. As PG has stated, YC is too far removed from the problem to be useful in combating sexism as shown by imbalanced gender distributions. So what do you expect YC to do in this case?


> "So what do you expect YC to do in this case?"

I believe the standard request is:

> "If there was just the pro-activity line of attack, if it was like, "OK, yes, women aren't set up to be startup founders at the level we want." What would be lost if Y Combinator was more proactive about it? About lowering standards or something like that? Or recruiting women or something, like any of those options?"


How is he acting as though sexism is a "solved problem"?


The reasons I wrote "he's acting as though sexism is a solved problem at YCombinator" are because none of his suggested solutions are about sexism at YC and this line: "More thoughtful people were willing to concede YC wasn't biased against women."

Edit: He is willing to do more about the problem generally, and I give him credit for that.


The thing that sticks out most is this: Of the very angry people who were repeatedly tweeting attacks at him after the Valleywag article, I haven't seen even one apologize. It's just sad.

Edit: @antics, I just reread the stream of angry @paulg tweets from Dec. 28th and have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe I missed tptacek's tweet both times. Please don't attack me over it.


Then you truly weren't paying attention. At the top of comments section re: one of the articles explaining that the interview with pg left out an entire question, tptacek's apology was the top-voted comment.

Insinuating yourself into a discussion you have not been following carefully to accuse another party of hubris is pretty much the apex of bad discussion behavior. It is not in good faith, please don't do it.


'tptaeck didn't tweet, it was a comment on HN, just FYI. I think you two are taking about two different things.



What's embarrassing is that this self-righteous, guilt-tripped social justice douchebag is a BDFL of Django. I wouldn't be surprised if some current or potential Django users or contributors get sick of his jihad and turn to to a different developer community.


Could you please educate the rest of us what is so upsetting about these tweets (other than the fact that he received death threats)?

Jacob is doing a fantastic job at making people of all types feel welcome, which I believe is more likely to make the Django developer community thrive (as it already is).

Also, the footnote mentioned where pg writes that he enjoys that startups can freely discriminate is worrying. It does not mean that pg is a sexist, but he is a role model and we would expect him to be more sensitive.


As a minority, I would not be comfortable around a sjw. I've been told way too many times by sjws what it's really like to be [minority category X], when I am very clearly minority category X and they are not.

I don't know anything about this Django contributor aside from the tweets I've just read, but the phrasing and verbiage are very similar to the sjws I've had experiences with similar to what I wrote above. It makes me wary. SJWs do not have my best interests in mind--99% of it's a show to demonstrate how pious and dedicated they are to being a morally superior person, and it seems that a lot of times that demands you ignore and steamroll over the very disadvantaged people you somehow have self-appointed yourself the designated speaker for. SJWs complain about marginalizing, othering, and silencing voices of minorities, but they're quickly becoming some of the biggest offenders.


I remember reading these two tweets: https://twitter.com/jacobian/status/416719991963009024 https://twitter.com/jacobian/status/417776560603549696

and thinking that the second one (in response to some people telling him he was factually wrong about pg, and should maybe cool down) in particular marks him as a toxic passive-aggressive douchebag. Do you think these are fine, too?

I didn't know he was head of Django, which I don't use, but wouldn't go as far as assuming his personality leaks out to the project. It may well be that he's doing great things in Django, people often compartmentalize.


"Do you think these are fine, too?"

Seems a lot better than your own name calling.


> making people of all types feel welcome

except for (preferably white) men, apparently: "ah right, yes, I forgot about the poor oppressed men. I keep doing that, why can’t I ever remember?"

Death threats from random anonymous people on the internet don't mean much more than that you have really pissed someone off. They're not to be taken literally.

Re pg's footnote: The discrimination example he brings up is based on real-world constraints, not some arbitrary prejudice. There is a place for enforced equality quotas, no child/woman/minority left behind and other social safety nets. Startups is not such a place.


The major hurdle for fighting for men's rights are people like yourself that keep lowering the debate by not being able to conduct themselves in a decent way. Frankly, the attitudes behind why women doesn't have a place in technology or used to be barred from many sports, are the same as why men can be forced into military service or has a higher risk of injury at work.


I would never work with him or one of the other SJWs in tech (Alex Gaynor, Bryan Cantrill, Adria Richards). You know they would be more than happy to ruin you if you slip up and say something remotely non-progressive, or that can be twisted to sound non-progressive.


Bryan Cantrill

Citation please.



Thanks!

UPDATE: Read up on the thread. Very sad to see how people, and Joyent in particular, came down on Ben. WTF. For what it's worth, here's Ben's response.[0] Reading that, it's pretty obvious he's the only adult involved in that whole fiasco. Seriously, W.T.F.

[0] https://github.com/joyent/libuv/pull/1015#issuecomment-29568...


Maybe I missed tptacek's tweet both times

relevant> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6986829



Add ?share=1 as a parameter at the end to get rid of the nagging modal window.


Done, thanks


I misread 'equality monk' as 'equity monk.' Now there's an interesting term... for startup founders and early stage employees perhaps.


So true, in the end, it's not pg's fault if there is sexism and racism in the tech industry. They are doing their bit to improve the situation. Others should also try and do the same.


How much sexism and racism is there really in the tech industry? Most tech companies are quite the rainbow - 5 or 6 different native languages in a small company is not uncommon.


Only woked in 3 companies in 7 years but on the field, women in IT benefit a lot from positive discrimination. In fact they're promoted to managing jobs much sooner after they ask than men as far as I saw examples. Sexism is much more of a problem in the food industry and so on, so I would recommend IT jobs to girls if they want a great career with few hassles.

In fact I recommend IT jobs to everyone. The social inabilities that goes with programming is a repellent for everyone, but c'mon, we get to travel everywhere in the world, sit all day and watch gmail all the time. There couldn't be a more luxury job.

So a problem is, articles about sexism don't match the observations I've made on the field.

Edit: Added the last sentence and figures about my experience.


"I would recommend IT jobs to girls if they want a great career with few hassles."

I wouldn't, at least not compared to many other high ranking fields where women are respected to a larger extent. I would even say that if you, as a women, want a career in technology you have a better chance with a degree and experience in another field.


Yes, I agree with you, I don't think there is much specially in startups (although I don't have any proof to support this claim).


Indeed you can word something that could become misinterpreted and taken out of context and hung for it for all effect and thats even when you zoom out the context for the offended party. In part and I'm going to be blunt, women have historicaly been a bit repressed in some areas by some mindsets/people and those who have not read about others in such situations. There offended and rightly so, they can then sometimes see the worst and become overly deffencive and I can understand that as it is human nature to compensate and intellegent to learn from others mistakes. Sadly though the written word and conversations out of context can easily be seen as bad when the intention was never even there.

We all make mistakes, sadly though the mistake is often badly phrasing or being snap-shot sampled in a way that allows a different, wrong perspective upon what was said and intended. It is a form of PC over compensation which you get and had/have with the race card. Heck even talking about such subjects without being 100% behind the offended party can be deemed by some mindsets as being as guilty as the deemed offender and easily mis-labeled.

Another way to view this and see how it happens is take TSA for example or traffic wardens. The mindset people have is that from a efw bad examples all TSA and traffic wardens (meter maids they are called in some parts - lets say meter people now or as I prefer traffic wardens and avoid misconception of sexual biased even if not intended and I'm typing this extra overhead just to avoid a non intended issue right there :|). So TSA and traffic wardens, they are often looked down upon and pre-judged or any action deemed persecution, even when they are just doing there job and are not like the few examples that get passed on. You can get equaly good and bad news about say a traffic warden and people will remember the bad and apply that to all people with that job title after reading a few examples. It is how news works sadly and the mindset of the populus that take this news in, biasing the bad against all and the good only to a individual. I won't even try to understand that but that is how it is for most people. People sadly just love to label and bias bad news - heck even saying that is a bias/labeling mindset train of thought and is that wrong or am I just being honest about I see many situations happen which need not of happen.

That all said whilst it is good that the bias some people have towards women is being tackled, I do worry as somebody who treats people as people that a unfairness is arrising for women with regards to IT at the stage that a bias in favour of women arises in many areas now from training access, special progroms only available to women with no man equivelant and the like. These are to compensate the deemedbias in the past. But to new people into this World growing up in such situations who are unaware of a bias being needed, will grow up seeing a bias against them if they are male and with that create the bias all a new for a whole new generation and all due to them being descriminated against due to them not being a women.

DISCLAIMER: Just so we are clear I'm being totaly pragmatic and honest and and bias against or for any gender is not my intention nor will it ever be so if you read into it otherwise then it is your unopen closed mindset that is reading words in a different voice than intended. Though please do point them out if grammer or badly worded, though not intended I'd like to learn how to avoid the whole issue so replies like that greatly welcome and apprecieated.


Accusing others of being witches shows off your own moral purity. It also gives a feeling of power, a critical mass of the American tech crowd comes from the PC left that is large enough to set off a mob. The ultimate feeling of importance comes when a witch is burned (fired from his job). PG is a poorly chosen target in some sense, since he will be extremely hard to fire - although public humiliation is also satisfying to SJWs[1].

It is not all bad. One of the classic phenomena of witch hunts is when the hunt comes back to bag an original instigator. This is rich in irony and entertainment value.

[1] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session


> One of the classic phenomena of witch hunts is when the hunt comes back to bag an original instigator.

Like Robespierre?




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