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That is not the big takeaway.

The big takeaway is that straight white men's privilege gives them an advantage over everybody else since they face fewer obstacles such as having their hands forced onto a penis while closing a business deal.




Totally agree. It's always sad to see the response to this type of news on Hacker News. It inevitably immediately becomes something that is no longer about the problems women face, but a defense of the men. Like, how can you read the article and come back and say, "The big takeaway is, don't get mad at me if I'm just being a guy, because I mean well." What weird heuristic did you use to take the article as being primarily about you and the risk that you might be misperceived? That is not what it is about.


> straight white men's privilege

The article didn't actually include the man's race.


The point is the same though: it's about power and privilege.


I am an individual!

When you equate power and privilege with my appearance and gender, not only do you dehumanize me and treat me like a caricature, but you seem to assume that I hold some sort of power that makes me immune to your hate -- or you just don't care.

Well, I'm not immune, and I'm sick of it, and if anything, I'd like you and people like you to take your message of prejudice somewhere else.

I never graduated high-school, much less from Stanford with a MBA, and as far as I'm aware, I've never even had a meeting with a VC. I guess we all just "look the same" to you.


I agree that we should be judged as individuals, but if you are white and male, then you should also be aware that you are perceived differently and generally more positively in many situations than minorities and women. If you apply for a job or a loan, you have an advantage. Even without a Stanford MBA, you would have an easier time getting VC funding than more qualified women and minorities.


Let me apply the necessary nuance to your argument to strip away the racism and sexism:

"I agree that we should be judged as individuals, but if you are white and male, then you should also be aware that you are perceived differently and generally more positively in many situations than minorities and women. If you apply for a job or a loan, you [MAY] have an advantage. Even without a Stanford MBA, you [MIGHT] have an easier time getting VC funding than [MANY SIMILARLY QUALIFIED] women and minorities."

In your statement, you ascribed stereotyped attributes to me, and to every situation I might find myself. In doing so, you ask me to accept the core premise that I always have an advantage over others, in every situation, because of my appearance and gender.

Yet, Heidi Roizen, in many ways (but clearly not all ways, as evidenced by her experiences) started from a position of much greater privilege than me. I hope you can see how these things are nuanced, and that sexist/racist stereotypes are convenient but inaccurate, and in aggregate, those stereotypes become very wearing on those of us who, as is often stated by those with your point of view, "do not inhabit positions of power" relative to you.

The "white man" stereotype used to roll off me, because I only saw it on the fringes of impolite society. Now, I see it said regularly and publicly, in popular if not polite company, often in contexts where I don't have "power" and I do find it both demeaning and threatening.


Do you really think I "hate" you or are being hyperbolic to make a point? If so I think it was lost on me.

Anyway, your appearance has power and privileges whether you (or I) choose to acknowledge it or not.


> Do you really think I "hate" you or are being hyperbolic to make a point? If so I think it was lost on me.

Yes, I think your position is essentially rooted in hate.


yea, but it did say she was dealing with VCs 10 years ago, so an educated person can make a pretty confident guess.


I hope you can see the racism inherent in your "confident guess".

"yea, but it did say she was dealing with [community organizers] 10 years ago, so an educated person can make a pretty confident guess."

"yea, but it did say she was dealing with [an H1B immigrant] 10 years ago, so an educated person can make a pretty confident guess."


racism requires the assumption of a power dynamic that subjugates the recipient. eg a white guy being called a cracker doesn't resonate with the kinds of cultural practices of oppression that that using racial slurs against a minority carries. it's disingenuous and completely misses the point to equate racism with any time the concept of race is brought up


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

Some definitions consider that any assumption that a person's behavior would be influenced by their racial categorization is inherently racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative, because stereotyping necessarily subordinates individual identity to group identity.

Some people disagree with you.


Tell me how it's not racist to think that all "white guys" are sitting in the better end of a power dynamic when called "a cracker"?

Subsets of academia focused on "critical race theory" might try to redefine "racism" to suite their specific agenda, but I'm content with the dictionary definition:

"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."


Retreating to a dictionary definition doesn't argue against the point of the GP comment, namely: a white guy being called a cracker doesn't resonate with the kinds of cultural practices of oppression that that using racial slurs against a minority carries

If you're interested in arguing against that, do so. Posting definitions of words from dictionaries is the height of pedantic laziness in non sequitur form (unless the argument is actually about what the dictionary definition of a word is, of course).


exactly


Men live substantially shorter than women, men commit vastly more suicides, men are punished substantially harder than women in courts of law. Men are drafted to armies. Men get their children stolen in divorce cases. Men work vastly harder on average. Consequently men get paid much worse on average for the same amount of work than women. Men pay the majority of taxes, women get the majority of social services. Men are the majority of homeless. Almost all who live in forced celibacy (a form of forced sexuality) are male. Male homosexuality is vastly harder punished than female homosexuality.

It is objectively much harder being male than being female.


Not that I'm justifying it, but I wonder if the deal would even have gotten to the closing table if Heidi had been male?


If we assume that it was going to go through if she was receptive to the deal, then it's probably safe to assume that it would have gone through otherwise.

It's not good business sense to make a bad business deal just to get someone to touch your junk. If you're working for a large company with lots of money, you either find women yourself or find a way pay for them on the company card.


Oh I agree completely that sexual attraction shouldn't be the reason for a bad deal, but OTOH consider that there are a lot of very attractive women in sales who are able to subtly use that attraction as leverage.

Not that they promise sex or anything remotely that overt, only that a lot of men think with the wrong head and will go out of their way to please an attractive woman. That includes signing a deal they may not sign otherwise.

I don't fault women for this state of affairs.




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