When 500 Startups co-founder Dave McClure admitted that he is indeed a creep following an explosive New York Times article linking him into sexually harassing an entrepreneur, he was, expectedly, widely condemned for his actions.
Social media posts decried his indecent acts toward women and understandably so. Because what he was being accused of, which he also publicly admitted to, is a crime; a violation of one’s civil rights. It’s simply something no one would wish to be done to a friend, a family member or a fellow human being.
However, it turned out, there are those who looked at McClure’s actions quite differently. For some reason, there were netizens on Twitter and on his blog post who have been defending him and his predatory behavior.
A guy just admitted he’s a creep and some people on the internet are telling him to not apologize for his behavior.
Someone even thought he deserved a virtual hug.
Malaysian entrepreneur Cheryl Yeoh explained that she decided to share her own experience of sexual harassment at the hands of McClure only after reading his “I’m a Creep. I’m Sorry” post.
She pointed out that McClure’s supposed apology piece “didn’t address the severity of his sexual advances towards me and potentially others.”
Yeoh also lamented that the post was showered with comments from who are still supporting him and defending his actions.
“Just go onto Dave’s twitter and blog to see the swarm of comments supporting him for his authentic apology and courage in writing it. One guy even tweeted that Dave was just being Dave – he has always been, and will always be inappropriate! He’s famous for that. Big deal!
“Yeah, but you were always up front about it. It was your USP. why is anyone surprised? ; )
— CJ Cornell (@cjcornell) July 2, 2017
“Dave you’re not a creep, you’re a solid dude. I sorta wish you didn’t apologize for wanting a sex life like other human beings.”
“Dave, well done; continue. Listen, yr head went on a pike but yr past behavior is THE NORM, every industry & setting. Keep communicating.”
“ This took guts. Respect to Dave as well here a great example.”
“Jesus F*cking Christ you are a MAN and hit on a woman. That is NORMAL behavior. Don’t let people neuter you publicly for being YOU!”
“you are only human! I wish u the best“
“Read your story of self-castration. Sorry you felt it necessary. They’re still going to call you a monster forever. Shouldn’t have apologized“
“Unpin this immediately and delete that medium post. You have nothing to be ashamed of. No counseling needed. You are a f*cking MAN OWN IT“
As Vulcan’s Ellia Pikri pointed out, this is quite problematic that these people may not be “even aware that they’re in the wrong.”
The support McClure has been getting highlights a culture that thinks subjecting women to unwanted sexual advances is okay because “it’s a man thing.”
Well, that is a disturbing thought, especially when you realize that most people commenting on his post and expressing their support in social media are either in the tech industry or startup scene.
And if the recent news reports in Silicon Valley are any indication, there may be a lot more people of power and influence in the industry who are justifying every unwelcome sexual advance or request for a sexual favor as “a man thing” to do.