I read an interesting post by Heidi Roizen with the title, “It’s different for girls.” Ms. Roizen is an admirable person. A successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist and mother. (The latter is relevant as you’ll find if you read her post) This is a quote from her post:
Wine was brought and toasts were made to our great future together. About halfway through the dinner he told me he had also brought me a present, but it was under the table, and would I please give him my hand so he could give it to me. I gave him my hand, and he placed it in his unzipped pants.
Yes, this really happened.
I left the restaurant very quickly. The deal fell apart. When I told my brother (T/Maker’s co-founder and chief software architect) what happened, he totally supported my decision to bolt.
This is the part I read over and over and did not get. She didn’t throw wine in his face, punch him or do anything other than leave. Her BROTHER didn’t do anything other than agree they shouldn’t work with the company. Now, the latter I completely understand and I also am in agreement with her view that you don’t work with dirtbags and there are people out there who are not shaking their dick at you – literally – that you can work with.
Maybe it is growing up getting in fist fights in the neighborhood on a regular basis. Maybe it is being the world judo champion. I cannot imagine being in a situation like this where I did not haul off and hit the person as hard as I could. To me, it’s assault. The one time I did get groped at work – over 30 years ago – I actually did throw him into a wall. Really, it was just reflex, the same as if someone punched me in the face, I would have hit him back.
Ms. Roizen is admirable not just for her accomplishments but because she is honest enough to say,
It pains and somewhat embarrasses me that I am not recommending calling out bad behavior and shaming the individual or individuals responsible. In a perfect world people would have to account for their behavior. But as an entrepreneur who spent years in a daily battle for existence, I did not feel like I could afford the hit I’d take in exposing these incidents.
I respectfully disagree. She was not in a daily battle for existence. She was not a woman in Nigeria who was in danger of being killed or sold into sexual slavery. Perhaps she was in a daily battle for existence of her company, a certain lifestyle. I am sure she believes that the end justified the means and now she can, as a venture capitalist, help other companies, speak out in her own way for women. I don’t know her at all and I’m in no position to tell her how to run her life.
What I will say, though, is that it is totally different for me. In the few times in my life that I thought the end justified means I did not think were right, it always turned out to be a mistake.
I appreciate her. I appreciate the honesty of the female college president who wrote in her book about deciding to have her breasts removed at the point when she was walking through an airport and a man said, “Nice tits”
However, as I said in the post I wrote about that, I am in more agreement with my sister who commented,
“Wow! If I was walking through the airport and a man said, ‘Nice tits!’ I think I would accidentally spill my coffee on him. And if I wasn’t carrying a cup of coffee, I’d go and buy one to spill on him. Having my breasts surgically removed would be the last thing that would occur to me.”
I’ve been married to The Invisible Developer for 17 years. We’ve raised our voices to one another perhaps twice, so it’s not as if I go around randomly swinging at men. However, I know without a shadow of a doubt that in Ms. Roizen’s situation I would have jumped up, yelled,
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
and then I would have smacked him.
I am sorry that Ms. Roizen and Dr. Spar had to make the choices they did.
One thing these women have done for me this year is cause me to dramatically increase my plans for 7 Generation Games because I intend to show the world that you can become an extraordinarily successful woman without cutting your breasts off or enduring a strange man putting his dick in your hands.
I have four daughters and two granddaughters and I refuse to accept the status quo will be their future.