I apologize for my previous post, in which I praised Dave McClure’s apology for being a creep.
At the time, McClure apologized, saying, “I made advances towards multiple women in work-related situations, where it was clearly inappropriate.” Since then, Cheryl (Yeoh) Sew Hoy, an entrepreneur working with Malaysian startups, has accused McClure of sexual assault. She also said that McClure came on to at least 12 other women. Sexual assault goes beyond “advances” and “inappropriate.” To understand the difference better, read Yeoh Sew Hoy’s account.
McClure has now resigned from his company 500 Startups. This story is not nearly over.
I apologize to the women whom McClure assaulted or made advances to. I’m sure that reading my defense of his apology made your experience more painful, and contributed to an environment that made it seem that others were supporting a man who harassed or assaulted you.
I also apologize to my readers, to whom I have now given bad advice about apologies. I have contributed to a culture that normalizes and minimizes sexual harassment. That’s bullshit. I should have taken this more seriously.
What I’ve learned here is that in order to be effective, apologies must be not only humble and sincere, but also complete and truthful. McClure’s statement reads very differently in the light of an accusation of assault.
I’ve also learned to exercise extra caution in the case of accusations of harassment and assault, which are far too easy for men to sweep under rug.
In the future, I will consider how new facts may change the effectiveness of an apology — and I will consider specifically how this might affect unacknowledged victims of the person apologizing. I’ll also be vigilant for my own bias in favor individuals who I respect and who seem genuine.
I make mistakes, too. Thanks for your patience with me.