SAN FRANCISCO — Female start-up founders who have come forward with stories of unwanted physical contact and repeated propositions for sex by venture capitalists have received a wave of support from Silicon Valley.
But not from everyone.
There's talk of witch hunts and fake news as the resignations of Justin Caldbeck and Dave McClure have some men and women questioning whether these investors were judged too swiftly and too harshly and if they are serving as scapegoats for years of bottled up frustration over unchecked sexism in tech.
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And this isn't just happening behind closed doors and in anonymous online posts. A few are speaking out publicly.
"How is it that men should pay with their careers for a moment of weakness?" says Michael Petraeus, a start-up entrepreneur who calls McClure's ouster a "crucifixion."
According to Petraeus, McClure's personal missteps have been blown out of proportion when stacked against his professional contributions to the tech industry. And Petraeus insists his is not a fringe view, that others feel as he does, they just don't dare talk about it.