I apologize for yesterday’s blog post about Dave McClure

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.

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  1. Go easy on yourself, Josh. You wrote according the info you had at hand at that very time. And when more comes out and more people- if any, come forward, there will be more to write about. There’s no doubt it was an excellently-written apology. This brings to mind the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings when one woman grandstanded in order to make theater out of a heretofore routine and quiet governmental proceeding and draw attention to herself. Thereafter a bunch of women “came out” with attempts to speak of isolated incidents of the then-new term “Sexual Harassment” by Attorney Thomas. They- like our pretty Anita, are long forgotten. So you have to wonder how many of these side stories are factual and truthful and not motivated by envy, spurned desire, or the chance to get your otherwise unknown name in print. Greetings to you from Twining Road, where this past Saturday I observed 50 years living in my house- the last member of my family to remain. No more swim club, no more boy’s day camp, no more riding our bikes up Ayr Lane and West Bruce Drive, no launching model rockets on the school grounds of Thomas Fitzwater. Just good, solid memories of living near worthwhile and substantial people who have excelled in their fields and made their marks in the world.

  2. You are amazing and in this time of false prophets, hate-filled rhetoric and bad grammar, I welcome anything and everything you have to say. Thank you.