Being a Winklevoss Twin Is Kind of Like Being Muslim, Say the Winklevii

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Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the Olympic rower Harvard grads who say they invented Facebook, are profiled almost perfectly in the new issue of Vanity Fair, taking writer Dana Vachon on a little road trip to Mexico while attempting to explain how they're really, truly the underdogs. That claim is hard to swallow, not necessarily because of the pistachio commercial exactly, but mostly because they received a $65 million settlement from Mark Zuckerberg and co. in 2008, but are still fighting for more on the grounds that they were shorted in company stock. Then there's their pedigree, which they point to as humble despite the fact that their father managed to escape coal country, now owns two $10 million houses, and sent his perfect-looking sons to Harvard. But it's not easy to be handsome and have an Ivy League education, they explain, claiming that they, too, have to face people's biases.

While being held by border security, the twins got to thinking about the profiling process:

"And so this is the large problem: that nobody's talking about actions. Everybody's talking — dwelling — about the kinda guys involved."

"'What do they look like?'" asked Cameron, of himself and Tyler. "'Square-jawed.' Like, 'Where did they go to school?' 'Where are they from?'"

"The spotlight's on the aggrieved party."

"Life..." Cameron sighed.

"And you can go to, like, airport security?" interrupted Tyler. "People who are Muslim should be allowed to be security guards — right? There's a difference between being a fundamentalist and being al-Qaeda and being Muslim. It's absurd to think otherwise. But certain people have not even reached that standard of thinking with regards to us."

May we all someday approach the depth of their empathy and nuance.

The Code of the Winklevii [VF]