The worlds of tech and venture capital have a very real problem when it comes to gender discrimination and sexual harassment. (Well, they do if you ask anybody except Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who recently said, “It’s [sexual harassment] a reality because it’s perceived as a reality.”) You know what doesn’t help those problems? Dudes posing as sexual-harassment victims to get back at rivals in the industry.
Brandon Katayama Hill, founder of marketing-and-consulting firm Btrax, reportedly wrote an anonymous blog post entitled “I Was Sexually Taken Advantage of by a Silicon Valley VC.” In the post, Hill named Anis Uzzaman, CEO of Btrax competitor Fenox Venture Capital, as the alleged harasser. “A lot of people from Japan, including students and many very cute girls come to him, and he takes advantage of them,” the post read, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this week, The Guardian reports. The post claimed the anonymous woman (Hill) met Uzzaman at an industry event and he asked her back to his hotel. “You are going to lose the biggest opportunity if you do not come.” The Guardian traced the IP address used to post the damning blog post to Hill’s house, an allegation that he denied, saying someone else must have used his Wi-Fi. The Guardian confirmed that Hill’s Wi-Fi is password-protected.
“To have these false accusations come particularly in this climate when there’s this growing awareness of a problem that does exist, it’s damaging,” Katrina Saleen, Uzzaman’s attorney, told The Guardian. She’s right. It is damaging. Please ignore what this dumb man is allegedly doing in the name of screwing over a competitor, and instead listen to any number of the women in the industry who have been brave enough to share their stories.