Sarah Lacy: Twitter's Board Problem Is "Manufactured Feminist Outrage"S

The best publicist in Silicon Valley has been quiet lately, and it's not because she's busy writing conflict disclosures. Rather, PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy's taken time to come out on the wrong side of history and pen a self-described "rant" against "the mob" saying Twitter should have one single woman on its board.

Alright losers, it's time for a reality bomb from the Lace Face:

I can’t believe this debate about whether Twitter is an awful company simply because no one on its board has an X-chromosome is still going on.

I assume that's supposed to be something about a Y-chromosome, but, no, we can't believe it either! It'd be great if Twitter could put some people on its board that represent the massive plurality of people who use its service, and who give the company value!

We seriously think that amid all that, his fiduciary duty to Twitter’s shareholders and employees should have been to stop and think: “Wait, it’s not enough that these are the people I trust who are qualified, willing to do this, and who can help me make this into a public company….they aren’t diverse enough


Yes, we seriously think that.

And why stop at a woman? I don’t see an African American or Latino on Twitter’s board. Why aren’t we outraged by that?

That's also maybe a problem! No one says it's not.

Don’t take it from me. When they invariably slam this piece, go look at their Twitter feeds.

What does it say about your stance toward the world, Sarah, that you need to preempt your articles with statements like this?

Sure there are people in Silicon Valley (and everywhere) who get jobs or funded or board seats because they are connected, shared a dormroom with someone or have some cozy personal advantage. But ultimately, it’s a put-up-or-shut-up world here. The ones who make it long term are the ones who earn a seat at the table. Not the ones who get a seat handily doled out to them for an arbitrary reason.

[...]

I know more strong and commanding female founders and CEOs and investors than I have at any other point in Valley history.

Note these women aren’t the ones waking up everyday and trying to manufacture some new feminist outrage. They are simply working hard to lead by example and “change the ratio” by actually building companies and hire diverse and qualified senior teams in their image.

Now here's where you've really slipped up, because Sarah, you represent the worst of both worlds. You've been able to get by with a fatuous, hilariously conflicted web-rag because of your chummy connections with investors like Marc Andreessen and a willingness to write anything for the dollar. Most women don't have that kind of fortune or scruple-dearth—most men don't, either! And what've you done with it? Run a bullying website less popular than HawaiianAirlines.com. PandoDaily isn't just the anti-newspaper, but the anti-meritocracy, the anti-humanity. In its efforts to befriend and butter every willing business interest between Virginia and Palo Alto in a bid at micro-celebrity, Sarah Lacy isn't just betraying any woman who hasn't had her luck with money and influence—she's showing that, beyond any doubt, business interests are more important to her company that human ones, and that an industry relationship with the people at Twitter is more sacred than industry equality.

Feel free to tell her she's wrong, if you think she is.

Update: A reader points out that Lacy might not think Twitter needs a woman on its board because of her own company's origins:

Twitter’s female “problem”: This is why mobs don’t appoint public company boards

BY SARAH LACY ON OCTOBER 8, 2013

"And I finally had to block him [Vivek Wadhwa] on social media, because I found his continual comments about gender so offensive. Particularly one Twitter screed that said I only successfully raised venture capital for Pando because of how I look and who I know."

Why I Started PandoDaily

BY SARAH LACY ON JANUARY 16, 2012

"I’ve also raised a bunch of cash from some of the people I respect most in the industry. This includes: Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hsieh, Zach Nelson, Andrew Anker, Chris Dixon, Saul Klein, Josh Kopelman, Jeff Jordan and Matt Cohler, all investing as individuals."

Emphasis mine.

Photo: Getty