Donald Trump surrogate Peter Thiel once wrote that date rape is just "belated regret"

Donald Trump surrogate Peter Thiel once wrote that date rape is just "belated regret"
Source: AP
Source: AP

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who donated $1.25 million to alleged sexual predator Donald Trump's presidential campaign, once brushed off date rape as "belated regret" in a book he co-authored over 10 years ago.

In the 1995 book, The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus, Thiel and co-author David Sacks aimed to delegitimize date rape allegations by stating the definition of rape has erringly evolved to "seductions that are later regretted," the Guardian reported.

But since a multicultural rape charge may indicate nothing more than belated regret, a woman might 'realize' that she had been 'raped' the next day or even many days later. Under these circumstances, it is unclear who should be held responsible. If the alcohol made both of them do it, then why should the woman's consent be obviated any more than the man's? Why is all blame placed on the man?

In Oct. 20, 2000, PayPal then-CEO Peter Thiel, left, and founder Elon Musk, right, pose with the PayPal logo at corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Source: 
Paul Sakuma/AP

In The Diversity Myth, Thiel and Sacks dove into the high-profile Stanford University rape case in 1991. The case involves a 17-year-old Stanford freshman who was raped by Stuart John Thomas, a former male student, in her college dorm room while both were under the influence of alcohol. Mic reached out to Thiel for comment but has not yet heard back.

Thiel and Sacks acknowledged that the perpetrator wrongfully provided alcohol to an underage student and took advantage of her "lack of judgment," but they argued the incident was not sexual assault:

Although [the alleged perpetrator] was clearly guilty of serving alcohol to an underage woman and taking advantage of her resulting lack of judgment, there was no sexual assault ... Understandably, however, the woman regretted the whole incident afterwards.

They expressed their disapproval of Stanford University's policies and definition of sexual assault, which states: "Sexual assault by force or coercion, including deliberate coercion through use of drugs or alcohol, is absolutely unacceptable at Stanford University."

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016.
Source: 
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

These revelations come on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg's controversial defense for Thiel's seat position within Facebook's board of directors. Members of the tech community expressed their criticism and disapproval of the Silicon Valley tech giant.

Thiel was once sued for employment discrimination against Asians at his data firm Palantir. Despite Silicon Valley's reliance on high-skilled immigrant labor, Thiel funds an infamous anti-immigrant think tank Numbers USA. Thiel has also condemned the 19th Amendment.

The Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol shakes hands with PayPal co-founder and former CEO Peter Thiel after a discussion.
Source: 
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In response to critics, Zuckerberg assured Facebook employees that Thiel's seat in the all-white board of directors was a matter of political "diversity."

"We can't create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate," Zuckerberg wrote in an internal message to his employees reported on Oct. 19. "There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault."

But if accusations of discrimination against Thiel are not enough to disavow the tech giant, then perhaps it's time to challenge Silicon Valley's influence and role in American politics.

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Sarah A. Harvard

Sarah is a staff writer covering religion, race and politics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, and VICE. Send tips and feedback: sharvard@mic.com

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