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Why Ubergate is ridiculous. Keep “sexism” out of it.

uberlogo_large_verge_medium_landscapeMany of you have read the recent scandal surrounding Uber (hereinafter “Ubergate”). First off, I want to make it very clear that I support Uber 100%. I do not invest in it, or make any sort of profit from it. I just use their service. I think the company is brilliant, innovative and since first using them in August, I have enjoyed using their service regularly. Sometimes I feel too lazy to metro to school so I just Uber. Quick, easy and relatively inexpensive.

Back in October a journalist, with a biased political agenda, known as Sarah Lacy, wrote an article on how Uber is “sexist” and accused them of “misogyny.” Lacy went further to call some investors in the tech world who support Uber “assholes” because, in her opinion, apparently Uber hinders women rights in the tech industry and riding Uber late at night is dangerous. More dangerous than taking a taxi or walking home at night? Really?

Lacy believes that Lyft is safer. Somehow, a company similar to Uber is safer. Does Lacy also believe that taking a taxi is safer? Lacy is clearly out of touch with reality if she believes that Lyft (and Taxis) are safer than Uber. Uber requires more background checks and has more safety requirements than most, if not all, ride share companies on the road. In my opinion, the issue here is that Lacy is one of those super feminists who feels the need to make a federal case out of everything. Let me be clear though, I believe that ALL people despite their gender, race, orientation, religion, and political ideology should be treated equal. There shouldn’t be one category more respected or safeguarded than the other.

Also, when considering Buzzfeed’s coverage of Ubergate it is important to remember that Ken Lerer, the executive chairman of Buzzfeed, invests in Sidecar, an Uber competitor. Other Buzzfeed management members invest in Lyft and Pando Daily, where Lacy writes regularly. Also, Ashton Kutcher, who has been defending Uber, invests in Uber and came out in support last night on Twitter.

Lacy decided to delete Uber from her phone. A move that Uber probably does not care much about. Especially from a journalist who seeks to give women an advantage instead of urging equality on all fronts. In other words, she is your typical biased American journalist with an agenda. A journalist who seeks special treatment and a sense of immunity from doing exactly what the Uber SVP, Emil Michael, had mentioned.

Was Emil out of line? Absolutely. I think he was trying to make a point and he had a poor choice of words. He got overly excited about the issue. No ones privacy should be violated. But lets put all this political correctness bullshit aside. Do you REALLY think a company like Uber would get away with violating its users privacy? Absolutely not. They aren’t Google and they are not in bed with politicians. Uber has had a long battle against taxi unions and governments to allow their company to operated in different jurisdictions across the United States.

Emil’s comment was not targeted at Lacy for being a woman. It was at her being a biased journalist. I highly doubt that Emil cares about what gender Lacy is. What he does care about is that she is misinformed, full of crap, and spreading misinformation about Uber. Why? Because Buzzfeed and Pando Daily all invest in Uber competitors, there is no other logical reason.

The majority of journalists spend their life digging into peoples’ personal life. Including family details about politicians, top executives, and Hollywood stars. Sometimes journalists unlawfully obtain information for their selfish agenda. However, when an executive, who happens to be a male, does it then it turns into a huge sexist scandal. I’ve had plenty of women drivers, all who have appreciated what Uber has done for them. Uber has allowed them to make more money than they used to make as a taxi driver or whatever previous  employment they had.

People need to put the sexist bullshit aside and stop making a deal out of something that just doesn’t exist. Uber has allowed both men and women to earn more money while working the hours that are best for them.

After the whole Ubergate scandal began, apparently Lacy felt the need to have a bodyguard. Because you know, the Uber Mafia is very big and powerful. If you want to see a Mafia, go look at the taxi union in Las Vegas, NV then come talk to me.

My conclusion is the following:

Uber is one of the best things that has happened in terms of transportation. Getting drunk Saturday night? Uber is your cheapest and safest bet when public transportation is closed. Taxi fares are ridiculous, Uber at least lets you see a concrete fare estimate. Your ride is also traced for safety purposes whereas taxi rides are not. Uber drivers don’t deny you a ride because you’re going too far, too close, or you seem too drunk. Thinking of taking the bus or subway late at night? That is more dangerous than Uber, anyone with common sense will concur.

If I had to decide who was sexist, Lacy or Uber, I would definitely go with Lacy. A journalist who is turning a non-existent issue into one for her own personal gain.

Are there two sides to this story? Absolutely. But don’t make sexism an issue here, because it isn’t. Not in this case anyway. I’m only writing about this because Uber is an essential service used by many of us frequent flyers and bloggers.

Some Uber facts:

  • Median annual income for UberX drivers in NYCL $90,000. Other major U.S. city drivers earn closer to around $60,000. Full time, of course.
    • Uber drivers get 80% of the total fare. Uber gets 20%.
  • Drivers set their own hours. So they get to work on their own schedule.
  • Free rides for new users.
  • No cash. Making theft less of a possibility.
  • Every driver gets an iPhone that is compatible with the companies platform.
  • Fare estimates. Get a fare estimate so you know what you might be paying.
  • Uber will drop drivers with low ratings. Meaning, Uber makes sure that their drivers are safe, courteous and friendly.

Those drivers who complain about getting a tip really shouldn’t. Uber drivers get 80% of the fare, taxi drivers do not get that much so they do rely more on tips. However, if a passenger does want to tip they can do it in the form of cash and I’m sure they would accept it.

As always, remember that this is my opinion and not that of Prior2Boarding, BoardingArea, MilePoint or anyone else who I may have an affiliation with.

Here is an Uber driver who believes they are entitled to a tip. I think not.

About Adam (461 Articles)
Frequent Flyer. Scuba Diver. Travel Blogger. [Follow me on Twitter: @iAdumb]

4 Comments on Why Ubergate is ridiculous. Keep “sexism” out of it.

  1. Uber’s corporate culture issues go far beyond Sarah Lacy’s issues with them. I’ve actually never been a fan of hers, but I agree with her regarding this. I suggest you put your hatred of her aside and read up on them further. No company is perfect, and I have plenty of issues with taxis, but it’s clear that they have a lot to work on.

    Here are a few good articles:

    https://medium.com/@petersimsie/can-we-trust-uber-c0e793deda36
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/28/uber-s-biggest-problem-isn-t-surge-pricing-what-if-it-s-sexual-harassment-by-drivers.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/technology/uber-a-start-up-going-so-fast-it-could-miss-a-turn.html

    • There is no hatred towards her, this is the first time I have heard of her so she is pretty irrelevant to me otherwise. No way there is sexism in Uber from what she is referencing. The bottom line is she is a typical super feminist who also works for a company that invests in Ubers competitors. Hence her great dislike. Uber is better than all other alternatives, besides driving yourself.

  2. I would consider myself a “super feminist” and am appalled by your generalization.

    Uber is not better than all the other alternatives nor is it any worse. Everyone has different needs and so therefore, each company may or may not suit those needs.

    Perhaps she did experience a horrible Uber ride.

    Your article makes Uber to be the best invention of this decade. Well, no. It is run by humans, and every human makes a mistake. Regardless of background checks, things do occur. It is the best company for you. That is all that you can state as a fact.

    I have never experienced Uber so I will not make a personal judgement unless I do so.

    I have, however, read your article and find your definition of a “super feminist” to be appalling.

    Were those that marched for the 19th amendment “super feminists that make a federal case out of everything”? (irony intended)

    All that you can state about Lacy is that you completely disagree with her statement and make an opposing arguement.

    To malign “super feminists” (those that actively work for the betterment of the female sex around the world) is a disgrace to your gender. It also undermines your Uber thesis statement.

    You want to keep sexism out of discussion on Uber? Then remove sexism from your own defense of Uber. Otherwise, if this was a debate, point to Lacy.

    • First and foremost, it is important to reiterate that this is an opinion piece, which is incredibly important to point out given that you are criticizing my opinion on Uber’s contribution to the market that it exists within. This challenge is even more discerning given the fact that you haven’t even used the service. So you basic point there is that my opinion is wrong but you don’t have an opinion because you haven’t used the service…that’s an illogical statement. Most people will more likely than not agree that Uber is better than a taxi.

      In regards to you take on my assertion about super feminists; There is a difference between fighting for women’s rights and being a super feminist that seems to relate every issue in today’s world through the lens of sexism. I am not the first one to bring sex into this issue, Lacy is. Therefore, why is it fair to say that a company is sexist (an absolutely outrageous charge and mostly indefensible from the facts at hand) but for someone not to challenge that blatant ridiculousness in Lacy’s super femininity?

      There is no defense of sexism in my thesis on Uber. It is essentially that Uber has made some mistakes, but at the end of the day, it is an amazing service that has completely revolutionized the market. In my opinion, it is the best in its line of service. If you disagree, feel free to do your research, use the product and its competitors, and draw your own conclusions instead of those that are based off the coverage provided by media that has an active investment in Uber’s competitors.

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