The culture wars are at a fever pitch already, and the latest front to explode is in Mountain View. If you’re not caught up already, I suggest you read the memo first, then imagine what you think the reaction will be, then mosey your way back here after possibly skimming through the comments for a brief sampling. I’ll wait.

The fact that it’s exactly what you expected is the real problem here. The memo’s author slays the sacred cows of sex, race, political orientation, and **shudder** IQ. It’s a four-alarm thoughtcrime, all hands on deck!

Let’s get something out of the way so the real conversation can take place. If I were in a position to do so, I would immediately fire the individual. Hey, I’m sympathetic, but I don’t want the headache, and no competent manager would either. I understand some of you might disagree with such an action, but let’s be real, you’re wrong, it’s the only responsible one to take. It sure is a sad state of affairs, though, that a company must feel so cowed by the mob that it would sacrifice a (presumably) capable and intelligent employee.

Now let’s talk about the merits of the memo. The author makes a number of quite cogent points, seems to take great pains to emphasize the limits of his arguments, and offers constructive suggestions on how to resolve what he or she sees as a very serious problem. At least that’s how I read it, and I would certainly give the benefit of the doubt to any of my employees.

Now, many who have come to the author’s defense make quick pains to say how they disagree with what he has to say, and I suppose I too have some things I disagree with, or at least maybe think should have been considered further or better characterized. Sure, let’s hash it out, let’s talk about this stuff. Seriously, I’d love to have a conversation in the comments below about some of the issues the author raises–to what extent the stereotypes of men and women are true, whether most corporate diversity policies are counterproductive or unfair, the relevance of IQ, the current distribution of engineering talent, or the role of empathy in the workplace.

But no, the most serious issue here is the fact that we can’t even have an honest conversation about any of these topics. At least that’s what elite attitudes (vogue term: “woke”) are suggesting. The memo was immediately and totally condemned, even by the author’s own new head of diversity or some sh**. No room is allowed for any discussion whatsoever. Those who offer such wrongthink must be shunned and mocked publicly, and all must signal their agreement with such condemnation.

But the thing is, these are really important issues. How on earth is it a good idea to suppress dissenting opinions and avoid a hint of critical examination of them? Moreover, doesn’t such suppression allow truly disgusting ideas to fester? Frankly, much of this is uncontroversial until recently, such as the idea that men and women are different. And one need not look further than this other story that popped up today to know it is true.

But our diversity commissars have stated that men and women are completely the same, so it must be true and therefore cannot be questioned. This is the rhetorical equivalent of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and shouting “LALALALALALA”. Sorry kid, the issue isn’t going away.

And it’s really, really sad that American life has come to this. Frankly, this is something I’m really struggling with, that I can’t even have honest conversations about differences and openly discuss possibilities that could help us arrive at the best solution or policy. I do notice myself self-censoring more and more if I know someone of a certain political persuasion is around.

The optimist in me tells me this is a passing trend, and the pendulum will swing back as the wave crests and the ground settles a little (or something like that). But the realist in me suggests that it’s not a pendulum, but a ratchet. We were always warned that democratic society is a fragile thing, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that we are descending into authoritarianism and mob rule.

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It shouldn’t come as any surprise that they’re turning on each other:
http://www.newsweek.com/richard-dawkins-berkeley-radio-station-islam-641102

Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males FTW Anyone that wrote that for distribution in a professional setting is a fucking idiot and nothing else that person said has any relevance. Find someone else to make your case, this guy is discredited for inferring in a company memo that eunuch>woman because of in vitro testosterone. I am at heart an ideas person and I would have this conversation any day of the week but not with someone that started with this person’s quite obvious confirmation bias. If you really… Read more »

Zurvan

I’m having trouble following the logic. Because he said eunuch’s raised as female still think they are men instead of women, that eunuchs are greater than (>) women?

BTW, did you mean “WTF”? I think WTF is a very appropriate response to that sentence, but fail to see the greater than comparison.

kevinmkr

Thank you for tackling this, Zoom. It merely took the birth of my child for me to be conclusively convinced that men and women are wired differently. I try to be a good father. I try to be a good husband. The husband thing comes easy — it’s not challenging for me to anticipate my wife’s needs. But the father part? It’s a constant effort to remember my lines. If I’m in watching our son while my wife is out, he’ll eat on time, get snacks on time, get bathed, brushed, and played with. He’ll get his naps on time… Read more »

Zurvan

Anyone who thinks men are the exact same as women has never tried to raise both through puberty.

No, just being sarcastic “For the Win”.

I may have a different interpretation of the comment than you did and that is always possible. I certainly do have my own biases. His screed comes across to me as women as inferior in tech and business so by that logic I concluded that the thinks that eunuch is better.

Yes, women are different than men but not so much that they should be excluded from certain career paths and that seems to be what this guy is saying between the lines. Since he was fired, he will probably be inclined to clarify his statements. I hope that if he has been improperly vilified he will get a chance to vindicate himself but he has made some pretty idiotic points that will be difficult to overcome. He could have made is point(s) without talking about castrated men, and extroverted women being “gregarious” vs “assertive”. What on earth does that have… Read more »

Zurvan

I think this stems from the liberal belief that if they want something hard enough, their belief is enough to make it so. Think of the repeated attempts to try to ignore the laws of economics and human nature, despite Venezuela, despite Communist China, despite Communist Russia, despite numerous cities and a few states in this country that are so far in the hole, they will never get out, etc. etc. Think of gun control laws – if there are just enough controls, then gun crime will go down, despite the evidence found in Chicago, D.C., Detroit, L.A., etc. etc.… Read more »

Zurvan

Blatantly off-topic, but would love to see a post on it –

Does it bug anyone else that an illegal immigration has been paid almost $200k by San Francisco because someone in local law enforcement reported him to federal authorities? We’ve reached the point where we will actually pay someone for coming here illegally, and getting reported. It’s utter lunacy.

Zurvan

*immigrant

No one is free from bias/prejudice. Your willingness to excuse him is biased. I have not seen you quite as open-minded with liberal screeds.

kevinmkr

Interesting. *sigh* I just watched somebody in the “March For Science” Facebook group spend about an hour correcting people who were making their own straw men out of his diatribe. He was staying above the fray and simply asking people where they were quoting from or why they were making certain assumptions. He was being assaulted the entire time, personally. Finally, the moderator came on and banned him due to the “group policy” while leaving all of his assailants untouched. I write a note indicating my disgust and then left the group. I cannot believe that we live in such… Read more »

kevinmkr

spend about an hour correcting people who were making their own straw men out of [the Google employee’s] diatribe

Kevin this is not limited to liberals. Spend some time on a conservative forum and you will see the same treatment of someone defending a liberal stance. This doesn’t make it right from either group but I am not sure why “liberals” are called out for this. You obviously never saw the treatment I got over at Right-Thinking when I defended a city’s right to ban plastic grocery bags because they were clogging their sewer system and costing the city millions. Apparently the idea that a city would solve its fiscal problems in this way was over the top communism… Read more »

I already acknowledged my own biases, you are claiming to be bias-free. See, this is what happens when someone admits to what is known to exist by everyone. You will never admit it, but OK.

What amazes me zoom is that you cannot see it in yourself.

kevinmkr

In a liberal’s mind their is no need for discussion about what a woman can do in the workplace. She obviously can do the work and she should be paid appropriately. Anyone wanting to “discuss” this has some nefarious agenda. Actually, I’m a liberal and I want to discuss it because I’m not convinced that sexism is 100% of the reason why women are underrepresented in software development (my field). I’m curious what accounts for the other X%. There is nothing nefarious about my curiosity — I am entirely open-minded and am not assuming that it’s biology of shaming or… Read more »

kevinmkr

Must clarify — I wasn’t referring to what a woman could do or what she should be paid. I’m not sure the Google guy was, either, really.

In my reading, his main goal seemed to be attacking diversity programs. One of the ways he attempted to mount that argument was by suggesting that women weren’t underrepresented because they were women but, instead, because they weren’t applying in the same percentages as men. He then went to some lengths to explain *why* they weren’t applying.

Zurvan

In a liberal’s mind their is no need for discussion about what a woman can do in the workplace. She obviously can do the work and she should be paid appropriately. Anyone wanting to “discuss” this has some nefarious agenda. I admit that this is where I am coming from, although I am very much keeping the obnoxious to a minimum. See, I don’t think that’s what he was wanting to discuss at all. Nowhere did he say that women can’t do anything they want to do. Just that it’s possible less women want to do those things *GASP*. He’s… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

So let’s get this right:

1.) Colin Kapaernik kneels for the anthem and he’s an asshole who should be fired from ANY NFL team.

2.) This guy posts junk science manifesto which basically is a blueprint for any woman in the office interacting with him to file a lawsuit, but we need to be more open minded and hear him out cuz “muh rights.”

Oooookkkkkk.

An overall point about diversity, relating to his memo. And links to your fatherhood story KevinMKR Certainly there are societal differences between the genders on the macro level. The problem with Mr Googles claims, is that he talks about the personality differences ‘on average’ between men and women, but the discussion is about them in absolutes. Yes, KevinMKR, the maternal instinct means that more often than not females take to parenting more quickly. But to make decisions on the assumption that every man you meet is a bad parent isn’t good policy (this is where the unconscious bias comes in)… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se
Zurvan

It may be true that less women like coding. But that fact shouldn’t influence a hiring decision when you’re confronted with the skills and achievements of a person sitting in front of you.

I think the author is saying that that situation may not happen as often as we think because of the statistics. People assume it happens because there are less coding females. But it’s possible there are other reasons for it rather than prejudice, or some misogynistic bias. That’s all the author was saying, and he used logic to back it up.

poor guy he really fucked the goat on this one, if he wasnt fired, just imagine the hostel work environment he would face, in the coming weeks…

kevinmkr

ilovecress, an interesting point between your statements and mine is that they don’t contradict each other. I think that’s one of the problems with unpacking all of this. Everybody seems to be fighting a different, yet overlapping, battle. To me, his main point is that there are reasons other than sexism to explain the gender inequality and, therefore, he finds programs that “balance” the workforce to be flawed. He doesn’t seem to be saying women are less qualified, less intelligent, or less capable of performing the job. Just less interested. He also doesn’t say that women aren’t discriminated against. i… Read more »

**Controversial comment alert – I’m being contrarian here** What if ‘diversity’ isn’t about fairness at all, but it’s a commercial decision? I’ve worked on leads of different diversity initiatives for a whole bunch of clients – and while it’s nearly always sold as an ‘equality’ thing – quite often it’s a pretty black and white commercial decision that boils down to the fact that most companies customer base is more diverse than their workforce. Now this probably makes no difference to people on a production line – but for knowledge workers, there’s value in having a whole different types of… Read more »

kevinmkr

Since we’re just being philosophical now, I’d like to comment on this:

there’s value in having a whole different types of approach to solving problems.

Couldn’t two gay African American Buddhist women provide diversity in approach just as well as one gay African American Buddhist women and one straight Hawaiian Muslim man?

Isn’t an idea like “we need diverse groups to get diverse approaches” just more of the same pigeonholing that we’re trying to get away from? It’s effectively saying that Zoom and I will approach everything the same because we’re both white males. Isn’t *that* a form of sexism/racism?

Zurvan

It’s effectively saying that Zoom and I will approach everything the same because we’re both white males. Isn’t *that* a form of sexism/racism?

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It’s effectively saying that Zoom and I will approach everything the same because we’re both white males. Isn’t *that* a form of sexism/racism? Absolutely – which was my point. If you take the moral dimension out of it (as this chap is arguing – “I’m just being rational and saying less women want to code”) then you can equally say “The market is saturated with white dudes in programming, so the value of a female coder is higher. Let’s put in programmes to encourage that” As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in… Read more »

kevinmkr

I’m very interested in your line of thinking here so don’t take my questions as antagonistic, please… But, that said, I’m not sure how the former insists that the latter be true. Let’s say, *ONLY* for the sake of argument, that it is 100% undeniably true that less women want to code (which is what that chap is arguing). Why does that logically create an increase in value of female coders? If male and female coders are equally capable to complete the tasks and both have the same capacity to approach and attack issues from unique perspectives within gendered groups,… Read more »

Kev – all good, and I’m kind of arguing a side that I’m not 100% sure I’m aligned with. But basically, yes. (Coding might be too specific an example though). But it’s the argument for ‘quotas’ for diversity in upper management. The theory is (and is kind of backed up by the numbers) that having a management layer who all come from a very similar background harms your ability to innovate and connect with a more diverse client base. Say I’m running an insurance company, and all my upper management are white middle class males in their 50s. But the… Read more »

Zurvan

While I’m sad to see Damore giving interviews to only far right media outlets, I support whoever is doing this wholeheartedly.

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kevinmkr

I can see an argument in certain situations, for specific job requirements (such as reaching out to the public). However, the finance department at your insurance company could all be the same demographic and your company would be just fine. Same for IT and janitorial, I’m sure. I imagine you are? Not in the slightest. Nobody cares. Women run daycares here in the US and that’s just that. Nobody questions it or considers why that is. Without looking it up, I’d make a guess that it’s the most female-dominated position in the US. If it isn’t, it’s close to the… Read more »

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