It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept.
Case in point:
This is of course preposterous. Few people identify as men’s rights activists, and of all the fields men’s rights activists would attempt to control, the tech community seems the least likely.
So why are so many news outlets publishing articles with this theme? This is happening primarily because James Damore revealed a stark truth about the tech industry: women are given jobs based on their sex, not their skill.
James Damore is the former Google engineer who wrote the infamous 10-page memo Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber. He explained in the memo that identity politics controlls Google’s hiring and business practices, resulting in a host of problems, and creating an environment that ironically stifles diversity. Most specifically, he criticized the left-leaning agenda and anti-conservative attitude at Google. He noted:
The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness, which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.
Google, as if to prove Damore’s point, fired him. However, his firing only illustrates the problem. The more people dug into his memo and Google’s practices, the more it appeared that Damore’s memo was true. There does appear to be a double standard at Google and in the tech industry at large that gives women an upper hand over men whether or not the women are qualified. Complaints from men about unfair treatment, passed promotions, and other issues are ignored or chalked up to sexism.
The more interviews Damore did, the more apparent this became, so feminists, as they usually do, shifted their focus. Instead of using Damore as a scapegoat and boogeyman — since he is hardly intimidating — they concocted the absurd notion that men’s rights activists infiltrated the tech industry in an attempt to boot women out.
One could not make this up. Here is a portion the New York Times article about this non-existent problem:
Their complaints flow on Reddit forums, on video game message boards, on private Facebook pages and across Twitter. They argue for everything from male separatism to an end to gender diversity efforts.
Silicon Valley has for years accommodated a fringe element of men who say women are ruining the tech world.
Now, as the nation’s technology capital — long identified as one of the more hostile work environments for women — reels from a series of high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination scandals, these conversations are gaining broader traction.
The author does not offer one example of anyone arguing for male separatism or the end of gender diversity efforts in the tech community. Likewise, the author does not prove that the tech industry has “accommodated a fringe element of men” or is “one of the more hostile work environments for women.” All these assertions are presented as fact without a shred of evidence.
The closet the author gets to proving an evil men’s rights activist bias is this:
Paul Graham, who founded an influential start-up incubator, Y Combinator, posted two articles about how the science behind Mr. Damore’s memo was accurate. Another start-up investor, John Durant, wrote that “Charles Darwin himself would be fired from Google for his views on the sexes.”
And the investor Peter Thiel’s business partner, Eric Weinstein, tweeted, “Dear @Google, Stop teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.”
None of these men identify as men’s rights activists, so there is zero connection between them and the men’s rights movement. Labeling them as part of the movement is merely a way for the left to trash these men’s credibility and character without ever addressing their arguments.
This does not mean there are not examples of sexual harassment against women in the tech industry. The article lists several. That, however, has nothing to do with any bias in favor of women within the industry. Both situation can occur simultaneously.
Yet the need to tarnish the men complaining about the situation is such that the left feels the need to brand them as “misogynists” by associating them with the worst “misogynists” they know of: men’s rights activists, men so sexist they are hell-bent on discussing the unique problems men face.
It is doubtful this tactic with work when, as the article noted, several men filed class-action lawsuits against tech companies for gender-based discrimination. Few attorneys would take such cases if there was not an overwhelming amount of convincing evidence supporting these men’s claims. The reason is simple: no one cares when men are victims of discrimination. A man’s word that it occurred simply will not be enough.
Discrediting those complaints may also be a motive behind these articles. I count about half a dozen of them as of writing this post. There may be more of the coming weeks. It is rather ridiculous considering that the faux diversity does not improve the situation for anyone.
It would appear that when given a choice, women choose not to go into tech, and when they do go into tech, they tend to choose more people-oriented positions. It would also appear that men in these companies face a number of unfair expectations and disadvantages that they are forced to accept because complaining could cost them their jobs.
Perhaps the most ridiculous element to this entire thing is that many of the people writing these articles never bothered to read Damore’s memo. It is hardly the “anti-diversity manifesto” they claim. Yet such is the nature of identity politics. The truth does not matter. All that matters is how you can spin it to your advantage.