Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different

Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different

Google’s reaction, first condemning the memo and then firing its author, confirms in the most unfortunate terms fears about the company’s ideological ‘echo chamber.’
Inez Feltscher
By

Female engineers are apparently so analytical and un-neurotic that they demanded—and received—the head of the poor sap who dared to question the gender diversity drumbeat at Google.

James Damore, the Google engineer behind the memo questioning left-wing “diversity” schemes that has been circulating the viral media world, has been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” Bloomberg confirmed late Monday evening. Damore may take legal action against the company for what he contends is wrongful termination.

Damore’s memo, which reads more like a nerdy, middle-of-the-road collection of factoids than a political screed, points out that the male-female gap in employment at Google may not be entirely the result of discrimination against women, although he explicitly acknowledges that some female engineers may face discriminatory barriers.

The memo includes such crimethink nuggets as “women, on average, have… a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men,” and that men have a “higher drive for status.” These observations have been confirmed in numerous social science studies. He even goes on to suggest ways Google could make its culture more appealing to women without forced, affirmative action-style diversity programs, such as trying to make software engineering jobs more collaborative and people-oriented.

He Also Recognizes Averages Do Not Describe Everyone

Damore went out of his way to emphasize that while men and women differ substantially across population averages, those averages do not, and should not apply to how any individual woman or man is treated, as seen in the graph below. Rather, he delicately suggests that Google rethink some of its assumptions about why there might continue to be gaps between the numbers of women and men interested and qualified for tech jobs at the company.

In other words, Damore is guilty of nothing more than gently stating the obvious truth, backed by a laundry list of scientific studies: on average, men and women have divergent talents, interests, and skills. Because of these differences, men and women make different career decisions in the aggregate. Damore’s great offense was recognizing that maybe, just maybe, the imbalance between men and women in software engineering has more to do with freedom of choice than being the six-figure salary counterparts to the handmaids in Gilead.

Instead of fighting these “gaps” as the result of discriminatory systems and attempting to force men and women to be the same, we should consider the possibility that their divergent choices are the result of our true diversity.

Rising Intolerance on the Left

Damore wrote that his “larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology.” Google’s reaction, first condemning the memo and then firing its author, confirms in the most unfortunate terms Damore’s fears about the company’s ideological “echo chamber.”

For years, I’ve thought that “Brave New World” was the clear winner in the dystopia prophesy contest, but the regressive left keeps reminding me to keep “1984” in the running. Like in other ideological purge cases, such as the firing of Mozilla CEO Brandan Eich and the browbeating of Harvard University president Larry Summers, leftists have urged Damore’s total banishment from the tech world until, in the words of one Twitter user, he learns “what it takes to actually be an engineer and a decent human.”

In other words, until Demore stops questioning Silicon Valley political groupthink and learns to love Big Brother, he will not be welcome in a technical profession that has nothing directly to do with politics.

The rigid politicization of everything and the drawing of ideological battle lines are bad for Google, as Demore’s memo points out, but they are even worse for America. While college students cry out for “safe spaces” from dissenting ideas, the real safe spaces Americans need are those in which to work, find friendship, and discuss opposing ideas without risking their livelihoods.

Inez Feltscher Stepman is an education policy analyst in Washington DC. Her work has been published in Orange County Register, The Resurgent, RedState, Breitbart.com, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @inezfeltscher.

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