1. The world's best reading app

    Great articles, no ads. Get started for free.

    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      4 years ago

      This article takes the most extreme positions on both sides of a complex argument, oversimplifies everything, and packages it all up neat and nice so that readers are teed up to think "he's right," or "she's right," instead of "I wonder why this problem persists." I guess it's just a lot easier to write "one side believes this and the other side believes that." And that dynamic is probably easier for most people to read. Nothing in the world is binary, and we need to stop framing things that way. I think that this line of thinking is what's causing the problem in the first place.

      I'm perpetually frustrated with conversations about gender and tech that, overall, lack nuance and empathy. Just like most other major media outlets around the world, The New York Times doesn't quite seem up to the task of going deeper into history & science to better understand how and why Silicon Valley, a microcosm of American society, seems to have a particularly toxic work culture.

      This article makes it seem like most people don't simultaneously believe both of the following: (1) gender roles are created by society (2) men and women are fundamentally, biologically, different

      It's silly to pretend like women in tech don't have it worse than men. They got the right to vote, like, two generations ago. It's equally silly to attack the opponents of diversity trainings and hiring quotas, which have major downsides. If it's not already obvious, firing James Damore was a cop-out, an amateurish way for Google to sweep a problem under the rug. Of course it backfired.

      The problem is that we're entrusting large-scale society-wide culture improvements to corporations. That's lunatic. Let's not leave this issue to Google to solve. They are so obviously not up to the task.

      The media is dropping the ball. Companies are dropping the ball. And so we seek answers elsewhere. As with issues related to race, I personally tend to find clarity through two non-news channels: (1) personal conversations with friends and (2) creative fiction. (For example, Chapter 3 of Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, written in 1977, is, in some ways, all about Trayvon Martin.)

      • jeff
        ScoutScribe
        4 years ago

        I'm perpetually frustrated with conversations about gender and tech that, overall, lack nuance and empathy.

        I'm with you here. I almost punched my monitors off my desk when I read the following sentence:

        Mr. Damore, frustrated after another diversity training, wrote a memo that he posted to an internal Google message board. In it, he argued that maybe women were not equally represented in tech because they were biologically less capable of engineering.

        The author of this article is either a grade-a moron or purposefully misrepresenting Damore's arguments to support her angle in this piece. Regardless, it's impossible to have a conversation about these topics when you can't even hear what someone else is saying.

        It's silly to pretend like women in tech don't have it worse than men.

        Is it? How many women-only training programs and hiring quotes do there have to be before women don't have it worse than men? Do they have to constitute 50% of the workforce? What's the metric?

        You might say I'm being too nitpicky, but it really gets to the core of the issue. If you're going to discriminate based on someone's natural identity (and possibly even be breaking the law by doing so) you better have a damn good reason for it and also have an exit plan. Implementing such policies based on emotional perception is incredibly reckless and damaging.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScout
          4 years ago

          Ha! Apparently we both almost punched our computers at the exact same sentence. That was the precise excerpt that drove me nuts too.

          I wasn't talking about women-only training programs and hiring quotas, so I think you committed a bit of a strawman argument there. In fact, I believe that many training & quota programs do more harm than good. Which is why I was initially interested in some aspects of Damore's memo. (What insane irony that he got fired for writing about the fear of getting fired for saying what you believe in. The more I think about it the more nuts that whole situation is/was.)

          We will likely have to agree to disagree on whether or not it's obvious that women have it worse than men in tech and the business world in general. To me it's as true as, say, climate change. So true that I don't know how to put it in different terms. (Realize that's a cop-out.) But, yeah, that's just what I see. These big picture things, I suppose, relate to our larger worldviews. Mine is just, like, climate change is real and women have it tougher in the workplace. lol. whatever. reallyread.it + rosé :)

          • jeff
            ScoutScribe
            4 years ago

            We will likely have to agree to disagree on whether or not it's obvious that women have it worse than men in tech and the business world in general.

            Fair enough. As long as you're not espousing that belief in order to push policies and programs that we both seem to have problems with I don't really take issue with it. I still question the utility and validity of you holding and repeating that belief though.

            Neither of us are women and if I was raising a girl who was interested in technology there is a lot I could teach her about programming but I can't imagine it would be productive to tell her she's going to have a more difficult time with it because she's a girl.

            • bill
              Top reader of all timeScout
              4 years ago

              Alas, we've reached a resolution!

              P.S. If I was raising a girl who was interested in technology, I'd teach her the value of hard work, perseverance & confidence AND I'd encourage her to always believe in herself, despite what she's likely to be up against, in some cases unfairly, because of her gender.

              • jeff
                ScoutScribe
                4 years ago

                That's adorable. How's the presentation going?