James Damore Confronts The Hags of High-Tech (& Loses)


By ilana mercer

Of the many men who toil in high-tech, few are as heroic as James Damore, the young man who penned the manifesto “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In it, Damore calmly and logically exposed the tyrannical ideological edifice erected to perpetuate the myth that, in aggregate, women and men are identical in aptitude and interests, and that “all disparities in representation are due to oppression.”

Despite active recruiting and ample affirmative action, women made up only 14.5 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, of computer science and electrical engineering graduates, in 2015. While they comprise 21.4 percent of undergraduates enrolled in engineering, females earned only 19.9 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees awarded by an engineering program in 2015.”

There is attrition!

Overall, and in the same year, 80.1 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in engineering went to men; 19.9 percent to women. (“Engineering by the Numbers,” By Brian L. Yoder, Ph.D.)

As Damore, and anyone in the world of high-tech knows, entire human resource departments in the high-tech sector are dedicated to recruiting, mentoring, and just plain dealing with women and their ongoing nagging and special needs.

In high-tech, almost nothing is as politically precious as a woman with some aptitude. There’s no end to which companies will go to procure women and help them succeed, often to the detriment of technically competent men and women who must do double-duty. Their procurement being at a premium, concepts such as “sucking it up” and soldiering on are often anathema to coddled distaff.

A woman in high-technology can carp constantly about … being a woman in high-tech. Her gender—more so than her capabilities—is what defines her and endears her to her higher-ups, for whom she’s a notch in the belt.

While male engineers—and, indubitably, some exceptional women—are hired to be hard at work designing and shipping tangible products; women in high tech, in the aggregate, are free to branch out; to hone a niche as a voice for their gender.

Arisen online and beyond is a niche-market of nudniks (nags): Women talking, blogging, vlogging, writing and publishing about women in high-technology or their absence therefrom; women beating the tom-tom about discrimination and stereotyping, but saying absolutely nothing about the technology they presumably love and help create.

Young women, in particular, are pioneers of this new, intangible, but lethal field of meta-technology: kvetching (complaining) about their absence in technology with nary a mention of their achievements in technology.

The hashtag “MicrosoftWomen” speaks to the solipsistic universe created by females in high-tech and maintained by the house-broken males entrusted with supporting the menacing matriarchy. Are these ladies posting about the products they’ve partaken in designing and shipping? Not often. Women in high-tech are more likely to be tweeting out about … being women in high-tech. Theirs is a self-reverential and self-referential universe.

For example, to learn more about the unbearable lightness of being “principal engineering lead at Microsoft” when woman, turn to “I Want Her Job™.”  Mind your P’s and Q’s, numskull. This isn’t a website—but a “community,” in the lingua franca of feminized America—bolstering women’s pursuits and careers. In trendy speak: “Connection. Community. Conversation.”

One featured techie’s professional title, aforementioned, is impressive: “principal engineering lead at Microsoft.” As is to be expected of a woman hard at work in the ruthlessly competitive field of high-tech, she spends her days as “a female tech ambassador,” writing fluffy, gyno-centric books on self-affirmation, “mentoring other women via Skype,” “answering emails … on how they, too, can enter the world of tech,” designing clothes, and, according to her impartial boosters, being the “next greatest female tech rock star.” It’s all in a woman’s day’s work.

The techie men known to this writer don’t have time to design clothes, although they dream of it (men and women being interchangeable, and all that stuff).

So intent are women on equal outcomes at all costs, as opposed to equality of opportunity, that they’re pleased to serve as political props; ornaments in a corporate world compelled to affirm the idea that under the skin—and but for the Great White and his wicked ways—men and women are similarly inclined and endowed.

Working from the premise that equality of representation—engineering being 50 percent female—is an achievable, desirable and laudable goal for all, Pinterest’s Tracy Chou, at gigaom.com, calls for “a ‘state of the union’ every year, where companies” are compelled to cough-up their latest “demographic data,” and are thus held “accountable” to the public, while also tracking which of their initiatives has worked.

To incriminate, presumably, Chou has published a series of charts detailing the male-to-female ratios in America’s technology titans. (Delve deeper and you find, moreover, that men are still doing most of the technical work; women the non-technical work.)

Yes, women are making different career choices. Vive la différence.

Of course, to say that “science [or applied science] needs women,” reasoned Theodore Dalrymple, in a 2014 Taki’s magazine column, is as logically consistent as saying that, “Heavyweight boxing needs Malays,” “football needs dwarf goalkeepers,” “quantity surveying needs bisexuals,” “lavatory cleaning needs left-handers.”

“Science does not need women any more than it needs foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis. What science needs (if an abstraction such as science can be said to need anything) is scientists. If they happen also to be foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis, so be it: but no one in his right mind would go to any lengths to recruit for his laboratory foot fetishists, pole-vaulters, or Somalis for those characteristics alone.”

***

 

Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube channel.

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2 comments

  • To extend Dalrymple’s analogy, if on average women are equal to men, then who in their right mind would discriminate against them? Companies and businesses exist to make a profit, so any such discrimination under the facticity of equality would make no sense. This then leads us to the question of why we need anti-discrimination laws at all. Perhaps the explanation is that women are not equal to men in the modality but it is not politic to say so, therefore a need has arisen for constructs based on denial, including a sort of Potemkin equality: large companies showcase a few female technologies workers, while behind the scenes all the real work is carried out mostly by men.

    If we accept the fact that women are weaker than men, ergo men and women are not and cannot be equal, then any efforts to make women equal to men (levelling-up) cannot succeed since they involve fighting Nature, but converse efforts to make men equal to women (levelling-down) could succeed since, although Nature is being defied, men tend to be willing to tolerate special concessions for the opposite sex. In other words, you can keep a Porsche in the garage and never drive it, but you can’t convert the Lada in the garage to a Porsche. One is a shame, the other is a disappointment.

  • Mr. Damore’s manifesto is a most interesting one. Thank you, Ilana, for drawing it to my attention. Some of the comments on the gizmodo.com thread are also most interesting (if you have a sick bag handy).

    I’ve been in software development for 45+ years, and I’ve done just about every role there is in such companies. Techie; designer; specwriter; consultant; team leader; group manager; bid manager; testing and QA; and maybe a few more I’ve forgotten about. Perhaps it may be because I’ve spent more time working for and with small companies than big ones, but I’ve never come across any company with a corporate culture even nearly as badly politicized as Google’s appears to be. (Not even British Rail).

    There is, indeed, a difference between men and women in their abilities to do different things. For example, women are often better at things which require fast switching between many trains of thought. Men tend to be better at things which require intense concentration on a single complex issue (such as pure mathematics, engineering and, yes, computer programming).

    Another example is that, as Mr. Damore says, women are more interested in people, and men more in things. Women in management positions usually find it easier to develop empathy with their people than men do; but some of them also have a tendency to mis-use this, and become manipulative. So, as borne out by my own experience, both the very best and the very worst people managers in tech industry tend to be women.

    Mr. Damore is spot on when he says that Google should “treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group.” My take is that, in a tech company, it shouldn’t be who you are that matters, only what you do. Who is the best person for a particular job is simply a matter of who is likely to do the job best (within the necessary constraints, of course, such as finance). It should not depend on gender, race, sexual orientation or any other characteristic outside those needed to do the job.

    In my opinion, the whole idea of setting collective limits or quotas on anything is moral madness (whether it’s racial or gender “equality” or anything else). And, like all social engineering, any discrimination in favour of some and against others in order to achieve any such quotas is wrong. Those that promote, support or implement such schemes deserve, themselves, to be “quota’ed out” of their jobs and left to earn an honest living in the real world, if they can.

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