By Yehudit Mam
The Google guy who sent his 10-page internal manifesto about how much Google sacrifices quality at the altar of gender diversity frames his eugenic, misogynistic ramblings in pseudo-scientific facts. In this, he is no different from those who espouse unsavory racist and supremacist ideas and try to pass them off as legitimate by using polysyllabic clichés like “cosmopolitan bias” and other well-worn tropes of supremacy.
I am a female co-founder of a tech startup, our founder is a woman, and as I was reading this monument to human idiocy, I was wondering what is it that makes some men so threatened to their core by the presence of women in their professional midst. Theories abound: could be Darwinian pretexts, like atavistic caveman behavior, or social and sexual insecurity/panic, Asperger syndrome, fear of the unknown, terminal shyness, etc.
I have no patience for any of them. If women can adapt to the workplace (still an often hostile and unequal environment, particularly in the tech world, as we are constantly reminded these days), so can men.
According to this long-suffering bro, women tend to like feelings more than things and ideas. Apparently, we are more emotional and therefore suffer from widespread “neuroticism”, and, because we are incorrigible empathizers, we cannot possibly be good engineers (here’s a great rebuttal to this). Hence, Google suffers from its wrongheaded, politically correct insistence on stooping to give women a chance. He claims that many silent sufferers of this egregious abuse against male dominance have congratulated him on daring to air what they were too afraid to express. What he neglects to take into account is that gender diversity practices shouldn’t even have to happen. If there were no ingrained biases against women, there would be no diversity issue, just as there would be no issue if there were no biases against Black people. Tokenism would not exist. Everything he complains about has its roots in a social system that has oppressed women for millennia. But now he is the victim. Cry me a river.
I was a creative director in advertising for 15 years (a notorious boys’ club where only 11.5% of creative directors are female, up from around 3% in my day). One famous creative director at the time proclaimed that women could not be creative directors because we didn’t have that elusive A-type trait that makes men beat their chests and work late nights because of mundane preoccupations like being home in time to fix dinner (and this was the least offensive thing he said). His is not just an unpopular opinion; it’s toxic waste, the kind that rightly got him fired.
In my career, I was told by a couple of men that their first impression of me was that I was a bitch on wheels, but when they got to know me, they came to respect and appreciate me. Later, we got along like a house on fire, but in retrospect I think the only reason why this happened to them is because I was in a position of authority, and even though my authority wasn’t even over them, they found it so supremely discombobulating, they ascribed their discomfort with my leadership to my being unlikable. They expected a male creative director, they got a female — they freaked.
I am sick of this shit.
I bristle at the rank generalizations of put upon engineers, archaic creative directors and geniuses like Larry Summers, and Christopher Hitchens, who twisted himself into a pretzel to pontificate that women were constitutionally incapable of being funny.
Allow me to be specific: I am not an engineer. Indeed, I am one of the statistics in that I chose a career in the humanities. I was bad at math, but I believe it’s because it was taught to me by lousy teachers. But I love ideas. I love deductive reasoning. I loved biology, psychiatry fascinates me; so does the law. I don’t spend my days engulfed in feelings. I like some things. I despise political correctness and censorship of the kind that is happening at college campuses where dissenting ideas, even disgusting ones, are being shut down before they are even debated.
But, in this day and age, that men continue to claim that women are intellectually inferior because of biology, is truly unacceptable. It is tantamount to believing that black people, or Jews, or anyone who is not white is racially inferior, but because it discriminates against women, who happen to be half of the human race, this kind of hateful ideology somehow gets a pass.
This has got to stop.
Feminism has gained women the entrance into the workplace, the right to vote, sexual freedom, and economic independence (if only we had equal pay), but apparently it still drives some guys in offices bonkers.
Well, here’s a memo to such guys: DEAL WITH IT. We are here to stay.
Women need to continue fighting tooth and nail for equal pay and fair treatment, for workplaces that are gender-agnostic. We need to demand fair and equal education in STEM and STEAM curricula for children of all genders. And we need to stop being complicit in the patronizing attitudes of males, whether they are conscious or not. It’s up to us to cut them off at the pass.
Originally published at blog.dada.nyc.