Over the weekend, feminist warriors and liberal journalists came out to denounce a Google employee’s internal memo on the topic of diversity and the biological differences between sexes.
Written by a Google engineer, the 10-page manifesto was titled, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In the leaked internal memo, the software engineer talks about Google’s own political biases, explains the "gender gap" in tech involves natural differences between men and women, and suggests ways to remedy Google’s alienation of conservatives and the company's promotion of diversity for diversity’s sake.
According to Gizmodo, the memo also included charts and hyperlinks to support the employee’s argument that were omitted for formatting reasons.
The reaction from the journalism and tech worlds were to immediately condemn the Google employee for daring to commit wrongthink. Gizmodo’s exclusive reporting on the memo categorized it as a “screed,” while Mashable claimed it was “not a good look” for Google before even reading the document.
Alleged fellow Google employees were quick to publicly throw their coworker under the bus for saying Google workers are afraid to share their views out of fear of being punished:
That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with.— Andrew Bonventre (@andybons) August 4, 2017
I work at Google. The internal response to the doc ranges from anger & disgust, to sadness.— Torrey Hoffman (@torreyh) August 5, 2017
To be clear, it went viral because 99% of people wanted to comment about how unsupported/wrong/hurtful the doc was— David Aronchick (@aronchick) August 5, 2017
I'm really grateful to get to work with some of the most badass women engineers who don't take shit & stand up for what's right at Google— jessie frazelle (@jessfraz) August 5, 2017
This. My team with 50% female-identified routinely scrutinized. I've had to be advocate to get fairness for them.— Rick Altherr (@kc8apf) August 5, 2017
Google Vice President of Diversity, Integrity, & Governance at Google Danielle Brown didn’t waste any time calling the memo's language verboten because of its description of her gender:
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, “Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.”
Brown said she supports the right to free speech for employees, but noted that some speech might violate the Code of Conduct for employees and anti-discrimination laws:
Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.
The outrage over the Google employee’s document, however, merely proves the writer's point. In its section on remedying the problems at Google, the employee says the company should “Be open about the science of human nature,” “Stop alienating conservatives,” and “Confront Google’s biases.” In fact, the author even predicted his own public shaming:
Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies.
We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner.
Not only was the author labeled a misogynist, he was even compared to a mass shooter:
the anti-diversity manifesto making the rounds at Google isn't just infuriating, it's dangerous— Briana Hokanson (@boop) August 7, 2017
Sobering reminder that the vitriol in that Google memo isn't a novel sentiment. I'm a Montrealer and this is seared in my brain. https://t.co/XSr3Z0aXg1— Elizabeth Cotignola (@LaDiavolina) August 7, 2017
We must honour the victims of the Polytechnique Massacre by speaking out against sexism every time we see it.— Elizabeth Cotignola (@LaDiavolina) August 7, 2017
No matter how well-reasoned and fact-based an argument may be, in the modern discourse, if someone’s speech isn’t deemed politically correct, it may violate anti-discrimination laws and be considered a pretense to committing mass murder.
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