Senior Google engineer, Mr. James Damore was a self-avowed Google fan boy who loved the company and everything it stood for- at least, everything he thought it stood for.
But that all changed on a 12-hour flight from China. On that flight, he drafted what is now known as the “Google Memo.” In perhaps the most misunderstood and misrepresented document in recent times, James Damore had the audacity to even attempt to make sense of why women aren’t equally represented in tech, to push back against an establishment narrative.
The memo has been derided by many in the media as a “anti-diversity screed” and is said to viciously claim that women are “biologically unfit for tech.”
This can be said with a straight face only if you’ve never actually… read the memo. Throughout, James repeatedly emphasizes his support for gender diversity. In fact, prescribes various ways to promote it. His issue solely lies with the discriminatory (and ineffective) methods Google has engaged in toward its pursuit. He dared to — think different.
But for daring to consider that sex differences in tech can be attributed to something other than a shadowy, amorphous figure named sexism, James was swiftly fired. Google’s CEO, in turn, claimed that James was a sexist, suggesting something he never wrote: that women possess “traits that make them biologically less suited” for tech. That was a lie.
It echoes the various other smear jobs from CNN, Gizmodo (who first released it), Motherboard (who broke the story), and others. It’s their convenient falsehood used to justify Google’s blatant censorship of a valid, differing opinion — an opinion piece, ironically, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”
In firing James Damore, Google unequivocally proved his thesis. Because the fact of the matter is, that James didn’t claim women are “biologically unfit for tech,” but actually made some pretty fair observations about the average differences between the sexes. For example, suggesting that women are less inclined towards tech in the same they’re disinterested in a wide array of fields: fishing, construction, bricklaying, logging, the list goes on. And yet, there aren’t mounting national campaigns for greater “gender representation” in these industries.
Because of the vast amount of academic research exploring this topic, most of which corroborate Damore’s claims, it’s repugnant that he would be viciously slandered for merely relying on available data to attempt to understand a topic that has surged to the forefront in his field.
After all, Damore reveals that he was subjected to hours of re-education regarding diversity. He hoped to blow the whistle on discriminatory hiring practices discussed in meetings that he believes are immoral and potentially illegal. These convictions prompted him to pen the memo that put him in the crosshairs of one of the world’s largest corporations.
It’s truly alarming that so many in Google’s ranks that disagreed with Damore’s earnestly stated, reasonable concerns are neurotically attempting to doxx and blackmail anyone that might disagree with their position on the matter. Secondarily, if these are the kind of people that are occupying the top echelons of the internet’s most powerful company, it should give everyone who uses its services serious concerns — from Gmail to YouTube to everything in between. One alarming example might be that of Dr. Jordan Peterson, a prominent critic of collectivist dogma and a professor of psychology.
The proximity of the following, three events surrounding him is gravely disturbing:
1. Dr. Jordan Peterson’s unexplained and repeatedly upheld suspension from all Google’s platforms.
2. Google’s censorship policies, which were announced the same day.
3. And finally, the Damore revelation of a deeply rooted monoculture of militant social justice, a phenomenon of which Dr. Peterson has been a leading critic. Damore claims the Doctor has been an influence on him personally.
The combination of all these factors, opens up the question of whether or not this was a direct consequence of a toxic brew of monoculture and censorship at the top levels of Google. The rich irony lies in the fact that Google’s cult-like adherence to social justice will ultimately hamstring its ability innovate and grow, as talented people who don’t have the right skin tone or way of thinking are driven to more tolerant companies.
Regardless of which side you fall on in this gender debate, one truth is unequivocal: Google is responsible for creating a toxic, dangerous environment for willfully misrepresenting an employee’s reasonable concerns and going as far as attributing malice to anyone speaking out in dissent. The English novelist George Orwell comes to mind, “sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.”