The fact that a conservative white man can be fired for publicly announcing to his entire company (which is exactly what a post on a company-wide message board is) that his women coworkers are naturally inferior at their jobs
Not what he wrote. I get this sinking feeling that a lot of you folks read neither the Damore memo nor the actual complaint in the lawsuit, but merely someone complaining about it in bad faith.
I did, and while he didn't exiplicitly say that women are inferior, he was treating the subject so carelessly and in a way that was so ignorant of the actual scientific consensus (which is far more nuanced than Damore presented it) that I wouldn't fault any of his female colleagues for interpreting it that way.
And I'll restate this point for emphasis. In short order after his dismissal he began to associate with Stefan Molyneux, a man who has explicitly called for women to lose the right to vote. Any defense on his part against accusations of sexism therefore needs to go way farther than just "I just meant on average."
I also read the lawsuit in full, several times. It was, and I say this with full sincerity, some of 2017's best comedy writing.
1. Most human traits end up with a normal distribution (a bell curve) across a population, and when grouped by gender these distributions are nonidentical but typically overlap quite a bit. Around here he explicitly points out that treating individuals as though they are the means of their demographics is explicitly incorrect and not a thing he supports (aka he is not saying his women coworkers are inferior, but rather that they are less numerous for reasons other than simple sexism).
2. If an organization has a strong preference for people possessing certain traits to high degrees, the resulting population may not have the same demographic distribution as the overall population.
So the problem here is, does Google (or the high-tech sector more generally) actually favor the traits that Damore asserts are more common in men?
Damore correctly states that women are, on average, slightly higher than men on neurotic personality traits, more inclined to cooperative rather than competitive interactions, and more likely to prioritize work-family balance (though critically, he doesn't provide strong evidence that these are strictly biologically, especially the last point).
What he does not provide any evidence for at all, beyond idle speculation, is the claim that these personality traits should result in one being less inclined to work in technology and less able to progress to the higher levels of employment. In fact, we could just as well turn it around and use that same evidence to argue that women should over-represented in tech:
-Neuroticism is correlated with high attention to detail and the kind of conscientious behavior that would result in a person doing well in a difficult STEM degree program
-Since the tech sector typically has very generous family benefits packages (and Google in particular is well known for theirs) you would think that people prioritize family would be more drawn to this industry, not less
-The ability to cooperate and communicate is critical in technology, especially on large, inter-disciplinary teams. Companies compete with each other, and companies do better when their employees are more cooperative.
And so on. With no evidence provided either way, Damore's entire argument falls apart because it lacks a causal link. And given that Damore has a scientific background he should know this and the fact that he still chose to publicize these claims suggests to me that he had an ulterior motive in making them.
It just seems a bit vacuous, is all.
3. Accordingly, it may not be correct to interpret a difference between the distribution of demographics at Google and that of the overall population as necessarily being a result of bias (aka sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia).
The operative word is "may". There is ample evidence that sexism and racism are barriers to representation of women and minorities in the high-tech industry (see, for instance, the well-studied phenomenon of stereotype threat). There is not as much evidence in favor of Damore's argument.
4. He then suggests ways to change the workplace that would better emphasize personality traits whose female mean is higher than the male mean, as an attempt to suggest a "non-discriminatory" way to reduce the gender gap. These aren't the greatest suggestions in the world, but meh.
And here's why a lot of women were very angry about this. To a lot of women, especially those who are veterans in the industry and who spent their early years working in a much less forward-thinking environment, "Emphasize female personality traits" really does kind of sound like "women should just stay at home or be secretaries" because that's the sort of thing that they spent a lot of time hearing.
5. Finally, he lists some alleged discriminatory practices that Google engages in, namely: Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race, A high priority queue and special treatment for ?diversity? candidates,
James Damore is attempting to assert that he and white men at Google are systematically discriminated against. No evidence is provided that these classes have lead any white men at Google to be harmed.
Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for ?diversity? candidates by decreasing the false negative rate, Reconsidering any set of people if it?s not ?diverse? enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias), Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal
Again, this is an empirical claim, and no evidence is provided in favor of it. You have to do more than just speculate that diversity programs could potentially lead to the bar being lowered, you have to show that it's actually happening by showing that incompetent candidates are being hired solely by virtue of their race or gender, which Damore fails to do.
But I guess I can see where he's coming from. After all, there was an internal forum that was sometimes used by furries and polyamorous people, and that's of course basically the same thing as white genocide.
Again with the intentionally misrepresenting what was there.
He names off a bunch of internal forums for employees where they can openly discuss alternative lifestyles including furries, polyamorous, etc, mentions a talk given by an employee who identifies simultaneously as a "wingless, yellow-scaled dragonkin" and an "ornate, expansive building" on the nature of being a plural being and some examples of expressly left wing political talk at Google because those set up that talking about lifestyle and politics isn't generally verboten, but widely accepted before bringing up an employee disciplined for suggesting the importance of traditional gender roles when raising a child as a traditional conservative.
That is to say, where someone can give a talk on what it's like to be both a dragon and a structure without someone calling a building inspector to fail them for not being up to code (I suspect a person who identifies as a building has foundation issues and should probably be condemned -- do they have to pay real property taxes on themselves, or are they personal property like a double wide?), a knight to rid them of the dragon's tyranny (I wonder how hard it is to find a building inspector who is into HEMA and kill two birds with one stone?) or possibly just having them committed, but expressing tradcon views will get you punished.
As I said in my post, the argument being advanced by Damore is that Google discriminates against men who hold Damore's views about gender roles, family, etc.
The furries and transgenders get chat rooms. The heterosexual married monogamists with children get five-figure benefits packages. Google isn't punishing people with traditionalist or conservative views on gender, it's rewarding them.
As for the building thing, how exactly does the existence of that talk discriminate against heterosexual parents?
Although, I will say this. Heterosexual monogamy is the norm in society. No one needs or wants to attend a special seminar to have it explained to them how heterosexual monogamy works because we already know all about that ("What? You mean to tell me that there are some people who marry members of the opposite sex and have children with them? Color me shocked, just shocked, I tell you!"). But a guy who thinks he's a dragon-building, now that's interesting. How did he come to the conclusion that he's a dragon-building, how does that realization affect his day-to-day life? I need to know.
Now, no further information about this provided, so I won't speculate further on this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this event may also have just been what we in the leftist community know as a "joke".
It also brings up several people in management openly keeping blacklists of conservative employees.
All right, so this is a weird one.
At no point does a manager say "We are refusing to hire conservatives" or anything of that nature. What's happening here is that managers are saying that they would refuse to hire people who hold openly sexist, racist, religiously discriminatory, etc, views. Based on the quotes in the lawsuit, these people are being literal, ie, they are literally saying that sexists and racists have no place at Google.
But Damore's lawsuit is retroactively assuming that "sexist" and "racist" are being used as slurs against white male conservatives. When the weasel words are stripped away, all the lawsuit proves is that there are some people at Google who prefer not to work with sexists, racists, homophobes, etc.
The lawsuit furthermore insists, and this is where it gets really interesting, that this isn't just the actions of individual employees, but rather a deliberate conspiracy that goes from the bottom all the way to the top to encourage and manipulate people into making these "blacklists" in order to discriminate against white conservative men. No evidence is provided for this.
And also Google instructing employees to refuse any speaking engagement including more than one white male (themselves included).
"Google" did not do that. One guy said that. In fact, this wasn't even a directive to anyone, more like he's expressing his own thoughts on how a white male employee could act to improve diversity if he was so inclined.
Among a long, long list of other cases where the company explicitly puts whites, men, people over 40, or conservatives at an explicit disadvantage.
No evidence is provided that such people were explicitly and deliberately put at a disadvantage.
That said, ageism in Silicon Valley actually is a well-known problem, but the lawsuit doesn't spend much time on this concern.
The argument is that that is in violation of CA state law, specifically Labor Code 1101 and 1102. To be fair, the first accusation of what it is Google allegedly did wrong is 52 pages in, so it's easy enough to give up before you get there.
Trust me, I didn't give up before page 52. In fact, I wanted it to keep going.
A few choice quotes from Exhibit B:
"If you're concerned about discussing conservative values at work, maybe you should be. Maybe that's a feature, and not a bug."
"I have lost count of the times at Google, for example, people tell me privately that they cannot admit their voting choice if they are Republican because they fear how other Googlers will react."
"This is not an ideological debate, full stop, period. We are in a failure mode of democracy. This is literally, in every respect, a power struggle. It's a struggle over who gets to set the rules of society, who has the power to determine facts and morality. It's best we dispense with any illusions otherwise."
"We are at a point where the dialogue we need to be having with these people is 'if you keep talking about this shit, i will hurt you'"
"I could have said 'Republicans', 'conservatives', 'alt-right', 'neo-Nazi', doesn't matter, They're all working together for the same goal."
I mean, there are 87 pages of exhibit B comments so that just a couple of examples from the first two subsections.
How do those comments constitute or show evidence of discrimination against white, conservative men?
Also, a lot of that 87 pages is just memes that people posted. For instance, the following meme is alleged to be an example of "Encouraging political violence":
I don't see how it's "encouraging violence" to point out that "America First!" was at one time used as a slogan by neo-Nazis. And maybe that's poisoning the well against the current incarnation of the slogan, but the lawsuit isn't about people's debating skills.
And this meme is alleged to be "Anti-conservative posting" encouraged by Google:
Yeah, calling Scott Adams a paranoid sexist isn't racist against white people. Nor is a woman complaining that she can't get a word in edgewise about the issue of sexual harassment because threads keep getting derailed about false accusation stuff.