I.T. Girl: Cool story, tech bro

When I first heard about Google Bro, I was annoyed. Before I read the Google employee’s anonymous letter sent throughout his department at work, I hated him.

To me, Google Bro, the recently fired software engineer, was just another dude spouting the same sexist spiel: the lack of women in STEM is due to women being biologically worse at jobs like software engineering and coding, you know, hard stuff.

The author of the memo, James Damore, penned a 10-page memo to his coworkers about Google’s “liberal biases.” He complained about Google’s PC culture and how their aspiration toward diversity promotes favoritism, and ultimately silences his conservative voice and halts any conversation.

In his memo, Damore starts out by prefacing that he values diversity, inclusion and does not deny the existence of sexism.

His main points were:

• Google values inclusion and diversity too much, and that silences those who have opposing viewpoints, causing an “echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.”

• Open and honest discussion “highlights our blind spots and helps us grow.”

Once I actually read the letter, I was surprisingly less disgusted.

Don’t hurt me. I know the trite and expected response to tech bro culture is to express my outrage and name drop a list of successful female software engineers.

But for a privileged white guy, he made some decent points. I mean, of course he did. He’s an educated libertarian with all the opportunity in the world.

Damore is the last person with an excuse to be dumb, and his M.O. is cold logic through the perspective of a software engineer.

The reason for his memo was idiotic, sure. It’s idiotic in the sense that 2017 is not the time to complain about women and POC getting an extra boost in a field that has favored the majority for so long.

Damore argues against giving POC and women special treatment, but his points begin to flop as he goes to lengths to prove that women are biologically made for different jobs than men.

Bringing up “tribalism,” he makes a big point to treat people as individuals, not according to the group they reside in.

To me, that sounds like what most women and minorities want.

Saying women in general can’t succeed in STEM is like me saying that most of these engineers are nerd virgins. It’s an antiquated stereotype.

Let me clarify. I don’t think men or women should be lifted into a field that lacks their sex for that very reason.

I also don’t believe that Damore’s firing was just. Even though, I know for a fact I’d scrap it out with him in the parking lot if he were my coworker, the questions he raised are valid, especially in a time where the difference between legal free speech and illegal hate speech is wire-thin.

According to Wired, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, fired Damore for violating Google’s Code of Conduct.

I also don’t think I should be encouraged to close a gender gap just because there is one.

I do, however, believe women, and more importantly, POC, should be given a better chance at succeeding in fields dominated by white middle- to upper-class men.

Katelyn is the only female employee at a local computer store, specializing in technical support, and when she feels like making social interaction with other humans, computer sales. She has only fried one logic board so far.

Filed Under: OpinionTech/Gamers

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