We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Google’s War Over the Sexes

10th August 2017

Ross Douthat sums it up.

At the same time, there was a sense in which Damore had to be fired, precisely because of the intertwined realities that he described. Silicon Valley is a very male environment, a land of nerd kings and brogrammers whose deepest beliefs tend to be the sort that men come up with when they don’t have very many women around — arch-libertarian, irreligious, utopian in a mechanistic style.

But the internet industry is also part of a wider elite culture that is trending in the opposite direction, becoming more feminized and feminist, and inclined to view male-dominated enclaves with great suspicion. So Silicon Valley’s leaders use corporate wokeness, diversity initiatives and progressive virtue signaling as a kind of self-protection, a way of promising that they’re mostly men but they’re the good kind of men, so that discrimination lawsuits and antitrust actions and other forms of regulation are less attractive to their critics.

I strongly suspect that more than a few Silicon Valley higher-ups agreed with the broad themes of Damore’s memo. But just as tech titans accept some censorship and oppression as the price of doing business in China, they accept performative progressivism as the price of having nice campuses in the most liberal state in the union and recruiting their employees from its most elite and liberal schools. And for questioning that political performance while defending the disproportionate maleness that makes it necessary, the Google memo-writer simply had to go.

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