The backlash was immediate and severe, from within Google and without. Other employees were so upset by the memo that they created blacklists of anyone who agreed with it and demanded their immediate termination. Some women stayed home from work because they were so distraught by the ideas contained in it. Scores of leftists on social media claimed that even reading the memo made them feel “unsafe.” There was outrage and indignation from leftists across the country. And the chaos culminated, as it often does, in the person with the Bad Opinions losing his livelihood.
With all of this chaos, you may assume the memo was filled with Nazi propaganda or worse. Maybe it held some sort of curse that turned anyone who read it into a frog. That’s about the only way that a company memo could be “dangerous” or “unsafe.” Well, there is no need to guess about what it says. You can read it for yourself, if you dare. Just be careful that you don’t melt into a fainting puddle of tears and sadness upon viewing its contents, as many feminists at Google apparently did.
The media has reported this memo as being some sort of “anti-diversity” screed that proclaims women unfit for tech jobs. The Google CEO said that the “offensive” and “not OK” memo labeled Damore’s female coworkers “less biologically suited.” Even if it had said this, it still wouldn’t justify the feminists who act like they’ve suffered PTSD just from being in the same proximity as these opinions. Fortunately, though, the memo says no such thing. I read it myself (something the Google CEO and most journalists reporting on the memo apparently have not done), and, unless there is a hidden ink portion with a bunch of offensive stuff I couldn’t see with the naked eye, it appears Mr. Damore was making only two very basic points:
1. Google does not welcome opposing views.
2. There are fewer women in tech jobs because women, on average, have different skill sets and are more inclined towards other professions.
The only thing that offended me about the memo was that it was a bit dry, not nearly as lively and provocative as people made it out to be. It simply noted that the corporate world can be a bit of a stifling environment when it comes to viewpoint diversity, and that men and women are different. There was nothing outrageous or inaccurate in the text. In fact, the author goes out of his way many times to say he values all forms of diversity and he has nothing but respect for his female coworkers. He never criticized the women who currently hold positions in the company. Rather, he was talking about the positions not currently occupied by women, proposing that men may be in these jobs because men are more likely to pursue these jobs, and often, on average, have skill sets that lend themselves towards them. This is all factually true, utterly self-evident, and completely inoffensive.
Many people have latched onto the fact that Damore said women tend to have “higher anxiety” and “lower stress tolerance.” They leave out the fact that he labeled men as generally inflexible and status-driven. It was also apparently offensive that he said women, on average, are more open about their feelings, more extroverted, more agreeable, and more relational. Feminists took exception to this because they work very hard to be disagreeable, cold, impossible to work with, and to lack any other positive attribute Damore ascribed to them.
Now, I’m not going to spend time remarking on the various ironies here, like the irony that Google fired Damore for saying Google stifles opposing viewpoints, or the irony that women at Google stayed home from work sobbing because Damore said they have low stress tolerance. Many people will write many pages on these facets of the discussion, and I trust they will do a fine job dissecting them.
Instead, I’d like to focus on the subject the memo was meant to address. It seems relevant to me that what Damore said was true. The issue isn’t just that Google is punishing “a viewpoint,” but that it is punishing the correct viewpoint. The problem isn’t just that “opposing views” are stifled, but that the opposing views being stifled also happen to be completely accurate. As conservatives, we sometimes get too caught up in defending our positions on the basis that they are “different ideas,” when we should be defending them on the basis that they are true. If Damore had scrawled some insane, serial killer-esque manifesto in goat’s blood on the wall in his office, I wouldn’t really have a problem with his termination. But it was not insane. It wasn’t even scrawled in goat’s blood. And, most importantly, it was true.
So, relating to the truth of Damore’s radical “men and women are different” thesis, I have a few thoughts:
1. Men and women are different.
It’s crazy to fire a guy for saying men and women are different mainly because men and women are actually different. Physically, we are different from head to toe. From our chromosomes to our bone structure, muscle mass, sex organs, even our senses are tuned differently. The list goes on and on. Men are stronger. Women have better hearing. Men have more testosterone and larger hearts. Women have finer skin. Women have better night vision. Men have better depth perception. Everything is different. Our brains are different. Everything.
Due in large part to the fact that we are so biologically and physiologically and psychologically different, men and women have always been inclined to fill different roles in society. It’s not a coincidence that men have traditionally been the hunters and women the homemakers. Men are better at hunting. Women are better at homemaking. These proclivities and inclinations didn’t disappear in modern society, they just manifest themselves differently.
Men are more assertive and goal-focused, so they tend on average to management and leadership positions. Women are more relational and in tune with the human needs of those around them, so a lot of them end up in HR. No surprise that most airline pilots are men and most interior decorators are women. Men are, on average, more physically and psychologically suited for the demands of flying commercial airlines. Women are more physically and psychologically suited for the intricacies of decoration and design. This is not my opinion, or Damore’s opinion, but just an observation of how things are and how they will always be, no matter how much social engineering the left does.
2. If men and women are the same, women contribute nothing special to the workplace.
We hear all the time, from Google and the rest of corporate America, that we must get more women into traditionally male positions because women bring something distinct and unique to those positions. Yet this can only be true if women are distinct and unique. If they’re just the same as men, we may as well keep the men where they are. But if they are distinct and unique, you must face the possibility that their distinct and unique characteristics are the reason why they aren’t in those positions in the first place. You can’t have it both ways. Either women are special and have something valuable to contribute to the workforce, or they are just men in a different shell, in which case they are not special at all. They’re just men with less upper body strength. Which is it? You have to choose. You can’t vacillate between the two. Are they unique and special or are they the same? I say unique and special.
3. This is about hating men.
The “women are the same” folks will get around the quandary I posed in Point 2 by insisting, in so many words, that women are only different from men in good ways. So, if you said that women work better with people, not a single feminist in the world would disagree. If you said this is because they’re less assertive, every feminist in the world will collapse into tears. See, women are the same as men in the areas where women are actually weaker than men. But in the areas where they are actually stronger, they still get to be stronger. In other words, the goal is to paint women as superior, not equal.
When it comes down to it, we simply are not allowed to give men credit for bringing anything special to the table. We can bask in the glory of women all day, but we may not ever whisper even the suggestion that men might serve a unique function as well. And whatever men have done — all the wars they have won, the bridges they have built, the sacrifices they have made for those they love — this all must be written off as the result of a sexist conspiracy. Women could have stormed the beaches of Normandy and beat back the Nazi invaders, but society didn’t allow it. However, men could never share in the positive qualities of women, because men are scum. This is the feminist position. It is also a mainstream philosophy advanced by corporate America and our school system.
4. This is also about worshiping masculinity.
Here is where things get weird. There is a deep hatred for men (white straight men, at least), but there is also an idolization of the things associated with men. Feminists are the ones who decided that punching a time card was “better” than tending to the children at home. Feminists are the ones who decided that being assertive and aggressive is “better” than being gentle and compassionate. Now they’ve decided that jobs in tech are “better” than more traditionally female professions like nursing. They have placed a higher value on the masculine. They have denigrated all that is uniquely feminine, rejected all the special abilities that women possess, and made an idol of masculinity.
It is not a value judgment for me to say, “Women are generally more suited for A than B.” I have not said which one is better, and I do not believe that one is better. The feminists are the ones who’ve decided A is inferior to B. They have looked at whatever men are doing and decided that they must also do the same thing, and they must be told that they are doing it just as well. If men tend to play sports, women must be pushed into sports. If men tend to join the military, women must be pushed (even drafted) into the military. If men tend to be vulgar and competitive, women must be vulgar and competitive. Feminists are following men around, taking notes, doing what they do, even aping their mannerisms and patterns of speech. It’s sad, really.
I guess they don’t hate men after all. This is jealousy at work, not hatred. Feminists can’t hate men. They want to be men. But they never will be, and that’s OK. Women are just as important and valuable as men, but in different ways. And that’s the beauty of it.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.