Saturday, August 12, 2017

That Google memo, women in tech, and stepping in landmines

(Reblogged from my Tumblr)
I wasn’t planning on tackling this at all, and certainly not with what will most likely amount to a statistically meaningless anecdote, but whenever I read feminist arguments regarding nature vs nurture (and let’s face it, when it comes to discussions about the gender, the left can look pretty hypocritical sometimes), I think, “Jeez, I haven’t made it to feminism yet.” I was good in math and science when I was a kid (enough that I was skipped from a third grade math class to a fourth-fifth at the end of semester), and then I just wasn’t so good at school for reasons to numerous to go into here, but no one ever said to me, “Hey, this is a job you can do,” not because I was a girl, but because without role models, I had no idea what a computer programmer did or a scientist did outside of, like, Young Frankenstein. All of the adults around me had “jobs” not careers. A job was something you did to earn a paycheck. A job was something that probably left you tired and dirty at the end of the day. A good job – like my grandfather’s truck driving job – gave you security and a pension and healthcare – and if you want to talk about “masculine” working-class jobs vs “feminine” (waitressing, housekeeping, service industry) ones, I can, and I think we should, but “Omg, someone at google is thinking the wrong things!”
The memo was dumb. And in the giant game of telephone that is the internet, it was turned into something evil. I read what was posted to Gizmodo and thought the reaction was overblown but unsurprising (and apparently he was fired so good job I guess). But also disappointing because this is how we talk about these issues now.

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