Equality between Men and Women -my perspective on the Google Memo

You may have heard of the memo published by former- Google employee, James Damore titled “Google’s Idealogical Echo Chamber” wherein he discusses, quite candidly, the discrepancies that exist between women and men in tech jobs and lists the anthropological and psychological reasons those differences exists.
If you haven’t read the memo, I encourage you to read it here:
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

A few days following publication of the document, Jamed Damore was fired from Google. I can’t speak as to whether I’d personally have made that decision, but I can certainly understand why a global corporation couldn’t have their name associated with the opinion piece and needed to distance themselves from it. Personally, I think the paper was spot on, but I also think maybe I’d have have fired him too if I’d been his boss.

Moving on; the paper discusses a lot of ways men and women in the workforce, specifically at Google, are treated differently, why that is, how it affects the job market at Google, and how the company tries to handle it in order to meet modern society’s norms for cultural and gender-based acceptance in the workplace.

I’m going to summarize his thoughts where I think applicable, add my own, and apply the premise of his memo to the rest of the world – because whether or not Google suffers from these issues, I’d like someone to challenge me on the fact that 90% of our American culture suffers from this issue.

The problem I personally perceive is that they don’t know they’re suffering. They think they’re making the world a better place by forcing companies, societies, and groups of people to change to become more accepting.

We can examine this everywhere we look; in society at large, in our communities, in the work place, in the military (specifically in combat).

I’ll try to use the more obvious (read as extreme) examples where prevalent because they are less prone to argument from those that simply like to argue in general.

Let’s examine a “social bias” from a political viewpoint, since that’s easy for most people to recognize.

The “Left” as you often hear them called- tend to support social equality among everyone, are against any kind of social heirarchy and believe everyone should be equal in all ways whenever possible, and tend to be finanancially socialist-minded. This means they tend to think everyone having SOME level of comfort is much more important than letting everyone have what they have earned which leaves some at the top with everything and some at the bottom with nothing.

The “Right” tends to feel the opposite. They tend to believe in natural law – that some will thrive and some will fail and that’s how the world works. Heirarchies of social classes, government, and businesses are a natural part of the process – governed by how people “actually think and feel” in reality and not as the product of some sort of corporate plan to keep people in “their place.” They tend to be much more capitalistic and much less socialist.

As such, James Damore used some examples for each side of the aisle.

Left: Feels compassion for the weak.
Right: Feels respect for strength and authority.

Left: Thinks all disparities are due to injustice (whether real or imagined)
Right: Thinks disparities are simply natural due to how people really are.

Left: Thinks humans are inherently cooperative in most things.
Right: Thinks humans are inherently competitive in most things.

Left: Change is good. We should always improve!
Right: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it IS broke, move ahead slowly with well thought-out change.

Left: Idealists.
Right: Pragmatists.

Summary: His points are absolutely right. This IS by far and large how people feel. And he also pointed out that neither side is 100% right in every situation. Nor is every side wrong. And without both of these sides of the same coins coming together to discuss things and create progress, working solutions would cease to occur. For example, if a company was losing money, the far-right idealogy of not making any changes and riding it out might work. Things could turn around. On the other hand, continual declination of finances that turns into a pattern means it’s obviously time for the left-leaning side of things to take over – it’s time for change.
Yes, I just used a political party’s affiliation to diagram a business decision. That’s my point… it works because these aren’t political sides. These are personal feelings and decisions, not indoctrinated brain-washing by some agency with a master plan to subjugate the world.

The problem is: that’s where today is headed. Everyone today is focused on making everything fair for everyone. Women versus men. Black versus white. Gay versus straight.

On the other hand, and here I think he’s right again, the social norms have swung so far to the other side of the pendulum that “normal” people are scared to say anything contrary to the current chatter for fear of being cast out, demonized, or having their livelihoods threatened and their businesses shut down. Remember the simply family owned bakery that ended up losing their entire business because their religious beliefs made them want to not bake a wedding cake for a gay couple? Talk about affirmative action gone too far. Great! You got married and ruined an entire family and their livelihood in the process! You could have simply found another bakery.

Luckily for me, I happen to apparently be on the “right” in how I approach things and therefore I’m not concerned with expressing my opinion whether it be fashionable or not. I think it’s a lot like the idea behind going to a specific church in today’s world. If you go to a church and sit in the pew and all you ever hear is how good you all are and how much God loves you, your pastor is doing you a disservice and not telling you the whole truth. Every Christian is a sinner just like the unsaved. No one likes to hear that, so they don’t go back to that church. Much like the societal norms today, churches too suffer this same issue. I hadn’t actually intended on drawing that parallel, but now that I think about it, it’s just as valid in the religious community as much as in society at large and in politics and business.

Proof of his concepts

The author went on to list supporting reasons why his soon-to-be-released ideology was true. Most of it related to the differences between men and women down to a biological level. We men are full of testosterone and driven to to things because of the status that comes with it. It’s a biological imperative to be “better” than someone else at something if not the actual best at it overall. Women on the other hand tend to be more cooperative in endeavors and less likely to be loners. They will bond together to accomplish something because it’s smarter – not because they’re driven to prove they’re better. They’re NOT better physically at that one thing, but they might achieve the same goal with just as many calories expended, or just as little time consumed, or just as much overall effort, but achieve the goal a totally different way. Whether you choose to like that or not, it’s absolutely true and we ALL know it. We see it all the time.

Segue/Example: How many women do you see carrying 6-drawer handmade oak dressers by themselves and tossing them into the back of a pickup truck? I can bet you’ve literally seen zero. You’ve probably never seen it happen. You know why you’ve never seen it happen? You’ve never seen it because they approach that task differently than a man does. I’m the idiot male – the one that says “I got it honey” and then proceeds to pick up the 150 pound piece of furniture and lug it outside all by my lonesome. Sure I could have called a friend to come help, but why? I’m a man. I got this. You won’t know about the damned-near hernia I got doing it; just that I accomplished it all by myself.

Did I outperform a woman in that task?

Some of you will say “absolutely. She couldn’t have done it.”

Meanwhile others of you are smiling, probably the women reading this, because you know damned well a woman DID do it… she just did it smarter. She came outside and made some comment about her “big handsome fella” giving her a hand moving something and telling him how much she really appreciated it. Boom.. the gorilla goes and moves the dresser and the smart lady goes back to the tasks she’s better physically suited for. She literally achieved the same task- get the dresser from point A to point B – with less exertion, less sweat, less calories, and less time than she would if she’d approached the task with a masculine-mindset.

Does that make me sexist? No. It makes me observant.

Does it make the woman in that scenario a huge disappointment to the feminist movement? Probably. They probably believe she should work hard to be just as physically strong as I am so she could do it herself without being “dependent” on a man to do things for her. That’s where this world has gone.

Anyway, with that in mind, let’s get back to the authors revelations about men and women.

He posited that women, in general, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally
    also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men.
  • Extroversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness. This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there is overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue most of the time.
  • Neuroticism – higher anxiety over issues but a lower stress tolerance than men.

I personally see this all the time in my wife. She does an incredibly hard job, one I couldn’t and wouldn’t ever want to do, yet she worries over things that I wouldn’t let stress me out at all, and the stress build-up for her is sometimes almost debilitating. I handle those same stresses for five or ten companies all the time. We just process it differently.

So take all this I’ve written before now and put it over in column 1 and call it “the problem.”

What we, as a society, are doing is trying to find a solution to it. We want to “fix” it in the workplace, in the military, in the home, in religions, in political parties.

What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong is – you’re trying to “repair” evolutionary changes in humanity by placing rules in the workplace and expecting it to change human psychology and physiology and that absolutely will not ever happen the way you want it to. Yes, you will affect change. You most certainly will achieve that. But you will NOT get the dystopian fantasy result you’re hoping for because you are intent on fighting nature with repetitive conditioning therapy.

Using the basic assumptions about women James Damore stated above, I’ll give you a few examples.

Women Generals in the Military:
While there will certainly be more of them throughout history, thus far there have only ever been two females in a four-star position in the history of the United States. There are over 1.5 million women and men in the military, but there are only 38 four-star officers across all branches. Of those only two in the history of the US military have ever been women. I will note, because it’s important to the premise, that both were US Air Force generals, not combat-troop generals.

There has never been a female general of ground combat troops. Does that mean women are less than men? No. It means that particular job is suited more towards a man than a woman based on the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of that job.

Go back to the core basics above and analyze why BEFORE you try to launch a campaign to promote more women to four-star roles in the military.

Women are far more humanizing than men overall. They see people as human beings; fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters. It’s far more difficult for a woman to handle the psychological traumas of watching hundreds and thousands of men die at their direct orders than they (as a gender-norm) care to deal with, so they don’t usually gravitate towards a job that leads them to have to do that. Men on the other hand handle that particular kind of stress in a different way. It’s not a “better” way, but it’s unarguably different; colder, more calculating, and with the ability to take emotion out of the equation for the moment and focus on the objective regardless of the fact that they knew the four men that just died on the camera feed they’re watching from 20 miles away. I’m referring to men’s gender-ability to be less affected by anxiety and handle stress differently in the moment. I think both genders are equally likely to suffer from alcoholism or PTSD afterwards, but I’m referring to the in-the-moment decisions a combat veteran must make on their path to that career level.

Women are more likely to be team-players than men. Being a four-star general, and the entire process leading to it, tend to be filled with lonely career paths and lonely decisions. Almost everything that separates a woman from a man psychologically makes that job very unlikely for a woman to ever hold for a combat unit.

Women In Combat:

This is one that society has been working hard to change since my childhood, whether they should or not. They feel like they are being cheated as a gender by not being able to be treated the exact same as men. If they’d just stop blaming MEN and start blaming NATURE, they might get to the actual core of the problem. Instead, some are choosing to force society to over-compensate for biological differences by promoting people into positions they aren’t designed to perform. And what’s worse, if you call it a bad idea you are automatically a misogynistic, anti-feminist, backwards-thinking neanderthal. You wonder why no one ever speaks up and says maybe it’s a bad idea? That’s why.

I know some incredibly bad-ass women. I know one woman, Mary Brannon, that can out shoot any normal male I’ve ever seen her shoot against. She’s better at pistols than I am. Her draw-time is phenomenal. Her ability to absorb new shooting skills in second-to-none.  She can outshoot me in pistol, shotgun, rifle, and any number of combat drills. Would she make a great sniper? Probably so. But would I want her in my squad if it were down to a couple of us going into an unfriendly zone with 100% chance of contact and no support nearby? Hell no. I’d leave her home and take the worst shooting soldier I can find to replace her. You know why?

Because of mathematics and physics – or what you might call “biology.” If I were active duty right now, I’d weigh about 195. My rifle would weigh about 7 lbs empty. My pistol would weigh 3 pounds empty. My water and hydration supplies would weigh about 8 pounds. My ammo would weigh another 3-6 pounds. My pack, armor plates, and gear would weigh another 30. There is no way she can physically pick my combined 250 pounds of gear to put me on her shoulders. She also couldn’t dead-drag me out of there by my straps. She isn’t biologically designed for that task. That’s no reflection on her. It’s human evolution. Nowhere in the history of human evolution, whether you believe wholly in the religious viewpoint or the scientific one, has the female of the human species has been the fighter of the genders. They aren’t the hunters. They aren’t the fighters. They don’t have the muscle mass, the bone density, or the ever important testosterone required to produce those two things. They don’t traditionally perform tasks that design their bodies to withstand that kind of pressure or be able to perform those kinds of tasks. Most women I know can’t toss an 80-pound bag of concrete mix on one shoulder and walk around with it, much less put it down and go get the next 30 of them from the back of the trailer. Men’s bodies and the things we grew up doing with them tend to make us more likely to be able to perform those functions.

The solution of today’s world is to open every single job to women in the military. That’s ludicrous. Do women belong in the military? Certainly! Do I have the neanderthal belief that they need to be relegated to positions of service, such as cooks, cleaning, etc.? Hell no. They might make great shooters. They might make great soldiers as well. But somewhere someone has to make the decision before sending them out to battle whether the health and well being of a team going into a certain location will make it likely to suffer 50% casualty rates. If so, sending in a woman is a stupid decision. Either you’re assuming she’ll be the one shot or you’re put in a position to send her into a place where she can’t carry a comrade out of harms way. Either way you would have to intentionally put her into a place that is statistically more likely to result in the death of one or more people. That’s math. You can be pissed off about it all you want but you cant’ argue with the truth of it.

Should there be exceptions? Sure! There are some truly amazing women that can and will excel in all kinds of things, including combat, pulling fallen comrades out of flipped Humvees while sending fire downrange and keeping enemies head’s down… but those will never be the norm and we shouldn’t try to break biology to fulfill what someone thinks is a “social need” to be equal. We’re not equal. There are normal, less than normal, and superb examples of both genders and we should reward exactly that! Reward the superb. Treat the average like average. Find something else for the less-than-average to do.

Oh wait, that sounds harsh?
Ever heard of a sub-average astronaut? No. That job is specifically relegated to the few humans with the physical and psychological fortitude to perform a given set of tasks.  Everyone NOT capable of performing that job, myself included, is sub-par for the position.

Ever heard of a blind sniper? How about a one-armed sniper? How about a deaf-sniper? No. Those jobs require a particular level of excellence few can achieve and that can’t be achieved at all by people with certain handicaps. It’s life. Move on.

Before I get way off in left field, let me get back to the author’s point about gender disparity, specifically in business. Rather than asking why women aren’t in certain key positions and then trying to push them to get there,  he suggests we need to approach it another way.

  • Ask why is that particular job attractive to men more than women?
  • Ask whether the job can be made more attractive to women without sacrificing the job’s role or function?

It’s a fact that there are more male CEO’s then women in big business. If that’s so, why?

Is it because men are all collectively trying to keep women in their place and put them back at home in the kitchen? Or is it because that particular job type tends to be the end-result of a lot of other job positions that tend to be status driven (attractive to men) and competitive (attractive to men) and therefore seems to attract more men?

It’s not option A. Get over yourself.

If it’s option B, and it usually will be in today’s world, can that job be changed in such a way as to make it more attractive to women?

Maybe there are company policies that lean towards rewarding competitive natures and that should be changed to policies that reflect rewarding long-term goals by another metric that’s less person-to-person competition-related. That is a sensible change that should and could be enacted by a company to be more accommodating to everyone.

Let me give you a really stupid analogy because I know some of you are going to disagree without even understanding what I said. Seriously, it’s happening right now somewhere.

Let’s assume Company 123 chooses their managers by who sells the most cars. Let’s also assume that men are better car salesmen than women (JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXAMPLE, RELAX!)

The company always winds up with male CEO’s that sell a lot of cars. That’s great right? Lots of cars means more lots, means more buildings, means more staff. They’re growing, growing, growing!

So imagine if they chose to re-evaluate their policy in light of a new metric due to social pressures. Let’s say that now they choose to promote based on actual profit margins, rather than numbers of cars. We might find out that men sell way more cars than women, but women are selling mostly Ferraris while men are selling Toyota Camry’s. It changes the whole game!

The company been promoting men because they “perform” better without analyzing the bottom dollar! Women sell only 75% as many cars as men, but their car sales tend to result in 250% higher profit margins than their male counterparts. Maybe having a woman CEO means you streamline, shut down other unnecessary offices that never sell Ferrari’s at all, institute training programs run by women to focus on Ferrari sales (taught to men) and somehow still make a ton more money than you did the last fiscal year? That’s an kindergarten-level-example of changing the employment scenario to suit a gender because it makes sense, not because it is “fair” to everyone.

Keep in mind that in this scenario the company chose to empower a female CEO, which resulted in higher TDV (profit) per sale and changed the way the company focused. Now they sell only high-dollar luxury cars, but operate in less regions because not all regions have customer profiles that will purchase those expensive cars. The company in this case is doing great and will continue to do so, but that change cost jobs. The change to per-item-profit focus over repetitive sales numbers meant they could make more money with less people, so you empowered one woman, but cost fifty other jobs. There are pros and cons to every decision.

I threw out a couple of examples about men vs women because they came to mind, but you could do the same thing with gay vs straight, or black vs white.

The Race Card

The race card is one that’s been so overplayed that we intentionally make companies suffer, and therefore our country as a whole, solely to fulfill a quota on a piece of paper to stop people from complaining about you to others. We have entire colleges devoted to Black this and Black that. And to reemphasize my point from earlier – no one would DARE seriously posit opening a white-only college. No way! They’d be shut out of political office for the rest of their lives simply for bringing up the idea. I mean if black colleges are “fair” then why aren’t white colleges “fair?”

Blacks pitch a fit, but hell, my ancestry is American Indian. You can bitch and moan all you want about being treated unfairly. They murdered my ancestors en-masse and wiped out our entire damned country then stole all of it on top of that, but you don’t see me complaining do you? And by the way, they murdered “my people” before yours ever showed up on the boats. Again, you don’t see me putting “American Indian” on the box to try to get special treatment. My mom and dad were American, just like yours were. None of my parents killed Indians and none of yours were slaves, so shut up about it and move on. Hire people that fit the job, not people that fit the color wheel in the back office.

We have companies that are forced to hire a certain amount of blacks, or Asians, or Mexicans, or whatever over other candidates solely to be sure they stay within the culturally accepted guidelines of being “appropriate.”

What’s the solution?

The solution is simple. If you want to take race out of the equation and make it fair (which should appeal to the left)  then simply remove race from applications altogether on every piece of paper out there and hire solely on merit.(Which would appeal those on the right.) Remove the check box for race from job applications, school applications, bank account forms, loan applications, car applications, medical forms, insurance paperwork, and everything else.

That wont’ happen though. Do you know why it won’t happen? It wont’ happen because if we stopped tracking it, the groups that depend on those numbers to keep harassing “the man” won’t have anything to stand on. They need those statistics to show they are still being oppressed, whether it makes sense for the job or not.

It’s been a running joke between business owners for years but you’ll never hear it mentioned at any speech or lecture, but it goes something like this:
“You want to know how to succeed in getting as much seed-money as your business needs to start up? You want to know how to win every bid, every grant, and how to get everyone to hire your business? It’s easy. Open up a partnership and find yourself a black female that served at least one day in active duty and got injured and then make them 51% owner on paper. Boom. You qualify for everything!”
Veteran owned business? Check!
Minority owned business? Check!
Woman owned business? Check!
Disabled owned business? Check!

No one would DARE say that at a business convention, but you’ll hear it 100 times at the bar after the meeting is over.

Forcing Change Has Backfired at a Genocidal Level

Forcing the whims of society and cultural acceptance into the business marketplace, educational space, and even government and military spaces has only served to provide another point of friction to an area that didn’t need any more to begin with. We how have so much acceptance that our next generation is doomed because they don’t know how to handle not being accepted.

Let’s face it, acceptance is something we as society are trying to force on a species that hasn’t ever in its history shown it has a capacity for it. Only two generations ago we were a culture based on merit, hard work, and at most being rewarded with the opportunity to succeed. Humans are much more closely related to predatory animals than kitty cats, yet groups of people think they can change that. No one would try to domesticate alligators and have them run loose around children in homes, yet we think we can change the entirety of human DNA by forcing a baptist couple to make a gay wedding cake, or forcing Google to hire more women in a particular office region.

These last two generations have been all but promised the guarantee of success in all things and when they confront reality in all its ugly forms they are unable to cope. Let’s face it – you can’t actually change reality. Reality means the following:

  • You will not always succeed.
  • You will fail many more times than you will achieve.
  • People will want to take from you if you have things they don’t.
  • Somewhere out there, someone won’t like you and will tell you so.
  • Your feelings will get hurt.
  • No one will give you anything when you grow up.
  • Nothing is actually free. In order for you to have it free, they had to steal it from someone else.

Over the last twenty or so years the American culture has mislead itself into thinking it can change those facts. It can’t. It can change the experience you have for a limited time – in school, at home, in day care, maybe even in college. But it can’t change human nature when you become an adult.

This next generation has been so damaged by predisposition that we actually have tiny tiny young kids killing themselves over what other kids say. That is the sad, pathetic, generation of people we have “genetically designed” by trying to indoctrinate the fact that the world must be a nice place for everyone and everyone can do anything.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and I hope you think on it. I’m open to any and all comments and discussions.


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