An Actual 'Woman in Tech' Explains Google Memo Outrage

It was 'throwing a match into dry brush in fire season'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2017 12:54 PM CDT
This Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, photo shows a Google sign at a store in Hialeah, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – With James Damore claiming Google only proved his point by firing him, a self-described "woman in tech" is taking it upon herself to "ladysplain" why the former Google engineer's manifesto—a "list of biologically driven 'personality differences'" that explain why women aren't cut out to work in tech—angered so many people. For one, women are just flat-out tired of constantly justifying why they belong in tech, Cynthia Lee writes for Vox. Lee, a computer science lecturer at Stanford, says women in the industry face a "background of endless skepticism" from men. Being treated like your existence isn't normal gets exhausting, hence why "this manifesto was throwing a match into dry brush in fire season."

There's also the fact Damore tries to couch his argument in terms of "average" women and not specific women working at Google. But the whole point of his manifesto is changing diversity policies at the company. "If his proposals were adopted, it wouldn’t be some abstract concept of 'average' that doesn’t get a scholarship, it would be an actual individual woman," Lee writes. Lee says Damore also offers his support to diversity as an abstract concept while tearing down policies meant to support it and not offering anything to replace them. He wants to focus on biological differences that may or may not exist while ignoring the irrefutable biases and unwelcoming environments women in tech face every day. Read Lee's full piece here. (Read more Google stories.)

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