Discussions on fascist misogyny, race and identity politics


Yep! And far from costing others – it would actually benefit them.


Not to mention, historically women attend college at high rates because so many men enter the workforce after high school.


Just maddening that some people point to the education systems that favor submission and claim that girls’ socialization into submissive obedience is an unfair advantage for failing to meet the needs of uninhibited and unrepressed boys.



My talk about white men was only about you in so much as it was true of you. If I say that people make action movies because hollywood movies cater to young men, that statement is true despite both: a) not all young men like action movies, b) many people who aren’t young men like action movies.

Where we are right now is the backlash against the system you are advocating for, though. We tried running society in a way where all that mattered was that you followed the rules, and it didn’t matter who you were. The outcome of that has been that adverse outcomes for traditionally marginalized groups didn’t go away (not talking about race didn’t stop black or indigenous people from being targeted), so it did still matter who you were. The other outcome has been a cultural cold-war that has erupted into the current state where no one even remembers how to talk to one another and fascism seems preferable to consensus for a huge part of the population.

We went from outright, named bigotry, to covert bigotry that cast people opposing bigotry as the bigots. The future is figuring out a way that we can accept one another as people not just as other actors in the stage-play that fuels the economy.

I have no idea where I expressed the opposite of this. It’s an accident of history that we’re discussing white people oppressing black people instead of black people oppressing white people, or instead of people with one cluster of family names oppressing people with another cluster of family names.

I don’t think this is true. I think respecting identities is based on saying, “I don’t know better.” I can only question other people’s identities if I’m pretty sure I know better than them. People don’t know themselves, but I don’t know them either.

I think we live in a period of conflict between system thinking that doesn’t see people as individuals but rather as parts of the system and of individualist thinking that is sick of the system telling individuals what do do. I think the way forward is synthesis, and I think that synthesis already exists in activist communities. We accept each individual’s experience (including their experience of their identity) as fact, but no more important than the fact of anyone else’s experience, and we use that to better understand the system of how we relate to one another.

I see the validity in pointing out that we aren’t individuals in the way that most of us think of them. I also think that most people presently experience themselves as individuals, and I need to engage with people as they are.

I knew I liked you for a reason.

Where does this idea that anyone is imposing anything on you come from? Are intersectionalists secretly running the government? If someone else speaks, and you disagree, and they get mad at you for disagreeing and you dismiss them for getting mad neither of you had imposed anything more than the other one. Wishing someone you don’t like would just shut up is not having the power to censor.

This is exactly what I was talking about. You can conduct yourself however you feel is appropriate, but when marginalized groups conduct themselves how they feel is appropriate (that is, by talking about their marginalization) other people interpret that as the marginalized groups imposing something. No, they are just doing the same thing you are doing when you write this.

More or less so than using the power of the law to disallow copyright infringement?

Do you understand that to address the real problems you are talking about with how men are socialized is going to require us to talk about gender? These problems aren’t going to evaporate if we stop paying attention to them and more than neighbourhoods desegregated when segregation policies ended.

Recognizing people’s varied experiences and identities is the solution to this problem, not the cause of it.

There are presumably some marginalized people who would like to become new oppressors. There are also a lot of privileged people who mistake equality for oppression because they are so used to privilege. If we were to place our bets, a person who concerned about the tables being turned is more likely to be the latter than to be having an interaction with the former.



When a certain google employee tried to do this recently it didn’t work out so well for him, did it? Apparently the requirement isn’t just that we need to talk about this, but that we’re only allowed to talk about it in ways deemed acceptable to certain groups of cultural theorists.



Interestingly, this is also my reaction to young earth creationists.


Talk about it any way you like, no one’s freezing your peach.

But do realize please that if you talk about it in ways that fail to recognize how men and/or white people tend to be socialized and empowered, and thus how they tend to act, then you’re going to get push back, and that you’/re going to come across, at best, like an uninformed idiot.

And btw, it’s not just “certain groups of cultural theorists” who realize that discrimination against members of disempowered groups still exists.


I think they do get it, it’s just that they don’t see anything wrong with it, I don’t mean to paint people as evil even though it’s fair to say that’s what I meant but this is just not true:

It comes at the cost of somebody’s privilege.
In a sense, they do “get it”, maybe not at a conscious level but they certainly act like they get it.


The problem is that there is no objective right way to think, today’s progressive will likely be seen as tomorrows villain, especially if successful in bringing about change in the world.
You are right in that it is only ever acceptable to argue your case in certain ways, but it has only ever been in a way that actually convinces people, anything less just gets dismissed if you’re lucky.

Even dishonest/stupid arguments get traction if they actually convince people.

Edit: Typo.


Er, no. A privilege is a privilege because someone else doesn’t have it. If equality is fought for, and won, then all have what only the privileged had.

If anyone who’s privileged considers the loss of nothing more than their privileged status a loss worth crying about, that’s not a loss anyone else should give a shit about.


Yeah but working for equality on the part of the oppressed is not a villainous action. Just because someone might later see it one just isn’t a problem with worrying about.


I do not. But the privilege is still lost which was the only point I was making.
It’s petty to want to hang on to privilege, yes it is. But I can recognize that there are some things petty people will fight for.

It sometimes takes me some time to be able to get my point across without ambiguity, I failed here.
I did not intend to suggest otherwise. In replying to Caze I only meant to suggest that righteousness is meaningless. The only thing we can do for today is what we think is right, but that being right cannot just be asserted, it actually needs to be tested.
I only meant to suggest that not being taken seriously is not an indictment on ideas but on merit.


I think his biggest problem was that what he wrote was monumentally stupid. It was like he thought he had invented the wheel, and he needed to lecture all the rest of us about his amazing discovery. Present any argument you want, in any way you want. But if you come out insulting people with idiotic tripe they’ve read a hundred times before presented in a self-aggrandizing way, people will think you are a stupid, arrogant asshole.

I’m sure somewhere out there someone could make a pretty good case that there are elements of biological sex that have real, measurable impacts on humans whether we like it or not. But if such an argument exists and if we should really wrestle with what that means to us as a society, we shouldn’t do so by insulting people with our Dunning-Kruger-Award-Winning broken telephone understanding of that argument.


What a fantastic description of Internet political discussions!


Even the researchers Danmore cited disagree with the claims he made in the memo.


That’s a great article. I think it lays out a lot of the problems with trying to leap from biology to behaviour. One thing that jumped out at me that I wish they’d spent more time on is this:

“I would assume that women in technical positions at Google are more thing-oriented than the average woman,” Lippa says. “But then an interesting question is, are they more thing-oriented than the average male Google employee? I don’t know the answer to that.”

Someone might point out women are unlikely to play in the NBA because of the many biological differences between men and women (height, muscle mass). But let’s imagine one day a woman does play in the NBA. Should I expect that woman will be below average height for NBA players? Below average in how much they can bench press, or how fast they can run?

Of course not, if one day a woman does play in the NBA I’d bet she’ll be seven feet tall and able to punch out Shaq. Why? Because how the hell else would a woman end up playing in the NBA?

When you have a discriminatory environment that selects against a certain trait, you should expect that people with that trait in that environment will be among the best at whatever it is you are doing. If you have 80% men and 20% women doing computer programming for you, it’s not a bad bet that your top 20% best programmers are more than half women. And that’s true even if in the general population men are better at programming than women. It’s a very good bet that intentionally adopting policies that open you up to more women will improve the quality of your hires.

We’re seeing this a lot now with companies that are trying really hard to hire people with disabilities. I saw a short documentary about banks trying to hire people with autism. It was really hard to watch because they people who supported this were all crazy bigoted. They had hired all these great employees with autism, so they had this idea in their head that people with autism were ideal employees for banks.

Maybe having autism does predict being better at some things banks want done, I don’t know. But the reason the bank was able to hire a bunch of amazing employees with autism was because hiring practices are so generally discriminatory against people with autism that there is a pool of exceptionally talented people with autism who can’t find jobs.

If we lived in a society that didn’t at all discriminate based on gender (or apparent gender) then it would be fair to guess that a 60-40 split in gender among employees in an industry was because that’s just who the best people for the job happened to be. In the society we have, anyone who thinks programs that encourage diverse applicants and that combat biases are going to decrease the quality of the hires is very bigoted.

Though it’s one thing to make yourself look like a stupid arrogant asshole under a pseudonym on a forum and another to end up in the news so the first hit on the search for “Company X” is “Stupid, Arrogant Asshole!”


I think that’s a pretty poor analysis of his memo, it wasn’t ‘monumentally stupid’ in the slightest. I don’t actually agree with his conclusions (that most of the difference in employment levels is down to ‘innate temperament and interest’, though I’m sure it plays a role, but possibly a small one), the science he refers to is represented accurately (that doesn’t mean it’s true, psych research is to be taken with a large pinch of salt due to low reproducibility and general difficulties in controlling for every external influence, of course that applies to any social constructivist psych research just as much). His main mistake was selectively picking from the research and jumping to unwarranted conclusions, which is exactly the same mistake made by people pushing a hard social constructivist viewpoint, the simple fact is we don’t know enough either way.

That wasn’t really my point though, whether you agree with his views or not, he wasn’t being ‘anti-diversity’, ‘sexist’, or ‘insulting’, and nothing he did warranted getting fired over.


I find those two things incompatible. Saying we can conclude something we can’t conclude from a study, to me, is not representing the study accurately. Also, picking one study out of a large and inconclusive body and presenting it as fact is not representing the study accurately. Reproduction of results is what science is all about, so by using a study as a basis from which you draw conclusions you are implicitly presenting it as reliable, and suggesting that the science on the subject has some coherency.

Walking in with the assumption that men are better programmers than women, cherry picking studies from fields that lack coherent conclusions and then presenting your assumption as fact isn’t sexist? He started with a sexist position and then set out to prove it.

The fireable offense was that there was a day that if you googled “Google” the top hits were all stories about an internal struggle over diversity at Google with his as the poster child. Maybe if he’d had more of the interpersonal skills that he ascribes to women he would have realized that creating a PR disaster for your employer is a bad career move (unless your plan is to get into the career of taking money from alt-right dupes by reinforcing their beliefs, then maybe it’s a great career move).


I find those two things incompatible.

They’re not. Individual research papers are simply a data point in a wider meta-analysis (most of the time, you can get away with more the ‘harder’ the science), you can represent a single paper accurately (by which I simply mean you accurately repeat what the authors of the paper say in their paper) but still not place that result correctly in context.

Walking in with the assumption that men are better programmers than women

This is not an assumption that he makes at all though. In fact he spent a lot of time pointing out that ability wasn’t the issue, the way he saw it (he talked about the research that shows that there’s lots of evidence that women and men have virtually identical levels of intelligence on average). His argument is that women are less inclined to choose to work in programming, due to innate factors rather than conscious and unconscious biases which push them out (again, I disagree with him on this, there is clear evidence of biases in play, especially wrt the handling of CVs, which should be a blinded process as much as possible).

Maybe if he’d had more of the interpersonal skills that he ascribes to women he would have realized that creating a PR disaster for your employer is a bad career move.

This is definitely true, but this reflects more poorly on our society and it’s treatment of the neurodivergent than it does on him imho.

I quite liked Peter Singer’s take on this at the time: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/google-wrong-article-1.3399750