If you’ve any doubt that sexism is alive and well in the United States, look no further than recently fired Google employee James Damore who disseminated a 10-page long manifesto criticizing Google’s diversity policies in favor of men. Damore hung his sexist hat on evolutionary psychology, a controversial field that suggests psychological traits are selected in the same way as our biological traits via evolution, which then confers entitlements like better pay and promotions to those he deems superior, namely men.
His conclusion? That men and women “biologically differ in many ways,” and thus, men have a biologically-based “higher drive for status” which suggests that men are somehow more inherently entitled to make more money than women. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” Damore wrote, while apparently ignoring the evidence that sexism is, in fact, strongly associated with women receiving lower pay than men on average in almost every field imaginable.
Yesterday, Google fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" which Sundar Pichai, the company's chief executive, said promoted “harmful gender stereotypes.” The document accuses Google of silencing conservative political opinions and argues that biological differences between men and women determine why there's a shortage of women in tech and leadership positions.
James Damore, the software engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email to Bloomberg, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.” He added that before his termination, he had submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Google’s upper management was “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints.”