He was trying to fix a broken culture

The war over the Google memo continues. Business Insider has another conversation with young James Damore.

A lot of the debate about fired Google memo writer James Damore has centered around his views, the science he cited, and whether or not he deserved to get fired.

But what’s been largely ignored is how women within Google felt and his reaction to that.

In an interview with Business Insider, Damore says he wasn’t trying to attack women, but fix what he views as a broken culture within Google. He didn’t express remorse for what he wrote, and went back to his point that he was fired for his conservative views, not the fact that he violated Google’s code of conduct for making assumptions about women, as CEO Sundar Pichai said.

That’s fatuous, of course. He wasn’t fired for his “views” – he was fired for circulating a memo disparaging women and saying they’re too different to work at Google. Nobody at any corporation gives a flying fuck about the “views” of any young minor employee; what the bosses give a fuck about is what employees say to other employees on company time and company computers.

Steve Kovach: So there’s been a lot of debate and discussion about this. And instead of asking you the same questions you’ve been asked probably a thousand times before, I wanted to focus more on the reason why, at least from Google’s perspective, you were fired. And also the impact it had on some of your former colleagues. I’ve spoken to numerous people within the company, and one thing I keep hearing from your former female colleagues is they felt attacked by a lot of what was written in that memo. How would you respond to the women at Google who did feel attacked by what you wrote?

James Damore: Obviously, no one should feel attacked. I was simply trying to fix the culture in many ways. And really help a lot of people who are currently marginalized at Google by pointing out these huge biases that we have in this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves. Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of closet as a conservative.

Yeahhhhhh no. Coming out of the closet is one thing, and telling a set of fellow employees that they are your inferiors is another. If “conservative”=telling other people they’re inferior, then it needs to stay in the closet with the door locked.

Kovach: I don’t think that’s why women particularly felt attacked. They felt attacked by some of the assumptions you were making. We won’t really get into a discussion about whether the science you cited was valid or not, but they didn’t feel attacked because you’re conservative. They felt attacked because of the assumptions you were claiming about women.

Exactly. Nobody gives a damn about James Damore’s politics as such. What people give a damn about is what he is telling his fellow employees.

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