Thursday 16 November 2017

My interview with HuffPo reporter Dana Liebelson

I was contacted by a reporter for Huffington Post a few days ago, and gave her an interview by email. The article is now up, and I'd like to acknowledge that she was fair in her quoting of my comments. 

I would, however, like to post the entire interview here, since very little of what I told her actually made it to print. Her questions/comments are in bluish, my responses are in black:

Hi Karen, I hope you are doing well! I'm a reporter with the Huffington Post, and I'm working on a story talking to Men's Rights Activists & some other folks about the recent wave of women coming forward with sexual harassment and abuse allegations post-Weinstein. (With, as you know, men facing serious professional and personal repercussions.) I wanted to see if you might be able to do a short interview. I'm including my questions below if you prefer email, otherwise let me now if you'd like to set up a time by phone. Thanks so much! Best, Dana 

Hi again Dana. I’m sorry if my answers here are very very long. Like I said, my views on this subject are complicated. I don’t know whether I’ve given you anything you can really work with, but I hope they make my positions clear (even when the positions themselves are muddy). This is not an easy issue. There are women who are genuinely victims of men’s sexual misconduct. There are reasons I support a presumption of innocence and a high burden of proof when people are accused of misconduct. I wish I could be more concise.


What do you make of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein? Do you think he should have been fired from the Weinstein company or faced any other repercussions regarding the allegations? Why or why not? 

Many of the allegations seem credible, for sure. Certainly, the fact that there’s corroboration from witnesses other than the accusers adds to that credibility. Whether or not the allegations themselves indicate acts that rise to the level of criminal sexual assault or harassment, companies have a moral and legal responsibility to enforce ethical business practices among their employees and officers. 

I’m certain there are women in Hollywood who would view the “casting couch” as being of benefit to them—a useful tool of advancement in their careers—and who might be happy extending the offer of sex in a tit for tat exchange of favours. There will be many, many women who do not feel this way. 

The existence of this first group of women, and of men like Weinstein who are happy to take them up on the offer, place the latter group of women (who, I would hazard to guess, are more numerous) in the untenable position of being expected to engage in this exchange if they want to forward their careers at all. 

Megalomaniacs (narcissistic sociopaths) like Weinstein appears to be seem to see no difference between the "voluntary prostitution” of women who willingly “sleep their way to the top" and “sex trafficking” of unwilling women who just want to earn their way up the ladder. 

Unfortunately for everyone, megalomaniacs tend to rise to positions of power (because they actively and often ruthlessly pursue power), and they can make life a living hell for the people who are forced to interact with them. The allegations of his sexual misconduct are only one piece of a more general pattern of his abuse of power, and his abuse of those under his power. He also had a reputation for tyrannical, coercive, vindictive and even physically violent behaviour against both men and women he felt had crossed him. People of both sexes went along with it because to do otherwise would bring his wrath on them. 

As you know, there have been many women coming forward to accuse high-profile men of harassment/abuse since Weinstein, with many of the accused facing job and personal repercussions. What do you make of this trend? 

It is, indeed, a trend. This is not to say that all of the allegations against other men are frivolous or spurious, though I believe that some of them are likely to be. The more the media sensationalizes the issue, and in particular, the more it finds its way into the outrage mill of social media, the greater the proportion of “bandwagoners” will probably be. The more praise and validation the women who have justifiably come forward receive from the public, the more likely it is that we’ll see others making false claims of victimization. 

For men who make such claims, I necessarily hold less skepticism. This is not because I believe men are more honest than women, but because there is less to be gained from coming forward. I recall Corey Feldman coming forward after Corey Haim’s death, to talk about the “casting couch” that exists for even child actors. He was accused, by Barbara Walters on national TV, of personally “destroying an entire industry” by exposing what had happened to him and others. 

Why do you think these women are coming forward now, when they didn't before?

I think it was a simple cost/benefit/risk analysis, just like it was for the people who enabled Weinstein to continue. Some of the women brought legal action against him, signed non-disclosure agreements, collected their payoffs and avoided the reputation annihilation Weinstein was able to inflict. Their willingness to do so perpetuated the culture. From a broader standpoint, they did the wrong thing. From an individual standpoint, perhaps they believed they were doing the only thing they could. It’s clear Weinstein didn’t see these settlements as punitive—to someone with his money and power, they’d be viewed as little more than the cost of getting laid. 

And I suppose I can sit here and say that the victims who took a payoff in return for their silence are partly responsible for all his future victims, and yes, I do believe that’s the case. But I can also look at the position they were in and ask, “would I have been willing to sacrifice everything I’d worked for on the off chance it would end like David and Goliath, rather than with me getting squashed like a bug? Maybe a couple hundred grand in my pocket and a vow of silence is the better option.”

I think it’s important to note that the Weinstein allegations did not emerge one at a time. Investigative journalists worked on the story for a long time, talking to lots of people (many of them off the record or anonymously), and following a bread crumb trail of sealed settlements and gag orders. The story did not break with just one victim making an accusation about just one incident. The initial story allowed the victims to disclose in safety to someone who believed them, and when public disclosure happened they had the strength of numbers behind them, and the legitimacy of a lengthy NYTimes piece. 

This very brief video, by Steven Pinker, explains why it had to happen the way it did:

Weinstein was clearly a dictator, and he had no qualms whatsoever about picking off dissenters one at a time. You want to bring down a dictator, you need a metaphorical crowd of people assembled in a figurative public square.

How do you define sexual harassment,

That depends. Between individuals of relatively equal status, I believe harassment can only happen if the sexual advances or sexualized language are both unwanted and sustained over some period of time. One unwanted sexual advance that isn’t repeated isn’t enough for me to consider it harassment in such a case. 

The elements of Weinstein’s case don’t fit that general profile, but I would still call them harassment. His behaviour was clearly predatory, even if the women still technically had the option of declining his advances. He set things up in such a way as to increase their vulnerability and their perceptions of his power, and lead them to believe that declining his advances was not an option. Paltrow and Jolie were able to do so because they already had lots of credits under their belts and were part of powerful friend/family networks in Hollywood. 

Orchestrating a situation in which you intentionally manipulate your victim into believing that they will suffer penalties if they don’t have sex with you, and that you are capable of inflicting those penalties, is also harassment in my mind.

and what kind of bar do you think should be met in order for it be substantiated? 

The bar will depend on which institution is considering it. If Weinstein were to be criminally prosecuted, I would want the allegations to meet a higher burden because the penalties involved are high. That burden is rightly set lower in a civil court. 

I believe companies should investigate such claims before taking punitive action, not only because some claims are spurious but because false accusations can themselves be a method of harassment (sometimes people will use false accusations of harassment to perpetrate harassment). I don’t give Weinstein’s company much credit for firing him, since there’s every indication they knew what was going on and did nothing for years. They only fired him when it became public, which shows nothing good regarding their virtues or their ethics. 

And here’s where it gets tricky. I was sexually harassed by the chef de partie at my workplace when I was a cook at age 21. The guy was, like Weinstein, just 100% toxic altogether, and abusive to LOTS of people. I eventually quit, and applied for Unemployment Insurance. The employer contested the claim, leading me into a four year process of fighting to get my benefits. Why? Because they believed that any substantiated allegation of sexual harassment at their company would reflect poorly on them. They decided it would be more expedient to bury the allegations in mounds of red tape and obstructionism than admit publicly not only that something like that had happened on their watch, but that they had promoted this guy, despite several complaints of general bad conduct (bullying, etc), into a position of authority.

On the bright side, my daughter (she’s 22) experienced prolonged and repeated unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate touching (of her hair) from an equal status coworker at her job at Walmart. When she brought it to her manager’s attention, they jumped on it immediately. Immediate scheduling measures were undertaken to ensure that she and the guy in question were never working in the same department, and never arriving or leaving at the same time. Within a couple days, they had someone from regional HR in to interview both of them. I attended that meeting with her, and they took her concerns seriously and they also took her requests seriously—she did not want the guy to be fired (he’s an unskilled refugee who speaks little English and comes from a completely different culture), she only wanted the behaviour to stop. It’s been a year, he’s still working there, and she’s had no problems since.

Are there any of these high-profile cases in the last month where you think the accused should have faced repercussions for alleged behavior? If so, please explain when and why. 

I think many, if not most or all, of them have faced repercussions. I expect that some of those repercussions might not match the severity of the offence. This is the double edged sword we’re dealing with when allegations like this become a trend (or even fashionable). Weinstein was, from what I’ve ascertained, a serial sexual harasser and sexual predator, as well as a tyrant and a bully. His head should metaphorically roll, and it certainly has in terms of his career and reputation. Does this mean that every man who ever propositioned a woman for casual sex in Hollywood should face the same axe?

The situation is complicated. Is every rock star who has sex with a groupie who threw herself at him guilty of some type of misconduct? What if the groupie who aggressively pursued a liaison last night feels used afterward? Is he somehow culpable for accepting sex that was enthusiastically on offer last night, because she feels bad about it in the morning? How do we navigate a situation where, cross-culturally, women in general are sexually attracted to powerful men? Is it NEVER okay for a powerful man to engage in sexual behaviour with a woman less powerful than him? Is it only okay if she feels good about herself afterwards? What about office romances that turn into long term relationships or even marriages? Did they all begin with sexual harassment? What about women who intentionally sexualize their appearance at work and then complain when a man looks at them or asks them for a date?

Do you see this as any kind of culture shift?

Weinstein’s company was as happy to bury the allegations as my employer was back in 1992, for as long as they could keep them buried. What has happened in Hollywood doesn’t represent a cultural shift in my mind—at least, not in the way my daughter’s complaint to Walmart does.

A proper cultural shift would mean companies would do what Walmart did: take her allegations seriously when they were made, take immediate, non-punitive action toward prevention of further behaviour, investigate as fairly and expediently as possible, and when a finding was made, take measures to put the offender on notice and stop his behaviour. 

What is being perpetuated in media right now over this Weinstein thing is that the companies involved somehow didn’t realize that this kind of conduct is scummy, gross and harmful. That they thought it was okay. But that’s not the problem. The problem I see is that THEY KNOW THIS KIND OF THING IS WRONG. If they didn’t know it was wrong, they wouldn’t be interested in burying it behind a dozen closed settlements involving monetary payoffs and non-disclosure agreements, and general employee non-disparagement agreements. 

The culture has always known that this kind of behaviour is the behaviour of sleaze bags. It’s why Weinstein had to threaten people’s careers to keep it all quiet and ticking along. It’s why his company paid women off to keep them quiet. It’s why the moment the allegations came out, pretty much the entirety of mainstream and social media condemned Weinstein.

The behaviour could only continue if it was hidden from the public. That is because the general culture does NOT see this behaviour as acceptable.

What I am seeing is kind of the opposite of what many in the media are portraying it as. The sexual victimization of women, by coercion or force, is not normalized. In Hollywood, it was an open secret, but it could only continue as long as it was SOME kind of secret, or if it could be glossed over. 

The cultural shift I would like to see is one where such allegations are taken seriously when they are made. By seriously, I don’t mean “believe the victim” and start the lynching. What I would like to see is less emotionality and more due process. If admitting that one of your company directors sexually harassed or coerced women didn’t evoke such public outrage, perhaps more companies would be willing to address the problem. 

There is a stigma attached to this issue that prevents disclosure and the proper and timely addressing of the problem. That stigma is not only the stigma attached to victims, but the stigma attached to perpetrators and their enablers. Considering the sexual victimization of women as a “special” offence worthy of “special” outrage, is in my mind part of the problem. No one wants to believe it happened because it’s so incredibly heinous, but then when the burden is finally met and people are convinced, their reaction is over the top and doesn’t necessarily fit the crime.

In the United States, the rape of a woman was one of the last non-lethal offences that could get you the death penalty. The severity of the punishment is often a barrier to conviction. If you had to sit on a jury and decide whether a man would go to the gallows, I would hope you’d want to be convinced to a higher degree than if he was facing 18 months in prison. 

How do you see this impacting the movement to end sex discrimination against men and boys? 

If this helps Corey Feldman and others like him to get media attention on the child actor casting couch and have his allegations taken seriously, I see that as positive. But I see it as more likely to turn into a witch hunt where every allegation of sexual misconduct against a man in Hollywood will require immediate and summary conviction in the court of public opinion. 

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that the media has shed a light on Weinstein’s behaviour and condemned it. But those allegations were subjected to an intense scrutiny prior to publication. Allegations against other men following in Weinstein’s wake will not be subjected to the same scrutiny before being assumed to be genuine. This has been portrayed as a systemic problem in Hollywood, and I believe it is systemic. But once a “systemic” abuse has been exposed (accurately or otherwise), it becomes very easy to assume that anyone accused is by default guilty. After all, they were part of the system. 

If you want to see what I mean, you can read the history of the McMartin daycare Satanic sexual abuse scandal, and how more than a hundred people were prosecuted on no credible evidence whatsoever. The media grabbed the story and portrayed it as systemic and commonplace, an “open secret”, and innocent people were fed into a meat grinder that destroyed lives. Calls for calm, evidence and due process were met with accusations of apologia and the social and professional destruction of the individuals making them.

Do you think this trend is going to impact how men act in the workplace? Why or why not? Do you see that as problematic? 

Of course it will. Men have been taking measures in the workplace to avoid spurious allegations of sexual misconduct for a long time. I have an uncle who was a middle school teacher all his life until his retirement more than ten years ago. He initially scoffed at what I do. Then I asked him, “did you ever meet with a female student or colleague without the door open or someone else present?” He sat for a few moments and thought about it. “Well, of course I never did that. I wouldn’t want to be accused of anything. You always kind of know that’s a possibility if you can’t prove what you were doing at any given time. You always want to have someone there who can back you up.”

It had never really occurred to him that this was something he had to do as a man that he wouldn’t have had to do if he wasn’t a man. 

Men have reason to feel vulnerable to accusations of sexual misconduct. The more men they see publicly run up a gibbet without due process, the more they will distance themselves from women in the workplace.

And of course I see this as problematic. I wish Weinstein’s early victims had gone to the DA. I wish the DA had not been in Weinstein’s pocket. I wish that powerful, wealthy people couldn’t buy their way out of trouble. I wish I could say I don’t believe that innocent people will be caught up in the fallout from these revelations. And I wish the men, watching all of this go down and all of these heads rolling, were not correct in seeing the women around them as making them vulnerable to undeserved punishment. 

Marie Heinen, defence counsel for Jian Ghomeshi in one of Canada’s most highly publicized sexual assault trials, has gone on record as saying that when we set aside due process, it never ends well for the marginalized. A “lynching culture” may take out a few deserving Harvey Weinsteins, but it will take out a LOT of men who are not deserving, and who don’t have the kind of power and money necessary to defend themselves.

What's your take on the #MeToo campaign?  

It’s a mass “nodding” session. Campaigns like this are usually well intentioned in their conception, but they turn into a big back-patting party, where no one actually has to do anything but disclose “yeah, I’m a victim too.” It raises awareness, sure, but it doesn’t solve anything. Life, and in particular sex, is more complicated than 140 characters can convey. Nuance doesn’t lend itself to hashtag campaigns. Sloganeering can’t replace rational and fair-minded policy. 

And where are you based, and how would you describe your title & views? 

I’m based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and I describe myself as an anti-feminist and men’s rights activist. 

Hi Karen, thanks so much for all of this! I do think it's helpful, and I'll definitely quote from in my story. (To get at the nuance, which you point out.) 

I did have one other question, which you kind of touched upon, but do you think there's going to be any backlash to this wave of women coming forward? (Or are we already seeing it?) And if so, what do you think could spark that backlash, and what do you think it will look like? (I was thinking of the Rebecca Traistor piece today, she wrote: "“You can feel the backlash brewing. All it will take is one particularly lame allegation — and given the increasing depravity of the charges, the milder stuff looks lamer and lamer, no matter how awful the experience — to turn the tide from deep umbrage on behalf of women to pity.") 

Traistor seems somewhat prescient, as far as I’m concerned, although I would have to read her entire piece to understand that last remark (about pity). I suppose it is pitiable if women are complaining about mundane inconveniences, though that’s been around for a long time in some areas of the public discourse. And we have seen #MeToo start to get cluttered up with more trivial stories. We have seen some people in media express annoyance at this for trivializing the issue.

But a backlash isn’t constructed out of pity, it’s constructed out of anger. There are some parts of the discussion that seem predestined to generate that anger and to justify it.

“Toxic masculinity.” Whether intentionally or not, and whether it in the technical sense does so or not, this term is perceived to apply a collective blame on all men for the behaviour of men like Weinstein. The “patriarchy” narrative as applied by feminist pundits does nothing to reassure the average man that he is not being blamed, either. If patriarchy is a system where men hold power and women are largely excluded from it, then by extrapolation one must blame men collectively for the harms caused by the system they alone constructed and only they can change.

“White male entitlement.” Certainly this too appears to implicate all white men in things like Weinstein’s behaviour. Like we saw with some of the pieces on James Damore, those focussing most heavily on the problem being “white guys” are often going to be white men themselves. 

These aspects of the discourse put a lot of men in the position of wasting all their energy on #NotMe rather than #HowCanIHelp, unless, of course, #HowCanIHelp involves bashing other whites guys to make oneself look virtuous and enlightened. Everyone ends up either prosecuting or defending masculinity and, again, nothing useful gets done, because it’s not “masculinity” that made Weinstein into the scumbag he is, nor was it “masculine culture” that informed his various enablers. The culture was created out of absolute power corrupting absolutely, and everyone else going along with it because to do otherwise would mean career annihilation. And as with any violation of moral boundaries, the more often you do it the easier it usually gets.

And of course, all that needs to happen is for a handful of bandwagoning women to level accusations that turn out to be demonstrably false, and the entire edifice will collapse. If such a thing happens, you might even see a popular toxic femininity narrative born out of it (and no, I wouldn’t object to such a thing). Part of the fragility of this phenomenon is the way it’s been spun in media by people with agendas. When the “experts” assign a cause, and that cause turns out to be bogus, the entire phenomenon ends up discredited. To simplify, reductio ad absurdum: someone says, “Rape is caused by X.” People might reply, “Uh…but X doesn’t exist. And some of the people who claimed rape were lying. Therefore, maybe rape doesn’t exist.” 

There are genuine measures that can be taken to deal with these problems and help prevent similar ones in the future. Procedural rules can be required of companies when complaints are made, with genuine, balanced investigations being undertaken. NDAs can be prohibited by law when allegations rise to the level of criminal acts. Companies can be forbidden by law to include indiscriminate non-disparagement clauses in their employee contracts that enact penalties over any negative public disclosure, true or not. It can be made functionally as well as technically illegal for any person, no matter how wealthy, to own a district attorney. Sovereign immunity can be put to a legal challenge, and limitations assigned to its protections when DAs either maliciously prosecute or knowingly and with malice look the other way when crimes are being committed.

None of these measures necessarily involve considering sexual harassment or sexual violence to be uniquely monstrous acts. In fact, some of them depend on people looking at the problem in a calm, rational way, untainted by emotionality. They would help more than just victims of sexual harassment, but also victims of other workplace exploitations and abuses. These are genuine legal and due process fixes that do not compromise the rights of the accused or the dignity of victims. They are concrete and institutional (changes to the law), not amorphous and ephemeral (dismantling “patriarchy”). The former contributes to a culture of dignity and law. The latter contributes to a “lynching culture” where the accusation is the conviction and no one pauses to look around until the bodies have piled up.

I do believe there need to be some structural changes made. I worry that the ones that could be most effective will be overlooked in favour of those that would give angry people hungry for blood immediate satiation. You were accused? Say goodbye to your career and welcome to Social Pariahville, population growing. 

And I suppose if there’s one silver lining for men’s rights in how this has all played out, amid the “brave" Twitter bandwagon hashtag slacktivists, the genuine slime balls who’ve been ousted from their positions of untouchable power, and the petty offenders who’ll be caught up in this bid to purge Hollywood of anyone who’s ever upset a woman… I guess Corey Feldman’s allegations are finally getting some traction. Another former child actor came forward with an allegation, and after a bit of the mainstream media minimizing it, it's being taken somewhat seriously. 

It just makes me sad that it took these allegations against Weinstein regarding his sexual misconduct with adult women to open the door to the public caring about allegations that have been out there for years about the sexual abuse of children in Hollywood. That the Corey Feldmans of the world need to piggyback on the victimization of grown women before anyone was willing to take a serious look at what happened to them, and to their friends, when they were vulnerable children.

Anyway. Sorry this went long again. I’ve probably answered more than you wanted to know. 

Thursday 7 September 2017

Open letter to Sargon of Akkad

So, Sargon of Akkad posted this to his channel the other day. I agree with a lot of his arguments. Yes, if alt right people want to wail about white genocide, maybe they should start having babies. That would be a start, no? On the other hand, I do have some concerns I'd love to hear Sargon's opinions on. I left the following as a comment on his video, but thought I'd put it here for posterity. The comment itself is in blue, and my further thoughts will be in normal text:

My concern, and I hope Sargon will address this, is as follows. We have a culture in the west where every group is allowed to play identity politics based on innate characteristics, except for the following: straights, cisgenders, males and whites. We also have a culture in the west where every group but the above is protected by legislation, and where institutional discrimination is legally permissible against the above categories. We ALSO have a cultural narrative that has been institutionalized in academia, law, politics, news media, social work, education and popular culture that describes the above-named groups as 1) responsible for creating a system that oppresses all other groups; 2) complicit in this oppression not by participation in the system, but by virtue of simply being who they are and therefore benefiting unjustly from said system; 3) uniquely monstrous in historical terms (colonialism, exploitation, slavery, etc); 4) enjoying "unearned privilege" over other groups; 5) uniquely capable of inflicting harm, even when harm is not intended; and 6) in control of everything. More than this, group slander against these groups, and even incitement to violence against them ("all men are pigs", "men are scum", "violence has a male face", #KillAllWhiteMen, #All I want for Christmas is White Genocide, etc) is seen as socially and legally permissible. The public discourse actively stirs up animosity and resentment against these particular groups, and promotes narratives that these groups are victimizers and that fear of them based on their biological characteristics alone is justified (m&ms anyone? How about white on black racism and police shootings?). The demonization narrative and the legal dehumanizing slander are cultural conditions that precede actual genocides. It doesn't matter if any of it is true. All that matters is that enough people believe it's true and that it is considered legally and socially acceptable to demonize and dehumanize the target group. I doubt straights, cisgenders and males (as a distinct, homogenous category) are in danger here. Straights and cisgenders will never be a minority. The vast majority of males in a normal society will always have women in their lives who cannot be convinced to lump their own husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, etc, into a group slated for extermination. You just won't be able to convince the average woman to hate ALL men enough to put her OWN men in an oven. But whites? None of the above applies to whites. What happens if whites become a minority in their own societies if the demonization narrative and the legalized dehumanizing slander of whites is still seen as socially permissible? If the culture of racial resentment against whites and the narrative of whites being responsible for all the evils of history is still legally permissible? What if this false history that whites are uniquely monstrous and that all other groups are their victims is still taught in schools? What if it is still taught that no matter what a white person does, they can't avoid victimizing other groups because even if they don't participate in the system of white privilege and whites' oppression of everyone else, they still benefit from it and there's nothing they can do to avoid benefiting from it? The institutionalized narratives paint whites into a corner they can't escape. Even innocence is no defence for the individual, because they are culpable simply by existing within a system of "white supremacy" that benefits them whether they want to benefit or not. Anti-white sentiment is socially and legally allowed. Inciting hatred, resentment and even violence against whites is also allowed in ways it is forbidden against minorities. And then we have Standpoint Theory and Epistemic Privilege. Under this set of theories (taught in all the places you'd expect) the oppressed have the status of "people who should be listened to". The theory describes all relationships as "master/slave", and the slave has epistemic privilege. They are presumed to understand their own and their master's experiences, motivations, intentions, thoughts and beliefs better than their master understands either. The problem is that the people who subscribe to these theories have assigned master and slave status based on something that can't be changed (skin color, gender, etc), when in reality power DOES change hands. What is to stop those who have been assigned epistemic privilege today from defending their epistemic privilege even when they find themselves in the position of master rather than slave? "I'm oppressed. How do I know? Well, I'm black, therefore oppressed, therefore I have epistemic privilege. This gives me a unique insight into how things work, and using my unique insight that my status as an oppressed person gives me, I can guarantee you I'm still oppressed. Well, of course you don't believe me. You're white. You're only saying that because you want to hold onto your privilege. I know this, because my epistemic privilege puts me in a position to understand your motivations better than you do. And believe me, if I were no longer oppressed, I'd let you know. But I can assure you I am still oppressed and you are still privileged (and privilege is invisible to the person who has it, mind you), and you have to believe me because I have epistemic privilege." Don't get me wrong, Carl. I couldn't care less about keeping the "white race" pure. But I've been thinking about all these things, and I'm seriously concerned about what is going to happen if whites ever do find themselves to be a minority in their own countries. If someone wanted to actually orchestrate a genocide, they couldn't do much better than promoting these narratives of collective white original sin, making white-bashing and overt resentment and animosity toward whites socially acceptable (even admirable) and then arranging for whites to be displaced in their own countries by other races. If I wanted an actual white genocide to happen, it's what I'd do.

Anyway, I honestly don't think there's a mastermind behind all of this. I just think it's the perfect storm of various conditions culminating in a situation that has me seriously worried. I have to wonder if some white nationalists are intuiting this potential state of affairs without really seeing all the dots. Whether they feel something coming that they can't articulate but feel they need to respond to and try to avert.

I know Sargon is aware of most of the stuff I talked about in my comment, and I know he believes it's inherently harmful, divisive and unjust. But I don't know if he's extrapolated the potential outcomes of the combination of all of these things if they were to be played out in previously white majority cultures where whites find themselves unprotected by law or legal precedent, and the targets of a legally and socially acceptable hate campaign.

Would leaving your entire estate to people of color, as that BLM leader he vlogged about suggested whites should do, be enough to remove the stain of original sin and spare your children? Would paying reparations be enough? Is there anything that would be enough to wash a white person clean of their unearned privilege and the blot of having benefited from a system of white supremacy that has uniquely exploited all other groups? How could it, when the system is set up so that you can't help but benefit, and cannot, because of your privilege, even appreciate how you've benefited?

All I know is I'm seriously worried about the world my kids are about to inherit.

Saturday 26 August 2017

For anyone who's interested...

Here's the basic plan for the yard.

To parse it, we're on a corner lot, subdivided, with no access to the back alley. Our only parking is out on the street, in front of the sidewalk. You can park along the south side (to the right in the drawing), but only if you're prepared to have an average of 2 vehicles totalled every 5 years due to thru traffic from the bar down the road.

The two trees at the top right corner shade the backyard almost entirely, and the side yard to the left of the house is permanently shaded. We've decided to install a patio throughout. No grass at all. We'll be putting in a shed where we can fit it (the side yard is almost 10 feet wide so we might stick two small sheds along the fence there).

Back and side yards will have a 6 foot privacy fence. Front yard will have a 4 foot fence that the dog won't be able to jump. A gate will connect the front yard to the back on the left front of the house, but we'll be able to seal front and back off when we want.

We'll be putting in a parking pad to the south (right). This is ideal, since that's the side of the house with flooding problems during heavy rain (we have a crack in the foundation at the corner of my sons' bedroom window). Concrete sloped away from the house will deal with that problem. Two birds, one stone.

Walkways from the back and the parking pad to the front door and then down to the sidewalk will be 3 feet wide (wheelchair accessible). We've yet to decide whether we'll do poured concrete or pavers for those. Either way, they'll probably wait until next spring.

The contractor is grading the property, and will install a base of crush to prep for pavers/concrete everywhere we want them. He's ripping out the old fence and will sink 4x6 posts for a new wooden privacy fence. We'll construct the fence from there and install the pavers ourselves, and we may pour/finish the concrete as well. Almost all of this will have to happen in the spring.

We'll put in a raised flower bed against the front of the house on the right side in front of the living room window and will probably replace the front porch (which was built by vagabonds) next year.

I'll cut the rain barrels in half and convert them into planters for herbs, tomatoes and possibly mosquito repellent plants to place on the patio. The wood piled in the corner of the yard will be aged perfectly for a fire bowl once everything is done and ready to use. By the time the backyard is done, it will be a "second living room".

Front yard will be grass turf and "dog territory". I have a patch of very nice looking, steppable, tiny purple flowers with small, scalloped leaves that I may harvest before they are demolished to augment the lawn.

Anyway, that's the basic plan for now. It will essentially take our house from the one bringing everyone's property values down to adding 3X the value to our property than we'll spend. And we'll be able to use our barbecue! And maybe enjoy the outdoors without sinking in mud or being eaten alive by mosquitoes living in unmowable grass and weeds growing on soggy, uneven ground that you can't push a lawn mower over.

And eventually, we'll be able to let our dog out just by opening the door, rather than by putting her on a leash and taking her outside.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Rex Huppke, the One White Male to Rule Them All.

I am annoyed. The Chicago Tribune put out an opinion piece on August 11 by Rex Huppke that I just stumbled across today. I wanted to respond and went through the process of signing up and in and writing out a response, and then hit publish only to find out that only paid subscribers are permitted to comment on articles. Tribune, why would you lead people to believe they can comment, and go to the trouble of writing a comment, only to tell them at the last stage that they have to pay for your bullshit rag in order to publish their comment?

Anyway, I don't like to invest time in nothing, so I decided to respond to the entire article here. The article is reproduced in full, minus any hyperlinks, and appears in the quote boxes. 

Google bro's diversity memo shows biological failings of white dudes

I've reached a very important conclusion about white men, and I'll get to that soon enough, but first, please repeat after me: Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

Is your conclusion that white men are perfectly happy throwing other white men under the bus for the sake of mindless virtue signalling? I'm guessing not. 

Anyway, as for freedom from consequences, I’m sure that your tune would change if Damore was a woman who had tweeted or written something that angered a bunch of people who then piled on her on social media demanding she be fired. You wouldn't be lecturing her that her speech is not free from consequences. You'd be saying we need to do something about the culture of abuse and harassment online. 

Say it again. And again. And if you're one of those aggrieved white guys out there harboring the odd misconception that your voice is being unfairly stifled by "political correctness," say it 15 more times, because it just doesn't seem like this concept has sunk in.

If you’re one of those aggrieved feminists out there harboring the odd misconception that your voice is being unfairly stifled by people who disagree with you, or who tell you you suck, or who call you a feminazi, saying it 15 more times. Until you stop having the urge to testify in front of the UN’s Broadband Commission because people who say you suck are silencing you and should be themselves silenced. At least you haven’t been fired, yo. You can keep spouting your unsubstantiated bullshit and all you have to worry about is angry comments full of mean words. 

Consider this week's firing of a white, male Google employee who published a 10-page memo about diversity on an internal company forum. The software engineer used 3,000-or-so wholly unnecessary words to claim that there are fewer women in the tech industry because of "biological causes" and that diversity programs "increase race and gender tensions.”

Why is his whiteness and maleness an issue? Shouldn’t his assertions and arguments be the issue?

who published a 10-page memo about diversity on an internal company forum. The software engineer used 3,000-or-so wholly unnecessary words to claim that there are fewer women in the tech industry because of "biological causes" and that diversity programs "increase race and gender tensions.”

Those words should have been unnecessary, because they essentially replicate the findings of the psychological, neuro and evolutionary science communities and therefore should be common knowledge. Those words should have been unnecessary because they are supported by the evidence. Quillette has a post up with four scientists' responses to the memo, and none of these scientists contradict the bulk of what was presented in the memo. 

In fact, none of Damore's assertions on sex differences are considered controversial in the scientific community. There is some debate as to how large the differences are, and relevant they may be in particular contexts, but no serious debate as to whether or not they exist. 

I myself am very familiar with the work Damore was drawing on, both in terms of sex differences and in terms of the social/moral psychology involved when a given belief or worldview is politicized or moralized and therefore becomes "unquestionable". 

The memo is riddled with sexist stereotypes poorly supported by scientific references that are, at best, dodgy. 

Your Masters in Journalism makes you scientifically literate enough to judge the references used, their chosen instrument/methodology, their detection of and compensation for potential confounds and biases, weighting, replicability, statistical rigor, effect sizes, etc? 

You’re intimately acquainted with the publications this research has been published in, such as the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” or the “British Journal of Guidance and Counselling” or the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” or the “Association for Psychological Science” or the “European Journal of Endocrinology” or the “British Journal of Psychology”? 

I’m guessing you know better than all of the highly educated people who performed and reviewed the research prior to publication. Because journalism is the epitome of scientific literacy. 

You don’t get to just say the research is dodgy. Well, I guess you can just say it, but that doesn’t make it true. 

The only studies I’ve seen that contradict these findings with any sort of attempt at rigor are so methodologically flawed that the methodology was found to have been designed to intentionally avoid detecting sex differences. Such as feminist Daphna Joel’s study that found male and female brains are “a myth” because it was impossible to “type” brains by examination of their structures with a high enough degree of certainty (despite experts being able to accurately sex MRI scans of brains 70-80% of the time—the other 20-30% being the wrong answers and the “I’m not sures” lumped together). 

Researchers criticizing her work fed the morphological facial features of individuals of three species of monkey into her exact methodology, and could only accurately identify the species a given individual 1 to 5% of the time. 
Despite this, Joel's work was widely reported in mainstream media as confirmation that brains are not male- or female-typed, and therefore essentially indistinguishable. Joel has since gone on record in public expressing her astonishment that anyone would be interested in finding and quantifying sex differences, declaring the entire subject "uninteresting", and suggesting that the only reason anyone would look for such differences is to justify discrimination. 

That there are dimensions of human personality and behavior where sex differences are small, or where there is a lot of overlap, does not negate the fact that on a few key metrics men and women tend to be very, very different, and that these differences can and often do influence their preferences and decisions.

And it contains repeated statements that the author is all for diversity, is not sexist and eschews stereotypes — statements proven false by the aforementioned poorly supported sexist stereotypes. 

Well, that would depend on how poorly supported those particular stereotypes are. And they happen to be very well supported across large populations of men and women, and well documented in the literature.

Does this mean that we should discriminate against any individual based on them, at least in terms of employment opportunities? No. And Damore was not arguing that Google should do that, either. He was arguing that Google should be a meritocracy where all individuals are evaluated on things other than their gender, race or other similarly trivial or irrelevant characteristics. 

The reason it’s important to discuss these biological differences is to help us determine whether we are living in a just society that does NOT discriminate. He is quite correct that some of these biological differences will affect people’s interests, preferences and choices as far as occupation and career trajectory.

And here’s an interesting thing, Rex. There’s substantial evidence that it’s not a lack of math ability that keeps women out of tech so much as a surplus of verbal ability. 

A 2013 longitudinal study published in “Psychological Science” found that regardless of sex, individuals with both the high math ability required for STEM AND high verbal ability were significantly less likely to choose STEM careers than individuals who were only high in math ability. Women with high ability in both areas outnumbered men by 70%. Males were more than twice as likely to have only high math ability than females were. When controlled for the correlation of this pattern and the differences in verbal ability in male and female individuals with high math ability, the gender effect was significantly diminished. 

So basically, when men and women can math good AND can talk and write good, they’re more likely to choose careers other than STEM. (Oh, and just FYI, slower verbal development is correlated with prenatal testosterone, though I do think there are things we can do in schools to help boys learn to talk and write as good as girls, such as providing a greater variety of reading assigments.)

The engineer is 28-year-old James Damore — reportedly a graduate of the University of Illinois who grew up in the Chicago suburbs — and his MANifesto also slams Google for not being a friendly place for conservatives, which is odd since conservatives spend a good bit of their time mocking the idea of safe spaces.

"MANifesto." I see what you did there. Bet you thought you were being witty or something. Perhaps Christopher Hitchens was wrong about the gender “funny” gap? Or maybe this is one of those instances of a gender overlap in unfunniness… 

Anyway, Yes, conservatives mock the idea of spaces specifically designed to exclude opposing viewpoints and maintain a safe cocoon for ideological consensus. In that respect, Damore wasn't asking for a "safe space", because he was not asking for other viewpoints to be excluded. He was asking for his viewpoint and the viewpoints of conservatives to no longer be excluded in the ideological "safe space" Google has constructed. 

Not very ironic at all, really. 

He writes: "Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require (sic) for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.”
So the dude who doesn't believe in stereotypes claims conservatives are more conscientious than everyone else. Perfect.

Certain "big five" personality traits correlate heavily with political affiliation. That isn't just "making stuff up", it's well documented in the literature. 

But you being someone who’s intellectually and morally consistent and all, I’m sure you would be just as dismissive and angry if he’d stereotyped liberals as being more open to new things, ideas, experiences, and ways of doing things than conservatives are. 

Wait a minute. Damore actually did say that. Quite clearly. And somehow you didn't take issue with it as negatively stereotyping conservatives, let alone positively stereotyping liberals.

“Well of course liberals are no more openminded regarding change and innovation than conservatives are! That's just a stereotype! Based on dodgy science! Openminded people would never be more likely to align with liberal political ideologies and closed-minded ones with more conservative politics. Stop with these awful stereotypes!” said no pompous, self-congratulatory liberal asshole anywhere.

So you tell me why you didn't criticize his description of right-leaning people as "closed", but only took issue with him describing them as "conscientious"? Perhaps you just don't like the idea that there are positive traits associated with conservatism or that some positive traits don’t correlate with liberalism? 

If you care to read the full memo, you can find it online, though you'll likely sprain an ocular muscle rolling your eyes.

Actually, I found it to be factual, coherent, well-reasoned and well-evidenced. (Well, it was better-evidenced before left leaning editors on Wikipedia began to dismantle the pages he linked to.)

Also, another joke fell flat. The attempt at proper grammar and terminology ruined it, and the hilarious thing is, it’s not even anatomically correct. You don’t sprain muscles, you sprain ligaments

My take — as a white, male who, for whatever reason, is not part of the aggrieved brommunity

Really? You’re not aggrieved? Because this article reads as more of an uninformed, knee-jerk “screed” than Damore’s “MANifesto” could even pretend to. And “brommunity”? Really? This guy strikes you as a “dudebro”? 

James Damore: last seen benching Hooters waitresses, shouting, “work out by day, Joe Rogan Podcast by night, all day!”

 — is that the Google engineer's word barf is insufferable,

Maybe this is part of that gender personality overlap thing. “Insufferable”? Do you need a fainting couch, Rex? Did his arguments give you the vapors? Were you so scandalized that a man could say such at thing that you had the sudden urge to fan yourself and hit him with your reticule? Because I didn’t find his thesis (which is what it was) to be word barf. I certainly didn’t find it insufferable. 

unquestionably insulting to women

I’m a woman. I didn’t find any of it insulting. I found it thoughtful and factual. So did Dr. Debra Soh, a woman of color who writes about the politicization of sex. On the other hand, I find your insistence on taking umbrage on my behalf, and hers, and other women like us, insulting. You don’t know me. You don’t know every woman on the planet. You don’t know what any given woman is going to find insulting. 

Assuming that women as a group would be insulted by this memo is more gender essentialist than anything Damore said. You are literally saying women are so essentially the same we would all react the same way to what was contained in the memo.

(and pretty much any non-white person)

Hmmm. Debra Soh isn’t white. Professor Gad Saad, who would also broadly agree with the memo, is an Arab Jew. 

And frankly, Damore barely mentioned race. Race was only relevant to his memo inasmuch as diversity measures also seek to improve racial diversity at places like Google, and the methods being used—namely, implicit/unconscious bias training—have been shown in the research to not only be ineffective at that, but to have the negative effect of increasing tensions between identifiable groups.

and the epitome of white, male privilege.

If he had any kind of effective “white male privilege” he’d be able to write an uninformed, snarky, completely unsubstantiated screed, even in a distinguished publication like the Chicago Tribune, without being lambasted, smeared and mischaracterized in the mainstream press and then fired. Instead, the opposite happened to our privileged white male dudebro. 

And I’m not even going to blame the fact that you can be this incompetent and wrong and still have a job on “white male privilege”. I’m going to blame it on ideological privilege. The current media, political and corporate culture predominantly supports an ideology that is opposed to the very notion that men and women might have some fundamental differences in personality and preference that are measurable across large populations. 

You know, you guys believe that evolution stopped at the neck. That you are wrong and bordering on batshit insane appears to be immaterial to you. 

And with all that said, he absolutely, without question, had every right in the world to write what he wrote.

Yes he did. So kind of you to make that observation. 

Just like Google had every right to fire his white, male butt for, I assume, violating all manner of company standards and for just being an all-around turd. (I would've fired him just for thinking anyone would want to read a 10-page memo in the first place.)

You know, I just went and did a ctrl-f on your article, and found at least 16 instances of “white male”, “white man”, “white-dude”, "white guy", etc. You sure seem to have a hard on for white guys. Maybe it’s because you suffer from “one good man syndrome” and feel an impulse to bash other men (and thereby distinguish yourself as the one good one), and the only men you’re allowed to bash these days are white? You must have jizzed in your pants when it came out that Damore wasn’t of Pakistani origin.

Be that as it may, Damore has grounds to sue Google under two federal laws and at least one state law. And if I were your boss, I’d fire you for writing an opinion piece on a controversial topic that makes no effort to support said opinion with evidence or reasoning, and that broadly mischaracterizes the topic itself. But alas, I’m not your boss.

There will surely be legal action, and maybe he'll wind up prevailing. But Google was right to can him, and that canning isn't an attempt to curtail his freedom of speech.

No. It was an attempt to keep Google’s workplace ideologically pure, and an attempt to send a very clear warning to anyone else who might have heretical ideas to keep their heads down and their mouths shut rather than offer an opinion, no matter how well reasoned and evidenced, on how to improve the company. It was also a concession to the maniacs in the press who had so vilified and smeared Damore, and so thoroughly misrepresented what he’d said to the public, that Google felt keeping him as an employee would subject the entire company to the same treatment. 

50% of Google employees responding to a poll disagreed with Google’s decision to fire Damore. That doesn’t mean they agree with what was contained in Damore’s memo, mind you. They disagree that him thinking those things, or writing them down and circulating them, was a fireable offence. 

He can say or write whatever he wants. But the things he says and writes might come with consequences, particularly when he's sharing his words on an internal company forum.

He wrote and circulated the memo a month before he was fired. No higher-ups even took him to task for it. He wasn’t fired until after the memo leaked to the public and the press began its spin game. 

If the memo itself didn’t raise a stir until it became public, then perhaps it’s the individual who leaked the memo to the press who should be canned. 

This isn't a First Amendment issue. 

Of course it’s not. Google is not the government. Yet. That doesn’t make it not a free speech issue. Just like pro-life protesters showing women photos of aborted fetuses on the steps of Planned Parenthood isn’t a “right to abortion issue”. Those women going into the clinic still have a right to abortion, right? No matter who is standing on either side of them, and what message they’re conveying via words and imagery, as those women walk up the steps.

Somehow I have the feeling you’d disagree. 

The government isn't interfering with anybody's right to free speech. Still, many white guys have rushed to the Google bro's defense, crying about how put upon they are because they're never allowed to speak their minds.

I’d say being fired for speaking your mind in a perfectly reasonable way, and presenting scientific evidence that is perfectly non-controversial in the scientific community, in response to an official request for feedback on a topic, is kind of the definition of “put upon”. 

Also, has the guy used the word “swole” while I wasn’t looking? Has he asked anyone “do you even lift, bro?”? Has he yelled, “YOLO swag!” out the window of his Camero while driving twice the speed limit through a residential neighborhood? Why do you keep characterizing him as a bro?

If you are a white guy in America, you are not put upon. And if you feel put upon, it's because you can't be bothered to put yourself in another person's shoes for half a minute and try to understand what being put upon actually looks like.

Oh, I know. The privileged white guy narrative is intoxicating to a lot of white guys like you at the top. I mean, it must be very comforting to think that your race and your gender protects you from bad things and gives you an edge over the competition. And it also gives you something to bash the rest of the competition with. “I’m a white guy, and I’m nothing like all those other white guys. They’re BAD. I’m GOOD.”

Anyway, I seem to recall Damore saying something about men being more driven that women in terms of status seeking. What does the white male privilege narrative do for some men other than give them the illusion of high status? I mean, you have all this white male privilege, Rex. It’s almost like inheriting money instead of having to earn it, and as long as the illusion holds, as long as everyone still agrees that the currency is valid, well, you’re sitting pretty, aren’t you? Especially if you can portray yourself as spending your currency on philanthropy and all those other white males are spending theirs on racism and sexism and whining about their lot in life.

If you're griping about political correctness, you're really saying you're annoyed because you can't be flip with your language and say things that might offend other people.

You offend me, Mr. Huppke. Your article offends me. It insults me. If I were a feminist, I’d call it one long “mansplanation” about how I as a woman am supposed to feel, think and behave. Nothing in Damore’s memo stereotyped me personally as thin-skinned, prone to negative emotion, quick to take offence and incapable of handling difficult truths. YOU did that when you declared by some “one good man fiat from on high” that I, as a woman, was unquestionably insulted by his memo. 

The pros and cons and the implementation of diversity programs can and should certainly be discussed openly,

Really. Really? The pros and cons of diversity programs can and should be discussed openly, as long as people who disagree with them are okay with being misrepresented and smeared in the press and then fired. Really sets the tone for an “open discussion”. Or is it only as long as they're not white males? Which would essentially render your opinion invalid. 

but a self-righteous screed that's blind to anyone else's point of view isn't a discussion.

I would challenge anyone to read Damore’s memo and actually defend the idea that it was self-righteous or a screed. Do it. Give it the treatment I’ve given your article. Paragraph by paragraph, even line by line. 

Your diatribe here fits that bill much more aptly. You haven’t provided any evidence for your opinion. You haven’t even told us why you object to his memo, other than “muh stereotypes!” and “white male, reeeeeeeee!” You haven’t refuted any of his arguments other than to say “he’s white and he’s male and he’s a “bro”, therefore he’s wrong.”

It's a white guy mansplaining to female and non-white coworkers how diversity should work,

As a female, I’d rather have his mansplaining than yours. His mansplaining is firmly rooted in the science. Your mansplaining is rooted in the assumption that I and all other women should be offended by reality. 

and the very existence of that kind of thinking is why companies need diversity training.

To get bitches like me in line? The very existence of that kind of thinking? Really? 

Because I think like that, Mr. Huppke. A bisexual working class woman who’s apparently more acquainted with the science than you are. Do you think I need to be reeducated? To what lengths are you willing to go to cram me back into my victim box where I belong?

It's not a liberal or a conservative concept. It's a human concept,

What’s a human concept? That all people are identical? That there are no heritable differences between individuals or groups? That people should be treated as individuals and hired based on merit rather than their membership in a given class of people defined by skin color, or genitalia, or who they like to fuck, or god forbid, whether they use edgy, made-up pronouns? That people should have equal opportunities and the freedom to decide what to do with them, and that sometimes women will choose differently from men? That evolution didn’t stop at the neck? That having a greater interest in people or aesthetics does not make a person, or even a class of people on average, inferior to people who have a greater interest in things or ideas? That equality doesn’t equal sameness? That it takes all sorts? That despite the ways we’re different, we should value each other as humans and judge each other as individuals?

Or is it a human concept that there is only one path to value and self-actualization—the one favored by males? That the idea that people might be born different from each other must mean some have greater value and some have lesser? That we must therefore deny the idea that people are born different and punish anyone who suggests it? Is it a human concept that women are a hive mind, devoid of any opinion that doesn’t originate in our chromosomes or our vaginas, that we all think and feel the same, and that our opinions should first and foremost be that we are insulted by any HINT of a suggestion that we are not identical to men? 

I mean, who's hating or devaluing women here, Mr. Huppke? A guy who acknowledges how they’re different on average from men, places positive value on many of those differences, and recommends that Google can appeal more to women by appealing to those differences? Or someone like you who claims that any suggestion that women aren’t 100% identical to men is an insult to women?

one that only requires the humility to acknowledge that you might not understand what it's like to be another person.

You do realize that not even all white guys are the same, right? I mean, I suppose on some level you have to understand that, since you’re the “one good one”, while the rest are all privileged dudebro assholes. But what makes you an expert on other people’s experiences, Rex? You certainly don’t seem to have one clue as to how a woman like me thinks and feels. And yet you’re the one speaking on behalf of all women. 

Now let me get to the conclusion promised at the beginning of this column. This may prove controversial, but I'm sure my fellow white men will agree that I have every right in the world to share this conclusion, because white-dude thoughts are always worth sharing:

You have every right to say stupid things, sure. But not because you’re a white dude. Because you’re a human being and you live in a country that values freedom of speech. 

Some white men are not biologically suited to writing memos about diversity.

And that white man’s name is apparently Rex Huppke. 

They are too neurotic and tend to perform better in bubbles in which their sense of dominance is reinforced by other neurotic white men. These white men also tend to be overly emotional, particularly when fired for writing diversity memos, and can become hysterical when held accountable.

Um… I would challenge you to watch all the interview footage of James Damore. He comes across as analytical and humble, and quite sanguine about the situation. There’s less hysterical emotionality in all of that footage than in this not quite 900 word article. 

Your position is indefensible, Rex. 

This is not to say I am opposed to diversity in diversity memo writing. This particular subset of white men is capable of working in supporting roles, possibly supplying a company's more biologically qualified women or people of color with printer paper, or perhaps procuring coffee for them while they write sensible diversity memos.

“Sensible” diversity memos that may or may not be backed by the scientific literature. I mean, I’m sure there are women and people of color out there who are perfectly capable of looking at the relevant science and constructing a thesis and list of suggestions that are both fair and workable. I suspect that they’d look a lot like James Damore’s memo. 

Because, and I know this is going to sound weird, Rex, but not all white men think the same. Not all people of color think the same. Not all women think the same. 

Here is a short list of examples of women and people of color who disagree with you, Rex.

But attempts to encourage white men to write diversity memos is clearly social engineering run amok. We must respect the differences in our DNA and the skill sets our biology have clearly predetermined.

Because white and male are excluded from the definition of diversity now. A “diverse” workplace is one that only concerns itself with women and people of color. And it certainly doesn’t concern itself with diversity of thought. That would be blasphemy, wouldn’t it?

Let's stay in our lanes, shall we?

Yeah, no thanks. I’m happy to choose my lane for myself, Mr. Huppke.