A Google software engineer lost his job this week after writing a 10-page internal memo critiquing the company’s diversity efforts.
In the memo, the engineer gathered some general observations based on research about men and women and what they can both offer to a company, suggesting some ways that tech jobs could become more friendly to women. He also objected to company programs that are only offered to employees based on race and gender.
“Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story,” he wrote in the memo.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement that “portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Stephen Crowder of LouderWithCrowder.com joined Glenn on radio Thursday to share his take on Google’s decision to fire the engineer.
“Is that still hate speech?” Crowder sarcastically said of the memo. “When you read the entire memo in context … I go ‘OK, this is a guy who’s a classical liberal … and he’s writing something genuinely trying to be productive.’”
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Steven Crowder, welcome to the program. I was talking to a millennial yesterday, a very smart, well-thought out millennial who said, “You know, I don’t agree with this, but I have to tell you what my feelings were when I first heard about this memo.” She said, “I don’t like people telling me what I can and can’t do because of my genetics.
And she said, you know, “I heard the quotes, that he was saying that I can’t do these things because I’m genetically predisposed to X, Y or Z.” And she had a big problem with this.
Now, the good thing about this millennial is she moved past her feelings into thought, but that’s not really happening, especially even in the press.
STEVEN: Yeah, well, thanks for having me, Glenn.
You’re absolutely right. You know, a couple of points about the memo. I hate to use the fake news hashtag, but when CNN goes out and says, anti-diversity manifestos, they call it, like it’s The Count of Monte Cristo writing on the stone wall, next to days in prison. Manifesto. Anti-diversity. And then it says anti-woman. Well, the quotes they take are where this guy essentially says, listen, Google is essentially pushing diversity, hiring for diversity’s sake. And it hasn’t really been that successful. We may want to — and, by the way, I’m not saying that all men and women are the same. There’s a significant overlap. Of course, there are people who would fall on both signs of the spectrum when it comes to attributes and perhaps some shortcomings.
But as a general rule, this may be why we don’t have as many women in tech, and he talks about how women generally value work-life balance over status, whereas men will drive themselves into the — they’ll work themselves into the ground for status. It does say, “Yeah, you know, listen, women tend to handle stress more emotionally. It does list some characteristics that might not lend themselves well to high-stress tech situations.”
But then, and here’s what the media doesn’t cover: On the flip side, he says, “No, I strongly believe in diversity.” And I think if we want to hire more women, we might want to place emphasis on the — on the issues where women perhaps are more valuable to the company.
For example, they’re more cooperative. In general, they’re more agreeable than their male counterparts. In general, they’re more people-oriented. They’re more empathetic.
We don’t really place a strong value on those attributes that Google in these positions — we might do better to do so.
So, listen, is that still hate speech? Do you lock this guy up with the Nazis? I don’t know. Leave it up to people to decide. But when you read the entire memo in context, I can’t see — you know, Glenn, this is one of those issues where I read it, I go, okay. This is a guy who is a classical liberal. He even gets some digs in at conservatives in this memo. People read it. He’s certainly not a right-winger. And he’s writing something genuinely trying to be productive. Generally writing out points as to where Google may be able to improve.
And Google says, we can’t — this is hate speech. We have to fire this guy. Which tells me, if this guy can’t do it, you know, you and I haven’t got a shot. They’re not interested in a dialogue. For the same reason we couldn’t have anyone from Google or anyone on Google’s side come on my program to argue this issue. They don’t want to discuss issues anymore. They’ve gone too far around the back.
GLENN: So a couple of things: I would agree with you. And I have not been able to find somebody that can make a cogent argument on how this isn’t the beginning of fascism in the Google world. The institutionalization of fascism in the Google world.
I really want to understand how silencing somebody who is really, truly making valid points. You don’t have to agree with them. But bringing out a valid argument. How the best way to deal with that is to silence them and to shun them and to name-call. That’s fascism.
And why this is concerning — you know, if they were just making ashtrays, I wouldn’t really care. But they’re not.
GLENN: These are the people who are the gateway to information. And if they are saying, “This information isn’t worthy to even be discussed at the levels in Google,” are they really going to allow us schlubs who don’t know anything to access that information in an equal and fair way? I don’t think so. It wouldn’t — it wouldn’t make any sense at all. It would be completely inconsistent.
STEVEN: Well, you’re talking about a company — my friend Owen Benjamin talked about this on the program. You’re talking about a company where when you Google how to be a better man, it shows you articles written from lesbians. So they can’t help you be a better man, nor do they have any interest in doing so.
As a matter of fact, you mentioned fascism. You know, if you Google fascism, it says far-right ideology. You know, and then description. Description. But if you Google communism or socialism, there’s no mention of the left. There’s no mention of the left side of the political spectrum.
It really is — and here’s the deal: They have the right to do what they want. They have the right to fire this guy. I think we all agree on that.
STEVEN: What they can’t do is say, we believe in diversity. We believe in difference of opinions and then fire somebody for a difference of opinion. That’s the issue here, is the dishonesty. When like you’ve said, I’ve read anywhere from between 60 to 80 percent of our online interactions occur either somewhere between Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon.
So when you think of how much information is controlled, it really is — and there are a few. Listen, what’s so offensive, are we really going to start firing people because someone says men and women are different? Are we at that point where it’s offensive to say, hey — and anyone who is married knows that it’s true.
And, by the way, hey — hey, men — you can’t say men and women are different. Men and women are exactly the same. Men can do everything women can do, and women can do everything men can do with the exact same results.
By the way, let’s celebrate diversity.
Did I step into a time? What happened? What world did I fall into?
GLENN: And the fact that women and men are exactly the same, except they can’t play the same sport. That’s unfair. You’re going to put women. Really? Women are going to have to compete with men on the basketball.
Well, wait. You were just saying that there wasn’t a biological difference. What are you talking about?
STEVEN: Yeah. Unless it’s a transgender, then just let him into the octagon to beat the living daylights out of women. That’s progress.
I think, Glenn, I think that this is a real opportunity — the pendulum swing states both ways. We’ve talked about that. You kind of saw that with Bush. Then the sort of anti-establishment sentiment from young people. Then it swung the other way with Barack Obama.
But the pendulum is swinging so quickly now. And I think the left has gone too far for it to swing back. I think you’re seeing too many liberals. And we see this with our content, a lot of people who used to be liberal going, I just can’t get on board with this. Once they read the memo, people go, “You know, it’s offensive to say that men are more task-oriented. It’s offensive to say women are more emotional.”
It really is at a point — and, by the way, really, what hurts people here is that they don’t feel good about it. The women took a sick day at Google. They were so offended at the notion that they might find work too stressful, that they read this memo and took a sick day.
By the way, not all women are this weak, just the feminists at Google. That’s important to note. I’m sure — I’m sure your wife isn’t.
My wife’s reaction was so earnest. And it just hit me like a Mack Truck. She just said, “Do you have to talk about it? It makes me just so ashamed. Ugh, women who complain like that. They’re just so weak. They’re so obnoxious. Most women don’t like to be around them. They’re just draining.” That’s what my wife said. Isn’t it ironic that a non-feminist, conservative, Christian woman finds feminists to be obnoxious in their weakness? And that’s where we are.
GLENN: That’s really — but that is the progressive mantra, is weakness. Celebrate — not celebrate diversity. Celebrate your weakness, and we will compensate. We will be your defender.
I think your — this — this millennial who said this, you know, I — you know, this is the way I felt. I don’t like people telling me one thing.
Well, wait. The other side is telling you that, oh, yes, you can do it, but only with special exemptions. Only with special protections. Only with special training.
No. I’m telling you if that’s what you want to do, go do it. Go do it. How is that offensive to say, you don’t need somebody in between you. That’s just somebody sucking you dry of all of your power.
STEVEN: Right. A couple of things: You know, they say, I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do. And conservatives are saying, well, listen, we’re not really telling you what you can and can’t do. But we can all find common ground on one issue: Pullups. Right? Liberals want to lower the PT requirements in the military with pullups so that women can join more easily. And we say, hey, women biologically can do fewer pullups. So there’s a great litmus test.
As far as what’s offensive — you know, offensive now isn’t about intent. And we’ve talked about this with the Google algorithms. You know, for the most advanced tech company in the world, right? On my videos, Muslim singles and gay cruise ads are playing.
Well, we’re trying to fix the algorithms. You’re Google. If you can’t associate proper advertisers with my — who can?
So, I mean, we’re talking about people’s feelings. That is what it comes down to Google. It’s not about intent. It’s not about context. Leftists don’t really understand context. Or they don’t value context, I should say. Certainly, as a whole. Anyone can feel bad about anything. I’m feeling miserable this morning. You know why? It’s stupid. But I have some nagging injuries.
So I haven’t been able to go to the gym. So I’ve been doing these — these water weight exercises. You know, those foam dumbbells in the pool. And I was thinking, you know, hey, good for me. I’m going out. I’m doing something.
So I go on Amazon to look to buy some, as opposed to the public pool where I’ve been going. And then I read the reviews, and it’s nothing but 77-year-olds talking about their aquatic aerobic classes. And then all of a sudden, Amazon is tracking with advertisements and the ads, every time I’m in my browser of reverse mortgages. Or Wilford Brimley with diabetes. And I feel bad. I feel bad. It’s my own doing.
STU: I believe it’s pronounced diabetes.
It’s interesting, Steven, it’s a great point on the physical part of it. Because it’s exactly the point he made in the memo, which is: If you look at the top 100 meter times of all time, the world record holder for women is slower than the yearly best times for high school men. I mean, there’s a clear difference here. Right?
However, what that does not mean is that the all-time world record holder is not going to be a hell of a lot faster than me trying to run 100-meter. Point being, yes, on average, there are differences. But there are women in Google all the time that are outperforming men all the time. It’s just a commentary on averages, and nobody is going to bother to take a look at that.
GLENN: And who is it that is devaluing the basic intrinsic worth of the sexes? I’m not.
I believe that Women Are From Mars, Men Are From venus, or whichever planet it is. I believe that we are different for many different reasons. But it’s important that we — oh, my gosh — celebrate that diversity. That we look and say, “This trait in a woman of being less about stuff is good.” It’s a good thing.
GLENN: And at the same time, the man is worried about stuff or thinking about stuff. When you put those two together, you have a nice balance. Why are we trying to destroy — first, say that what men are is — has no value. And what women are naturally also has no value. You have to be this thing that is not — neither male nor female.
STEVEN: Right. And that’s kind of — you know, I want to go back to Stu real quick. I want to answer that. But I’ll throw another one into the mix. We talked about 100-meter dash. You want to know something else?
Chess. There’s a women’s division for chess. Think about that for a second. It’s not even close, if you look at the top players of all time. There is no female Bobby Fischer.
Now, women can enter the men’s division in chess, and there have been some outliers. Maybe a couple cracked the top ranks throughout time, but then they have an exclusively women’s division in chess, which is just significantly further behind.
Now, that does not mean that women are less intelligent. Chess is not an indicator of intelligence. But it is — let’s remove the physical. It is absolutely an indicator of how someone’s brains work, how it processes information.
We can see the difference between standard people and ADHD people. We can see the difference between, you know, people who simply read differently, who have different faster reading comprehensions. It doesn’t mean they’re smarter. Some people are wired differently biologically.
To what you said, Glenn, you know, Christians, we have used this term for a long time, complimentarianism. You know, it goes back to Christ. Really, the first diversity celebrationist, I guess you’d say, where he said, hey, husbands, be good to your wives.
That was kind of new, the way he really placed emphasis on treating the women as the best among you. And then, women, submit to your husbands. And submit in the Biblical sense. Not submit like Muhammad. You’re going to get a fresh one if you don’t do exactly what I say, but submit meaning respect the authority in the household and love your husband. So this is what we’ve known for a long time, the truth we believe to be self-evident.
And I do think — and you guys can tell me if you’ve noticed this or if you think I’m wrong, I think it’s forced a lot of people to reexamine issues. They thought they were liberalized. You know, people — I’ve had people go back to the same-sex marriage issue and say, “You know, I really just thought conservatives were just a bunch of anti-gay bigots.” But now when I go back and I see some of the arguments, whether I agree with them or not, but I see some of the arguments where people said, “You know what, I just don’t believe men and women are interchangeable. I do believe that a father is of intrinsic value and a mother is of intrinsic value. And that they are unique and not interchangeable.” You know, once we said that’s not the case culturally, we kind of opened the floodgates. And I’ve had people say, you know, I have to look back and see where we went around the bend.
GLENN: Steven Crowder from Louder with Crowder. I think you’re exactly right. And I’m seeing it in not just this, but in many things. Sitting in Los Angeles with, you know, liberals who would have just thought that we were all just racist bigots for the last ten years. Actually sitting around a table and them saying, you know what, I’m actually for the Tenth Amendment. And I thought that was all racist. And now, suddenly, I find myself going, “Yeah, you know what, maybe we should have that Tenth Amendment.” And then realizing, “Holy cow, wait a minute. I may have been wrong on this. I have to reevaluate a lot.” That is happening.
And if we can open our arms and not say, “Yeah, told you so,” and just be decent human beings with — with the — with the open mind and honest arguments, I think we will welcome a lot of people into the fold.
Steven Crowder, LouderwithCrowder.com. Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you again, Steven. Appreciate it.