A tweet storm from “liberaltarian” journalist Will Wilkinson, of the Niskansen Center and sometimes of The Economist:
That Google memo was almost perfectly crafted to out people who don’t grok social-forces explanations of inequality.
As Chairman Mao said to Chinese intellectuals in the late 1950s: “Let 100 Flowers Bloom.” (Then, after those dopes tell us what we’re doing wrong, we’ll know who among them are the independent thinkers and can exile them to the pig farms.)
If you think memo is state-of-art reasonableness about unequal gender representation, it’s hard to see it as morale-killing shit-stirring.
He was just trying to help! And look where it got him!
But we don’t actually know much about how biological differences are expressed in labor markets.
Uh, I’m sure you don’t know much on this topic, Will, but you shouldn’t presume to speak for everybody.
Culture heavily mediates behavioral manifestation of natural attributes. And we’re still deep in legacy of pervasive patriarchal culture.
This is the intellectual crux. We treat, raise, shape boys & girls differently, and not just because boys and girls are naturally different.
For one reason, they demand to be raised differently. Boys and girls are really good at nagging until they get what they want, such as boy toys or girl toys.
For example, when I was a kid, experts thought running a marathon might make a woman sterile. I PERSONALLY REMEMBER THIS.
The medical name for this form of (hopefully) temporary sterility is amenorrhea. From Runner’s World:
Loss of a menstrual cycle during training is a result of an energy deficit.
By William O. Roberts, MD WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013, 12:00 AM
In contrast, when I was a young man in the 1980s and 1990s, experts, the media, and the public thought the best women would soon be running marathons as fast as the best men, perhaps as early as 1998. I PERSONALLY REMEMBER THIS.
As I co-wrote in National Review on December 31, 1997:
Everybody knows that the “gender gap” between men and women runners in the Olympics is narrowing. Everybody is wrong.
by Steve Sailer and Dr. Stephen Seiler
Published in National Review, December 31, 1997
Everybody knows that the “gender gap” in physical performance between male and female athletes is rapidly narrowing. Moreover, in an opinion poll just before the 1996 Olympics, 66% claimed “the day is coming when top female athletes will beat top males at the highest competitive levels.” The most publicized scientific study supporting this belief appeared in Nature in 1992: “Will Women Soon Outrun Men?” Physiologists Susan Ward and Brian Whipp pointed out that since the Twenties women’s world records in running had been falling faster than men’s. Assuming these trends continued, men’s and women’s marathon records would equalize by 1998, and during the early 21st Century for the shorter races.
This is not sports trivia. Whether the gender gap in athletic performance stems from biological differences between men and women, or is simply a social construct imposed by the Male Power Structure, is highly relevant both to fundamental debates about the malleability of human nature, as well as to current political controversies such as the role of women in the military.
When everybody is so sure of something, it’s time to update the numbers.
My 1997 analysis of Olympic running performances demonstrated that the gender gap in running had widened after 1988 due to better testing for artificial male hormone (steroid) abuse and the downfall of the East German Olympic women’s doping complex.
You might think that my debunking in 1997 of the then pervasive stereotype of the inevitable narrowing of the gender gap was a major accomplishment in the human sciences of the late 20th Century, but that’s only because you read me and I harp on it a lot. In the real world, the fact that the conventional wisdom was completely wrong on this subject due to feminist indoctrination has been totally memory-holed.
Wilkinson rolls on:
It’s crazy to think this sort of thing didn’t have formative influence on women & men of my gen. & doesn’t shape labor market patterns.
WE DON’T KNOW how bio sex differences express themselves in a much less patriarchal/more egalitarian culture.
Actually, we do know a lot about this subject, and more all the time. If you read the scientific research carefully, you’d know that.
For example, the more pro-feminist the culture, the lower the ratio of young women to young men studying computers. From Ross Douthat this week in the New York Times:
Men and women are different. On this, almost everyone acquainted with reality agrees. How different is the more controversial question, to which there is one particularly interesting answer: A little more different than they used to be.
This growing difference seems to be a striking aspect of modern Western life. In societies where both sexes have greater freedom — and women have more educational and professional opportunities relative to men than in the past — the sexes’ academic interests tend to diverge relative to more traditional societies. And not only their interests but their personalities as well: The more officially egalitarian a society, a credible body of research suggests, the stronger the differences in stereotypically male and female personality traits.
If you think we’ve gone as far toward non-patriarchy as we can or should, it’s tempting to infer sex differences from current patterns.
And if you infer natural sex differences from observed patterns, it’s tempting to think we’ve gone as far toward equality as we can/should.
A big issue is that nobody remembers nuthin’ they aren’t supposed to remember. I’m a weirdo in that my memories of my personal feelings don’t take up as much space in my brain compared to what I remember other people saying and doing. You are supposed to constantly dredge up and recount to yourself how women were discriminated against in the increasingly distant past. But you are never supposed to remind yourself of all the many decades in which feminism has been the conventional wisdom. That belongs in the Memory Hole.
“Patriarchy” wasn’t made up by PC cultural warriors. It’s a historical fact, & better validated empirically than science of sex difference. …
Lots of us are traumatized from the destabilizing *start* of our culture’s move away from patriarchy. Can’t be *over* if we’re still alive.
Fortunately, we whites of a certain age will die and leave the world to the pure.
The Google memo’s blithe indifference to recent history & cultural context of “findings” about sex difference is thus very shady.
“Recent history” as in pre-1969. Post-1969, on the other hand, isn’t “recent history,” it’s the forgotten dark ages.
But it doesn’t look shady to those who, for whatever reason, can’t acknowledge established empirical facts about our history and culture.
Which is why they don’t think it looks benighted and silly to stand up for it on principled free speech grounds.
For my part, I think the dude was way out of his lane, and I would have canned him in a second for hurting team morale and the company’s PR.