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In the Name of God بسم الله

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  1. Salam everyone. Has anyone been following the Google controversy surrounding an internal memo (later made public) circulated by an engineer criticizing what he calls Google's discriminatory diversification practices? I attend a university where this debate about gender roles and stereotypes is triggered every couple of months so I'm fairly familiar with the subject. Naturally, I was interested in what this guy had to say in his memo that got him fired. I was expecting a very aggressively opinionated piece filled with a guy mansplaining gender issues (after all, it was enough to get him fired). So either I don't fully understand the flip side of the argument or the guy was really good at making his opinion sound like facts because I don't think I disagreed with a lot of what he had to say. He seems to have backed up much of what he says with scientific evidence. The gist of his argument is that men and women are inherently different biologically so they can't be expected to make similar choices while picking occupations and professional specialities. He says this all the while admitting that the gender-specific biologies are not binary and on a spectrum that overlaps (so one can't state that such-and-such profession is for a specific gender alone) and also supporting the idea of greater diversity in the workplace albeit minus the discriminatory practices to promote it. Admittedly he also makes some statements that appear blunt and unsupported by evidence (then again this was meant for internal circulation not a journal). This theme and argument (biological difference in gender and gender roles) is one that I've seen spring up in many gender debates (issues of testimony and inheritance etc.) on ShiaChat as well over the year. Unfortunately, much of what he's saying is considered politically incorrect in the times we live in. For those interested, James Damore's (the Google engineer who got fired) full essay/memo can be found here. It's an easy read and would recommend everyone to read it and maybe ask yourself what you find correct/incorrect about his views. Since the news became public people have expressed their infuriation with the memo but some others have also expressed their support. 4 well-credentialed scientists have written pieces voicing their support, from a purely scientific perspective, for the memo and its accuracy. Obviously, I'd encourage you to read the memo before you read their pieces. I'd be interested in knowing what some of the other members here think about this issue. (PS: Feel free to move this thread to any forum. Wasn't sure where it belongs and I'd like to see reasonable opinions on this so posting this here.) Salaam
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