Reply to post: Historical context of speculating about human biology

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Nick Z

Historical context of speculating about human biology

I think a lot of people here are missing the point of why speculating about women's biology is so upsetting for many people.

In the past, this kind of speculation was used to deny women the right vote in elections, to inherit and own property, and even to live on their own, without a father, a husband, or some male relative making decisions for them.

Western women used to be treated almost the same way as women are now treated in Saudi Arabia. The only real difference is that in Saudi Arabia they use religion and culture to restrict women's rights and freedoms. Whereas in the West, they used biological speculation to justify similar treatment of women.

There is a reason why speculating about the biology of white men doesn't sound nearly as upsetting as speculating about the biology of women, or African blacks, or Asians. And this reason is past history of sexism, slavery, and gross discrimination, all based on biological speculation.

James Damore might be well educated in Computer Science. But apparently, he doesn't know much about history. He re-opened old wounds and restarted an old battle that has been fought and lost a long time ago.

I suspect that he didn't fully understand this historical context. And that's why he said what he did, as if it was something new.

Perhaps a Computer Science degree should include History courses. Or else, this kind of thing will keep happening again and again. We need something new here, instead of having history repeated by people who don't know much about history.

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