Re: Reverse Discrimination!
Quite a few jumbled thoughts up there.
The Michigan case was on the question could a state constitutionally vote via referendum to end affirmative action. It did not explicitly address affirmative action, except as to whether its absence is an unconstitutional denial of rights. There have been cases about affirmative action and the first one that eroded it, in the sense that there was a compelling state interest in allowing discrimination as redress for past structural denial of civil rights, was Bakke in the early 80s, as I recall.
Arlo Guthrie's story of Officer Obie's overwhelming use of photographic/crime scene technology for a case of public littering was a joke about how quiet things are in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and a set-up for the ironic punch line of the superfluity of the evidence, especially as Guthrie confessed. Could Mr. Guthrie have embellished a bit for entertainment value? Is our lesson here that judgements should be made without looking at the person? No. Guthrie's point was that institutions ("the establishment") had gotten so wound up in the process that they lost a human perspective. It was a pile of trash and Guthrie was willing to go pick it up. Obie turned it into an 30-years premature episode of CSI.
So, you call for employment by blind analysis of numbers, because, I guess, all the best people this world offers are the ones who have awesome test results on paper? Hmm. Really? Nonetheless, it isn't happening, it never will be that way, and I don't even know why someone thinks that's worth a mention, even as aspirational goal.
Collegiate football and basketball are big businesses and run counter to some of the ideals of higher education. This was justified in terms of creating the complete man: athlete and scholar. Colleges, within that philosophy, have programs for golf, soccer, volleyball, track, etc., whether or not there is a significant revenue stream. If there is a tempering process for the student through team and individual athletic competition, how may we say that the opportunity to attain the fullness of the college experience is exclusive to one gender? This was the point behind Title IX. Athletics are good for the person, so ignore women at cost of federal funds. My alma mater ditched its football program in 1970. It is currently very competitive and gets into national rankings in men's and women's basketball, volleyball, and soccer. I was on campus when Title IX came to be. I endorsed it then and I think it works as promised.
There are male cheerleaders, song leaders, yell leaders. No one I know is complaining about this. Still, isn't cheerleading as a profession really a career in dancing? Is there a problem with gender imbalance in dancing? Is dancing as important to the economy as computing? Perhaps instead of flailing about for half-baked absurdities, let's focus on what's real.
Women who are in computing report that they are constantly barraged by innuendos that they don't belong, even as they lead companies, ship products, and make profits. If you listen, you'll hear stories of women who went to a conference too nicely dressed and were mistaken for someone's girl friend, or even more humiliatingly, as paid-for escort. Whenever someone goes public with complaints of harassment, they are assaulted by the internet misogyny army. Now, perhaps this is a subclass of the people need to treat people better problem, but so many folks seem baffled with the concept that women would like to have jobs where they make contributions on interesting problems and no one thinks it's a weird thing to want. Many women and men think that increasing the number of women employed in computing would reduce some of the problem and, as side-benefit, increase the talent pool and make for teams with better balance of perspectives. Is it worth a try? I say yes. I've worked in places where there were majority women and I've worked for women owner/bosses. Those were the best jobs I had. The ones where the owner or a large group were fond of chauvinistic opining were companies with serious problems. My takeaway, the best companies respect their customers and their workers, which is to say, people.
It's Google's money and they are a private entity. They, as an employer, believe in diversity and are doing something to make it happen. I think that's called walking the talk and usually this is applauded. Where's the appeasement? Where's the compensation? Year of Code, for its faults, was inclusive. Google believes they currently see a large number of quality male applicants. Google thinks that there are women who could make a contribution to the company and industry but who have been left out. Willful? Coincidence? Who cares? Let's send an invitation and welcome.
With outreach, will every woman think that computing is the field for them? Does every man?
If someone says to another, "Here, let me show you you can do this," how does that subtract any thing from the person already doing it?
I tend to not think much of the person who goes "No one helped me, so every one can just [buzz] off." (I note, that is neither explicitly nor implicitly your argument here.) People did help them, but they are so besotted by their self-congratulations (or so corrupted by fear and doubt) that they've erased those moments when someone showed them an opportunity, or taught them the right way, or cleared their heads of mush. Many people forget those moments when they had luck or they got the chance through a friend or relative.