Dear Tech Crunch, You Suck at Reason and Compassion

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Some woman wrote an absolutely ludicrous article on Tech Crunch entitled Dear White People, You Suck at Diversity, but I shall not be referring to her anything other than “Wimmin in Tech Crunch” because by her very own argument, to do so is to deny that sexual identity, gender and race are what matter above everything. After all, what possible value could Wimmin’s name, her merits or her history have? It’s much more important that Tech Crunch hired the correct number of Wimmin and that she’s one of them.  (I give her the title of Wimmin in Tech Crunch precisely because she does not and cannot represent the diverse and multi-faceted thoughts of women on this topic, but pretends like she can.)

Wimmin in Tech Crunch criticize Dick Costolo, who was the CEO of Twitter, because he “makes zero mention of racial minorities, trans people and gender nonconforming people” when asked about a particular question about diversity once in an interview, even though part of his response was about fostering female leadership.Likewise, they criticize two other CEOs for the same mistake of acknowledging diversity in an interview, but not acknowledging enough diversity for the pleasure of Wimmin in Tech Crunch. When one CEO comments about diversity, saying specifically “We’re not ignoring it, it’s something that we support, it’s something that we’re working on, but this is our major focus right now, is the women’s issue,” to Wimmin in Tech Crunch, this is an example of something “tone-deaf” or “outright offensive.” Any tiny tidbit they can snatch on that is merely good, but not entirely perfect is a transgression against the public morality of rightthink.

This reminds me of a line from good old Voltaire, a patriarchal white man whose good sense and popular wisdom has no doubt worked to disadvantage women, brown people and the gays for centuries: perfect is the enemy of good. To Wimmin in Tech Crunch, and all who follow their intersectional feminist values these CEOs and tech companies will never, ever  be good enough on the diversity scale. Even they should capitulate to every demand and never deviate from the approved script, there will always be a new set of problem glasses. Once they’ve made sure every third person on their staff is a gay Egyptian woman, then they will be oppressive because they don’t have enough people in wheel chairs, or because their workforce is oppressively on the thinner side of the weight scale. Accomplishing any good by allowing deserving women, racial and sexual minorities is not actually very good at all until every minority is holding hands as a CEO, except for the straight white males who must be banned to janitorial service for their crimes against history. You can have the most diverse group of employees under the sun, but because it lacks a CEO who is not a transgender gay albino woman, who is also a member of a tiny African tribe who suffers from a bad leg, they shall always remain “disappointing” in diversity measures.

Let’s watch them in action! Wimmin in Tech Crunch complains that at a tech conference gathering for women in tech only included two black women, but that they were only panelists and the conference had the gall to let two white men speak as headliners! Mon dieu! Whatever shall we do? Call Obama! Call Merkel! Hell, let’s fire up the bat signal and get Batman on the case! Somebody needs to figure out how such an incredible crime was perpetrated!

What’s that? Nowhere in their article do Wimmin in Tech Crunch specify how these black women panelists would have had the notoriety, skill, experience or special knowledge that may have justified becoming headline speakers? How could you even think suggesting such a thing. They have both more melanin in their skin and vaginas, therefore merit!

Oh dear Wimmin in Tech Crunch, what other grave injustices can you teach me? “Even though women of color are women, they are often left out of women-specific initiatives.” This cannot be! How is this done?

Wait a minute, my reason senses are tingling.  Do any of these intersectional feminists have solid proof that black women have been trying to break into tech for years now and some invisible hand of oppression is keeping success from untold masses of them? The following idea is heresy to their brood: that women are a minority in some technological industries and companies (certainly not all) because they make other life choices and that of those women, an even smaller minority are black and therefore, it can be difficult to find notable black women to speak on panels.

Oh my! It seems my intersectionality perfection module was malfunctioning. It made me think for a moment that without sound proof, it would be absurd in this day and age that gatekeepers to tech positions would openly discriminate against a certain type of woman in a woman-focused initiative; that it would be absurd to assume their white male discrimination alerts would only sound off if the women were brown! Whew, thanks intersectionality module, you almost made me cave to reason and common sense!

The worst part of the article is the rich canard in which Wimmin in Tech Crunch expands their intersectionality creed out of tech for a brief moment to encompass all diversity narratives. They cite a tweet by Adria Richards, a black woman working in the tech industry, who would be wholly unremarkable if not for her remarkable ability to talk out of her ass on Twitter and wreak havoc by slinging her imagined oppression around like Emma Sulkowicz’s mattress. The tweet? “Women’s groups default to White women, Black groups default to Black men; WoC are erased from diversity narratives.”

That’s right, because Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks aren’t absolute iconic heroes to most people. Billie Holiday, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Rihanna aren’t among an absolute ocean of well-known black women with hundreds of hits among them and hundreds of millions of adoring fans. I must have forgotten that Nella Larsen, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison aren’t behemoths in literary history, silly me. Thanks for pointing out that the intersectionality patriarchy had erased Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, Wendy Williams, Glozelle, Raven Symone and Brandy from my mind as pop entertainers and commentators.

I can already imagine the intersectional feminist counter argument. “These women’s achievements don’t count, because they’re either old or in the broader field of the arts. This is not where I want my minority women to shine in, therefore, they shall not be representative in any kind of diversity success story, thank you very much.” To these feminists, Shirley Chisholm as a the first black woman U.S. Congress representative in 1968 does not exist and neither do the more than 35 black women who have managed the feat since, but it’s not me who is erasing their achievements. I’m not the one, who through their rabid desire for perfection, does not acknowledge Carol Moseley Braun being the first black woman to reach a Senate seat in 1993 and Condoleezza Rice’s Secretary of State ascendance in 2005.

I did not have to crawl through the dark corners of the deep web to find information on black women civil rights activists like Daisy Bates, Marian Wright Edelman or Willie Barrow, as the great white male patriarchy was more than willing to acknowledge, but celebrate their existence with a wealth of reading material. If not for her name appearing on monuments in a number of places, a movie made in her honor, her induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the time my filthy patriarchal dad, a pilot by hobby, pointed her picture out to me, there’s no way I could have known about famous black woman pilot Bessie Coleman, is there? That damn patriarchy keeps on erasing women’s achievement with their giant pencil eraser-shaped penises!  Woosh, there goes black woman astronaut Mae Jamison! Swish, bye bye black A’Lelia Walker, widely considered to be the first self-made woman millionaire at the turn of the 20th century!

Intersectional feminists like Wimmin in Tech Crunch and Adria Richards, who refuse to acknowledge the great strides the people they presumably fight for have made, are the ones who erase their valuable contributions to society.

I’m not even one of those people who is emphatically against diversity initiatives in groups as a valuable effort. After all, this is generally why colleges try to be as diverse as possible. When it is not based on silly judgements of oppression by gender, sexuality or race, it certainly can be valuable to have different perspectives, but that’s the crux of the issue: culture. Culture brings those different perspectives, not biological realities. I’ve encountered gay people who display absurd levels of bigotry and prejudice to certain groups. I’ve known minorities whose personality, family environment and background don’t display one iota of the cultural stereotypes we would proscribe to their race. How many times have I met a white guy who knows way more about anime and manga than I do despite being Japanese and growing up in Japan, speaking Japanese as my first language? Shall I claim that I deserve a job as an anime community manager over fans who have spent lifetimes steeped in the subject?

I don’t think I’m the only one. I believe we can all look over points in our life where we see an assumption about sex, gender or race we envision in our heads has been roundly challenged. Therefore, when we eliminate prejudice and accept people based on what they can try to bring to the table, regardless if it creates a skewed gender or racial balance, we can work toward a good place. Naturally, it follows that sometimes the achievements of certain genders, sexualities or races will tend to cluster in certain areas. Awarding oppression-based positions for an assumed injustice that very well may not ever have been a factor in a minority life works only toward a place of imagined perfection.

Thus we come to the crux of the issue: shooting down men. This perfection narrative is excellent if you want to use it as a weapon to endlessly criticize, nitpick and find fault in men who hold some degree of power. It doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with helping the cause of diversity as freedom of choice to be whomever you want or compassion for those in disadvantaged backgrounds, otherwise you’d see these intersectionalist feminists complaining that there aren’t enough male teachers in schools, or women in dirty and dangerous jobs. The only targets they set their sights on are high profile, high power ones that involve money and prestige, regardless of whether the individual in question holds those subjective ideas of success as their metric for what is the good to be achieved. Pure greed is the motive and tearing down men is the means of satiating it.

According to the Mumbai Mirror, Sundai Pichai, Indian CEO of Google now, grew up in a two-bedroom apartment where he often slept in the living room with his brother. He owned neither a car or a television growing up, but by some miracle of absolute male privilege access to his first telephone by the age 12. Before becoming CEO, Pichai is most notable for actually doing something: creating the highly successful Android operating system. It took him around 11 years of hard work at Google to get into that CEO position, but according to intersectionality experts, it is not worthy of comment that a free and opportunity-available society should allow him to climb up from such poverty because he has testicles and identifies as a man.

Or take Nvidia founder Jen Hsun-Huang’s, whose life was detailed in a 2002 Wired article. He moved to the US at an early age to escape “violence and civil unrest his parents faced, first in Taiwan, then in Thailand.” His parents knew so little English they accidentally sent him to a reform school, thinking it was a prep school. There Hsun-Huang had such a life of male privilege that he scrubbed toilets in the three-story dorm house every day and shared chump money with a roommate who couldn’t read. Of course the fanatical work ethic he developed isn’t the feature that allowed him to rise up and create one of the most successful microchip companies in the world, it was his male privilege.

These people do not serve as examples to point out and see that as time goes on and societies get more open and less tribal, people from very diverse backgrounds are beginning to make it big more and more. No, they point at the masterpiece painting that is developing and criticize it for its brush strokes, its lack of perfection in the social justice narrative. “I see dick in this painting and it does not belong to somebody who identifies as a woman,” they say, tutting to themselves with dissatisfaction. “I see no rainbow flag in this painting, ergo any praise for it systemically oppresses sexual minorities.” It does not matter that you may have had to overcome some dreadful obstacles and or a painful childhood, you are less than perfect because you were not born to fit the quota.

Then when it comes to their favorite punching bag, straight white males, feminists tend to lack any compassion whatsoever. According to Wimmin in Tech Crunch, “Women and trans people of color have intersectional identities as cisgender or transgender women, or as trans men and as people of color.” Notice a demographic that cannot by that definition have an intersectional identity? That’s right and by extension, there are no straight white males who may richly deserve to be rewarded with a coveted job after surviving a hateful and abusive childhood in a middle-class family. There are no white males who may have grown up under questionable regimes in places like Serbia, Russia, East Germany, Poland or Romania, or even had been minorities in their birth country, who may have experienced the misery of a government gone wrong, and by these experiences become almost obsessively motivated to succeed. There are no straight white males whose experiences with debilitating diseases or mental conditions that exposed them to ridicule and shame forged them into the type of people who were strong enough to lead.

It’s like a butterfly effect. As long as there is a transgender woman in Chicago who was called a tranny on the subway the other day, a straight white male who is desperate to afford his alimony and child support in San Francisco, whom out of a love of his children and a desire to see them flourish, applies for a tech job that may allow him to get by, why that good, it must certainly be denied, so we can tip the scales in favor of the feminist vision of perfection.

Yukito Hoshino
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About the author

Yukito Hoshino

I was born and raised in the cold snowy wilderness of northern Japan, where I discovered a curious lack of compassion toward the male of my species and set out on my long journey to correct these perversions of justice. You can reach me at yukitohoshino@yahoo.co.jp

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