I was sitting in a ballet studio, warming up before class, when I was unexpectedly prompted to revisit the idea of the “gender gap.” Surrounded by that standard 20:1 female to male ratio, I asked myself, where is the public outrage? If we tend to assume that occupational gender disparities are invariably the result of injustice, then, by all accounts, ballet was suffering from an epidemic of anti-male sexism.
But that obviously isn’t the case, and you don’t need to launch an investigative campaign into casting or hiring practices to know why. Men, on average, simply are not as interested in ballet as women. It isn’t even close, and thus neither are the numbers of men and women in ballet.
I remember distinctly from my youth the tinge of jealousy and injustice I felt watching my less talented male peers win medals, receive scholarships, and land company positions that I never did. I understand Damore’s point from a deeply personal perspective.
But there is one crucial caveat: While my experience and those of women like me in ballet are an unfortunate but inevitable fact of the industry, Damore and other male Google employees are, in fact, suffering from blatant sex discrimination.
Ballet, after all, can’t be done without male roles. Its canonical repertoire demands opposite-sex partnering choreography. There is no analogous constraint in the tech industry to excuse its discrimination in favor of one sex over the other. There is no inherent reason why women need to work in tech; coding is as colorblind as it is sexually indiscriminate. Yet, Google is employing discrimination against one sex and in favor of the other to combat an assumed problem — latent sexism supposedly causing the enormous gender disparity in tech — for whose existence the evidence is elusive. …
The selective outrage of feminists over disparities like the one in tech is revealing. There is a conspicuous shortage of school programs, campaigns, marches, and hashtags to end the gender gap in, say, teaching, or counseling, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics are professions overwhelmingly dominated by women.
Nursing is a pretty good gig — it pays well, is flexible, and nurses can find work anywhere. So, where should we look for the anti-male bias that made it so that more than 90 percent of nurses are women?
Meanwhile, you will search in vain for the calls to eliminate the overrepresentation of men in mining, trucking, sewage, and garbage collecting. The reason for all this is that the feminist Left isn’t so much a political movement for equality with a consistent philosophy as much as it is an expression of rage over the fact that men and women tend to make different career decisions.