Not Listening, Not Debating

3 months ago a director in my organization made a lewd remark about my attire. I ought not to have to justify what I was wearing, but I assure you, it was appropriate to the situation. He was senior enough that I couldn’t call him out, so I just glared at him and moved on.

Two weeks later my boss came to my desk and told me to apologize for glaring. It doesn’t matter that I was right, just that senior director puts together the list for promotion and I wanted to be on it.

I apologized.

Yesterday morning, 30% of Google’s workforce got up, got dressed and went into various offices knowing that a non trivial portion of their male colleagues think that they are biologically unsuited to writing code because they have 2 X chromosomes. A man started this debate, ostensibly because he was worried about diversity.

Science has proved that women as an entire sex aren’t inherently better at communication or worse at coding. Logic proves that figuring out what makes a coder good is nowhere near granular enough to attribute it to sex. Project management best practices say that everyone collaborating makes for better projects.

We are supposed to smile tolerantly while a man uses bad science, crap logic and poor working practices to suggest that diversity is a problem. We are supposed to listen patiently and nod understandingly while men talk about what to do about the problem.

The problem that is us.

They are debating the rights of a person with 2 X chromosomes solely because they have two X chromosomes. Their right to lead projects. Their right to manage staff. We aren’t debating if a women is competent, we are debating whether or not someone with 2 X chromosomes can be competent.

They are debating my right to make a living.

They are debating my right to exist in a technical space.

When I object to the manifesto someone is going to call me shrill. They are going to call me a bitch.  Someone is going to come along and tell me to work harder and prove them wrong.

Fine. I was the youngest principal by almost decade in my former job. A nationally recognized expert in my field. A mentor to junior consultants. I’m published in professional journals. I speak at conferences.

And we are still arguing if I’m good enough to do my job, what with the 2 X chromosomes. I’m still supposed to debate this.

The entire manifesto is a bundle of crazy held together with duct tape and anger. There’s nothing to debate. It’s not argument, it’s bullshit. I don’t debate bullshit. You are god damned right I’m not going to listen to you.

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4 Responses to Not Listening, Not Debating

  1. Jane says:

    I get so fed up with this.

    I also have colleagues that are really good at calling other colleagues out when they start talking over me. It’s a start.

  2. a says:

    I have people arguing that there are biological differences between sexes and so maybe he has a point. I’m tired of pointing out that biological differences do not equal intellectual differences and that the averages should not be used to define the whole.

  3. loribeth says:

    We women may be different biologically, and we might not do things the same way the guys do or would, but that doesn’t mean we are any more or less competent than our male counterparts.

  4. debby says:

    I am so sorry that you had to apologize. You are more tactful than I am. You see the big picture. I practice meditation, in an attempt to quit getting tangled up in the details, to see the big picture. It’s a hard thing to learn, and I fear that I am too set in my ways to learn it. Someday, I will choke to death on the principle of the matter.

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