Dienstag, September 26, 2017

Wächst Einfluss der Männerrechtler im Silicon Valley? – News vom 26. September 2017

1. "Die Stimmen der Männerrechtler werden lauter" berichtet Österreichs Standard mit Bezug auf einen Artikel der New York Times zur Situation im Silicon Valley:

Aber auch James Altizer vom Chipentwickler Nvidia gehört zu den Kritikern des stattfindenden Wandels. Während Damore in seinem Text die Errungenschaften der feministischen Bewegungen prinzipiell würdigte, geht er einen Schritt weiter. Seiner Ansicht nach hätten die Feministen im Valley sich schon vor einigen Jahren zusammengetan und würden den Plan verfolgen, die Männer zu unterwerfen. "Es ist wie eine Hexenjagd", erklärte er im Interview mit der "Times". "Ich sitze hier in einer schalldichten Kammer, weil ich Angst habe, dass mich jemand hören könnte." Der Umgang mit Geschlechterfragen sei mittlerweile "fast religiös".

(...) Während die Chefetagen der IT-Konzerne im als liberal geltenden Valley derlei Ansichten kategorisch ablehnen und dementsprechend viele Kritiker aus Angst vor negativen Folgen sich nicht offen zu ihren Ansichten bekennen, deklarieren sich mittlerweile manche als "Contrarians". Männeraktivisten sprechen von steigendem Interesse an ihrer Bewegung. Auch auf Plattformen wie Reddit ist mehr Teilnahme in entsprechenden Foren zu beobachten.

(...) Hinter Ex-Google-Mitarbeiter [James] Damore haben sich nun einige einflussreichere Personen geschart. Selbst Charles Darwin würde für seine Ansichten über die Geschlechter bei Google gefeuert, meint etwa Paul Graham, Gründer des wichtigen Inkubators Y Combinator. "Hört auf, meiner Tochter beizubringen, dass ihr Weg zu finanzieller Freiheit (…) über Beschwerden bei der Personalabteilung führt", klagt Eric Weinstein, ein Geschäftspartners des Investors Peter Thiel.

Laut Damore gibt es mehr als 20 andere Männer, die ihn kontaktiert hätten und sich interessiert an einer Sammelklage gegen Google wegen "systematischer Männerdiskriminierung" zeigen. "Weiße Männer", sagt seine Anwältin Harmeet Dhillon, würden mittlerweile oft das Nachsehen bei Beförderungen haben.

Der "Standard" spricht von vermehrtem Zulauf für den "radikalen Rand" der Männerbewegung, womit Männer gemeint sind, die Partnerschaften mit Frauen vermeiden, und zitiert abschließend den Nvidia-Entwickler James Altizer mit dem Befund, dass eine überstarke Frauenlastigkeit der IT-Branche nicht zu befürchten sei: "Es wäre nett, mehr Frauen dabei zu haben, aber man findet nirgendwo Bewerberinnen."

In der New York Times selbst heißt es:

While many in the tech industry had previously dismissed the fringe men’s rights arguments, some investors, executives and engineers are now listening. Though studies and surveys show there is no denying the travails women face in the male-dominated industry, some said that the line for what counted as harassment had become too easy to cross and that the push for gender parity was too extreme a goal. Few were willing to talk openly about their thinking, for fear of standing out in largely progressive Silicon Valley. (...) And self-described men’s rights activists in Silicon Valley said their numbers at meetings were rising.

(...) Many men now feel like "there’s a gun to the head" to be better about gender issues, said Rebecca Lynn, a venture capitalist at Canvas Ventures, and while "there’s a high awareness right now, which is positive, at the same time there’s a fear."

Die Machthaber sehen das alles natürlich komplett anders. Während die stark feministisch geprägte New York Times das männliche Aufbegehren selbstverständlich als "Backlash" etikettiert, versuchen auch Chefs im Silicon Valley, die Männerrechtler zu deckeln:

"In just the last 48 hours, I’ve spoken to a female tech executive who was grabbed by a male C.E.O. at a large event and another female executive who was asked to interview at a venture fund because they ‘feel like they need to hire a woman,’" said Dick Costolo, the former chief of Twitter, who now runs the fitness start-up Chorus. "We should worry about whether the women-in-tech movement has gone too far sometime after a couple of these aren’t regularly happening anymore."

(Im Ernst? Dass eine Frau nur wegen ihres Geschlechts eingestellt wird, wird als Argument GEGEN Männerrechtler verwendet?)

Der New-York-Times-Artikel kommt schließlich auch auf die international bekanntesten Männerrechtler zu sprechen:

Now men’s rights advocates in Silicon Valley have galvanized.

"What Google did was wake up sectors of society that weren’t into these issues before," said Paul Elam, who runs A Voice for Men, a men’s rights group. He said his organization had seen more interest from people in Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley has always been a men’s space, others said. Warren Farrell, who lives in Marin County, Calif., and whose 1993 book, "The Myth of Male Power," birthed the modern men’s rights movement, said, "The less safe the environment is for men, the more they will seek little pods of safety like the tech world."

This turn in the gender conversation is good news for Mr. Damore. "The emperor is naked," he said in an interview. "Since someone said it, now it’s become sort of acceptable."

(...) Mr. Damore filed a labor complaint against Google in August and said more than 20 people had reached out about joining together for a class-action suit about systemic discrimination against men. He is represented by Harmeet Dhillon, a local firebrand lawyer.

"It’s become fashionable in Silicon Valley for people like James, a white man, to be put into a category of less desirable for promotion and advancement," Ms. Dhillon said. "Some companies have hiring goals like ‘We’ll give you a bonus if you’re a hiring manager and you hire 70 percent women to this organization.’ That’s illegal."

(...) Two men who worked at Yahoo sued the company for gender discrimination last year. Their lawyer, Jon Parsons, said the female leadership — Yahoo’s chief executive was Marissa Mayer, before Verizon bought the company — had gone too far in trying to hire and promote women. He tied the suit into today’s women-in-tech movement.

"When you’re on a mission from God to set the world straight, it’s easy to go too far," Mr. Parsons said. "There was no control over women hiring women."

Auch wenn es um die Männer geht, die zu enge Kontakte mit Frauen lieber vermeiden ("Men Going Their Own Way", kurz "Mgtow"), treffen wir in der New York Times eine alte Bekannte wieder:

Cassie Jaye, who lives in Marin County and made a documentary about the men’s rights movement called "The Red Pill," said that the tech world and the men’s rights community had "snowballed" together and that the rise in the number of people in Mgtow is new.

On the Mgtow message boards, members discuss work ("Ever work for a woman? Roll up your sleeves and share your horror story"), technology ("The stuff girlfriends and wives can’t stand — computers, games, consoles") and dating (mostly best practices to avoid commitment).

"I think there are a lot of guys living this lifestyle without naming it, and then they find Mgtow," said Ms. Jaye, who calls herself a former feminist.

Mr. Altizer leads Bay Area Fathers’ Rights, a monthly support group for men to talk about the issues they uniquely face. He became interested in the community after a divorce and said his eyes were opened to how few rights men have. As for the numbers of women in tech, the effort for parity is absurd, he said.

Der Sender CNBC hat den New-York-Times-Artikel übernommen. In der Schlagzeile – "Silicon Valley men push back on gender equity efforts. 'Men's rights' was once a fringe movement, but is now gaining traction" – werden Männerrechtler natürlich wieder mal als Gegner der Gleichberechtigung präsentiert. Kritisch zu dieser Form der Berichterstattung äußert sich das Magazin "Quillette" mit seinem Artikel Smearing Free Thought In Silicon Valley:

In the aftermath of the so-called Google memo affair, there has been no shortage of misleading and in some cases downright inaccurate media coverage painting the author, James Damore, and his supporters in a very unfavorable light. The most recent example of this arose this past weekend, when The New York Times printed a hit piece on its front page with the inflammatory headline, "As Inequality Roils Tech World, A Group Wants More Say: Men." In a clear display of narrative-driven journalism, the article attempts to smear those in the technology industry who hold dissenting views on gender issues by associating them with a political movement with which the public has little familiarity while providing little explanation of what that movement is or what it stands for.

(...) Furthermore, the article makes it out as if only men have supported Damore’s conclusion, providing a smattering of short quotations from male executives and venture capitalists who have expressed reservations about the current thinking on diversity in the industry. In fact, the article tweeted by one of the venture capitalists mentioned, Eric Weinstein, was co-authored by a woman, Debra W. Soh. No mention is made of the fact that prominent women such as the equity feminists Christina Hoff Sommers and Cathy Young have concurred that Damore was right on the science and expressed grave concern with the way that Google handled the incident.

The article claims that "studies and surveys show there is no denying the travails women face" in technology, although not a single example of a study providing such conclusive proof is given. In fact, many of the studies commonly cited to back up this claim suffer from major methodological flaws that call into serious question their accuracy. (...) Furthermore, the study found that a whopping 41% of male respondents reported that they had experienced sexual harassment. If true, this would indicate that there was an only somewhat smaller pandemic of harassment against men that was receiving no attention in the media.

(...) Perhaps the most dishonest aspect of this weekend’s Times article, however, is that it conflates dissenting voices in Silicon Valley with the men’s rights movement, a political movement seeking to raise awareness of how gender inequality issues affect men and boys that has long been smeared in the media as misogynistic. The link is made primarily on the basis of anecdotes provided by one software engineer, James Altizer, who is also a men’s rights activist. Quotes from Altizer and several other men’s rights activists who do not work in technology are interspersed with quotes from James Damore and the aforementioned dissenting executives and venture capitalists, giving the impression that they are all part of a single movement.

In reality, there is no evidence to indicate that any of these executives or investors have supported the men’s rights movement or that they are even aware of its existence. As a college student, I came to question the narrative that women are systematically disadvantaged in science as a result of reading some of the research used to support its claims and seeing how weak it was. I also observed how many of my colleagues, both male and female, would stifle dissent on this issue by casting anyone who disagreed with the accepted dogma as being a misogynist. I had no awareness of the existence of the men’s rights movement at the time and would not until a number of years later.

Yet even if it were the case that many of Damore’s supporters within the technology industry were men’s rights activists, that would still not be reason to dismiss their concerns automatically. Contrary to what many people have been lead to believe by much of the media coverage of the men’s rights movement, it is not a hate movement rooted in misogyny. While there is no denying that certain extreme segments of the men’s rights movement are hostile, this is not what the movement is about as a whole. To present it in this way is just as dishonest as writing a piece on the Black Lives Matter movement that focuses entirely on anti-police sentiment without giving any context regarding the concerns about racial injustice that fuel the movement.

If we wish to move forward as a society to a place where there is greater respect between the sexes, we need to ensure that all voices expressing legitimate concerns can be heard and taken seriously. One of the executives quoted in the Times article, Dick Costolo said, "We should worry about whether the women-in-tech movement has gone too far sometime after a couple of these [instances of harassment] aren’t regularly happening anymore." In doing so, he draws a false dichotomy, as a movement can go too far in certain respects while not yet achieving its worthy goals in others.

Even if it is true that harassment of women is as prevalent as Costolo makes it out to be, there is no doubt that efforts to remedy it have been approached in a way that creates unnecessary hostility toward men. I have seen a female executive disparage "men who don’t support women" as being "sub-human." Her use of the word "sub-human" echoes the ways in which Jews and other minorities have been dehumanized in the past, in order to justify violence against them. When diversity efforts have been contorted to the point that their supporters actually start to sound like Nazis, it is clear that something is severely wrong. (...) If we are serious about creating inclusive workplaces, then we must work to ensure that people of all races, religions, genders, and yes, political persuasions can feel welcome.

2. Lucas Schoppe kommentiert das erneute Versagen der SPD nach der Bundestagswahl und wie es durch die Parole "Mehr Frauen!" überdeckt werden soll.

3. "Die Welt" hat untersucht, was ostdeutsche Männer an der AfD so fasziniert.

(Wer es gerne ein paar Niveaustufen niedriger hätte, kann auch lesen, was Alice Schwarzer zu diesem Thema sagt.)

4. Die "Wirtschaftswoche" beschäftigt sich mit der seit Jahrzehnten altuellen Hochkunjunktur des "Male bashing", also Männer für alles Schlechte der Welt verantwortlich zu machen. Leider kann man den vollständigen Artikel nur mit einem sogenannten "Digitalpass" lesen.

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