So here we’ve got a complaint that Google’s internal culture is a “Bro'” one. That is, male, nerdy and really not very cultured at all. You know, teenage boys run riot with all the money in the world sorta culture. This is something which really doesn’t surprise to be honest. Because that’s just what we’ve done, we’ve stuck the teenage boys off into one culture along with all the money in the world. Who expected that culture to turn out any different?

Google has a “bro-culture” that allowed the daily sexual harassment of a female software engineer, a new lawsuit from a former employee alleges.

Loretta Lee, who worked for Google from 2008 to 2016, filed suit this month against the Silicon Valley giant for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination in California state court.

In the complaint, which was first published by Gizmodo, Lee alleges that she was subject to “lewd comments, pranks and even physical violence” on a daily basis, including having male colleagues spike her drinks with alcohol, shoot Nerf balls at her, send her sexually suggestive messages and, in one case, slap her in the face.

It’s not that we think this should happen, it’s that we’re entirely unsurprised that it does. For consider who the engineers at Google actually are. They’re the nerds. Those with, agreed, high brain power and also not a great deal in the way of the social graces. More formally we can talk about this using Simon Baron Cohen’s language, empathising quotient and systemising, EQSQ. The spectrum runs female type brain (no, not female, but the type more commonly found there, any individual can be anywhere on this spectrum), mixed, male, Aspergers, autism, high level programmer*.

So, we take all the social inadequates – another name for the nerds – stick them in one place and let them earn all the money there is. We then observe the culture – what do we think it’s going to be? Well, yes, quite, it’s going to be that one step up from Piggy’s fate in Lord of the Flies, isn’t it?

This will of course sound harsh but we do think that this outcome is inevitable – therefore those who wish to work there just have to suck it up. Want to work with all the really bright teenage boys of the world? You’re going to be working with teenage boys therefore. Tough.

*That might not be quite the right order

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Tim Newman
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Jordan Peterson was in an interview the other day suggesting the past 40 years has taught us perhaps men and women should not work together. I’m beginning to think me might be right.

Gamecock
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Gamecock

Dr Peterson is incredibly insightful. I’ve seen him in two interviews in the last month, and I’d like to see more.

Pcar
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Pcar
bloke in spain
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bloke in spain

“The spectrum runs female type brain (no, not female, but the type more commonly found there, any individual can be anywhere on this spectrum), mixed, male, Aspergers, autism, high level programmer*” Really not sure about that gradient. Experience has led me to believe women in general have low empathy & an inability to model other’s viewpoints. So really belong over in the autistic spectrum. Which is rather proven by the case under consideration. Her belief* that she’s been “sexually harassed” when in actuality it’s just been some nerdish fun, normal in the nerd community she’s operating in. Someone with the… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

And this culture is fundamentally at odds with their virtue signalling, MeToo, vagina hat, management HR culture.

Gamecock
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Gamecock

‘In the complaint, which was first published by Gizmodo’

Left handed libel by Gizmodo. The complaint is a formal accusation. It is not fact. Why publish an accusation? Faky fake news.

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Not valid to tie this behaviour to nerds. Programmers may or may not be nerds. They could be prop forwards at the weekend. Technical skills are not limited to wimps. In fact these behaviours may be found in any (all?) group of males. Squaddies? Yep. Office workers? Certainly. Property developers at charity dos? Yes again. Charity workers in a property? Ditto.

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

I worked in one startup where we had a few of these nerdy guys doing our IT, one of them was quite a serious and respected white hatter in his spare time. The first thing hew did when we moved in to new serviced offices was hack the Cisco VoIP system and change everyone’s ring tones to ones that weren’t even on the system. They were always getting up to pranks like these, usually with each other but often with others outside the IT team when they reckoned were good sports. Firing nerf guns and even spiking drinks when we… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

Dunno. It could be true, but then again sexual harrassment lawsuits are often sexed up. James Damore at least has documentary evidence of his treatment at the Goolag, maybe this girl does too, or maybe she’s hoping Goog just pays her to shut up. It’s definitely true that the tech industry has far more than its fair share of antisocial autists. That cuts both ways though, and some of the most irrationally angry people are Women In Tech™. It’s easy to blame feminism for poisoning the well, and there’s likely some truth to that when women are bombarded with messages… Read more »

Spike
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Spike

Long after teenage, the goal of scoring with the pretty receptionist was higher than the goal of assembling a lifetime of chivalry that would be perfect for a middle-aged politician. Winners were hardly thought of as “social inadequates.” Is there much going on here beyond old people forgetting what it was to be young? (And a female accuser hiding in her liberated new Victim voting bloc, with a demand for enforcement against “lewd comments” so she neither has to get assertive nor find more suitable workmates elsewhere?)

jgh
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jgh

Nerf balls, alcohol and sexually suggestive talk? Where the hell have you got your definition of “nerd” from? That’s Jocks, though more eggball than nerf ball.

Tommydog
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Tommydog

As a long time resident of Silicon Valley, I’ll concur that there are enough of the stereotypical nerds around to keep the stereotype alive and well. However, among techies, even the very high end ones, are mostly fine people who treat others decently and often have interests that extend well beyond activities that involve looking at a screen. The thrust of the article is should this be a surprise at Google because they are staffed by bros. Well, yes. That there are an awful lot of employees is true, and it may be hard to keep lid on all unpleasant… Read more »

NDReader
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NDReader

Tommydog : Is it more extreme in the tech industry than in say Hollywood, politics, or at law firms?
the information may never be recoverable. Guardian journalists passed around the “shitty media men” spreadsheet for years without going to press; but in the same period hounded a scientist in a colourful shirt, and another scientist who made a speech that could be twisted out of shape.
The chances of getting journalism, facts and statistics from that crowd are slim indeed.

Gamecock
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Gamecock

So, she filed the suit then called Gizmodo ??? That’s not normal behavior.

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist
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>Men have always more or less hated their jobs, and resigned themselves to it. Women have been sold a pup: the idea of this magical unicorn called a “career”. No mention of the decades of grinding sacrifice it takes most people to ascend even a few rungs on the corporate ladder.

I always thought women were crazy for wanting to go into work just at the point when modern technolgy had made being a housewife much easier.

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist
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>Jordan Peterson was in an interview the other day suggesting the past 40 years has taught us perhaps men and women should not work together. I’m beginning to think me might be right.

And maybe women shouldn’t work together either. I saw an article the other day someone linked to about a woman who started up a women-only company, and it was a disaster because of all the bitching.

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

Hector, Dame Steve did OK: After marriage to a physicist, Derek Shirley, in 1962, Shirley founded, with a capital of £6, the software company Freelance Programmers,[2] (later FI, then Xansa since acquired by Steria and now part of the Sopra Steria Group). She wanted to create job opportunities for women with dependents, and predominantly employed women, with only 3 male programmers in the first 300 staff,[7] until the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 made that practice illegal. She adopted the name, Steve, to help her in the male-dominated business world.[8] Her team’s projects included programming Concorde’s black box flight recorder.[1][9] She… Read more »

Pcar
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Pcar

@Hector, March 2, 2018 at 9:06 am

I saw an article the other day someone linked to about a woman who started up a women-only company, and it was a disaster because of all the bitching.

This: Catfights over handbags and tears in the toilets. When this producer launched a women-only TV company she thought she’d kissed goodbye to conflict… ?