Why is Sexual Harassment the Only Workplace Malfunction That Merits National Attention?


Many workers in Silicon Valley have said tech companies aren’t doing enough to promote women and minorities, or to stamp out misogyny and harassment. — wsj.com

“Not doing enough” . . . I remember last year a female engineer at Uber wrote in a blog post that she was being harassed and mistreated and Uber actually hired the former attorney general of the United States to launch an investigation.

One woman!

The assertion that Uber in particular and Silicon Valley in general are cesspools of misogyny is based on confirmation bias and small sample sizes.

Uber has more than 16,000 employees in 600 cities and 65 countries. If you’re inclined to believe that women are more virtuous and vulnerable than men, then the reported experience of one person out of 16,000 may be enough to confirm you in your view of the world.

A man (or woman) hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, as Paul Simon has sagely pointed out.

To be fair, the ensuing investigation resulted in the firing of 20 Uber employees, so that raises the sample size from 0.00625 percent to 0.125 percent.

There are lots of ways other than sexual harassment to create a hostile workplace: verbal intimidation, favoritism, overwork, lying to you, lying about you, stealing credit for your work, evaluating you unfairly, threatening you with the loss of your job . . . the list goes on!

Men can lose their wives, lose their kids, destroy their health, all from stress and overwork — and who cares? I’m not saying anyone should care, but why is sexual harassment the only workplace malfunction that merits national attention?

Can we have workplace equity or must we have extra-special handling of one particular grievance?

Thus spoke The Programmer.

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