What’s Current: Julian Assange offers sexist Google employee job at Wikileaks

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news round up.


Julian Assange has been busy MRAing all over the internet today, offering James Damore, the Google employee who wrote an internal memo perpetuating sexist stereotypes about women, a job at Wikileaks. Damore’s memo read:

“The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and… these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”

And about that memo, Helen Lewis says we’re asking the wrong questions.

Chris Brown continues to be a creep.

Indeed, I think we’re all tired of seeing women’s (often sexualized) battered corpses on screen.

Police are looking for a male jogger who shoved a woman into the road, in front of a bus, in London.


Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

Like this article? Tip Feminist Current!

Personal Info

Donation Total: $1

  • Atheist

    The US and North Korea are on the brink of war again, so I just wanted to pop in to say thank you to everyone who has written articles here and commented, even if we haven’t always agreed on everything. (Except for the misogynists and sexists that come here to start shit. They can still go fuck themselves.)

    So let me get this straight. White women are not allowed to take their own oppression seriously, and are told to shut the fuck up about sexism, because talking about stuff like menstruation taboo, rape culture, ect is somehow exclusionary and selfish and privileged and “first world problems.”

    But white men can go on deliberate purposeful hate filled screeds which abuse and harass and discriminate against his own co-workers, and be OFFERED A JOB for it. Rewarded for it, with FINANCIAL PAYMENT. White men have long enjoyed accusing white women of privilege then turn around and behave just as privileged and entitled as they fucking well want to. This is the same thing that happened with Milo Yiannopolous – he was given TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS to continue his hate campaign against the progressive left by an “anonymous donor.”

    This is not to say that white women should be rewarded for being racist assholes. But you cannot, on one hand, rake white women over the coals for every single thing then turn around and say “freedom of speech” when a white man knowingly, with full awareness, wages an abusive culture war on the people around him. The fact that 1/3 of his co-workers support or share his opinions is downright unacceptable. People get offended when white women step even one toe out of line but allow the disgusting charade of the alt-right to keep marching along like Hitler’s new army. And that’s exactly what it is.

    I’ve seen entire feminist blogs bullied off the Internet under the mere accusation of privilege. Simply being accused of privilege has been enough to discredit a white woman, no matter how reasonable her opinions may be and even if the white woman in question has lived below the poverty line her entire life, even if she has mental disabilities, even if she is a lesbian, ect. White women are privileged, therefore, shut the fuck up, you have no business to complain, full stop. Silencing complete. I can almost guarantee that Google guy has at one point silenced white women by calling her privileged – now HE wants to complain about being shamed into silence.

    Welp, now he knows what it’s like to be treated like a white woman on the Internet, except white women are treated like this even if all they’re doing is telling men to stop being abusive sexists to women. I would tell him to enjoy the standards he helped create, but he’s too busy looking into “legal options” so he can complain to the court system how terribly UNFAIR it is that he’s been held accountable for bigoted behavior. After all, it’s only white women that should be held accountable for doing something wrong, isn’t it?

    • M. Zoidberg

      Male privilege in a nutshell. He gets to collect his job from rapey-the-ghost and sue Google for wrongful termination. He’ll probably even be able to crowd-fund his legal fees.

      Where’s a speedboat to an island in the middle of nowhere when you need it?!

      • Atheist

        Sadly, I have no doubt he’ll be able to crowdfund his legal fees. Every media outlet that has reported on this story has at least a hundred white male commenters claiming that Google was in the wrong and pulling the “freedom of speech” card. I’m sure they will donate hoping his case will set a new legal precedent so sexists can get away with brutalizing women on the workforce.

        Compare and contrast this with white women who have lost their jobs because they posted something racist on Facebook outside of work. Of course nobody would dare support them or make a statement for freedom of speech. That was back when white men were still pretending to care about minorities and minorities believed them and everyone thought it was a great idea to blame white women for everything. “White women are the problem” everyone said.

        Now we’ve got Donald Trump as president and the alt-right has a foothold in our politics. Everything went to shit pretty damn fast. The irony is people are STILL talking shit about white women when white women have never held political power in the history of the entire fucking world.

        One would think after decades of civil rights and feminist politics and after 70 years of Holocaust education that Americans would be smart enough not to fall for pseudoscientific garbage and biological determination. One would think that people would NOT want to be associated with the likes of Hitler or the Inquisition. Now it’s actually fashionable to be a murderous psychopath.

        If there is a hell, we’re living in it right now.

        • susannunes

          There is no “right” to speech in private employment. Public employees have more rights in that regard but it is nowhere absolute, but non-union private sector, forget it.

      • susannunes

        He has no case in court. He is not in a protected class. The only way he will get a dime out of Google is in a pretrial settlement.

        You see, Google as an at-will employer can fire anybody for any reason as long as the person is not in a protected class. If one is in a protected class, it is almost impossible to prove discrimination. It is Damore’s own fault he got canned.

  • Thom Prentice

    Not quite a savvy move for him as it DOES reflect on the Swedish sexual assault charges …

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    I *love* police procedurals but they are now 100% unwatchable for me because of the way they have turned into ladymurder fetishism. Back in the 90s there was a show called Homicide; one of the many ways it was great was the way it portrayed the sad nature of most murders (one memorable episode of this type: two guys in a bar get in a fight over being Vietnam vets; attack one another with broken beer bottles; both die; neither served in Vietnam).

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    Thanks for the link to Helen Lewis! So eloquent and so funny (“Not stealing forks from the fork-juggler”). For me the whole Google kerfuffle has been under-compelling because it’s a little like gays in the military (back in the day). Like, if you are going to have an imperial war machine should gays be allowed to serve in it too? Sure! If you are going to have a monster informatics hivemind profit centre, is it important for women to be valued employees of that Borg? Yes! is this why I got into feminism? Not so much.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Ah, yes. Women don’t get good paying jobs because biology.

    It’s got nothing to do with white males doing everything in their power to keep their boards and companies white and male, does it? It’s not like they keep women out, is it?

    We are regressing. Women used to be kept out of schools and universities, kept from voting or owning property, or getting a drivers license or bank account because of biology, too.

    And here, I thought that biology is just a social construct. Oh, that’s right. When males want to be ladymen, then biology doesn’t matter. But when it comes to the best opportunities, then biology suddenly DOES matter.

    So biology matters when males say that it does. More wonderful male logicks. It covers everything.

  • susannunes

    The alt.right is so hypocritical and moronic. They are supposed to be these pro-business types believing employers should be able to do whatever they want to employees. The right is rabidly anti-union. And when a company, Google, exercises its right as an “at-will” employer to fire an employee, these idiots get all upset whining about “censorship” when that isn’t even the issue. Google can fire anybody it wants as long as that person is not in a protected class; indeed, it is one of the advantages of being an at-will employer. Damore is a whiner just like his supporters.

    It doesn’t surprise me about Assange. Birds of a feather and all that.

  • OldPolarBear

    About the google-memo thing: kind of late with this, but I read these pieces yesterday and suddenly remembered something this morning. It has to do with Helen Lewis’s very good article linked above about what kinds of skills we should think about a job applicant needing to have. Anyway, decades ago, like 1970s or 80s, I read an article, and I believe it might even have been by a woman who was talking about how she got into IT, that said that at that time and earlier, IBM hired hundreds of classics majors, women and men, to train as systems analysts. No special existing math or coding abilities or training at all — just a well-rounded education in a field attractive to a lot of smart people.

  • Lynn

    Women have never sucked at math outside of the western world. Women routinely out perform men in math everywhere else. Maybe that’s because here we are told almost immediately from birth that women sick at math?

    Sad thing in this guy is doing his PhD at Harvard, how are smart people so stupid?

    • -Asphyxia-

      When I was a kid, I remember a (female) teacher telling our class that “Women used to be told that they are bad at math and science.” If she wouldn’t have even mentioned anything, I’m pretty sure the idea that I’d be “bad at math/whatever” wouldn’t exist in my head.

    • Hanakai

      Math aptitude is the same in boys and girls. In about half the countries, females score better than males. In some countries, like Iceland, girls routinely and significantly outscore boys in math. In Japan, interestingly, girls score lower than Japanese boys, but outperforms American boys considerably. All of which is to say that math aptitude and ability are not sex-linked traits.

      In the USA there are cultural forces that discourage women from STEM and a significant factor in whether a girl continues to do well in math and science is related to how much her parents, and especially the father, are proud of and encouraging of her intelligence, as opposed to the parents who emphasize social popularity and praise appearance.

      To the dudebros nurturing the delusion that women are biologically not wired for mathematics, I would sentence them to watch Hidden Figures, a movie about the black women mathematicians who helped with the NASA space programs, a hundred times. And to read up on Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. And Emmy Noether, the mathematician lauded by Einstein as an “Athena” of mathematics, whose remarkable work laid the framework for modern astrophysics. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/unknown-women-scientists

      Women are smart. Men are ignorant. Generally.

  • M. Zoidberg

    Not to mention the lead played wonderfully by Kathryn Morris.

  • Would you please leave autism out of it? My experience as an autistic woman who floundered in high tech at one point (it was a disaster) is that it’s more about regular men not wanting to share power, with the nerds being the easiest men to work with (at least for me), because they’re more interested in just doing their job. Of course I also had problems there with the non-nerd women who wanted me to be more social.

    • Hanakai

      Why should any discussion of IT and autism be shut down just because you do not want it brought up? That’s nonsense and claiming some special privilege.

      The relationship between autism and computers is undisputed. In 2001, the tech magazine Wired coined the phrase “geek syndrome” to describe the threefold increase in autism diagnoses in California’s Silicon Valley over the space of a decade. That is fact. Bill Gates himself, founder of MSFT, displays signs of what used to be called Asperger’s syndrome, the high-functioning form of autism. A Cambridge University study, among others, found men are more likely to be autistic than women, that people working in STEM were more likely to be autistic than other folks. It is not surprising that people with impaired interpersonal and communication skills choose occupations where they can deal with machines and numbers instead of people. Our urban residence is in Microsoft City, which is full of IT companies, and the town is overrun with dudebros and male techie nerds on the spectrum. Some are inveterate misogynists, some are egalitarian. That’s reality.

      Studies are suggesting that computer use can help calm children on the autism spectrum, while stimulating their ability to communicate. There are indications that autistic children may prefer interaction with a computer interface because they can actively control it, and therefore communication through this medium may be less threatening than face-to-face conversation with a human.

  • Americus91

    That study sounds familiar to me.

    Going back was pretty scary. I didn’t want to do it online – I wanted the true experience of brink and mortar – and I’ll never forget the first classroom I walked into and the prof reviewing the syllabus and all the 18 year olds around me – I thought I made a big mistake. But quickly after that I began to love it! It took awhile since I attended part-time and had a little one at home. I successfully completed and graduated summa cum laud. Best thing I ever did for myself. Now I’m considering grad school.

  • OneGalo

    I am not even a Trump supporter, but think carefully, if Hillary was elected Comey will have immediately gone after her foundation scandals, the DNC corruptions, John Podesta scandals, Debbie Wasserman and Imran Awan, and took down the entire DNC, this is why Comey was releasing emails about Hillary and her staffers but holding back fire. He fully expected Hillary to win, but he is setting up the big game as we now know to take down either president. Don’t be blind to this, Trump is a needed cleansing to the system, if Hillary had won the Democratic party will be destroyed, the Democrats are lucky they dodge this bullet, very lucky that Comey’s main target was not elected.

  • Omzig Online

    Where’d you learn your writing skills? Trump University? ‘Cause I’ve got some bad news for you, buddy…

  • Hanakai

    Actually, more and a higher percentage of women attempt suicide, while more men actually complete the suicide attempts. The reason is that women tend to use pills and overdoses in their suicide attempts and frequently survive, while most male suicides use firearms and shoot themselves in the head, an event that is not often survived.

    Neither seems to care too much about the people left to clean up the mess: the pill takers tend to vomit all over and the shooters tend to leave brain and blood splatters all over the room or vehicle. These suicide scenes are not pretty. Sometimes they do not smell good, either.

    • melissa

      Yeah,I’m aware. That’s why i said it doesn’t seem to matter whether they believe men suffer from more mental illness/suicidal attempts or women. Both scenarios seem to be spun to be used against women.

  • M. Zoidberg

    Wow, are you psychic? Like, you know the rape victims are lying liars and Assange is a poor, innocent prisoner on trumped up charges for his political leanings? I wish I had your ability to know with absolute certainty that it is as you say it is, and not just a rapist MRA colluding with Russia for fame and wealth. Men rape women all the time and figure it’s no big deal — and the courts almost always agree with them! I bet you also think Cosby is innocent because (“Hey, hey, hey!”) he got off?

  • OneGalo

    I am guessing a civil war before the end of Trump’s one term considering what happened in Charlottesville could be a catalyst for something much larger. Obama allowed intersectionality and racial and gender politics to fester like a virus under his watch, America is royally screwed if the blow back from the white majority get out of hand, after all they are still the white majority and awakening their racial consciousness is a very dangerous game, this is why multiculturalism always fail when you hand it down to liberals to run policies, all I can say is good luck. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s never going back without much bloodshed.

    • Atheist

      I’m going to guess that the above commenters were right, and you’ve been sniffing rubber cement since second grade.

      If Hillary winning were going to be so bad for women, feminism, whatever – then why didn’t they just let her win? Wouldn’t that have been easier than wasting trillions of election dollars and the average person’s time/energy debating online? Why did Donald Trump, the one man all male supremacists love to suck his dick for simply existing, decide to run for president and LIE and BULLY and ABUSE and DEFAME Hillary until he won? That seems like an awful lot of wasted energy if simply allowing Hillary to become president would have punished the marginalized groups he clearly hates.

      So spare us all the mansplaining. I’m not interested arguments of “sexism is good because yadda yadda, yadda yadda yadda.” Only a psychopath would argue in favor of the continued oppression of half the human planet.

      Oh and only white supremacists are itching for a civil war. You all are fucked up in the head with the most bizarre victim complex in the world. You aren’t happy with 80% of legislative power being white, male and Christian OH NO you must make sure everyone believes in the almighty power of the white dick.


  • Tobysgirl

    How about bringing down governments hostile to Washington, DC? Let’s see, we invaded Iraq; bombed Libya, a secular country with free education and health care, and handed it over to Islamist extremists, beloved by the U.S.; have been supporting the “rebels” in Syria; are best friends with Saudi Arabia; and that’s just recent activity (we’re also very busy in Latin America). Which governments hostile to the Kremlin has Russia brought down? I would like specifics on this.

  • Tobysgirl

    You might spell smearing correctly. One can be critical of Wikileaks quite easily without engaging in moronic Russia-bashing. Perhaps if the Democratic Party got rid of their geezer leadership (I’m a geezer so don’t mind calling them what they are), focused on issues that actually matter to people, and run a candidate who is not a war criminal, they might do better in the elections.

  • Tobysgirl

    Here is the comment that caused me the most hilarity in the Google memo:

    Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).

    Apparently this nerd has never met any men or spent five minutes looking at himself. Women’s stress tolerance is so high it’s horrifying. All the crap we put up with every day in every way, and eventually many of us succumb to stress-related illness. A man gets a splinter and he’s screaming for a doctor, attention, please make the pain stop, anything! Can you imagine what would happen if this entitled male had to spend a week dealing with what women deal with? He’d just melt into a puddle.