Former Google employee James Damore made headlines for calling out overbearing efforts by Google to suppress conservative speech and thought. Now a lecturer at the University of Washington is being suppressed for supporting Damore. Stuart Reges teaches computer science to thousands of students every year. Back in 2018, he wrote a really popular article called “Why Women Don’t Code” to argue that we need to acknowledge how men and women are different. To most people, that isn’t a particularly groundbreaking idea. If you step outside the higher education echo chamber, it isn’t difficult to see that men and women aren’t just different biologically, but in their thought processes too.
As soon as Reges released his article, he was met with intense backlash from students, colleagues, and others. The school even formed a working group to counter his claims. The solutions they came up with were to force sensitivity training on teachers, spend less time making sure students don’t cheat, and lower grading standards. If the goal was to make computer coding more accessible to women, why would lowering standards have anything to do with it? Reges doesn’t sound like the sexist one to me.
Now the school is effectively demoting him by taking away his most impactful duties and limiting his reappointment as a lecturer on the UW campus. If anything, this only proves that he was right all along. Reges warned that “our diversity efforts are entering a dangerous phase where we emphasize blaming men more than encouraging women.” For making that statement, he was accused of oppressing women.
The feminists in higher education have been assuring our young people for decades that there are no differences between men and women. Now they’ve backed themselves into a corner. How can we help women succeed if we aren’t willing to accept the unique strengths they offer? Because of their flawed rhetoric, but must denounce any unique talents women can bring to the table. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what real oppression looks like. I’m thankful we still have brave thought leaders like Stuart Reges to be true champions of women and the great American institution of public discourse.