The Equity Agenda

This is the latest political fight that I've taken on. I dealt with this in the late 1980s and early 1990s when political correctness was becoming more accepted on college campuses. It seemed like the silliness died down or at least was beaten back enough that we could ignore it. Now it's back.

The equity agenda refers to a social justice campaign to right the wrongs of the past by increasing the representation of traditionally marginalized groups in various aspects of society. This is sometimes referred to as the DIE religion because the key terms are diversity, inclusion, and equity. It is based on an ideology that denies biological differences between men and women and that ignores cultural differences between different communities. All differences are seen as the result of power relationships and oppression. The equity agenda seeks to dismantle the patriarchy and to restructure society to eliminate structural racism. Their vision of equity requires equal outcomes for women and a particular set of minority groups that they approve of (based on, for example, gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability). Oddly enough, they rarely talk about class differences. Diversity sounds like a desire for more variety and inclusion sounds like an expansive approach to building community, but the equity agenda often silences opposing viewpoints because their notion of inclusion involves changing the culture to create safe spaces for the favored groups. As a result, they are actually opposed to viewpoint diversity, labeling opposing viewpoints as harrassment or hate speech.

I started noticing these ideas coming up at the Allen School where I work right around the time that James Damore was fired from Google. At the time I thought that Damore's firing was an overreaction, although I have come to believe that he was a canary in the coal mine. I found that we were offering the same "bias busters" workshop that Damore had attended at Google. I spent a year complaining about it and exploring the issue with various groups of students, faculty, and staff. At the end of that year I wrote an article for Quillette titled Why Women Don't Code.

My article generated a great deal of controversy. Some day I might attempt to collect together the many responses to it. For now you can google stuart reges women and you'll find a ton. I will include links to the articles by Katie Herzog and Toni Airaksinen who did the best reporting on this:

I have written two more Quillette articles in which I describe what has happened to me since publishing my original article.

The saga continues. Expect more updates.

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last updated 01/12/2020