Tech | September 24, 2017 11:09 am

Anti-Feminist Backlash Grows in Silicon Valley Amid Sexual Harassment Scandals

Uber, Google scandals have brought out a pro-men's movement in tech sector.

The tech sector’s reaction to a spate of high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination scandals may be fostering even more anti-feminism.

A growing number of men working in Silicon Valley are becoming more vocal in complaining that women are ruining their industry, according to The New York Times.

A surge in anti-feminist backlash has come even as a spotlight has been shined on the struggles women have in the nation’s tech capital. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign and 20 employees were fired as the result of a major sexual harassment investigation.  A Google engineer, James Damore, was fired by the internet search giant after he circulated a memo that claimed biological differences between men and women explain the gender imbalance in tech jobs.

But not everyone is sympathetic to women in the industry.

“It’s a witch hunt,” James Altizer, an engineer at chip-manufacturer Nvidia who runs a pro-men’s issues gathering, told The Times. “I’m sitting in a soundproof booth right now because I’m afraid someone will hear me. When you’re discussing gender issues, it’s almost religious, the response. It’s almost zealotry.”

There have been even more extreme manifestations, including a movement called MGTOW, which stands for Men Going Their Own Way, which aspires to reach complete male separatism.

High-profile names in the industry have been emboldened by the reaction on social media to Damore’s memo. Paul Graham, founder of start-up incubator, Y Combinator, posted articles claiming to back the science behind the Google memo.

And the investor Peter Thiel’s business partner, Eric Weinstein, tweeted:

That sort of response hasn’t helped restore Silicon Valley’s image when it comes to gender issues.

“In just the last 48 hours, I’ve spoken to a female tech executive who was grabbed by a male C.E.O. at a large event and another female executive who was asked to interview at a venture fund because they ‘feel like they need to hire a woman,’” former Twitter chief Dick Costolo told The Times. “We should worry about whether the women-in-tech movement has gone too far sometime after a couple of these aren’t regularly happening anymore.”