Steinberg – who grew up in Cambridgeshire and moved to the US in the mid-1990s as his father was American – holds dual citizenship and has coached the US women’s side since 2011. He has been outspoken in his criticism of the 12-team structure and the funding of the tournament.

One aspect he thinks should be changed is that World Rugby pays for 12 staff and 30 players to participate in the men’s World Cup, while only six staff and 28 players are being accommodated per union during this tournament.

“I see this as discrimination,” Steinberg said. “I see this as a slap in the face for the women’s game. I see it that World Rugby doesn’t treat the women with the same respect as they do the men. I am not saying ‘equal’ because I recognise the men’s World Cup, and I recognise that there is a cost issue, but I think World Rugby could throw an extra £500,000 into this event and actually treat the women in a way that demonstrates respect.

Sure, everyone’s just got another £500k lying around, right? Magic money tree thinking.

Not wholly sure this works mechanically

German officials are planning to tackle one of the multiple remaining inequalities between the sexes: the queue for the loo.

A scheme has been proposed by Berlin authorities to develop urinals for women at public lavatories across the city.

A 99-page document titled ‘The Toilet Concept for Berlin’ has been produced by the city’s environmental council in collaboration with the private sector.

It concludes that “pissoirs” (urinals) should only be offered in future in combination with unisex lavatories and that female urinals should be developed.

“In the future urinals which can be used by all genders should be offered,” the report states.

I’m just wondering why such an obvious thing has not already been developed? Could there be some mechanical reason why it doesn’t work very well?

There is also a slight wonder, how does this interact with the rules further north, in Sweden, where there is that agitation to make it illegal for a man to piss standing up?

It’s the Wimmins

Middle-aged men from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely to be single as those from rich families, according to a new study that highlights the lack of social mobility in Britain.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that men’s marriage prospects are linked to their upbringing, and that the disparity between those from well-off and poor families has widened in recent years.

The study found that one in three men from disadvantaged backgrounds were single at the age of 42, compared with one in seven from rich backgrounds.

Not that marriage or not particularly shows anything these days. But let’s deal with what they’re talking about. So, women choose men at least partly upon the basis of the social status of the man. Lower social status men are less likely to get picked.

Thus sports cars, big watches and status competition among men.


Really not sure this argument works

I have since read Damore’s memo, which runs to ten pages, and that, too, was an education. Who knew, for instance, that you can simply read your own biased assumptions as “evidence’’? Who knew you could boldly say “men and women biologically differ in many ways’’, followed by “these differences aren’t just socially constructed because they are universal across human cultures’’, without feeling the need to qualify either statement?

Who knew you could simply ignore, for instance, Cordelia Fine’s brilliant work on “neurosexism’’ or the work of Margaret Mead, who spent time in Papua New Guinea with the Tchambuli tribe, where the men adorn themselves and gossip all day while the women do all the heavy-lifting?

Really not sure that using Margaret Mead as science really works these days, does it?

My word isn’t this dreadful behaviour?

But as mainstream journalists across the globe reached out to him for interviews this week, Damore largely ignored the queries and instead selected two rightwing YouTube personalities to make his first, expansive comments on the international firestorm he has ignited.

Damore – who argued in his memo that “biological” differences between men and women contribute to the gender gap in the tech industry – gave lengthy video interviews to Stefan Molyneux and Jordan B Peterson, who both have large followings on YouTube and have espoused anti-feminist views.

Imagine, not talking to the Guardian and yet talking to people who have said anti-feminist things! The Horror!

Peterson, also a University of Toronto psychology professor, has faced backlash for discriminatory remarks against transgender students, saying he would refuse to use gender-neutral pronouns for trans and non-binary students who don’t identify as male or female.

Such a cad, eh?

So Owen hasn’t understood it at all

Google has just reportedly fired one of its workers for circulating a memo discussing the biological inferiority of his female colleagues, and how this made them less suitable for tech.

No, he didn’t say anything like that at all. What he said was that the occurrence of those attributes which make a good engineer – yes, including the interest in being a good engineer – are variably distributed across the populations of men and women. We can thus say absolutely nothing at all about the likely ability of any individual, whether male or female, but we can say something about the likely make up of the workforce as a whole.

And that’s it really.

It’s also what absolutely every damn scientist specialising in the subject tells us is true too.

Horribly missing the point

These reactions to the screed are sound, but they risk missing a larger problem: The kind of computing systems that get made and used by people outside the industry, and with serious consequences, are a direct byproduct of the gross machismo of computing writ large. More women and minorities are needed in computing because the world would be better for their contributions—and because it might be much worse without them.

If there’s no difference between men and women then this doesn’t matter. If there is a difference between men and women then we’ve an explanation for the different representation in the industry.


Isn’t equality the driving force of our times?

Jurors in rape trials will be told more about the previous sexual behaviour of male defendants in a bid to increase the chances of conviction.

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has told prosecutors to focus on the behaviour of men leading up to alleged rapes, rather than just the incident itself.

The move is intended to provide juries with a fuller picture of male suspect’s character, after a series of high profile rape trials ended in acquittals.

This at the same time as the screaming that mentioning the previous behaviour of the alleged victim should be ever more verboeten.

The rational person might assume that previous behaviour is a reasonable guide, or not a reasonable guide, either way.

This is just wonderful about the Google Diversity piece

No, truly excellent (From cjcjc):

The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right.

In the case of personality traits, evidence that men and women may have different average levels of certain traits is rather strong.

When the memo went viral, thousands of journalists and bloggers transformed themselves overnight from not understanding evolutionary psychology at all to claiming enough expertise to criticize the whole scientific literature on biological sex differences.

It was like watching Trinity downloading the pilot program for flying the B-212 helicopter in The Matrix. Such fast learners! (Even Google’s new ‘VP of Diversity’, Danielle Brown, criticized the memo because it ‘advanced incorrect assumptions about gender’; I was impressed to see that her Michigan State B.A. in Business and her U. Michigan M.B.A. qualify her to judge the scientific research.)

Within the field of neuroscience, sex differences between women and men—when it comes to brain structure and function and associated differences in personality and occupational preferences—are understood to be true, because the evidence for them (thousands of studies) is strong. This is not information that’s considered controversial or up for debate; if you tried to argue otherwise, or for purely social influences, you’d be laughed at.

The quite wonderful logical point is also made. If men and women are exactly the same then why do we need diversity? But if men and women do bring different things to the table then we’ve not got that hard equality, have we?

Another copy of this is here .

Predictable and just too, too, ironic

Google on Monday fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo that questioned the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.

The memo, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” angered many in Silicon Valley because it relied on certain gender stereotypes — like the notion that women are less interested in high-stress jobs because they are more anxious — to rationalize the gender gap in the tech industry. The memo quickly spread outside the company, as other Google employees railed against many of its assumptions.

In a companywide email, Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of the memo had violated the company’s code of conduct and crossed the line “by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

The Google rumpus, people are deliberately misunderstanding

AGoogle employee’s manifesto arguing that programmes increasing race and gender diversity be replaced with a commitment to “ideological diversity” has spread rapidly across social media sparking a furious backlash.

The 10-page document, apparently drafted by a senior male software engineer, was initially posted on the company’s internal forum.

Critics reacted angrily to its argument that the lack of women in tech companies was down to genetic factors, saying it was evidence of Silicon Valley’s hostility to women and minorities.

No, that’s not actually what was said, this is:

“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,”

Outside the ideological echo chamber that’s an entirely unremarkable thing to say. They do go on to make it absolutely clear that while the average propensity for grasping the brass ring, for coding, for whatever, might vary that tells us nothing about any specific individual, as the variance among individuals is greater than the average variance.

But, you know, cue screaming harpies.

Yes, they’re still lying

Even when they’ve been told not to:

This is undoubtedly reflected at a national level: women working full-time in the UK earn on average 13.9% less than men,

From the Fawcett Society:

The current overall gap for full time workers is 13.9%

They’ve been told, again and again, that the mean is misleading, it is the median – just under 10% – which should be used.

Look at the structural inequality!

In the UK, what the TUC called the “massive pay gap” for black people widens even as we achieve more qualifications. According to the Fawcett Society, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women see the biggest overall gender pay gap, at 26%, to white British men, while black African women experience the largest full-time gender pay gap, at 19.6%. But while black African women have seen virtually no progress since the 1990s, black Caribbean and Indian women experience a smaller pay gap than white British women, despite higher unemployment rates.

Our situation is very different from that in the US, but the root causes are still the same: deep inequalities, embedded by our historical colonisation, and everyday racism combine to create a toxic environment for many black women to progress economically.

So, black women have a smaller gender pay gap than white women. This is the result of our structural inequalities and racism.


The why is actually quite simple, the black African (including Caribbean) population is concentrated in London, where wages are generally higher, more than the other varied ethnicities.

The other why is equally simple. We have here the triumph of theory over reality. We know that there are inequalities, racism, colonialist hangovers. Thus the fact that the black women don’t have a larger pay gap can simply be ignored. Sure, mention it, but then ignore all of the implications. Because theory trumps reality.

Well, yes

A Malaysian politician has prompted fury by suggesting that women withholding sex from their husbands or nagging them is a form of “emotional and psychological abuse”.

Seems a reasonable claim:

“Men are generally physically stronger than women so they are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse, which is even worse. This includes having a wife who denies conjugal rights to her husband or one who constantly nags,” he said.

Hands up everyone who thinks wives should constantly nag?

Over egging it perhaps but he’s right

He added: “I’ve had lots of women reporting to me or coming in to talk to me about their careers – either for general guidance or employees of companies where I’ve been working. I have never, ever had a woman ask for a pay rise.

“There isn’t a list long enough for all the men who’ve asked. Lots of men have trooped into my office saying they are under-paid but no woman has ever done that.”

He said that he believes that many chief executives would tell the same story: “It is far more common for men to ask for more money than it is for women.”

All of the academic research into this does show that women ask less often and less aggressively when they do.

Female BBC stars complaining that they are paid less than their male colleagues “let it happen” by failing to ask for a pay rise, the Government’s equality tsar has suggested.

Sir Philip Hampton, who co-chairs a Government-commissioned review into the treatment of women in the UK’s biggest companies, said he had “never, ever had a woman ask for a pay rise”.

Nice to see they appointed someone who knows the subject isn’t it?

MPs said the comments by Sir Philip, chairman of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, were “astonishingly ill-judged” and “heap insult on injustice”.

Distressing how many of our rulers don’t like science, isn’t it?

Hey, why not, go ahead, do it!

At least ten female BBC presenters will consider legal action against the BBC if the corporation does not close the gender pay gap, in a revolt by women who did not appear on the £150,000 list.

‘T’ain’t illegal for there to be a gender pay gap. ‘Tis illegal for like work to be paid differently on the grounds of gender. A court case would be an interesting place to discuss what is “like,” no?

Erm, why is this a problem? This is normal

The BBC has admitted it has a gender pay problem after revealing that two-thirds of its highest-paid stars are men.

Of the 96 top names earning £150,000 or more, 62 are male and 34 are female.

Releasing the BBC annual report, Lord Hall, the director-general, said: “At the moment, of the talent earning over £150,000, two-thirds are men and one-third are women.

“Is that where we want to be? No.”

The backlash from female presenters has already begun, with one well-known name saying the corporation is stuffed with “male ‘intellectual titans’ with egos the size of planets” who have demanded huge salaries and got them.

This is one of the major reasons, actually two, that there is a gender pay gap. The choices made around motherhood mean that more men reach those tippy top heights. And men do negotiate more ferociously over pay.

Ehy should the BBC’s pay structure be different from that of the rest of society?

Actress got her Ya Yas out

The Sun and Mail Online have been accused of being “reductive and irresponsible” after publishing nude photographs of Jodie Whittaker in articles covering the announcement that she is the new star of Doctor Who.

Reporting the BBC’s announcement on Sunday that Whittaker would be the first female Doctor, both publications ran articles about Whittaker appearing naked or topless in previous acting work, illustrating the stories with stills.

Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA), a campaign group, said it was surprised and disappointed by the publications’ coverage of Whittaker.

ERA said: “We are delighted by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. However, we are surprised and disappointed by the Daily Mail [Mail Online is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust] and the Sun’s reductive and irresponsible decision to run a story featuring pictures of Jodie in various nude scenes.”

Umm, yes? When introducing a new actor don’t we usually get shown examples of her previous oeuvre? Is any round up of Bert Reynolds’ career not going to include that Playgirl centrefold?

LPGA viewing figures to decline

The LPGA has come in for stiff criticism after it introduced a new dress code that forbids female golfers from sporting plunging necklines, leggings or revealing skirts on the course.

Initial reactions were overwhelmingly negative, with Teen Vogue accusing the governing body’s policy of “slut-shaming” female players. The progressive and influential youth magazine also said the code sets players and women in general “way back”.