In a blow to actual feminism, a woman at a tech firm, one Julie Ann Horvath, got rid of a carpet that proudly declared the place to be a meritocracy. (Hat tip.) Here’s a sample of the nonsense:
Technology may be more meritocratic than many other industries, but not to the extent that you can attribute anyone’s success solely to their own smarts and hard work. Opportunities, connections and socioeconomic status still matter. So do race and gender.
By those standards (“if it’s not perfect, it doesn’t exist”), there is no such thing as a meritocracy, nor is there such a thing as misogyny, nepotism, or anti-meritocratic principles. If the son of the CEO got hired because he’s the son of the CEO and he’s a good programmer, then it’s not nepotism. See:
Technology may be more nepotistic than many other industries, but not to the extent that you can attribute anyone’s success solely to their lineage. Smarts and hard work still matter. So do performance reviews.
Actual feminists are all for meritocracies, because being judged on our merit is one of the best things to happen to those who don’t want to be judged on their chromosomes. If the place claims to be a meritocracy but is not, you can at least hold the powers-that-be accountable based on the standards they have set for themselves. Nothing’s perfect, but a place that tries to be a meritocracy is about as close to perfect as you’re going to get.