Apparently it's okay to discriminate, so long as you innovate.
FORTUNE — I know that a bunch of Term Sheet readers are fans of Amity Shlaes, the conservative author best known for arguing that Roosevelt’s New Deal policies exacerbated the Great Depression. But her new Bloomberg column on the gender discrimination lawsuit filed against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers may be the single dumbest thing I’ve read all this year.
Her basic argument: Gender discrimination is something women just have to suffer if they want to be part of “creative” workplaces like Kleiner Perkins (and Microsoft?!?!). And if certain women rock the boat via litigation, then they are hurting their gender, innovation and America at large.
To be clear, Schlaes does not try to assess the merits of Ellen Pao’s claims (nor have I). Instead, she suggests that the suit not only will dissuade VC firms from hiring women in the first place (apparently because it’s too hard to include female staffers at firmwide events), but also will make them less likely to invest in female entrepreneurs. Moreover, she cites gender pay gap data to “prove” negative correlation between countries with better gender equality in the workplace and overall rates entrepreneurship. Apparently things like educational systems, regulatory policy, cultural norms, etc. are irrelevant. It’s about women sitting down and shutting up if they believe they have been discriminated against.
Apparently Schlaes thinks that the typical male venture capitalist is a brilliant innovator without modern social skills, or baseline respect for women — and that’s okay. She goes so far as to cite Steve Jobs as an example to prove her rule, without noting that his inclination toward being an ass knew no gender boundaries.
At least Kleiner Perkins has the good sense to deny the validity of Ellen Pao’s accusations, rather than try out this noxious affirmative defense. I guess they aren’t quite a “innovative” as Schlaes thinks.
Speaking of the KP suit, two additional items:
(1) John Doerr issued his first public statement on the matter yesterday, calling the allegations “false” and “without merit.” Basically an expansion of the firm’s original public statement, plus some outreach to female entrepreneurs. Read it here.
(2) Doerr expressed frustration at “legal constraints” holding him back from more fully explaining his position. Expect that to be rectified on June 13, which is when KP is expected to file its legal response to Pao’s claims.
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