Brotopia by Emily Chang is a decent, but very surface level, examination of Silicon Valley’s misogynist culture. Considering the significance of topic, Brotopia feels like a missed opportunity to expose and critique the tech industry in a productive way; instead, I felt that only summaries were given on most topics.
Not to say that there were no interesting sections. The beginning of the book, which describes the evolution of the tech industry in the 1960s, was a beneficial history lesson on how the misogyny seeds were first sowed. Likewise, the critique of PayPal’s male “meritocracy” contrasted with Google’s focus on hiring women was also a highlight. Afterward, however, Brotopia’s promising looks at VCs or managing motherhood (for example), failed to follow through with any impactful insight or resolution. Right when the topic summary was over and I started getting invested and curious on the issue, it seemed like the chapter ended and Chang moved on to another subject.
Brotopia is a sufficient introduction into the tech industry’s shortfalls but too many equally interesting topics are fit into this short book. The result is an insubstantial critique short of meaningful solutions beyond the vague “we must do better.”