James Finn: ‘Moms for Liberty’ Succeed in Banning ‘Girls Who Code’ from Schools
James Finn writes about yet another target of the book banners.
My women friends in the tech industry tell me they’re under-represented and sometimes feel disrespected or overlooked at work. They say women make excellent programmers and data scientists, but girls often internalize the opposite message while they’re still very small. My women friends say empowering girls is critical to countering pressure girls feel not to study math and science.
That pressure continues this morning in a shocking way, led by a group of Republican/Christian activists infamous for trying to ban books by and about LGBTQ and Black people.
Sometimes conservatives tell you loudly who they are and what they stand for. This is one of those times. Every person of good will in the United States, regardless of party affiliation, needs to listen carefully. Is their vision for the U.S. one you’re truly okay with?
Reshma Saujani is a woman who saw a problem and met it head on. In 2012, she began publishing a series of light-hearted, playful books called Girls Who Code, featuring tween girls who form a school coding club. The books are cute, positive, and empowering. They show girls that programming is cool and fun — for everyone, not just for boys.
The books also teach little kids basic programming concepts in a fun way kids praise as simple to grasp.
The books zoomed to instant popularity and today can be found in virtually every elementary and middle school library in the U.S. Many teachers keep copies in their classrooms.
Reviewers have compared the books’ style to The Baby Sitters Club. Tween girls (and boys too!) say they love them.
The idea the books should be controversial never occurred to anyone until this summer, when the anti-LGBTQ, Republican-activists Moms For Liberty starting urging school boards to ban them.