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13 comments

[–] Kevina 10 points Edited

As a woman in STEM, i was always a fan of Girls who code. However, they are no longer an organization dedicated to Girls. From their website...

Girls Who Code welcomes into our community and programs anyone who identifies as female regardless of assignment at birth. Our programs also welcome people who identify as non-binary or gender nonconforming and want to be in a female-identified environment.

And they wonder why women in tech is at an all time low.

Edit: I have no idea if this is related to the alleged ban

Maybe… depressing either way.

I know. I legit felt sick to my stomach when I saw this. There are soooo few resources that are women only in STEM, so it boggles my mind that they feel the need to "include" males. And the language is downright degrading. "female identified environment", I mean wtf. Males are going to show up and ruin this too, the girls will just start to silently drop out.

After A TON of digging - I managed to figure out what was going on. It seems like the book might have been part of a CRT curriculum that was being challenged and somehow got caught in the crossfire: https://twitter.com/deb_fillman/status/1574408612428058625 ?

M4L banning a female-centered STEM series struck me as odd because 1. They mainly focus on getting Gender & CRT crap out of schools because the MAIN POINT of their movement is regaining full control of their children's education back from the government, and 2. They also have a HUGE grassroots base that is upheld by minorities so I also kind of figured the issue wasn't that one of the characters was black either.

Take from that what you will, I'm still not 100% sure because I have not read those books myself. But it seemed random as hell because most of M4L's book focuses are gender based or REALLY heavy on sex.

Moms for Liberty has some batshit views on race as well.

They even took issue with the Penguin Young Readers book about MLK because it depicted white firemen blasting black children with a fire hose and showed a picture of the designated drinking fountains during segregation and asked the reader “which one of these fountains looks nicer to you?”

They also objected to the book’s negative depiction of notorious racist Bull Connor in Birmingham. “Moms for Liberty” seem very uncomfortable with MANY books that don’t simply gloss over the Jim Crow era.

Another book they took issue with, according to their complaint filed with the Tennessee Board of Education, was Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, written by Ruby Bridges herself, because it depicts angry white people holding signs and doesn’t mention that race relations have improved since that era (this is completely untrue- the book does mention this very clearly).

Their recommended reference for teaching American history in small groups is The Making of America by W. Cleon Skousen. Skousen was a supporter of the far right John Birch Society and opposed the civil rights movement. His works are very sympathetic to American slavery and especially to southern slave holders, calling them “the worst victims of the system.” (https://www.momsforliberty.org/madison-meetups/ see under “additional items/links” listing this book).

He also said that “American slave children were freer than white non-slaves” citing that white children might wish to go barefoot too and not have to go to school. He described “cheerful” slave gangs who had to be kept in chains because a few of them were “vicious.”

I looked and found conflicting information about whether these books were actually banned anywhere, I think the school district denied it? And I couldn't find any information about why they might have been put on any list.

That said, Girls who code has this on their website

Girls Who Code welcomes into our community and programs anyone who identifies as female regardless of assignment at birth. Our programs also welcome people who identify as non-binary or gender nonconforming and want to be in a female-identified environment.

But she said the move is part of a larger effort by Moms for Liberty, a conservative organization that advocates for parental rights in schools, including oversight of educational material.

So I can only assume here that conservatives don't want girls to learn how to code and I can assume the reason for that is so that they can grow up to become a wife and mother, or maybe take a low-paying stereotypically feminine job as a nurse or a teacher or something right?

Yeah if anyone is in doubt that both the left and the right are working to take educational opportunities away from girls... because they both want women stuck in the home caring for children. Its actually true.

According to the school disctrict, the book wasn't banned:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/26/pennsylvania-book-ban-girls-who-code

Pen America says Central York school district banned the books but officials strongly deny it in statement

A statement from officials in that district on Monday strongly denied that they had banned the book series, and called “categorically false” information in a Business Insider interview with the founder of Girls Who Code, which reported the ban on the series. “This book series has not been banned, and they remain available in our libraries,” the statement said.

Here is an official statement from the school, they say the books were on a "Diversity Committee Resource List", and the list - not the books - was temporarily withdrawn to be reviewed, but they didn't have a review process in place because it was a brand new process:

https://go.boarddocs.com/pa/cyorksd/Board.nsf/files/C73GPR44CE32/$file/09-20-21%20CYSD%20Board%20Statement.pdf

Why did they get banned? Sex? Racial slurs? Drug use?

From the archived article:

The series, which chronicles a group of young girls and their adventures as part of a coding club at their school, was just added to PEN America's Index of School Book Bans, a comprehensive, nationwide list of restricted literature. The index is updated annually by the organization, which advocates protecting free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights.

/o/Mikkal provided a response from the school district below. They state that the book was on a “Diversity Committee Resource List” and the list was temporarily withdrawn to be reviewed, not the books (?!).

Gobbledygook to me. Someone thought they were “woke” enough to be on a diversity list apparently.

The Girls Who Code books were banned specifically by Pennsylvania's Central York School District, located in a critical political swing region where Saujani said the organization has an active club. But she said the move is part of a larger effort by Moms for Liberty, a conservative organization that advocates for parental rights in schools, including oversight of educational material.

"In some ways we know that book banning has been an extreme political tool by the right — banning books to protect our kids from things that are 'obscene' or 'provocative' — but there is nothing obscene or provocative about these books," she told Insider.

Moms for Liberty did not immediately respond to Insider's request to comment on the ban.

The books were joined by other recent additions to the list — several of which tackle racial, women's, and LGBTQ+ rights issues — including "The Handmaid's Tale," "Speak," and "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic."

"We use these stories to teach kids to code," she said. "It felt very much like a direct attack on the movement we've been building to get girls coding. Especially in districts that don't have the technology or have disparate Wi-Fi, books are a great way to learn to code and a way to equalize access to coding."