So I read this youthdigital blog post about getting girls into coding. I shouldn’t have.
Now, before I begin, let me make my thoughts on this general topic clear: I don’t think it’s a bad idea for women to get into coding if they’re interested in it. I encourage my daughter to learn how to write code, since I think it would be good for her. Writing software teaches problem solving skills in a way that not a lot else can.
The problem I have with this article revolves around a couple of sentences at the beginning. Here’s the quote:
In 2015, girls made up less than 22 percent of all students who took the AP Computer Science exam. And only 18 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women.
It’s clear that girls are not receiving the same technology education that their male counterparts are.
This is complete nonsense. I didn’t bother checking the cited percentages because those percentages mean exactly nothing.
There is no vast conspiracy keeping women from getting computer science degrees or preventing them from taking the AP Computer Science exam. In fact, I would suggest the reason “girls are not receiving the same technology education that their male counterparts are” is because the girls aren’t interested in pursuing it.
Now, if I were as irresponsible in my interpretation of this poorly written bit of crap as they were in their choice of words, I would say youthdigital endorses forcing women and girls to become coders regardless of what the girls in question want. How bloody empowering is that? Isn’t forcing women to do things against their own wishes the exact opposite of what we’re told is the point of feminism?
And while I’m on this line of thought, there’s no “Silicon Valley Conspiracy” to keep minorities out of this field either. None. In fact, with affirmative action and similar quota-systems in place, should minorities wish to pursue computer-related educations, it would probably be easier for them to do so. Women and girls included. It’s a lie that this industry has no diversity.
The opportunity is there for anyone to pursue. If they choose to do so.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. — Edison