Close up of woman eye with futuristic interface showing binary codes and circuit board

The misandry of Code.org

Code.org is a non-profit organization that exploits the current “everybody has to learn how to program” paranoia, in which even Obama himself chimed in, urging Americans to learn how to hack.[1] The stated goal of Ali and Hadi Partovi’s brainchild is to promote computer science education in the US, in order to fight a projected shortage of one million laborers in this sector of the industry. Given that people like Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg support Code.org, one may wonder whether all those statistics might also be used to convince Congress to loosen visa regulations in order to, you know, keep the wages of domestic programmers down. Just head over to the fake grassroots movement FWD.us this illustrious bunch also supports.[2]

It’s not just a shortage of programmers Code.org is afraid of. No, that would be too simple. They also have to have the correct sex! On their homepage you’ll find the statement, “While 57% of bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, just 12% of computer science degrees are awarded by women.” So, there is nothing wrong with women attaining almost 60% of all college degrees.[3] But Code.org would like to see this percentage reflected in computer science departments as well. I don’t think I ever saw a prominent and well-founded campaign that was aiming to increase the percentage of male graduates in a field were they were underrepresented. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’m referring to virtually every academic discipline.

It’s not just university that troubles the minds behind Code.org. The glut of male students has to be fought already in high school. For this purpose, Code.org published some ideas about improving K8 education, like establishing a basic introduction to computer science. I wouldn’t have any problem with that. However, it is tied to a financial reward, and the message is that girls are more valuable than boys. Look at the specifications:[4]

When 15 or more of your registered students complete the course and earn all 27 “concept mastery” trophies, you will receive a $750 DonorsChoose.org gift code. If 7 or more of your participating students are female, you’ll receive an additional $250, for a total gift of $1,000 in DonorsChoose.org funding! Make sure your female students fill in the gender field on the registration field when they sign up.

What are my chances? Everybody wins while supplies last! The first 1,000 public school teachers who successfully teach the course will win these rewards.

I had to chuckle at the line “everybody wins while supplies last”. What about instilling a sense of competition among students? This doesn’t seem to be a popular thought in the contemporary education establishment, in which every kids is seen as special and “gifted”. Everybody gets an A as long as they manage to sit still. Otherwise, pump some Ritalin into them!

If you have any doubts that systematic preference of girls is part of the agenda of Code.org, then have a look at their homepage.[5] Here is a screenshot, in case the text gets magically altered:

misssssssss

Girls, girls, girls! There is just one little problem with the implied message that girls don’t get much encouragement: boys don’t really get much encouragement either. It’s not as if every guy in every high school programs computers in his spare time. Especially these days, where cheap hardware is abundant there really are no barriers to entry. However, most interaction with hardware is purely consumptive. I don’t want to make a value judgment, but there is quite a big difference between a 15 year-old being able to navigate to his favorite social media websites on the Internet, and implementing a basic sorting algorithm.

All it takes to gain competency in this field is a bit of cash and some spare time. And motivation. And a certain proclivity towards thinking in the abstract. John Carmack, one of the most influential programmers the world has ever seen, summarizes this as follows:[6]

In the information age, the barriers [to entry into programming] just aren’t there. The barriers are self imposed. If you want to set off and go develop some grand new thing, you don’t need millions of dollars of capitalization. You need enough pizza and Diet Coke to stick in your refrigerator, a cheap PC to work on, and the dedication to go through with it.

Here’s another one from Carmack:[7]

The situation is so much better for programmers today – a cheap used PC, a Linux CD, and an internet account, and you have all the tools necessary to work your way to any level of programming skill you want to shoot for.

Focussing on outliers is deceptive. John Carmack bought himself a Ferrari with the money his company made with Wolfenstein 3D, and a couple more later on. However, there are countless examples of people who taught themselves how to program, and who went on to have good careers in this field. Yet, this doesn’t seem to fit into the chosen narrative of Code.org, so they rather spread a message according to which girls are more valuable than boys, and in which the educational system has to be “fixed” to get more girls into this field.

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/12/obama-code/
[2] http://www.fwd.us/immigration_reform
[3] http://code.org/stats
[4] http://code.org/educate/20hr
[5] http://code.org/educate
[6] Quoted in: David Kushner, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture Chapter 16, p. 292.
[7] Quoted in: David Kushner, p. 254

About Jalon Cain (aka Aaron Sleazy)

Jalon Cain ("Aaron Sleazy") has extensively written on male and female dating behavior. His work includes two (free) books that helped to widely discredit the so-called seduction or "PUA" community. He recently developed an allergy against female and feminist bigotry.

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  • Justin Bailey

    Good seeing a DOOM creator quoted on AVfM even if the quote isn’t, itself, about men’s rights. This “not enough girls” in STEM fields thing has become ridiculous. I don’t see, and doubt I’ll ever be shown, how having less women in one field (which invariably means more women in another) is damaging to anyone, let alone to society. Preventing qualified men from achieving in STEM fields by filling their places with less qualified women, now that will be damaging.

    I’ve had it with women liberal arts majors squawking about female representation in the sciences. Here’s an idea. Instead of getting a degree in being a world-class mental masturbator, take a fucking math class.

    • farkennel

      Typical response from a phallocentric misogynistic patriarchal non gender studying oppressor….besides….MATH IS HARD!!!!

  • Bombay

    Nice article.

    My 19 year old son called today and took me up on my offer to help him become a software engineer. He was subjected to the usual public school anti-male issues and cannot tolerate feminist BS. After 1.5 years working as a landscaper/waiter/other jobs, he sees what this article describes – a future with little entry fee. Perhaps the feminist domination of colleges is contributing in maintaining males’ hold over tech. A good future without having to put up with feminist BS.

  • Bev

    I entered this field in the late 60′s. Computers as big as houses programed in machine and assembler. Later Fortran and Cobol then Pascal, C and C++. . Was there a bar to my entry, no. Was I discriminated against, no. Did I think I was on the same footing as everyone else, yes. Working on man machine interface in those early days was heady and exciting. Graphics was the new boy in town. My approach was somewhat different to interfacing but it complemented and integrated nicely with men’s approach. Later the few of us in the field got very annoyed at women who entered the field but whinged that they were getting a bad deal but were not prepared to put in the hard yards and blood sweat and tears we did to get where we did. Has anything changed? I don’t think so. So many women just want an easy ride and have a million excuses when things don’t go their way.

    • Paul Johnson

      Interfaces are a bitch. In all of my software, they represent over 90% of the code and complexity. Congrats on pushing through that since before OO programming. You’ve earned your stripes :)

    • imchondang

      Exactly, I know plently of women worth of respect in the field (a notable being the former head of the Xbox division of Microsoft, I forgot her name, but she is well respect, though not good at public demonstrations), if a woman of merit enters the field she should get the same level of respect for her work, not more for simply having a vagina, I think that most women at the top see the whining Feminists as hurtful for their reputations (note the former British & Northern-Irish prime-minister, she openly hated Feminists), if you’re a woman and you’ve worked really hard to get ahead, but employers will see your name and think that positive discrimination (American-English: affirmative action) got you ahead in the game they’ll get a bad impression of you, ¿who’s fault is this? Feminism and other gyno-centric misandrists, people like this don’t only disrespect men, they also disprespect the women that actually work hard, and study hard.

      My fiancée has to work hard every day, she got where she was with her own sweat and tears, I respect her for that, but if I see a lass 2 decades younger than her simply walking in an office and demanding a high pay job because ”there are not enough women doing it” I consider it a disgrace not only to the whole notion of the Meritocracy of the market, but also a disgrace to all the women that invested years of labour to get ahead, and an even bigger insult to the equally qualified men who’ll get stomped aside for their sex.

  • FlowingFire

    The funny thing is that just a few days ago I read an article about how women are out-performing men and producing better work in a certain field a business. The article went on at length basically about how women are better workers, should be hired more often, and should be paid more

    So basically, when women are out-number and out-performing men, it’s because women are simply superior workers

    Yet when men out-number and out-perform women in any field, it’s because of “discrimination” against women. Never because the men are simply entering the fields more often or are doing better jobs

    Typical feminist logic. It’s okay for women to do better–after all, they are superior. But it’s never okay for men to do better. In any area whatsoever

    It makes sense. Since women are *superior* the only reason they won’t be doing better MUST be because of sexism against them -.-

    • Mr. Sungame

      “So basically, when women are out-number and out-performing men, it’s because women are simply superior workers
      Yet when men out-number and out-perform women in any field, it’s because of “discrimination” against women. Never because the men are simply entering the fields more often or are doing better jobs”

      Isn’t that just the standard “Man bad, woman good” narrative?

      If a woman does evil, it’s because of a man somewhere was mean to her at some point. And when she does good it’s because she is “best”.

  • gwallan

    Physics programs in Australina P-12 schools have been altered to better suit girls…

    Less maths makes HSC physics ‘dumb’

    The first-year physics director at the University of NSW, Elizabeth Angstmann, said the HSC course was more of an arts subject than a science.

    ”About a third of the syllabus is history-based, rather than actually solving physics problems,” she said.

    The president of the Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, said it was ”a substantial exaggeration” to suggest HSC physics was more of a history than a science. But he conceded there was ”more language in it and less scientific and mathematical analysis”.

    While he was not certain why the changes to the subject were made, he said that ”I can imagine it was about communication being just as important as the maths”.

    I can tell you why the changes were made Mr Alegounarias. It has everything to do with gender. Watch out Mr Alegounarias, there is a very large elephant in the physics classroom these days.

    • MrWombat

      Frankly, I approve of this. One of the reasons for today’s avalanche of psudeoscience is that people don’t know why we trust science. I would like to see the humanities courses in high school talk about science as a human activity, as an establisment – explain the role of publications, peer review, museums/universities/libraries, the role of private and government funding. It should be done as part of civics.

      • imchondang

        Exactly, you must know everything about the past to understand the present, if people forget where they came from they simply adopt the present as an amazing place and look at things as a form of religion, I read up on the history of EVERYTHING, and I am amazed how superstitious people can be about pure scientific things, often making science into a pseudo-religion, people must understand the past.

        Something funny is how if you’d go on any public ”young Feminist” website you’d find countless of posts of ”the past is not important” and ”nothing that happened in your life affects what you’ll do today”, completely ignoring how human psychology works and disregarding several fields of science in their insulting posts.

      • Dasque

        Yes, that would be a good thing to teach – but not in the physics class. The physics classes are taken by people who (shock of shocks) want to learn physics. It’s not the science students in the physics classes who need to learn why we trust (and how far that trust goes) science, they already know that by and large. The people most in need of that information are the Barista of Arts students and graduates who wouldn’t know the scientific method if it smudged their face paint.

  • Hlaford

    I’m a scientist from a STEM field, and in my country (Croatia) situation with girls in STEM fields is very different.. There are very many girls in those. However background this may sound, these girls are even better looking than the girls at, say, philosophy studies.
    The main difference, perhaps, is the meal ticket that STEM fields so far provide for women. Here many women must work if they fancy eating.

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    It would be a serious mistake to attribute such sweeping agendas and initiatives as these strictly to the influence of people who are believers in the dogma of feminism. Feminism is a tool of great power to gain (manufactured) consent for protocols that serve other interests than those of either feminist ideologues or women in general (as the public claims would have the media-message consumers believe) — in addition to the latter, of course.

  • MrWombat

    All it takes to gain competency in this field is a bit of cash and some spare time. And motivation. And a certain proclivity towards thinking in the abstract.

    You don’t need cash, beyond owning a machine. If you go the java route, all of the tools, all of the languages, all of everything you need is free. The web is bursting with tools and information that are free. The languages and compilers are free. The documentation is free.
    When people talk about how to get started programming, I always recommend Javascript. Web browsers are ubiquitous, the document object model presents an object-oriented world to play with, and you can do cool -looking stuff straight away. You will learn a modern developer’s most important skill: accessing and understanding documentation.
    Anyone who wants to program and has the knack is already programming. There are no barriers to entry beyond owning a computer and having access to the internet. None. If teh gurlz are not coding, it’s either because they don’t want to or they can’t, and all the ‘you go gurl!” in the world won’t change it.

    • http://aaronsleazy.com/cms/ Jalon Cain (aka Aaron Sleazy)

      I was referring to cash primarily to buy hardware. You can get a used PC for $100. I even see plenty of ads where people give away old computers for free. Those machines might have 10 years on their back and be unusable to play modern games, or run the latest version of Windows, but with Linux you can quickly set up a machine for development that will be good enough to get you through a typical undergrad CS curriculum (MIT OCW and MOOCs are free too) . Further, a very large number of high quality textbooks in CS are (legally) available for free.

  • John Narayan

    The only thing stopping a bunch of women – or anyone – getting together is a lack of talent, passion and endless arguments over handbags and shoes.

    Passion, talent, drive plus a small office like the one below can work wonders.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Garage

    “In 1938, newly married Dave and Lucile Packard moved into 367 Addison Ave, the first floor three-room apartment, with Bill Hewlett sleeping in the shed. Mrs. Spencer, now widowed, moved into the second floor apartment, 369 Addison. Hewlett and Packard began to use the one-car garage, with $538 in capital.”

    ******with Bill Hewlett sleeping in the shed******

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HP_garage_front.JPG

  • darthgavin

    What baffles me about all these gender quota thinking is that if it’s actually empowering to women. Feminists would “hell yeah”, but think how pathetic it is that it’s not that women are more capable or anything or, hell, that girls are being encouraged to outperform their male counterparts, but simply that Code.org feels that having more women in programming will for some reason have a positive effect on the field.
    The girls bred by this kind of feminism will be, I think, underachieving and lazy (what they accuse cis-white-privileged men of being because they’ll know that say “I have a vagina” to get in any male dominated field (the rest are already dominated by the Sisterhood, so no worries there either). I definitely with JtO’s video about how feminism paints women as inferior

    • sybil

      It isn’t empowering to women. It makes us all look bad, even those of us who are competent.

  • Prangija

    /* The concept of ‘sorting’ things
    * has long been a cornerstone of patriarchal
    * discrimination against women and PoC.
    * To ‘sort’ objects according to some percieved ‘value’
    * is morally wrong and oppressive. Therefore a
    * truly feminist algorithm cannot be based upon
    * comparing values of ‘objects’. Feminist sorting
    * algorithms have to take various things into
    * consideration: gender, race, the program’s feelings
    * and the current make-up of the objects to be sorted.
    * To implement this, we use a progressive stack with
    * added affirmative action.
    */

    #consider
    #consider
    #consider
    #consider
    #consider

    xe womain(xe *Unique_person[])
    OPENDIALOGUE
    CheckPrivilege(). //Always check your privilege
    CheckPrivilege(). //Better check it twice
    xe sorted_unique_people=progressive_stack(xe *Unique_person[]). //construct the
    //progressive stack
    among (person p : Unique_person)
    OPENDIALOGUE
    maybe(p.gender==male && p.orentation==het_cis_scum)
    OPENDIALOGUE
    yell(‘RAPE!!!!!1′).
    crush(p). //Use the function crush in Dworkin.Xir to discard the oppressor
    ENDMISOGYNY.
    perhaps_and_equally_valid
    OPENDIALOGUE
    ynt q = accepts(guilt_feel(p.oppression)). //measure the oppression level according to
    //no reason to conform to your indentation expectations
    //the function guilt_feel in feelings.Xir
    sorted_unique_people[q]=accepts(p). //assign every wonderful person a place in the new stack
    ENDMISOGYNY.
    maybe(feels==right)
    OPENDIALOGUE
    affirmative_action(&sorted_unique_people) //If the progrym feels like it, it will
    //no reason to conform to your indentation expectations
    //use affirmative action to make the sorting more fair.
    //The actual affirmative action algorithm is poorly understood,
    //but DON’T MESS WITH IT! IT IS FAIR!
    ENDMISOGYNY.
    ENDMISOGYNY. //no reason to conform to your indentation expectations
    return sorted_unique_people.
    ENDMISOGYNY.

    • darthgavin

      Is this the source code for Jezebel.com?

  • http://menaregood.com Tom Golden

    Excellent article and thank for exposing the sexism at code.org. Hey, I think it is time for constructionlaborers.com to encourage women to be a part of their industry. Hell, only 3% women. This must be discrimination. Girls need the opportunity. Same goes for sewageworkers.com. Come on gals! You can do it! Obama needs to endorse more female sewage workers now! More shit for Sheilas!

  • The Real Peterman

    I’ll say it again: if feministz truly want equality, they’ll work for half of garbage collectors to be women.

  • Ken99

    My local community college ran free computer classes for women-only.

    That was promoted as a way of challenging the inequality in computing between men and women. They claimed that women in mixed sex classes are silenced and intimidated by privileged men displaying their greater technical knowledge. One of the complaints was that men in the class were too quick to offer help to struggling women, not than letting them learn by working things out for themselves.

    The course shut down after one year because of lack of interest. They couldn’t even find the dozen female students necessary to maintain the project’s government funding.

  • Druk

    I agree completely that we’re on track to have too few programmers in the future, but don’t expect me to go shouting it from the rooftops – why would I want to hurt my own income? I like being in high demand!

    Anyway, feminists are definitely trying to convince people that STEM professions are some sort of misogynistic club for men only, and point to the low female numbers as evidence. In response, you can see just about everyone in STEM doing their damndest to court women. Time and again, the only thing that is proven is that women in general just aren’t interested in STEM.

    • http://aaronsleazy.com/cms/ Jalon Cain (aka Aaron Sleazy)

      I would not be sure that the propaganda of FWD.us is true. Salaries for programmers have not significantly risen over the last decade. If there really was such a shortage one would think that it would be reflected in salaries. Instead, corporations are interested in a glut of applicants in order to artificially depress salary levels.

      • Druk

        I think it’s just that we’re not there yet. We will be sooner or later; automation is taking over everywhere.

        But then, my crystal ball has been on the fritz lately so this is all just conjecture.

        • http://aaronsleazy.com/cms/ Jalon Cain (aka Aaron Sleazy)

          The problem with your stance is that they “not enough programmers” line has been touted for well over a decade now, even though salaries have remained flat.

  • tamerlame

    My mother entered computer science. It was too hard for her, so she dropped out of university and did something else. That means she had taken up a space that male could of used, and most likely gotten a career from.

    Women should not be encouraged to do anything, in fact they should be dis-encouraged, so only the ones who have the will and the drive end up in computer science.