About That War On Women….

I’m a woman of a “certain age”–in other words, old–and I’ve lived through some fairly significant social changes, especially changes in the status of women. And I’ve seen enough to recognize a backlash when I’m experiencing it.

I’ve written before about how important reproductive autonomy is to women’s emancipation–not to mention their health. Without the ability to control their own childbearing decisions, women are hobbled in innumerable ways–returned to a time when they were economically dependent on their husbands/partners, and a time when they were far less employable.

There are plenty of other reasons to be outraged by the decision in Dobbs– not least because it elevates dogma held by one religious sect over equally sincere and longstanding beliefs held by others–but it is the decision’s attack on women’s equality that is most egregious.

Dobbs is just the most visible part of a wider war on that equality.

I recently became aware that among the books being attacked by self-described “conservatives” is a popular middle-grade book series “Girls Who Code.” The books are about–duh— girls who code, focusing on the adventures of a group of young girls who are part of a coding club at school.

According to a report in Daily Kos, the series was added to PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans, a nationwide list of restricted literature.

After hearing about the book ban, Reshma Saujani, founder of the Girls Who Code nonprofit organization, shared her thoughts with Business Insider.

“I was just shocked,” Saujani told Insider. “This is about controlling women and it starts with controlling our girls and what info they have access to.”

She added: ”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.”

According to the website associated with the Girls Who Code organization, the goal is to “change the face of tech” by closing the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs.

“Moms for Liberty”–the group that has been actively trying to ban books that focus on topics like critical race theory, sex education, and inclusive gender language–is said to be responsible for adding the series to the banned books index.

The Girls Who Code books are used to reach children and encourage them to code, but because of how “liberal” they seem due to the diverse characters and the message that girls can do anything, conservatives are looking to ban them.

Saujani noted that removing the books not only hinders visibility for women in technology fields but also diversity in the industry, as most of the characters in the series are people of color.

“You cannot be what you cannot see,” she said. “They don’t want girls to learn how to code because that’s a way to be economically secure.”

Apparently, showing girls of various races engaged in coding is “woke”–and as we all know, being “woke” horrifies the White Christian Nationalists who want to take America back to the “good old days.”

According to PEN America, books were banned in 5,049 schools with a combined enrollment of nearly 4 million students in 32 states between July 2021 and July 2022. About 41% of banned books on the list had LGBTQ+ themes or characters who are LGBTQ+. The other majority of banned books featured characters of color or addressed issues of race.

The Republican determination to return America to those (mis-remembered) “good old days” explains a lot of other things, including Congressional votes against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and against the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act among others. The Party even opposes the League of Women Voters, insisting that the League’s stands on behalf of women and against gerrymandering have remade the organization into a “collection of angry leftists rather than friendly do-gooders.”

Today’s GOP labels anyone–male or female– who supports gender (or racial or religious) equality–as “angry leftists.”

Forty-two years ago, my husband and I met as part of a Republican city administration. When we married, a reporter told me we were considered “nice, but a bit right of center.” Our political philosophies haven’t changed–but the GOP has. Dramatically. Today’s Republicans now consider us part of that “angry leftist” mob–along with most of the then-Republicans with whom we worked.

Make no mistake: today’s GOP is a radical, dangerous cult that bears virtually no relationship to the political party that was once home to people like Richard Lugar and William Hudnut–or even Ronald Reagan. Its war on “woke-ness” and women is part of its hysterical effort to return America to a time when White Protestant males ruled the roost.

November 8th is about whether we are going back.


  1. WASP males (oligarchs) have ruled this country from day one — colonialist settlerism, anyone?

    The “we the people” concept was a marketing or early propaganda – manipulation to get people to sign on the dotted line.

    The fight as workers, women, people of color, indigenous, and immigrants began immediately as they weren’t considered equals to WASP males.

    This has been carried out time and time again domestically and globally. Why do you think the NeoNazis are rising across the globe?

    We’ll see it rise in November and in 2024 because that’s what the oligarchy wants. The “woke left” cannot win with wokeism. Just watch and see…


  2. I wear the label “angry leftist” with a certain amount of pride. I am angry that “we” have to fight these battles for freedom against the very un-freedom/liberty forces of the increasingly fascist right. I m angry that the right ( which I used to be part of) has been hijacked, willingly it seems by those who would turn us into a nation modeled upon the Gilead of A HandMaidens Story.

  3. My response to yesterday’s blog could be repeated here; I have been dealing with lost cable channels and Internet since mid-September and am just catching up. Spectrum Chat agents and technicians refused to pay attention to this old woman’s descriptions of problems, I made dated notes, they lost me as a customer on Saturday afternoon. I am “woke” enough to know that it was my problem to resolve and “coded” my control as an “empowered” woman to dump their sorry ass. Women have been doing this in many forms for many years; we have just gone ignored or unrecognized as being capable of make decisions and acting on them. We have been doing more than “bringing home the bacon” but have cooked and served it and did the cleanup for many decades. In the words of Helen Reddy “We Are Woman, Hear Us Roar” and our numbers are growing.

    I worked in the same Indianapolis city administration as Sheila and Bob; I recognized the Goldsmith administration as a microcosm of the Nixon administration we lived through. I also recognized it had been a preview of the Trump administration which refused to learn from Nixon’s disgrace and total downfall. But have we learned from those administrations?

    “November 8th is about whether we are going back.”


  4. Well I would have to say that I do find this thread interesting today.

    Where I live, there is a brand spanking new planned Parenthood clinic. It used to be a large bank, so, it is built like a fortress.

    The protesters are out there everyday, constantly rallying with their prayer vigils. One noticeable issue, or observation, is there are no black women on the protest lines.

    I haven’t seen one black female protester since the beginning of these vigils which corresponded with the opening of the clinic.

    In the community, there is a definite chasm between black women and the white and Hispanic female genders. I asked some of the protest leaders, why they feel it necessary to protest outside of planned Parenthood?
    Of course they spit out all of the recorded answers, but the most pronounced observation, is that there is no attempt to integrate those anti-abortion lines whatsoever. Because these folks on the line basically decry wokeness, and, black women epitomize wokeness! It really is a cultural/racial issue.

    I know many women of color I eat black women who will not consider an abortion, but it also is a very life-changing decision.

    The protesters always say they have a clinic that will take care of and expected mother but they won’t advertise because they’re afraid of being bombed or attacked somehow, lol! I told group leader, that the individuals resorting to violence are the anti-abortion group! They are the ones that assassinate doctors, blow up clinics, vandalize property, and basically intimidate with malice.

    Unfortunately, the left takes black women and most women of color for granted. That they will always be there when they need their vote! Unfortunately for the left, black women and women of color in general resent the white expectations for them on the left and the targeting of them on the right.

    I also asked group leadership if they would provide medical care and financial support for women that they convince to have a child that they cannot afford? They could not answer that question or would not answer it.

    Personally, I believe that a responsible individual would use birth control, but I also understand and believe wholeheartedly in the idea of rape and incest, birth control would not enter the equation because, it’s a violent assault, therefore, no precautions would be taken to avoid a pregnancy. So, violence is heaped on top of intolerance and ignorance! And I guarantee black women are tired of being ping pong balls!

    A frequently asked question is, why do you want to stop me from having an abortion, and stop me from having birth control? If birth control was basically free, unwanted pregnancies would not happen nearly as often, a majority probably would be from rape and incest. But to the protesters, that doesn’t matter, an unwanted life, or assistance for those who choose to give birth, is untenable for those protesters.

    What is the issue with contraception? Well, it’s frequently discussed concerning the Old testament and Onan! They claim that because Onan wasted his seed, (semen) on the ground, that was a sign of the wrongness concerning contraception.

    But because Onan practiced coitus interruptus on his sister-in-law Tamar, that was against law at that time, he was put to death. So practicing contraception actually had him put to death, because the law was to provide Tamar with a son that would continue the Onan family name. (1st Chronicles 2:3)

    Onan did not want that, he wanted his dead brother’s Fortune for himself. So he was deemed deceitful and, paid the penalty, the penalty of death. (Genesis 38:2-4)

    So the whole argument is based on a belief that is inaccurate by scripture. If you don’t understand the reasonings, then there is a huge chasm that cannot be breached. If you enlighten yourselves into the reasons and motivations, you can make an argument that would probably turn some people away from that pro-life movement.

    Also, the pro-lifers really claim to be Patriots and support the murder of their fellow Christians in the name of whoever is condoning a particular war.

    The whole debate is hypocritical, catastrophic, and intolerant.

    If you don’t think something is appropriate, then don’t do it! If you don’t want an abortion, if you don’t want to fight in war, if you want to fight with your enemies, don’t use trickery and made up Dogma that go against the scripture! As a matter of fact, scripture does not discuss birth control whatsoever! (Genesis 38:9 – 11) this shows Onan’s egregious behavior and the penalty he paid with his life)

    James 1:27, Deuteronomy 14:29, Deuteronomy 27:19, Psalm 68:5…..

    Everyone who is under the law which would be all humans, the right to be a free moral agent is a basic current tenant or Dogma right now. So, secular Christians need to rally against war, rally against contraception, rally against murder of the weakest among us. All life is sacred, and to think anything different would be crackpot thinking.

    The idea of being found out, is sad in its own right. Onan deserved to die because he knew the law!

    When you see him stopped and sitting outside of a store or someplace else chanting and handing out flyers, you can refute their beliefs right there on the spot if they are really just using you to hedge their bets.

    Make sure you embrace black women or women of color, because eventually they’ll get tired of their perceived use but are never thought of equally.

  5. I meet black women, not eat black women, lol, well, maybe not eat in the sustenance vernacular.

  6. Either the US will come to terms with its anti-people direction, or it will implode in November 2024. Even though I believe it will self destruct I really hope it somehow will change direction and the reactionaries will lose their power.

  7. If women truly care, they will come out on the 8th, like they did for the marches post Dobbs. Now that the fever has died down, we really can’t afford to let the fervor die down.

  8. Guess the far right got tired of using the term “liberal” as if it were a dirty word and came up with this “woke” label in an effort to disparage someone not of their tribe. Frankly, I’m proud to wear either label. Aren’t there t-shirts for this?

  9. This country, as every single person who lives in it knows, was founded on the European Age of Enlightenment principles of democracy because that was and is the only known means of governance that leads to equal freedom for all. Now a significant minority wants instead, more freedom for me, less for you. How did that monumental change come about?

    The only force large enough in my experience able to change us that much in one generation is our constant move towards pervasive and persuasive entertainment media and the advertising that it addicts us to. It apparently is too much to ask of humans to be exposed to constant more for me, less for you, without fundamentally changing who we are.

    So here we are. What’s next?

  10. And now the biggest enemy to public education in Florida (the governor) has appointed book banning crusaders to a censorship “council” for school libraries. The leader from the very org that wants “Girls Who Code” banned everywhere, and has no relevant qualifications other than her antagonism of her local school board, nominated herself and was selected.

  11. People who think women are only on one side of the abortion issue need to spend some time attending pro-life meetings. They’d find out that the vast majority of pro-life activists are women and they feel passionate about their position.

    I know I’ve told this story before, but I’ll do it again. In 2000, I ran for the Indiana House on the NW side of Indy. I had a contested primary and was knocking on Republican doors. During my encounter at the doors, I would often be asked my position on the issue most important to the person answering the door. Then the person, after hearing my response, would give me their opinion on that issue. The No. 1 issue I was asked about was abortion and everyone who asked the question was pro-life.

    I won the primary and moved on to the general election. During this round, I only knocked on doors of people who had no primary history or very light Democratic primary history. (In Indiana, you don’t register by political party….the only way you know a voter’s party affiliation is by which primary they participate in.) Once again, the No. 1 issue was abortion. And here is what is shocking. Everyone who asked me about my position on abortion…every last one of them. And you know what is even more shocking…everyone who asked me about abortion at the door was a woman.

    Advocates on both sides like to reduce the abortion issue to a slogan, but the issue is more complicated than slogans. You have two distinct and legitimate interests coming into conflict. My guess is that we’ll move toward compromise on the abortion issue. Virtually every industrialized country has adopted gestational limits of 12 to 15 weeks. That is much less than the 24 weeks Roe mandated, but it would still keep legal about 93% of abortions. That’s where the real battle is going to be fought – gestational limits.

  12. They like some women. They are clear on their women heroines – MTG, Lauren Boebert and the like.

  13. when privacy returns if ever and women rise to and beyond the glass ceiling then they wont be back seat voices. though inroads made,women have to come to the front of the line,now. Vote.
    as far as moms for liberty,oxymoron. . liberty is pursuing ones goals without moms. i missed yesterdays subject. im in crunch mode at work. the media is in a glut or religious bonkers. even on the mainstream dog whistles of swaggart and friends, its being used to gather and distroy though their mass population and it will someday become moot. the rich are using any means available in any context. they are so close to taking over and installing a new goverment. theirs .. best ask wheres the money? and whos? if jordan 10/6 twited kanye,elon,trump, wheres the obvious?

  14. @ Paul Ogden, 9:38 am.

    Roe WAS the compromise and the so-called “pro-life” contingent has proven that they will be happy with nothing less than putting themselves right smack in the doctor’s office between the doctors and their patients.

  15. As an associate of Planned Parenthood for many years, I know that this ”gestational limit” is pure nonsense. Many pregnancies don’t reveal severe problems until they’re much closer to birth. Then, doctors and patients make the painful decision to end them.

    Anti-choice advocates love to imply that women are aborting late-term pregnancies as a whim or an irresponsible but convenient option. I’ve never, ever seen that happen and believe that no responsible practitioner would ever agree to do it.

    My sister-in-law was told by her doctor that her baby would never survive after birth and advised termination. Unfortunately, she told her priest about this and he told her it would only be a mortal sin if she followed that advice. So, Sally spent a couple of months enduring the happy congratulations of people in grocery stores, banks, etc. When she finally gave birth to a decomposing baby, she was at least comforted about the fate of her ”soul”.

    NOBODY has the right to deny a woman the choice she and her doctor believe is the right one…regardless of the ”gestational term.”

  16. Well, golly, I’m so happy to be reduced to second-class citizenship again. I don’t know how I got along without the government telling me how to run my sex life. Now I don’t have to even think about it, much less make choices.

  17. It is estimated that the chip manufacturers in the US will need 50,000 chip engineers. We will need every single woman and man interested in that type of degree to enable our country to produce the chips we need.

    Attempting to cut women out of this economic sector would be cutting off our noses to spite ourselves and gifting China with the world power they have been working toward.

  18. I have three grandgirls under age 7. Guess what books they will be gifted this holiday season?! And some will likely live in Nonna & Grandpa’s library as well.

  19. I’m heartened by the knowledge that the censors and book burners never learn that forbidding something makes it wildly popular.

  20. Make no mistake about it, St. Reagan was no “standard” old Republican! It was he who brought the
    religious crazies of the time into the political fold, with Falwell senior, and more. It was he who said that the
    country had to find its spiritual center!It was he who set the destruction of the middle class strongly rolling; it
    was he, and his BS about the “Welfare Queen” and her Cadillac who took Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and
    fed it steroids!
    I could go on, and on, about his toxicity, and how it hurt the culture, and how supply-side economics,
    which his people, and he, I am sure, knew to be just more BS, meant to fill the coffers of the already wealthy
    some more. So, there is much of that 30 Billion recently reported to have found its way to the top 1%.
    I am certain that the backlash you refer to, Sheila, is directly traceable to Nixon/Reagan’s presidencies, energizing
    the “deplorable” about whom Hillary spoke, unwisely.

  21. I think I’ll get my grandSON a copy — seems like a great book for anyone who likes computers.

    Denise — not really sure that girls (or boys) 7 and under will appreciate this book. Look inside on Amazon — it appears geared toward middle schoolers.

  22. You mentioned 3 republcian politicians that exemplify better than the current lot of scalawags. Reagan was one of them. What a great guy? Trickle theory was his lot and he helped marginalize the middle class in America. He sold Iran guns to help pay for his “war” in Nicarauga. What he called a conservative fiscal policy proved to be a mass spending process that left a pathetic nation debt. His threats to the Soviet Union were idle and insignificant. Meanwhile George Soros spent billions in helping the Soviet Union move away from empire.

  23. I don’t think we need dissertations to explain why abortion is a fundamental right. We need to address the issue with the US Constitution. Read and try to process the simplicity of the Thirteenth Amendment. It is clear and unambiguous. It prohibits the enslavement of a human being. Forcing a woman to use her uterus as a vessel to provide gestating an unwanted pregnancy is Unconstitutional. No ‘if’s’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’. Debate it among yourselves until the ‘proverbial cows come home’. I have yet to find one person who has provided opposition that is more than an emotional reaction. Yes, I understand the basic intent of prohibiting slavery. Reminder, black women have unintended pregnancies, too. Let’s hear the oppositions. Then, when they are all shown to not be valid, let’s contact law makers ( mostly males) and get this human right resolved once and for all.

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