Code Girls is actually the name of a new book by Liza Mundy, and describes the secret work of code breakers, more formally called “cryptographers”, during World War II. More than half of the code breakers were women. Like the film Hidden Figures, the extraordinary work and profound contribution of these women is just now coming to light.
I’d like to think history is about women and men, with all of our stories interwoven to create a fuller picture. But history is rarely that. History is mostly about male exploits, male conquests, male behavior and decisions and thought patterns. That half the world goes on every day inseparably connected to that male story, yet independent of it, is barely visible or given a second thought.
That’s why I applaud books like this, and films like Hidden Figures. They fill in the rest of the story. We owe it to our children, and our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews and cascading down and outward in our extended families and circles of connection, to talk about the entire human condition, not just a part.
I’m going to order the book, and encourage you to do so as well. Maybe you belong to a book club, and can get your friends to order copies. The more support this book gets the better.