EuroPython 2015: Django Girls Workshop

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Sun Apr 19 05:35:38 CEST 2015

On Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:44 am, Larry Martell wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 4:31 PM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at> wrote:
>> beliavsky at
>>> If your target audience is women, I think you should have termed it
>>> the Django Womens Workshop rather than the Django Girls Workshop.
>>> Referring to adults as children can be seen as condescending.
>> You got it wrong. The name is not offensive.
> Most adult woman I know take offense at being called a girl.

Surely it depends on the context, and also the size of the chip on the
person's shoulder.

Consider a white male speaking to an adult black American male and referring
to him as "boy", especially if the white person is younger than the black
person. That would be demeaning and offensive due to the history of slavery
and apartheid in the US and the continuing status of blacks (especially
black males) as second-class citizens in the US.

Likewise an Englishman to an adult Indian, although it would probably come
across as more laughable than offensive. The British Empire is long gone,
and India is an independent nuclear-armed regional power, don't you know?

On the other hand, I don't know about where you are, but here in Australia
we say "I'm going on a night out with the boys", or if we are women, we
say "a night out with the girls". We might say things like "Oh yes, Susan
is one of us girls" which is quite different from "one of us women". (One
of us *women* is just a comment on Susan's sex, but *girls* is a comment on
her membership of a circle of friends.)

Sometimes we say "lads and lasses" when we want to be less formal
than "ladies and gentlemen".

And of course anyone who has watched Oprah will have heard "You go girl!" as
a positive term of support.

It is very common and acceptable to use "girls" or "boys" to refer to adults
when it is used in an inclusive sense. In other words, when the speaker
includes themselves, or at least there is the possibility of being
included. "I wish I could be one of the boys, but I'm just to shy to join

In *this specific instance*, all you guys complaining about Django Girls
have completely missed the important fact that the name of the group
is "Django Girls". Django Girls was started by two women, Ola Sitarska and
Ola Sendecka, and their Github page says:

"Django Girls is a programming workshop for women."

So it is not a Django workshop for female children. It is not a workshop
belonging to girls who happen to use Django. It might not even be a
workshop teaching how to use Django! (Although it probably will be.) It is
a Django Girls workshop, just like we might say "Microsoft technology"
or "Washington politics".


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