EuroPython 2015: Django Girls Workshop

Rustom Mody rustompmody at
Sun Apr 19 05:53:52 CEST 2015

On Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 9:05:54 AM UTC+5:30, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:44 am, Larry Martell wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 4:31 PM, Marko Rauhamaa  wrote:
> >> beliavsky:
> >>
> >>> 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."
> 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".

I remember being taught in school:
"lady" is respectful
"woman" is disrespectful

When I was recently in Canada I learnt its exactly the other way round there --
[And probably more so in US where the chips on shoulder are heftier]
I was told by a lady -- uh... woman -- not to say 'ladies' but 'women'

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