tl;dr: This meetup is open for women* and non-binary folks who are interested in talking about/with/in Python to others. Non-binary in this case means that you neither identify as a woman or a as man. It does not mean that you only code in fuzzy logic and not use binary digits. It would be awesomely queer to do so in a way, but believe us, we all have to rely mostly on binary code ;). If the * behind women or the notion of non-binary genders irritates you, please read the details below.
(*) the details of our invitation policy
A place of encouragement
We want to create an encouraging place where people can enjoy talking about/with/in Python. At the same time it should also be a place for people who are not yet sure how deep down the python hole they want to go. A little bit of curiosity should be enough to be heartily welcomed at our meetings. In general all participants should have a space where they can learn, have fun and most importantly not be intimidated.
Gender is an issue
All of this does not necessarily have to do with gender. Because we want to have a world where these things apply to all people. But there’s a lot of work to do until we get there.
Yet, currently most spaces that have to do with Python or programming or computer science in a broader sense are dominated by cultural practices that are not welcoming to everyone and which even intimidate a lot of people. As it is, these spaces are also predominantly populated by people identifying as male and most of those who are intimidated are identifying as something else than male. So while we do not believe that this is an essential and necessary attribute of gender, there is however a strong correlation between male-dominated spaces and those cultural practices that are intimidating to a lot of people to participate in programming-related communities.
So, while we strongly believe that we are not born as women* but that we become women* through culture and interaction (something Simone de Beauvoir told us already 1951, at the dawn of computers and programming), and therefore we also do not believe all men* have to be male in a stereotypical way, we also believe that we need encouraging spaces where femininity and other forms of gender identification are not constantly seen as different from a male norm that seems to be most comfortable with programming (by sheer mass and exclusion of other identities).
Pragmatically we solve this in creating temporary spaces without men*, and we think such spaces are important as long as there is a male norm and a statistical overpopulation of tech spaces by men*.
Who is invited now?
So we want to invite all women*, femininities and non-binary people who do not want or cannot identifiy as men*. And we deliberately use an asterisk (*) in women* to highlight the cultural construction of this identity (on a gender as well as on a sex level). Of course this is true of men* and a lot of other categories too. We think language is powerful and it is important to use this asterisk to signify that we have to reflect our own assumptions on who and how people are. In the end we are always not already born as we are today, but we become who we are.
So lets share this space to all become shiny* Pythonistas!