(Included facts)
Tags: apiedit, Visual edit
Tags: apiedit, Visual edit
 
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Are you [[founding a women geeks group]]? Then you'll probably need a name. Here are some words/terms/names you could use to show that it is for women.
You want to discriminate men for no reason by treating them even worse than women were back then?
 
   
  +
When choosing a name, it's important to be welcoming to trans women and not just cis women. Additionally, if you want to include genderqueer and/or non-binary-identified people who aren't male in your organization, it's worth thinking about how to choose a name that is inclusive.
Wow, you're a faggot and you should kill yourself.
 
 
The wage gap is fake
 
 
Shave Balls
 
   
 
==Women==
 
==Women==
Line 49: Line 45:
 
* Can feel classist
 
* Can feel classist
 
* "Woman" preferred over "lady" in journalism. AP Stylebook says, "lady: Do not use as a synonym for women. Lady may be used when it is a courtesy title or when a specific reference to fine manners is appropriate without patronizing overtones." [5]
 
* "Woman" preferred over "lady" in journalism. AP Stylebook says, "lady: Do not use as a synonym for women. Lady may be used when it is a courtesy title or when a specific reference to fine manners is appropriate without patronizing overtones." [5]
  +
* Association with the correct manners, and gendered rules: e.g. ladylike.
   
 
==Female==
 
==Female==
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* [http://www.fitt.org.au/ Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications]
 
* [http://www.fitt.org.au/ Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications]
   
Pros:
+
;Pros:
  +
* Age-inclusive
  +
* Inclusive of people who don't feel practically feminine even though they identify as female.
   
Cons:
+
;Cons:
 
* Often considered disrespectful or demeaning in modern usage. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/18/magazine/18wwlnsafire.t.html?_r=0]
 
* Often considered disrespectful or demeaning in modern usage. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/18/magazine/18wwlnsafire.t.html?_r=0]
* Often used by trans-excluding radical feminists to refer exclusively to cis women. Thus, some trans women will assume that they aren't welcome in a group with "females" in the name.
+
* Can be exclusive to trans women due to use by trans-excluding radical feminists to refer exclusively to cis women.
   
 
==Girls==
 
==Girls==
Line 73: Line 72:
   
 
Pros:
 
Pros:
  +
* concise
* One syllable
 
  +
* appropriate for groups intended for ages 5-18
   
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
 
* Off-putting/infantilising to some women
 
* Off-putting/infantilising to some women
  +
* Used widely in sexualizing contexts, can lead to undesirable web search results
  +
* professional women in male-dominated fields may have strong association between being called a girl and sexist (micro)aggression
 
* Can be confusing to actual intent of audience
 
* Can be confusing to actual intent of audience
  +
* often paired with "men", making a mix of adult and child words. e.g. "you can choose from men's tshirts, or girl's tshirts". see also [[T-shirts]]
   
 
==Grrls==
 
==Grrls==
Line 85: Line 88:
 
Pros:
 
Pros:
 
* Rad 90s RiotGrrl zine vibe
 
* Rad 90s RiotGrrl zine vibe
  +
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
*Similar to 'girls', can be off-putting to women
+
* Similar to 'girls', can be off-putting to women
  +
* Can be alienating
  +
* suitability limited to contexts where a read rad 90s RiotGrrl zine vibe is relevant
   
 
==Gals==
 
==Gals==
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Pros/Cons:
 
Pros/Cons:
 
* Very informal
 
* Very informal
  +
* Dolls are actually objects, not people.
 
   
 
==Sisters==
 
==Sisters==
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Pros:
 
Pros:
  +
* Not necessarily too casual
* Suggests a level of closeness that can be rare in an often hostile field.
 
  +
* Age-inclusive at both ends
  +
* Not classist or dated
  +
* Free of solid association to the trivializing, sexualizing, objectifying use of words like 'girls' or 'chicks'.
  +
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
 
* Suggests a level of closeness that may be offputting for a casual group.
 
* Suggests a level of closeness that may be offputting for a casual group.
   
==Feminist==
+
== Feminist ==
  +
''See also [[Explicitly feminist geek groups]]''
  +
 
Examples:
 
Examples:
 
* Geek Feminism
 
* Geek Feminism
 
* [[Feminist Frequency]]
 
* [[Feminist Frequency]]
   
Pros/Cons:
+
Pros:
  +
* explicitly claims a feminist space
* [[Not all geek women are feminists]]
 
  +
* does not exclude feminists who aren't women
* Not all feminists are women -- you will need to figure out whether it's a group for women only or not
 
  +
 
Cons:
 
* may be alienating to [[Not all geek women are feminists|women who are not feminists]]
  +
* does not work for a woman-only space
   
 
==Divas==
 
==Divas==
 
* [[Digital Divas]] (for girls)
 
* [[Digital Divas]] (for girls)
  +
  +
Pros:
  +
* fun and casual
  +
* does not exclude non-cis women
   
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
* Very exclusionary to women who are not traditionally feminine
+
* may be alienating to women who do not identify as 'divas' and/or traditionally feminine
  +
* may be alienating to women who want to be taken seriously
  +
* may take the attention from the actual content to associations with the word 'diva' (melodrama, physical appearance, grand personas)
  +
* negative term for self-centered, overly dramatic people.
   
 
==Broads==
 
==Broads==
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* [[Broad Universe]]
 
* [[Broad Universe]]
   
Pros/Cons:
+
Pros:
  +
* casual
==Unicorns==
 
  +
* short
From the [[unicorn law]], ie, a woman geek is as rare/mythical as a unicorn.
 
  +
* lends itself to puns
  +
  +
Cons:
  +
* outdated
  +
* offensive term in certain spheres.
  +
  +
== Identity references ==
  +
Examples:
  +
* Lesbians Who Tech
  +
Pros:
  +
* Explicitly includes women of that identity
  +
* Can include other people if the group desires
  +
* Can exclude women who are not of that identity in order to focus on the unique intersecting issues of being a woman with that identity in tech
  +
Cons:
  +
* Excludes women who are not of that identity (who are in other under-served populations), if only by implication
  +
* Even if the group's rules include other people, the name may discourage people (in other under-served populations) who would be welcomed if they joined, from doing any further research on the group
  +
  +
== Womyn ==
  +
Seen in feminist literature and as a self-identification
  +
  +
Pros:
  +
* Symbolically removes dependence on men/males
  +
  +
Cons:
  +
* Not usually taken seriously
  +
* May be taken as a claim of radical feminism
  +
* Term is widely used by Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists and is strongly associated with Transmisogynistic bigotry
  +
 
== Unicorns ==
 
From the [[unicorn law]], ie, female geeks supposedly being as rare/mythical as a unicorn.
   
 
Examples:
 
Examples:
 
*The [[Haecksen miniconf]] doesn't use it as a name, but has made considerable use of unicorn logos.
 
*The [[Haecksen miniconf]] doesn't use it as a name, but has made considerable use of unicorn logos.
  +
Pros/Cons:
 
  +
Pros:
*Lends itself well to icons and graphics.
+
* Lends itself well to visuals.
*The term is not well known outside the geek feminism community, and therefore can confuse or alienate people.
 
  +
* Fun, different.
*Haecksen found that some men missed the irony and were encouraged to ''actually treat women like unicorns'': ie, to photograph them and exclaim over a coveted "unicorn" sighting.
 
  +
* Non-obvious connection to feminism.
  +
* Unicorns/horses/ponies are somewhat feminine-coded: embracing feminine-coded symbols can be powerful
  +
  +
Cons:
 
* The term is not well known outside the geek feminism community, and therefore can confuse or alienate people.
  +
* Not explicitly about women.
 
* Haecksen found that some men missed the irony and were encouraged to ''actually treat women like unicorns'': ie, to photograph them and exclaim over a coveted "unicorn" sighting.
  +
* You will sometimes be mistaken for a pop culture fan group (eg, for ''My Little Ponies'')
   
 
==Mother/Mom==
 
==Mother/Mom==
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Pros/Cons:
 
Pros/Cons:
 
* Only a good idea if explicitly for mothers and that is relevant to the group
 
* Only a good idea if explicitly for mothers and that is relevant to the group
  +
* Terms for female parent vary widely even within english speaking cultures. Words like mum, mom, mama, noni, nan etc  are coded to narrow group who use that term.
   
 
==She/Her (female pronouns)==
 
==She/Her (female pronouns)==
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* [[She Hacks]]
 
* [[She Hacks]]
   
Pros/Cons:
+
Pros:
  +
* concise
  +
* clear
  +
* encompasses all who identify with the pronouns she/her
  +
* about as little sexist/infantilising/classist/generational schemata as possible
   
  +
Cons:
==Miss/Ms/Mrs (female titles)==
 
  +
* use of the word 'her' can produce phrases that are objectifying on the grammatical level
  +
* may produce names that sound more like phrases than names
  +
 
== Miss/Ms/Mrs (female titles) ==
 
Examples:
 
Examples:
 
* [[MzTek]]
 
* [[MzTek]]
 
* [[Miss Baltazar's Laboratory]]
 
* [[Miss Baltazar's Laboratory]]
   
Pros/Cons:
+
Pros:
  +
* Short.
   
  +
Cons:
  +
* Can feel classist and dated.
  +
* Can feel overly formal.
  +
* Negative connotations if used to formulate a woman-specific version of a gender-neutral name.
  +
* Has baggage from a history of women being required to declare their marital status publicly via their title, while men do not.
  +
  +
== XX ==
  +
Pros:
  +
* Biology reference
  +
Cons:
  +
* Inherently chromosomal-essentialist: implies that all people with XX chromosomes are women, and that no one without XX chromosomes are women.
   
==Abbreviation that uses one of the above terms==
+
== Abbreviation that uses one of the above terms ==
 
Examples:
 
Examples:
 
* [[WoMoz]], short for "Women & Mozilla"
 
* [[WoMoz]], short for "Women & Mozilla"
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* Can be obscure
 
* Can be obscure
   
==Name reference to a famous woman in the field==
+
== Name reference to a famous woman in the field ==
 
* [[Anita Borg Institute]]
 
* [[Anita Borg Institute]]
 
* [[Grace Hopper Celebration]]
 
* [[Grace Hopper Celebration]]
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Pros:
 
Pros:
* Different
+
* Different.
  +
* Works against erasure, dismissal, and ignorance of women's historical importance in the field.
  +
* Suits familiar naming conventions for institutions and such.
   
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
* May be too obscure
+
* May be too obscure if you choose a lesser-known name.
  +
* May not be that different if you choose a well-known name.
* Can be a difficult choice between being named for a recognizable woman and being one of many organizations named for that woman!
 
  +
* May be long.
   
 
==Borrowing from other languages==
 
==Borrowing from other languages==
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* [[Haecksen]]
 
* [[Haecksen]]
 
* [[Foufem]] (based in a bilingual city)
 
* [[Foufem]] (based in a bilingual city)
  +
  +
Pros:
  +
* Valid choice for events/groups held in languages other than English
   
 
Cons:
 
Cons:
* Obscure, could be appropriative
+
* Obscure for an English audience
  +
* Potentially appropriative
   
 
==No gender connotation at all==
 
==No gender connotation at all==
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* Not obvious in a passing reference that women are the intended audience
 
* Not obvious in a passing reference that women are the intended audience
 
[[Category:Community]]
 
[[Category:Community]]
  +
[[Category:Resources]]

Latest revision as of 03:33, 29 October 2016

Are you founding a women geeks group? Then you'll probably need a name. Here are some words/terms/names you could use to show that it is for women.

When choosing a name, it's important to be welcoming to trans women and not just cis women. Additionally, if you want to include genderqueer and/or non-binary-identified people who aren't male in your organization, it's worth thinking about how to choose a name that is inclusive.

Women

Examples:

Pros:

  • Probably the most neutral term available now. Less polarizing than other terms.
  • Very inclusive to adult women, especially ages 25-120
  • Common on restroom signs
  • Recommended in journalism by AP Stylebook

Cons:

  • Doesn't rhyme with anything
  • Younger women and teenagers don't necessarily associate themselves with the term
  • Can feel overly formal and businesslike

Ladies

Examples:

Pros:

  • Commonly reappropriated in hip-hop feminism, e.g. Ladies First by Queen Latifah. Has come back into vogue in recent years [2][3]
  • Can be fun in a retro, ironic way, e.g. "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé
  • Commonly used on restroom signs in some places, esp. multicultural urban areas
  • More casual and playful than "women"
  • Commonly used by college-aged women who might not identify with the term "woman" yet. Widely used by sororities. [3]

Cons:

  • Offensive in some places and contexts [4]
  • Can feel overly old-fashioned
  • Can feel classist
  • "Woman" preferred over "lady" in journalism. AP Stylebook says, "lady: Do not use as a synonym for women. Lady may be used when it is a courtesy title or when a specific reference to fine manners is appropriate without patronizing overtones." [5]
  • Association with the correct manners, and gendered rules: e.g. ladylike.

Female

Examples:

Pros
  • Age-inclusive
  • Inclusive of people who don't feel practically feminine even though they identify as female.
Cons
  • Often considered disrespectful or demeaning in modern usage. [4]
  • Can be exclusive to trans women due to use by trans-excluding radical feminists to refer exclusively to cis women.

Girls

Examples:

Pros:

  • concise
  • appropriate for groups intended for ages 5-18

Cons:

  • Off-putting/infantilising to some women
  • Used widely in sexualizing contexts, can lead to undesirable web search results
  • professional women in male-dominated fields may have strong association between being called a girl and sexist (micro)aggression
  • Can be confusing to actual intent of audience
  • often paired with "men", making a mix of adult and child words. e.g. "you can choose from men's tshirts, or girl's tshirts". see also T-shirts

Grrls

Examples:

Pros:

  • Rad 90s RiotGrrl zine vibe

Cons:

  • Similar to 'girls', can be off-putting to women
  • Can be alienating
  • suitability limited to contexts where a read rad 90s RiotGrrl zine vibe is relevant

Gals

Examples:

Pros:

  • Casual, fun

Cons:

  • Similar to 'girls', can be off-putting to women
  • Trivialising? Depends on purpose of the group

Chicks/Chix

Examples:

Pros:

  • Fun, casual, and light-hearted. Playful.
  • Fun and empowering to reclaim the word.
  • Common in women's tech group names. Easily identifiable as a fun technical women's group.

Cons:

  • Pretty 90s.
  • "Chicks" is a trivialising and somewhat sexualized term for women. So using it has the pros/cons of reclamation.
  • Can be embarrassing or accidentally offensive to say aloud because it sounds like saying "chicks," e.g. sounds like saying, "Are you going to the Linux Chicks meetup?"
  • If referred to by a man verbally, it can cause accidental insult, e.g. "You're a Dev Chick, right?"

Dolls

Examples:

Pros/Cons:

  • Very informal
  • Dolls are actually objects, not people.

Sisters

Examples:

  • Systers
  • CSters (a university group)

Pros:

  • Not necessarily too casual
  • Age-inclusive at both ends
  • Not classist or dated
  • Free of solid association to the trivializing, sexualizing, objectifying use of words like 'girls' or 'chicks'.

Cons:

  • Suggests a level of closeness that may be offputting for a casual group.

Feminist

See also Explicitly feminist geek groups

Examples:

Pros:

  • explicitly claims a feminist space
  • does not exclude feminists who aren't women

Cons:

Divas

Pros:

  • fun and casual
  • does not exclude non-cis women

Cons:

  • may be alienating to women who do not identify as 'divas' and/or traditionally feminine
  • may be alienating to women who want to be taken seriously
  • may take the attention from the actual content to associations with the word 'diva' (melodrama, physical appearance, grand personas)
  • negative term for self-centered, overly dramatic people.

Broads

Examples:

Pros:

  • casual
  • short
  • lends itself to puns

Cons:

  • outdated
  • offensive term in certain spheres.

Identity references

Examples:

  • Lesbians Who Tech

Pros:

  • Explicitly includes women of that identity
  • Can include other people if the group desires
  • Can exclude women who are not of that identity in order to focus on the unique intersecting issues of being a woman with that identity in tech

Cons:

  • Excludes women who are not of that identity (who are in other under-served populations), if only by implication
  • Even if the group's rules include other people, the name may discourage people (in other under-served populations) who would be welcomed if they joined, from doing any further research on the group

Womyn

Seen in feminist literature and as a self-identification

Pros:

  • Symbolically removes dependence on men/males

Cons:

  • Not usually taken seriously
  • May be taken as a claim of radical feminism
  • Term is widely used by Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists and is strongly associated with Transmisogynistic bigotry

Unicorns

From the unicorn law, ie, female geeks supposedly being as rare/mythical as a unicorn.

Examples:

  • The Haecksen miniconf doesn't use it as a name, but has made considerable use of unicorn logos.

Pros:

  • Lends itself well to visuals.
  • Fun, different.
  • Non-obvious connection to feminism.
  • Unicorns/horses/ponies are somewhat feminine-coded: embracing feminine-coded symbols can be powerful

Cons:

  • The term is not well known outside the geek feminism community, and therefore can confuse or alienate people.
  • Not explicitly about women.
  • Haecksen found that some men missed the irony and were encouraged to actually treat women like unicorns: ie, to photograph them and exclaim over a coveted "unicorn" sighting.
  • You will sometimes be mistaken for a pop culture fan group (eg, for My Little Ponies)

Mother/Mom

Examples:

Pros/Cons:

  • Only a good idea if explicitly for mothers and that is relevant to the group
  • Terms for female parent vary widely even within english speaking cultures. Words like mum, mom, mama, noni, nan etc  are coded to narrow group who use that term.

She/Her (female pronouns)

Examples:

Pros:

  • concise
  • clear
  • encompasses all who identify with the pronouns she/her
  • about as little sexist/infantilising/classist/generational schemata as possible

Cons:

  • use of the word 'her' can produce phrases that are objectifying on the grammatical level
  • may produce names that sound more like phrases than names

Miss/Ms/Mrs (female titles)

Examples:

Pros:

  • Short.

Cons:

  • Can feel classist and dated.
  • Can feel overly formal.
  • Negative connotations if used to formulate a woman-specific version of a gender-neutral name.
  • Has baggage from a history of women being required to declare their marital status publicly via their title, while men do not.

XX

Pros:

  • Biology reference

Cons:

  • Inherently chromosomal-essentialist: implies that all people with XX chromosomes are women, and that no one without XX chromosomes are women.

Abbreviation that uses one of the above terms

Examples:

  • WoMoz, short for "Women & Mozilla"

Pro:

  • If you can make a nice acronym it can work well

Con:

  • Can be obscure

Name reference to a famous woman in the field

Pros:

  • Different.
  • Works against erasure, dismissal, and ignorance of women's historical importance in the field.
  • Suits familiar naming conventions for institutions and such.

Cons:

  • May be too obscure if you choose a lesser-known name.
  • May not be that different if you choose a well-known name.
  • May be long.

Borrowing from other languages

Examples:

Pros:

  • Valid choice for events/groups held in languages other than English

Cons:

  • Obscure for an English audience
  • Potentially appropriative

No gender connotation at all

Examples:

Pros:

  • Lots of flexibility
  • Can avoid a connotation that your group intends to be the only women's group with your scope (as opposed to "ProjectName Women" or "CityName Feminist Hackerspace"

Cons:

  • May need a nearly permanent subtitle
  • Not obvious in a passing reference that women are the intended audience
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