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I recently worked with Dudette, a ladies’ DIY group here in Vancouver and with Liane Morisette of Cold Gold Contact Microphones to set up the first-ever Ladies’ Hacking Night at the Vancouver Hack Space. Liane showed us all how to make fuzz bass pedals, which proved to be a great intro to soldering for many. The night was a bit of an experiment, but all of us were pleasantly surprised by the turn-out and overall interest in the event. It seems that more women everywhere are getting into electronics, and that women hack-a-thons are popping up. This is definitely something that we will be doing again soon at VHS.

More:
What Does it Mean to be a Woman Hackerspace Member?

Emily Smith

Emily Smith is a graphic designer, illustrator, and crafter based in Vancouver. She is an avid textile artist and community organizer with a focus on facilitating collaborative and creative workspaces, teaching workshops, and organizing crafty and creative events. She enjoys foraging for unlikely materials, increasing bicycle safety and visibility, and becoming more self-sufficient while lowering her carbon footprint. Follow her on her blog at bluemollusc.com or Twitter @emilysmith2000.


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Comments

  1. Milo Barral says:

    I don´t get why this is less sexist than putting a big sign saying “no woman allowed”.

    1. Becky Stern says:

      It looks like its about providing a supportive environment for women to explore technology together. This is a positive thing, why be negative about it?

      1. Some of us are negative about it because we don’t know any men that are anti-women maker. Then seeing a women only venue is the same as a mens only club. We thought we were beyond this. It’s only 9 days until 2012 and we still have sexual descrimination. It just rankles us because were brought up to treat all as equals. 

        1. Michael Kaman says:

          First off to think sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, religious discrimination, et cetra is a thing of the past you would have to live in a cave. It would be great if it was but that won’t happen any time soon. As for a lady’s night I don’t believe its discrimination. I’ve never had a problem going to a bar on lady’s night and I’m a fairly large man. I think it is a great idea as most women I know tend to shy away from d.i.y. electronics. If they put together a venue to showcase how you can use the electronics to perhaps step up a craft project to the next level that’s awesome. Most women I know would never realize how easy it is to add some blinking lights to an otherwise mundane project and even fewer would seek out a tutorial on how to solder. Great work Vancouver.

  2. David Emerson says:

    This isn’t sexist: sexist is Danica Patrick being famous when a host of other women who can actually drive and win races (like Michele Mouton) get less press time because they don’t make their genitals a public display.

  3. I thought the whole maker “thing” was about making things.  I had no idea it had a sexual orientation.  I really do not think we need New Think in the maker movement.

    1. Anonymous says:

      This would be sexist if “making” was a no men/women allowed. This may be a “girls” only club, but only for introducing women into a field that is so male dominated that some women may think it’s out of their league. It brings a male dominated club to women.

      1. emily says:

        Yep. There were actually 4 guys there, and they were totally welcome! As Ryan mentioned, VHS is an inclusive space, but often women are shy to come out, or feel that they don’t possess the knowledge to participate in other nights. The idea is actually to move closer to more inclusiveness, make gender a non-issue, and encourage women to learn more about electronics so that they can find a place in the community, if it’s of interest to them. Very few women generally attend our regular programming, and the popularity of the ladies’ night is a testament to just how interested woman can be in the subject :)

  4. Ryan Smith says:

    This event was promoted as a Ladies Hacking Night, but there was no exclusion. Vancouver Hack Space has a policy of inclusiveness and no one is ever turned away from our events.

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