Mothership Hackermoms seeks funders for for woman-centric hackerspace

Laura sez, "The Mothership Hackermoms is the first ever women-centric hackerspace. We give mothers the time and space to explore DIY craft and design, hacker/maker culture, entrepreneurship, and all manner of creative expression - with childcare! We're designers, scientists, artists, programmers, educators, photographers, writers, entrepreneurs, makers, welders, cooks, illustrators and professionals as well as moms. Our just launched kickstarter will help us build out our space and fund programs for our members and the community."

Mothership HackerMoms: The first women's hackerspace! (Thanks, Laura!)


  1. I have to say I dislike seeing “women-centric” be defined by being mothers. Apparently I can’t be a certified welder, artist, maker, builder and crafter and also belong to this space because I’ve decided that motherhood is one project I really don’t want to tackle. I have no doubt that these forward-thinking women would welcome childfree women, but it speaks of the divisiveness that keeps moms and childfree women at odds with one another.

    1. That was my first set of thoughts too. I’m sure I would be welcomed, but. . . 

      Also, I was pretty happy to see women focused hacker spaces. I know for me, when I am learning new tools, sometimes I’ve ran into men that can be kind of easily frustrated with someone as old as I am that has never touched that tool before, and is a bit squeamish about loud noises. 

    2. I see what you mean, but at the same time, I can understand how a group of mothers would want to create an environment better suited for their own needs as parents and would come to expect that most childfree people would intensly dislike being in a space teeming with children and babies (and parents!)

      1. A place for making and building would have a separate space for children (I would hope). The space wouldn’t be “teeming with them”, and they wouldn’t be running around poking the power buttons on tools. Also, childfree women don’t necessarily dislike children, and I can only speak for myself when I say that I just don’t want to raise any.

        1. Actually, depending on what day it is, and what time of the day, even the main room can be absolutely teeming with children. If the HackerMoms (and by that I mean moms, dads, non-parents, and kids of all ages) are doing a workshop, class, or social time that doesn’t involve dangerous things, there are generally little people everywhere. They walk in and out of the childcare section. They help out. They breastfeed. 
          There are childfree people who come to Mothership HackerMoms. There are dads who come. Most classes and workshops are open to the public. There are open houses every week that all sorts of people come to.

          Something that’s very telling to me is how every time there’s an article about the space, someone has to stand up and say, “They’re being exclusive!”, and yet moms from all over the world email and say, “How can we start one where we are?” Clearly, there is a need for mom-centric hackerspaces.

        2. It would be teeming with parents though ;)

          Edited to add: My husband and I are makers and artists and our tinkering space is our living room. Our kid has been in the middle of it since day one (of course, the space is organized so it can be safe for all involved).

    3. dude. but as a women with out a baby attached to your boob you can go weld at whatever hackerspace will let you in. if you have a kid with you you need a safe place to put it while you work and, if you want to actually get any work done, you need someone else to watch it while you’re holding that torch. this space provide a safe place to stash your kid and qualified caregivers to help you get some work done.  Like it or not women are more likely to be the parent that takes a few years off their career to tend a baby. i loved tending my baby but that doesn’t mean i didn’t also want some time to be creative and learn new things and get some work done. we don’t have villages to help us with childcare and so we created one.  

      1. I understand the concept. I’m simply saying that it might be a good idea for women to be inclusive of all women, not just gear a space toward mothers. Feel free to have a child care space, some of my favorite maker friends are moms who helped run a space – which I was allowed to participate in – that had one. What I dislike is that this space appears to be promoting itself as “only for breeders”. You may want to re-read my original comment. It did not disparage women who need child care, nor did it claim that it should not exist. I’ll quote the original post: “it speaks of the divisiveness that keeps moms and childfree women at odds with one another”, which you’re in lockstep with in your comments.

          1. What I’m objecting to is the use of “woman-centric” used as a descriptor for “only women who have children”. I suppose another choice would be “mommy-centric” or “mother-centric”. I believe I am still entitled to comment and give an opinion, and no, I won’t be contributing to something I won’t be participating in. But then I’m not a Zen Buddhist Blogger. Maybe I know less than you about my right to state my position on BoingBoing.

          2. Telling someone to not join or not pay into a kickstarter if they don’t like the group’s stance is somehow the “opposite of inclusiveness?”

            What kind of world do you live in?

            If you don’t like what they’re up to, no one is making you participate. This is a group of women (whom I know personally, as it happens) trying to build a wonderful space for mothers to participating in making and hacking.

            The last thing I expect was complaints from women that it was “breeder” focused (talk about insulting language for a woman to denigrate others by giving them the moniker “breeders” as a pejorative).

            Edit: Octochicken later edited her comments to remove the line I quoted…

          3. Just ignore the troll. He’s ignoring what you actually said in favour of what he wants you to have said. I had the same reaction you did – it’s poorly characterized and as a child-free female programmer, I was actually disappointed when I read past the headline.

          4.  I see you’ve edited your comment multiple times now. Care to pick a line of thought and stick to it rather than editing your earlier comments based on my later replies?

          5.  why you have “only women who have children” in quotes like that as though you read that somewhere on the hackermoms site or kickstarter. we don’t discriminate based on gender or breeder status. but we do cater to women with kids since that’s who we are

        1.  Actually I just talked with them about having one of our feminist hackerhive meetups at the space. Most of us don’t have kids and the Hacker Moms were very welcoming.  So why assume that because a space is focused around that, they aren’t inclusive?  I mean, ask first! :D

    1.  not to forget the stay-at-home dads hackerspace. because sometimes, the generic word (“parenting”) is really what you want rather than the gender-specific version (“mothering”). and sometimes, it isn’t. good luck to them.

      1. Like I said.  Sexist.

        I’m tired of signing up for baby stuff (coupons etc.) and getting mail which says “As a mother, you know that…” Or my favorite, the Enfamil container saying it was “Most trusted by moms and pediatricians” (apparently either dads don’t trust it, or the consumer isn’t expected to care). There are lots of “mothers of preschoolers” programs. Not so much the “parents of preschoolers” programs. Primary-caregiver dads are second-class citizens; this seems symptomatic of that.

      Can dads be HackerMoms?Yes. We love dads and so do our kids. Mothership HackerMoms is not women-exclusive, but it is women-centric. We do believe that mothers, especially new mothers, have unique needs that we support first. For all moms, dads and  non-moms-or-dads, we handle membership on a case by case basis. Like joining any community, membership is based on chemistry, culture and tolerance. In short, HackerMoms can be anyone who’s comfortable with the culture – and patient enough to handle the chaos! Visit our weekly open houses to meet us.

  2. And this is where you are making the mistake. It is woman-centric, not woman-exclusive. Not only is the space not exclusive to women, it’s not exclusive to parents. But it is built around the needs of mothers in particular.

    1. i really just don’t get why people cant embrace  a space that caters to people who have to take care of their kids. EVERY space on earth practically caters to adults w/o kids in tow. what should i do? stay home alone with my baby since i’m the slut who squeezed this baby out of my vagina? pay up to 20 dollars an hour for childcare (which i cant afford) and then slink out to a cafe alone with my laptop hoping that no one will notice i smell like baby vomit? ffs. no. i don’t have to do that anymore. i can keep my art projects there, bring my kid and feel comfortable and safe and hang out with a group of awesome women who get how hard mothering can be OR a group of people who get it and are accepting of it even if they aren’t experiencing it directly. anyway, the founding members are fucking geniuses and deserve a medal. 

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