You And Your PHPNess

By | February 25, 2013

I get that many (but not all) women, and many (but not all) men, in the PHP community are upset by the Web & PHP Mag “Enhance Your PHPNess” shirts as an example of sexism. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t; note that the women in the photo were the magazine editor and the relationship manager, not random booth babes being exploited for their bodies instead of their minds. (Please spare me your postmodern explanations of how male privilege has been internalized by these strong independent women who are oppressed by the patriarchy; it’s not the point of this article.)

The point of this article is as follows: Denouncing it on the Internet is nice and all, but I suggest that the Web & PHP Mag folks won’t really care unless it hurts their income stream. Hell, the publicity alone must be huge for them.

If you are really committed to your position against Web & PHP on this issue, I look forward to you boycotting their website, magazine, and conferences. Don’t submit to speak for them; hell, submit with a note saying you refuse to speak there. Don’t engage any money-making venture of theirs until they issue a public apology that satisfies your sense of outrage.

If you don’t back your words with non-violent action, then all you have done is talk. Talk is nice, but I submit that it would be hypocritical of you not to act as well.

But if you back your words with actions, won’t that hurt the women who are running the company? Hm, I suppose it might at that. What’s a white knight to do? Decisions, decisions.