You And Your PHPNess

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.

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32 thoughts on “You And Your PHPNess”

  1. I spoke up about this issue and I have no specific intentions of boycotting any conferences as of right now. Just to put a face to the strange claim you’re making.

  2. Fully agree with your latest comment, Paul. I thought the joke there – albeit gross – was on men – stereotypically falling for extremely simple scams because they can not reason with their brain when their sexual organ is targeted.
    But then, it might be because of my cultural background – in Italy we’re used to much worse things being said and done every day at every level… 😉

  3. Paul, I suggest you embark on some fact-checking in order to put your comments into shape and get the details right. I could point out the errors, but you know what they say about giving fish to villagers suffering drought………..

  4. I am learning from you guys a lot. First not to just dash on judgement, but also to consider the persons behind. I take that judgement without consideration is bad, but right judgement and action with consideration is the best. For a real and honest human it hurts to take decisions, but decisions are taken. If we ran too far into tears just to forget right judgement then excuse me but that is even pitiful than falling short in the first place. But again words and not actions.

  5. I’ll take a play on words over sexual imagery every time. That said, everyone should feel empowered to speak up when content in a public space like a conference makes them feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, but like the author hopes action will accompany words of dissent (big thumbs up to that!) I hope that at least as much considerate thought is being generated as chat. I didn’t know about the couchdb thing until this new uproar happened and I am grateful for the lesson in recent history. One of the best explanations I’ve read on that older event are here: because of the thought that went in and hopefully the expanded understanding that comes out of it which could help any human.

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