December 9th, 2013

Supporting Women in WordPress

Yesterday Post Status turned out another awesome edition of it’s Who’s Hiring series. I know that series has helped companies find great people and great people find great work.

Post Status is awesome and I love that they give back to the community.

Unfortunately yesterday we saw the terrible beast of objectifying women raise it’s head in the comments.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.57.19 PM

Update December 10, 2013: An emoji apology was offered by Vladimir but I'd love to see a bit more meaningful discourse.

So a ‘perk’ of working with ManageWP is the beautiful women?

Update December 10, 2013 8:04 AM: No ManageWP didn't say beautiful women are a 'perk' directly. I felt it was implied since they did mention beautiful women in a job add. Seems I'm walking a fine line now since I'm told that if I don't edit ManageWP will 'react accordingly' in the comment below. It's hard to see how this could be anything but sue me and of course ManageWP has way more money than a solo freelancer like me. So I better be on my best behaviour or I'll be sued and of course that would mean I'd be out of money and my wife and I would be on the street with our kid (and the new one in January). I'd certainly prefer not to be sued before Christmas so see the edit above.

Update December 10, 2013 8:00 AM: See Vladimir's comment below.

Update December 10, 2013 11:39 AM: Don't miss Vladimir's latest comment which I think is pretty decent.

Not the smart women.

Not the strong women.

Not the best women in the WordPress community.

The beautiful women.

Beautiful Women eh?

Women have a hard time getting equality in the programming community. If you think that it’s not a big deal then you need to start followingAshe Dryden and read about the risk in speaking up. She just put out a stellar list of things to read about diversity.

I’m priviledged to get to talk with her on the Freelancer’s Show.


I’m sure there are a bunch of people at ManageWP that would read that comment and cringe. I am sure that not everyone spends the day looking at the pretty women.

I’d even be willing to believe that Vladimir made a poor choice in wording and thought he was being funny (or something).

But the reality is that none of us should think that comments like this are acceptable an any form.

I’m in the WordPress community because of the awesome women in the community. I had a bad experience with a community leader and 2 of the awesome women started interacting with me and showed me that the community is not full of assholes.

I’m speaking up now because I can. Because I know that people read this site and I hope that each of you will speak up for those women with which you interact and know.

Even if 90% of the people reading this site thought I was off my rocker and sent me terrible emails, I’d be happy to reach 1 person that would also stand up.

My Policy

I’ll go on record right now and say that it doesn’t matter who you are. I don’t care what your sexual orientation is. If I find someone objectifying another person I simply won’t be doing business with them.

That goes for a man going on about other men or a man going on about women or a woman about women or a woman about men. It doesn’t matter what direction it’s pointed it’s entirely unacceptable to treat another human like a piece of meat to be observed.

I won’t be doing business with ManageWP (that goes for clients who use it) until I see a positive diversity policy and apology for the plain old stupid remark.

No I don’t think that anyone should be fired. We jump to that way too quickly and one of ManageWP’s ‘things’ they want from their employees (as stated on their site) is to be able to admit when they’re wrong.

Vladimir, you were plain wrong and out of line and you lead the company.

There is an opportunity here to frame equality properly in our community.

Let’s seize it.