don’t you mean ‘make MEN more sensitive in the future’?

Tell you what. Let’s play ‘where are the women?’, it being, ooh, months, since I last had the excuse.

It’s not our fault. We’re not actively discriminating against women, they’re just aren’t any around.

No, it’s never your fault, is it, petal? I don’t suppose it occurs to you to ask why there might not be any around?

Matt, to be fair, does say:

I have seen people, particularly in the IRC channel, say and act in ways that I think would discourage active female participation. However this is not behaviour specific to WP, it’s more
endemic to male geek communities.

I’m sure any women on this list could speak to challenges they’ve faced, and perhaps that would make people more sensitive in the future.

And nothing from the women. Because, I suspect, we’ve learned by now we’re not welcome on wp-hackers, and don’t waste our time there. I didn’t know that Kitty left ‘in anger’ (as I pointed out in my last post, there’s a lot I don’t know), but it doesn’t surprise me one little bit. Sooner or later, being involved with wordpress is going to make you angry, and while men are going to hang around and try to WIN, women are more likely to feel that the healthiest thing for them is to remove themselves from the cause of their anger and pursue less frustrating projects. They already know they’re not going to win. They know they’re not going to be listened to. Partly because they’re women, but mostly because they’re not Matt. I only lurk for the wank, and because it’s the only real way to keep up with what’s going to be in the next release.

Thing is, even if my PHP skills stretched beyond inept editing of other people’s code, I wouldn’t have the slightest interest in helping out with wordpress development. Fixing other people’s bugs, knowing that your patch will probably be ignored… nah. I’d be writing plugins. I’d be keeping out of the way of the geeks who assume everyone without ‘grrrl’ or ‘elle’ on the end of their username is male. It’s no accident that Lorelle and vkaryl, the only two active women in the wp community I can think of offhand, are older than the majority of the fanboys; they’re used to that kind of crap, can stand up for themselves, and aren’t going to be too bothered about how a bunch of little boys talk to each other.

But you know what the real problem is? Traditionally, women prefer to work by consensus. Decisions are discussed and agreed upon by the group, rather than made unilaterally by the leader. Obviously, this is a gross generalization (everyone has seen examples of dictatorship-by-women, of which the wp-docs archives are only one example), but I can say, hand on heart, that the autocratic structure of the project has always been a big issue for me. The needs of non-coders have never been listened to. Ever. The docs volunteers and the support volunteers have always been the poor relations, patronised by the hackers, given flaky software to work with, their pleas for actual coders to maybe drop in sometime and help out repeatedly ignored.

(You know the latest crackpot scheme? They’re going to shift the entire codex to a WP wiki plugin, presumably because Matt’s ego cannot bear for there to be any part of wordpress.org powered by software he didn’t write. Expect a custom-made bugtracker next.)

So yeah. Where are the women? Doing better things than wading through the wank, that’s what. Except me. I do it so you don’t have to.

9 Comments »

  1. Vc said

    Absolute agreement here. I guess I wouldn’t even mind a “custom-made bugtracker” if the code was decent.

    Yeah right.

  2. kickass said

    Hey, you forgot ME! The female who has caused google to question the spelling of Matt Mullenweig’s last name, quite by accident, but now that I know it annoys the little egomaniac . . . *grin*

    Hmm. Is the codex/doc thingie gonna work as “well” as the new forum on wordpress.org does? That should give me enough blogfodder for months!

  3. wank said

    Heh, misspelling is the best way to get on the first page of Google and own Technorati tags. I’m going to have to try that🙂

    As for the codex wiki plugin, this time last month it wasn’t good enough for Kubrick Guy to abandon his own plans to wikify wordpress, so make of that what you will.

  4. Vc said

    Hey now. The FORUM works fine. It’s SEARCH, and FAVORITES, that don’t work….

  5. shorty114 said

    @wank: I think your link to the thread on binary bonsai’s a little wanked. So to speak.

  6. wank said

    Stupid wordpress.com decided to add some random backslashes. Fixed now.

  7. jeez, i’m guilty as well. i guess i’ll have to adjust the voice in my head when i read your posts. you know, that fundamental assumption that eveyone is exactly like me, until proven otherwise.

  8. […] As has been pointed out here before, misspellings are a very good way of getting hits from people who cannot spell. And if you can provide them with the misspelling rather than trust to their ignorance, so much the better. […]

  9. Root said

    Well I like girls. And ladies. And women. Best of all Geeky Girls. But I am a pervert.🙂

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