I wish I had written this

I’ve never reblogged a post before. Then again, I’ve never before read a post that I wanted to jump up and start waving around and saying “This! For the love of God! Read this!” Siobhan McKeown, you’re amazing. Everyone else, for the love of God, go read this:

http://siobhanmckeown.com/which-siobhan-is-it-anyway/

I am completely enthralled with the WordPress world. I love this community. I am in awe of this culture. I also know for a fact that there is a gender bias in the WordPress world just like there is at most other tech companies and in much of the tech world at large. I know this from stories I’ve heard from other women here since I started. I know it from things I’ve seen and read, some of which were deliberately offensive and some cluelessly so. I don’t know it from any personal experience, thankfully, but that doesn’t make it less real.

I think that last point is important, so let me say it again:

I don’t know it from any personal experience but that doesn’t make it less real

Amongst some of the more thoughtless examples of gender bias I’ve seen here are a collection of comments along the lines of disbelief that gender bias exists in the WordPress community in general and at Automattic specifically. The general implication is always something along the lines of the commenter (who is always a man) has never seen such bias himself (see above) and that any discussion of gender bias and possible solutions is actually just man hating and reverse discrimination, or at the very least an unnecessary waste of time. “We should just want the best person and not care about that person’s gender at all,” has been said more than once.

I agree. We should want that. Which is why we need to talk about gender bias in the WordPress community; as long as it exists we are never going to get to that point.

Kudos Siobhan for writing this amazingly articulate piece so clearly illustrating the problem. I hope everyone reads it. I hope it kicks off the discussion we really need to have, the one that isn’t why women hate men but instead focuses on how we can strive to build a community that’s better. That’s a discussion I’d really like to be part of.

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