PHPness Serious WTF

It’s been a while since i last blogged. And i don’t really have anything new to offer. But i would like to comment on some current event. There has been some commotion about a free t shirt that was distributed on the SunshinePHP conference this year.

The first time i saw the shirt i could not make out what was so offending that people would start blogging about it. Somebody had to point that out for me. So what’s the deal here? Apparently the shirt’s slogan was intentionally created with a slight sexual undertone. The idea comes from the enlarge your penis SPAM we all know!

Some people have perceived this as being sexist. And even go so far as to personally attack the people behind the shirt.

Personally i don’t think the shirt is sexist or offensive at all. And don’t really understand all the fuss. Sex has never been an issue for me in the PHP community. I learn just as much from female developers as i do from the male ones. We are all equal. People that feel the need to defend the opposite sex are probably the ones that see a difference. Even so! Why make such a big deal of something so small? I never seen anybody blog about the programming with attitude poster.

I think the PHP community has just lost a bit of it’s shine and coolness. I’ve always been under the impression the PHP community consisted of free thinking people that do what they love. Develop stuff. And that’s exactly what attracted me to it 12 years ago in the first place.

The community has grown quite a lot in that period of time. The thing with every communities is that it brings forth vocal people. Which is a great thing in general. But not so good when people forget their responsibility towards the rest of the community. And that’s exactly what happened the last few days. Personal issues have become public. To me it seems many of you have missed the boat completely. You don’t have to like the shirt. But there is absolutely no reason to bash the initiative in public.

Here are some of the articles the spawned over the last couple days:

PHPness Gate – raising interesting issues

On Public Outrage And Bad Actors

Sexism in the PHP Community

On Sexism/Racism/Any-other-ism and the PHP Community

Sexism and PHP

Hacker news - Sexism and PHP (

Web & PHP sexist tshirt debate – my 2 cents

On Equality, Sexism and an Even Hand

So let’s all just respect one another. And keep the PHP community a friendly place. This kind of nonsense has no positive impact on anybody.

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