First of all I don’t use names because I don’t think that is relevant. If you followed the last 48 hours on Twitter then you know who they are but this blog post isn’t about attacking people but about understanding each other. No matter what gender and religion we have and where we live.
The last 48 hours I felt a shame of our WordPress community. Attacking someone because what he said felt wrong to you. And a lot reacted on that without understanding the person and his culture. And this all because someone said his country has beautiful women. What has nothing to do about treating women like objects but has everything to do about proud.
The first issue was obviously responding to something without even thinking about it and because of that put to much emotional context to it. Also writing a blog post about it and even attacking the guy. And to me that blog post was more disrespectful then the comment about beautiful women. And I think that guy was wrong because he didn’t write it to solve the issue but he write the post to create and escalate the issue. And that really hurts me because in this case the person is well known in the WordPress community. That shouldn’t matter but that does mean that you need to be careful about it.
The second issue is not understanding someones culture. I know how people are in Serbia and they are really respectful country. And not only Serbia but all the countries in the Balkan. I always feel welcomed and they really do their best for you feel at home. And that is amazing if you know what sometimes their salary is. Also you should not forget that they do celebrate international women’s day. They do give women flowers and if they can’t do that they will call them up and celebrate it. Seeing the map then it does surprise me that USA and Canada don’t celebrate this day even if they responded the heaviest on the comment.
The last issue is something what is on my mind this year is the meaning of equality. And the following questions is not to be demeaning but to think about it. Around 44% of the speakers at WordCamp San Francisco was female. Is that equal? I don’t know what the diversity is in our community but if only 35% is female can that be seen as not equal? There are specific workshops for women. Is that discriminated. To me equality means having equal opportunities without checking what the numbers are. If 100% of the speakers are male then that should be fine if that are the best speakers who applied. Selecting someone to speak based on gender to me is disrespectful. You then don’t judge based on knowledge but on something completely different that should not be relevant.
The conclusion of this all is that I hate the attention this topic gets in our community. Not because I don’t care but because I believe that this makes the issue bigger then it really is. I never really felt this being an issue in Europe. But I can be wrong because I’m male.