Dear PHP community, yes, you do have a sexism problem.

The responses of some people and organisations to the #PHPness affair actually showcases that there is a very real problem of—at the very least—unexamined male privilege and systemic sexism in the PHP community.


  1. If you can read these tweets, and the post I wrote earlier and still not see a problem, then that’s the problem.
  2. Women cannot shake their penises at the PHP UK party. Hence they must all go to the hack event.

    (I get reports that there were some women at the party so they must either have been sporting prosthetic penises or didn’t see the Pusher tweet. Pusher was one of the sponsors, by the way. It’s always nice when other sponsors join in on the penis fun.)
  3. Get some penis in you. Actually, this could appeal to both women and men. Getting penis in us is, after all, one of the reasons we go to technical conferences… am I right though, am I right? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    PS. This tweet brought to you courtesy of one of the Web & PHP folks.
  4. Yes, keep up the great work girls — the boys’ club appreciates your support.

    Fun fact: girls are way more fun than women. Scientifically proven that.
  5. Tweets about penis, wins prize; it’s the PHP way. And good of Eddie to notice that we were all surrounded by penises. PHP UK was predominantly male, after all.

    The most important thing, of course, is that we keep talking about penises. That is the sort of environment we want to create at a professional event as it feels safe and comfortable for women. Especially if speaking about penises was originally the idea of women.
  6. Yeah, shut up about it already, you sissy white knights!
  7. The official response is basically a defence of their actions that misses the point. The point being that they were perpetuating the male gaze.

    This tweet is still the most favourited and retweeted in the #phpness hashtag.
  8. Some people even questioned the existence of the double entendre, even though the Web & PHP folks have repeatedly said that there was one and that it was intended. This is how far the denial on this goes for some.
  9. You see, if only I could also see some boobs in those P’s, everything would have been all right. In my defence, I tried hard to see boobs in there for at least an hour afterwards and failed. I feel like I’ve just let everyone down, basically. It is really all my fault. Sorry.
  10. I see what you did there.
  11. Oh, it was an existing sexist joke… my bad. I’ll shut up about it now, shall I?
  12. If you, as a successful female software engineer find nothing wrong with it, I don’t think anyone else should have any reason to. Not the other women who say that they find problems with it (because, after all, we don’t even know if they’re successful for goodness sake) or—goodness forbid—men who care about diversity.

    PS. I’m trying hard to grow up but it’s hard once you’re past a certain age. Also, I’ve just dropped my shield and it broke. I’m a bit pissed about that, to be honest. It was a nice shield.
  13. Thank you! It’s taken me all these years to realise that I don’t have a sense of humour. All those people at my opening keynote must have been laughing at me, not with me. I really feel bad about that now. I shall forevermore accept that I am a prude.