My Opinion

#YesAllWomen: This Is Not About You

Dear Random Man of the Internet. If you are feeling marginalized, targeted, oppressed, or objectified by the #YesAllWomen hashtag that has been trending on Twitter since the Isla Vista murders last week, here is a dose of reality. This is not about you. And you need to listen.

This morning I tweeted the following:

#YesAllWomen encourages empathy in a debate clouded by cognitive dissonance. Listen and learn.”

And you immediately responded:

“No it doesn’t. It indicts men. Exploits tragedy where mentally ill man who hated all humanity killed 3 men. All to advance an agenda.”

This seems a common sentiment and it is a validation of my original tweet: The cognitive dissonance felt when confronted with the reality of how our society treats women causes men to feel like victims of unjust treatment – a role reversal they immediately speak up about. Which is exactly what women are doing with the #YesAllWomen tag. You are right, Random Man from the Internet, there is an agenda here: Women want to be treated like human beings, not objects. And whether you feel you are part of the problem or part of the solution it is your obligation to check your ego and privilege at the door, hear them out, and see the world from their perspective. Your feelings on the matter are not relevant here. This is not about you.

Empathy and the Shared Experience

When a person shares their human experience with us and gives us a glimpse of what the world is like from their perspective, we are privileged to listen. Our ability as humans to share in the experience of others, to empathise, and to adjust our world-view and our behaviour accordingly is what makes us a social species. It is part of what makes us who we are.

When the experience shared is one of fear, frustration, anguish, and pain, we are obliged to listen and to give our support. #YesAllWomen is that; on a scale we have never seen before.

#YesAllWomen is the collective sharing of the human experience from the majority of the human race: Those that identify as female. It is a glimpse of what the world is like for a group that is marginalized, targeted, oppressed, objectified, and sexualized by the very society they are a part of. And when they speak up, we owe it to them to shut up and listen, take their message to heart, stand with them, and take a long hard look at ourselves.

#YesAllWomen: It’s Not About You, It’s About Us

#YesAllWomen is not about you: It’s about us. We can’t continue down a path that forces half of us to live in fear, constantly looking over their shoulders, and knowing that no matter how hard they work, they will be judged on their gender before they get judged on their merits.

#YesAllWomen is not an indictment of you as a person, nor of all men or any other group. It is an indictment of a society and societal norms that are as anachronistic as they are morally wrong. It is a demand that all voices be heard and that we put our cognitive dissonance aside. Look beyond yourself and help shine a light on systemic injustices imposed on our fellow human beings.

Listen and Learn

To all the women out there, yes, all women. Please keep talking. We are listening and we stand with you.

Take an hour out of your day to read the ever expanding #YesAllWomen tag. Take a few steps in her shoes and realize it is not about you. It is about humanity.


Events WordPress

Empowering Women’s Voices in WordPress

WordPress Women

Let’s face facts: While the WordPress community is comprised of at least 50% women and attendance at WordCamps and WordPress Meetups is generally equally balanced, women are underrepresented as speakers and presenters. This is not unique for the WordPress community. The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions is a systemic problem in the tech sector and in society as a whole. What we as a community need to figure out is how to fast-track the process of equalization to make the people who represent us better represent the composition of our community. And that all starts with encouraging more women to stand up and be heard from the speaker podium.

Women Talking WordPress | A Workshop on Speaking at Meetups

Women Talking WordPress | A Workshop on Speaking at Meetups

Saturday, Mar 1, 2014, 1:00 PM

The Network Hub
422 Richards Street Vancouver, BC

20 WordPress Enthusiasts Went

Women Talking WordPress is a workshop for women who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events, such as WordPress Meetup and WordCamp. The focus of the workshop will be to help generate topics to give a talk on, boost your speaking confidence, and allow you to practice speaking in a safe space. At the end of the workshop you will have a few id…

Check out this Meetup →

In November of last year, before all the hoopla in the community took off, Vancouver WordPress developer and WordCamp organizer Jill Binder reached out to Vanessa Chu and I suggesting that the Vancouver WordPress Meetup Group organize a speaker workshop for Women. Like most event organizers Jill discovered that getting a representative number of women speakers at WordCamp Vancouver was surprisingly hard and she wanted to start workshops to get more women on the rosters of future events. This fitted in nicely with plans Vanessa and I were working on for more women speakers at the Meetup and so the work began.

After some initial discussions Jill, Vanessa, and Kate Moore got together and planned out the first of what will hopefully be a series of Speaker Workshops for WordPress women right here in Vancouver.

Women Talking WordPress | A Workshop on Speaking at Meetups is an all-women workshop with the goal to help the participants brainstorm ideas, create quality content, discuss the challenges and rewards of public speaking, and get valuable real-life experience talking in front of a crowd. If all goes as planned this workshop and others like it should foster a new group of women speakers ready for the podium and provide new role models for aspiring women speakers in our community and beyond.

The three hour workshop takes place at The Network Hub in downtown Vancouver on Saturday March 1st from 1pm to 4pm. The cost of attendance is $5 and the only requirement for attendance is that you identify as a woman and want to boost your public speaking skills. If that’s you, go sign up now and get empowered!

Authored Content

Authored Content, Episode 8: Women in Development

To mark International Women’s Day the Authored Content crew is joined by Jen Kramer, Dee Sadler, Lisa Larson-Kelley, and Val Head to talk about women in web development and how we can make our community more inclusive.

Watch the video and join the discussion!

You can watch all the episodes of Authored Content on YouTube (playlist), like Authored Content on Facebook, and join the Authored Content Community on Google+.

Authored Content

Authored Content, Ep. 5: Opera moves to WebKit, Edge ReFlow in Beta, Jetstrap, and

For episode 5 of Authored Content content manager and author James Fritz joins regulars James Williamson, Ray Villalobos, and Morten Rand-Hendriksen in the unveiling of the new format we are calling “One Big Thing” in which each participant brings one interesting topic to the table and we discuss.

Topics on the agenda included Opera’s announcement that they are moving to the WebKit rendering engine, the beta release of Adobe’s new Edge ReFlow tool to design responsive websites, Jetstrap – a tool to help build Bootstrap websites, and the much talked about website and the challenges women face in the web development world.

Watch the video and join the discussion!

You can watch all the episodes of Authored Content on YouTube (playlist), like Authored Content on Facebook, and join the Authored Content Community on Google+.