Man Bashing

I figured with a title like this one, this post could get some traction. I was in a panel over the weekend that consisted of women who use WordPress in a variety of capacities. We talked about so many great topics and had so many amazing questions during and after. But when comments about men started taking place, I felt the need to disclaimer we weren’t man bashing. To others this comment may have seemed unnecessary or rude even, but for me, it felt necessary.

I have never been mistreated by a man, but I have been mistreated by women, many women.

I have had a superior steal my ideas for her own. I have had a superior destroy my review for fear I would take her job. I’ve had a superior give me a raving annual review and only a month and half later put me on a performance improvement plan. (This one I have no reason why for – still flabbergasted by it). I’ve had multiple women insult me, be rude to me, ignore me, bully me, the list goes on.

If we want to make a change, a real change, we need to stop treating EACH OTHER this way. We need to start bringing each other up. We need to be better to our fellow women and ourselves.

Treat others the way you want to be treated and others will follow your lead.

Thank you to all the amazing men out there that I have had the pleasure of working with. You are the reasons I am where I am today. No women, except maybe my mom, can take credit for my successes. And a major thank you to my dad for pushing me to do something with technology since day 1.


  1. Laura

    Defiantly, agree with this. Women need to support each other. Acting out in jealousy is unacceptable on every level.

    Here’s another one. I want fellow women to agree or disagree with my proposals, final products, advice, etc. based upon the merits of my work, ideas, etc. I don’t want someone to back me simply because I’m a women. If what I’m proposing is a lousy idea, tell me it’s a lousy idea and why. It’s not a personal attack, you won’t hurt my feelings, it’s constructive criticism. On the flip side, please don’t hold a grudge if i give you feedback that’s not all glowing. That’s not being disloyal, that’s being honest.

  2. Thanks for posting this. These things really matter, and in a world of #ToxicMasculinity It can be tricky to see a big vision of Inclusion.

    I’ve been harassed by both men and women, I’ve confronted both men and women as leaders who were mistreating my teams of people in the workplace. That’s the main reason I left corporate work, as those bureaucracies were riddled with toxicity up and down the line. Four times in my career I reported outright fraud by management to HR or via a union, and my position ended within a month, pushed out or walking out.

    One time I reported physical abuse of staff while a consultant at a Fortune 500 company, they already knew about it, and simply held an informal meeting for the manager to apologize to those involved without going on the record. Really?

    When working as an outside consultant, at first I felt comfortable being an arms-length away from corporate politics, able to focus on the work and on my team. But after repeatedly being placed in the middle of situations where management was covering up incompetence, misbehavior, and abuse, I gave up been brokered in an out of toxic workplaces.

    As an indie in the WordPress Community, I’ve had some minor disappointments, but nothing approaching toxicity. Our Code of Conduct is a proper guide, Inclusion is a healthy strategy, and the people who join and who lead make the real difference.

    I learned from the teachings of both Buddha and Deming that there is an innate goodness in all people, to do good work, to help others. Yes, there’s bad karma, failed systems, whatever you label the toxicity all around us—but as you say “We need to start bringing each other up,”

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Meet Tessa Kriesel

Developer Advocate at Pantheon, Tessa has been a web developer for over 10 years. She enjoys front-end development but also loves to build sites from start to finish.

She enjoys teaching others to code, mentoring junior developers and speaking at conferences and youth events. She is an instructor and retired Chapter Leader for Girl Develop It Minneapolis, WordCamp Minneapolis Organizer and founder of Outspoken Women. Tessa is a northern Minnesota native, but now lives in the Twin Cities. She loves dogs and enjoys helping local organizations rescue dogs in her free time.

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