Female web developer wanted. Must love shoes and nail varnish

Some developers are being sexist. It must be a Thursday.

Another month, another example of the programming community being a fairly hostile place towards women. German web developers Bloopark are looking for a new developer – but they've put up two adverts:

Web developer (m) Need for programming You are addicted to PHP, MySQL and Javascript since years? Your life makes no sence without programming? Your girlfriend doesn't understand, why you start learning the fifth php framework and your parents say, your head is full of unix and linux. Do you want to talk to us about this? We want to invite you to an anonymous or maybe very personal meeting. No worries, we will bring you to a team that understands you and will support your passion of programming.

Web developer (f) Beautiful und sexy code wanted We are convinced that woman are great programmers. Woman write sexy code: neat and clean. Many of them have long relationship... with PHP5, MySQL and Javascript. They like to talk and communication is essential in our work. Female programmers get along with customers very well and take such a good care of code quality, as if it is a pair of their new shoes. The best thing is that their detailed documentation and code organisation match the rules of Feng-Shui. Are you a female programmer with passion? May we invite you for coffee?

In case that's too small to read, here's the text alone:

Web developer (m)

Need for programming

You are addicted to PHP, MySQL and Javascript since years? Your life makes no sence without programming? Your girlfriend doesn't understand, why you start learning the fifth php framework and your parents say, your head is full of unix and linux. Do you want to talk to us about this? We want to invite you to an anonymous or maybe very personal meeting. No worries, we will bring you to a team that understands you and will support your passion of programming.

Web developer (f)

Beautiful und sexy code wanted

We are convinced that woman are great programmers. Woman write sexy code: neat and clean. Many of them have long relationship... with PHP5, MySQL and Javascript. They like to talk and communication is essential in our work. Female programmers get along with customers very well and take such a good care of code quality, as if it is a pair of their new shoes. The best thing is that their detailed documentation and code organisation match the rules of Feng-Shui. Are you a female programmer with passion? May we invite you for coffee?

It's worth noting that each of the adverts leads to an application page with identical wording (male, female); the adverts really do differ purely in an ill-advised effort to appeal to women. While it's not as offputting as the time a Ruby developer appeared to offer the presence of women as a perk in a job ad, it's still just the latest example of the endemic sexism in the community.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

jiedaibao
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Chinese loan sharks are using nudes as collateral. Is this the grim future of revenge porn?

The economics of shame. 

When female students in Guangdong, a southern province in China, applied for a small loan, they were met with a very specific demand. Send naked photos of yourself holding your ID cards, they were told – or you won’t get the money. If you don’t pay up, we’ll make the photos public.

This is according to Nandu Daily, the area’s local newspaper, but has also been reported by the Associated Press and the Financial Times. The FT places the trend in the context of the Chinese economy, where peer to peer lending sites like Jiedaibao, the platform where the students allegedly contacted the lenders, are common. Thanks to the country’s slowing economy, the paper argues, lenders are increasingly intent on making sure they’ll be repaid.

As a result, there have also been reports of property destruction and even beatings by loan sharks. Part of the problem is that these are unregulated lenders who operate through an online platform. In this case, Jiedaibao says the agreement about photos was made via different communication channels, and told the FT: “This is an illegal offline trade between victims and lenders who did it by making use of the platform.” 

This new use of naked photos in this case, though, plays to the ways that shame is now used as a weapon, especially online – and the fact that it can essentially be monetised.

Revenge porn is a huge and growing problem. As Jon Ronson noted in his book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, the internet offers a unique space in which shamings (over a naked photo, or an unwise comment) can be transmitted all over the world almost instantly. For some, this threat is simply too much to cope with, as it was for the growing number teenagers who have committed suicide after being blackmailed with naked photos

It’s telling, too, that the students targeted with these demands were, reportedly at least, women. Most victims of revenge porn are also women. The shame brought down on women who appear in these photos is not so much about their nakedness, but the implication that they've behaved in a sexual way. In China, virginity is still highly valued in marriage, and your family and friends would likely take the spread of naked photos of you extremely seriously. In Behind the Red Door, Sex in China , Richard Burger notes:

Every year, thousands of Chinese women pay for an operation to restore their hymens shortly before their wedding so that husbands can see blood on the sheets on their honeymoon night.

The strange story of these students and their loans highlights two important points. First, as anti-loan shark campaigners have argued for decades, “free choice” in signing up to extortionate fees or demands when taking out a loan is a misnomer when you’re constrained by economic need and desperation.

But second, we can’t allow the shame around female sexuality to become a commodity. We need to both protect women's rights and persecute those who share images without consent, but also fight the stigma that makes these shamings possible in the first place. It's not acceptable that the suggestion of sexual activity can still be used to ruin women's lives.

Barbara Speed is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman and a staff writer at CityMetric.