The Daily WTF is a website which publishes humorous stories about computing. These are mainly about programming, but also extend to job interviews, management stupidity, Rube-Goldberg-style hardware fixes, etc.
The site is owned and edited by Alex Papadimoulis.
The "Beaten Into Submission" story
On May 27th 2009 The Daily WTF published a story about an unfortunate programmer who found some problem code which originated with a team managed by a female staff member.
He wrote that "the code between us and [female staff member] needs to be beaten into submission." The line wrapping of his email gave the impression, at a quick glance, that he'd written "[female staff member] needs to beaten into submission".
Papadimoulis chose to illustrate this story with a photo, apparently of a bruised and scarred woman.
A number of people commented, objecting to the image, but it was not removed.
The image was sourced from a school of film and TV makeup. If users rolled their mouse over it, they could see the message "don't worry, it's only makeup".
The "FemaleLogic" comment
The Daily WTF published Don't Wear Out Your Methods, which included a code snippet that featured a method called
HumanLogic, which used "Yes" and "No" strings instead of typical true/false booleans.
A reader commented with a method called
FemaleLogic, which had the exact opposite code that
HumanLogic had. In addition to devaluating women, this comment also perpetuated rape culture by implying that women do not understand the difference between yes and no. Despite this, The Daily WTF editor Mark Bowytz featured this comment.
A number of people commented, objecting to The Daily WTF endorsing the sexist comment. As a result, the comment was unfeatured (but was not deleted).