From the Gendergap list, a really nice post, IMHO, from a newer female user from Australia.  Shared with permission.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Gendergap] [Commons-l] Fwd: Photo of the Day on Wikimedia Commons
Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 13:52:44 +1000
From:  <>
Reply-To: Increasing female participation in Wikimedia projects <>
To: Increasing female participation in Wikimedia projects <>

This anime image is not appropriate on the front page. Questions of art, of education, and of publication, all require judgement. Judgement in these matters is normal and necessary and is not of itself something which needs apology. Here are some reasons why I think it is okay to decide NOT to put this picture on the front page. This is not to say that it should be deleted, it is simply not appropriate for the front page – and that does not constitute censorship.

The commonality of discriminatory product placement

Most areas of endeavor exercise care and some discrimination about their products. It's not that they are illegal or censored; it's that they are inappropriate in some places. For example, at a recent exhibition in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a very explicit drawing was placed at the far end of the exhibition and a sign was placed discreetly to inform members of the public who had to make a choice about whether to view them. In the case of Wikimedia, there might be gory images, for example, of the effect of land-mines which explode in children's faces. They are probably valuable – encyclopedic and even educational – but would they be appropriate on the front page? Their value is not diminished by leaving them in the body of the repository and it is not censorship to make some small efforts necessary to access them.

The woman's body

If you put a large-breasted indigenous naked woman in an image, people would not be commenting on the size of her breasts. They would see them as part of the woman herself, whereas the breasts on which people have commented in this anime are plainly “designed” for service to (some) viewers. In fact, this image's offensiveness to many comes not from the size of the breasts but rather from the whole backbreaking pose of the woman.

Art and education

If this is a form of art, the question is not whether or not you like the breasts (there are lots of breasts in art) but whether the art has its own integrity. That is an aesthetic question, which is why the colour palette is not under challenge as it contributes to the integrity of the image. Commons has criteria for aesthetic quality, but they do not specify or restrict subject matter. However, whether you like this art or any component part of it in any image is irrelevant. Audience approval of the “tits” is only relevant if the image is about titillation. Only if this is the purpose, does the approval of the pose and body parts become relevant.

If the image is not about art but is rather about education, then the subject's body and pose are misleading, as are the clothes and everything else, even the colour palette. Above all, if it is about education, then an argument that its primary purpose to educate about the art form (manga) or the medium (the software) is spurious and disingenuous.


PS I am a newbie female Ĺustralian Wikipedian and have been following this list for a while but this is my first contribution to it. I really think this is the wrong sort of image for the front page. Apart from all the other arguments, I think it is likely to deter whole demographics (plural) from contributing to any of the WM projects.