Hi Aaron and everyone,
This is a really painful thing for me to read. As a scholar, my
research work has been based around the representation of Indigenous
peoples of North America in media and culture. I sincerely doubt
that any of the "tribal members" I know would say that this is a
valid work that would showcase their Indigenous cultures as anything
but another stereotype. Just as I'm sure some women of Tahiti today
would question the relevance today of Gauguin's paintings which
often showcased nude or partially nude Tahitian women - art revered
by both genders and the Western art world. However, I'm not seeking
to speak on behalf of these individuals and communities, nor am I
hear to discuss the creators goal or context with this featured
image. It's more of the fact that this is considered a
choice for the featured front page and the concern that it has given
me as a female contributor to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, etc.
You also stated that you do not want to compromise "our core values
just to try to close a "gap" that some feel is such a big issue, if
it even exists."
This gap does exist, in fact an entire mailing list (which I have
cc'd here and I encourage anyone interested in the topic to join)
was created to work towards bridging this gap. This was triggered by
an article titled "Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia's
Contributor List" by Noam Cohen, published Jan 30 2011 in The
New York Times:
A great and interesting conversation took place by NYT to reflect on
this situation, which you can read here:
I do hope that perhaps those two articles can show you that there is
a problem, and there are many concerned Wikipedians of all
genders, skin tones, and identities aiming to change that. That is
when images like this deter us from our expansive mission to be more
And this has nothing to do with me being "sensitive to toplessness"
- you don't know anything about my lifestyle or character to assume
that, regardless of where I live or where I was born.
On 5/15/2011 10:53 PM, Aaron Adrignola wrote:
Commons is not censored. It's a beautiful scene and
it would be expected that the an imaginary tribal member would not
have the American sensitivities to toplessness. Some images may
offend. Some articles may offend. We're not going to compromise
our core values just to try to close a "gap" that some feel is
such a big issue, if it even exists.
Wikipedia Regional Ambassador, D.C.
Wikipedian-in-Residence, Archives of American Art
& artistic research, advising & event planning.