Over recent months I have uploaded around 150,000 photos from high
value Flickr streams, and as I go through the uploads cleaning them up
I am coming across photos of many notable females (politics, social
activists, diplomatic, etc) that should probably have articles on our
projects, but which don't exist. I have written many an article based
purely on the notion of us having freely licenced media available, and
I was wondering if anyone would be interested if I wrote up a list of
these missing articles that people might like to look at writing up.
Another day, another
casual sexism exhibited by en.wikipedia editors who mean absolutely no
harm, but simply don't understand how they could cause harm while meaning
none. I seem to
significant alarm and offense to a number of male editors be
publicly pointing out that I found the comment inappropriate.
Was there a better way to handle this? I can't help feeling that saying
nothing or hatting the section would have been supporting the notion that
it's either not a problem or not remarkable for male editors to make
comments encouraging others to comment on female editors' bodies.
Are you interested in diversity?
People write on every sort of subject, but not all people contribute. We
are aware of the worryingly small number of female contributors to
Wikipedia. Diversity also has many other aspects alongside gender that may
impact the quality and quantity of knowledge that Wikimedia projects aim to
share with the world. We are organizing this conference to help frame and
contextualize what diversity means for Wikipedia and its sister projects,
and to further develop our approaches for increasing diversity.
The conference has two main goals:
The first goal is to establish a sustainable dialogue with collaborators in
Wikimedia Chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation and the international
communities to frame the issue of diversity in the context of Wikimedia.
We aim to build a shared understanding of what diversity means for
Wikimedia projects and why it is important. Our second goal will be to
connect, multiply and create successful initiatives for increasing gender
and other types of diversity in Wikimedia. We aim to turn ideas into action.
Wikipedians, Wikimedians, chapters and affiliates, members of the Wikimedia
Foundation board and staff, interested individuals and experts with a focus
on diversity and Wikipedia – we invite you to join us at highlighting
different aspects of diversity!
What are your ideas?
Please post your suggestions on our MetaWiki page:
We will work closely together with our partners from Wikimedia Netherlands,
Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure a broad range of topics
and views that are important to the Wikimedia universe.
We will offer a limited number of scholarships. These cover costs of travel
You are invited to apply for scholarships during the process of
registration. The official registration and submission for talks will start
after Wikimania in Hong Kong in the middle of August.
Check your e-mail and the conference website
on registration and the call for participation, or contact
diversity(a)wikimedia.de for more information.
Feel free to get in touch with us any time, via email or directly via the
Meta page. We are looking forward to seeing you here in Berlin!
*Save the date!*
Date: 9-10 November 2013
Venue: GLS Campus Berlin, Germany
Sorry for cross posting*
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Obentrautstraße 72 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 260
Stellen Sie sich eine Welt vor, in der jeder Mensch freien Zugang zu der
Gesamtheit des Wissens der Menschheit hat. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
This long-time Microsoft exec has recently been appointed head of
their Xbox division. As soon as the announcement came out, the forum
posts and blogs started up, with cracks about "baking and knitting
apps" and "she has no gaming experience" ('cuz she's a chick, and
chicks don't game) and discussion of her MILFy hotness or lack
thereof. I posted a link to an article in ''The Atlantic" about it,
but another editor feels the author was cherry-picking to grind an
ideological ax. Comments?
Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food
-- Desiderius Erasmus
On Jul 20, 2013 10:36 AM, "Andreas Kolbe" <jayen466(a)gmail.com> wrote:
nice video. maybe I'll even go watch it a 2nd time. but…
> I think it would generally be wise to avoid jumping to conclusions. There
was a great Guardian advert about this once:
> LadyofShalott and Drmies are friends. She has 1200 edits to his talk
page, he has 400 to hers.
I don't see the relevance of any of that.
quoting Fluffernutter (from earlier in this thread):
> But I did all those things, Powers. I said that I knew it was supposed to
be humourous and that LoS might not personally mind it, and I said that my
concern was for other people reading it.
It doesn't matter if LoS and Drmies are friends.
It doesn't matter if the original post could be justified or acceptable
from 3 perspectives/interpretations.
What does matter is that a substantial (non-trivial) number of people had
objections to it (or possibly even interpreted it as Carol did).
Don't worry, this story has a happy ending ;) The moral is a bit flawed, cos the hero is one of the two guys, who swoops in to rescue the woman, and his otherwise excellent anti-sexist direct action borders on gaybaiting.
Still, I'm inspired by this sort of thing. It's so John Brown at Harper's Ferry.
*Sigh*, life will be much richer once the white-ish/male-ish/middle-class recognizes that their group interest is best served by overturning the disgusting status quo, in which all friendships are hobbled by covert power issues and stupid prejudice. Friendship between equals is more rewarding... And anyway, pushing bullies around when they expect you to be on their team is great fun.
Article reproduced without permission:
Friday, July 12, 2013
Changing The Creepy Guy Narrative:
How being a writer helped me rewrite a sexist trope...for real.
So a thing happened to me yesterday on the BART as I was coming home from work. (And no, it wasn't a Sharknado...mores the pity.) Maybe I'm just rewriting history or trying to make a story fit in this the context of this blog...maybe, but I really, honestly think that what happened did so (at least in my case) because I am a writer.
You see, as a writer, I am also a reader--a big crazy, prolific-as-shit reader. I've read two or three dozen articles my friends have linked over the years on women's experience with creepers on public transit--usually with some sort of commentary attached to it by said friend along the lines of "ZOMG THIS!!!!" or "SO FUCKING TRUE!!!!" I've read Schrodinger's Rapist, Rape Culture 101, Jezebel articles by the dozens (perhaps hundreds), and even my own friends' tribulations on BARTs and busses. I even read that article (which I can't find now) that lays out a well reasoned case that our culture's entirely fucked up sense of consent and rape culture exist naturally as an extension of the same mindset that cause women to be afraid of being blunt and honest when they get cornered in public by someone they're not interested in. [ETA- One of the commenters knew the piece I was talking about. It's called Another Post About Rape.]
And in reading all these things I've come to be aware of a narrative. An everyday narrative almost as common for women as "the train pulled into the station, and I got on." It's not that no one but a writer could be aware of this narrative it's just that in a world where tragically few are, that was my gateway.
It is the narrative of how men hit on women in public places. A tired old story if ever there were one. A story where consent is not a character we actually ever meet, and where the real antagonist is not a person, but rather the way she has been socialized to be polite, to be civil, to not be "such a bitch"....no matter how much of a Douchasauras Rex HE is being about not picking up the subtle clues. Yes, a human being might fill the role of the immediate obstacle--and in doing so personify the larger issue, but the careful reader of this tropetastic narrative knows the real villain is the culture that discourages her from rebuking him in no uncertain terms lest she be castigated. (And that's the best case scenario; the worst is that she angers someone with much greater upper body strength who may become violent.) The real antagonist is a society where she is actually discouraged from being honest about what she wants...or doesn't want. And the society that socialized him that it's okay for him to corner her...pressure her....be persistent to the point of ignoring the fact that she has said no.
I saw the heroine of our story sitting on the BART. The train wasn't busy in the afternoon along the "anti-commute" line, so it was only a few of us spread out far and wide. She was thin but not skinny and wore one of those wispy skirts that always make me want to send God a fruit basket for inventing summer. The kind of woman my step-father would have gotten distracted by and then grudgingly called "a real looker."
So under Google images as available for commercial reuse,
I searched for the keyword "creepy guy."
This isn't him, but surprisingly, it's not TOO far off.
But what is much more important that I noticed, because I'm all writerly and observant and shit like that, is that everything about her screamed "leave me alone." She had headphones jammed in her ears. Her nose was down in a book (my hand to God, I think it was Storm of Swords). She was pulled inward with body language that couldn't have been more clear if she had one of those shields from Dune...activated.
But still....he tried.
He sat right behind her--already a warning sign on such an empty train.
The real antagonist may have been society, but our personification of it was well cast. He had a sort of Christian Bale look about him, if Christian Bale were playing a role of a douchecanoe. Revisionist memory is always suspect, but I'm telling this story, and I'm going to stand by the fact that I thought he looked like a creepy guy long before he started acting like one.
He waited until the train was in motion to make his move--a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. "Hi." "How you doing?" "What are you reading?" "What's your name?" "I really like your hair." "That's a really nice skirt." "You must work out."
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn't going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. "I'd like to read my book." And he pulled out the social pressure. "Hey, I'm just asking you a question. You don't have to be so rude." She started to look around for outs. Her head swiveled from one exit to another.
The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.
So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy--which isn't exactly untrue--and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. "It looks soft."
That's about when it got.....weird.
He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely.
But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her.
"Wait, don't be like that," I said. "Lemmie just ask you one question..."
"What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo.
And I'm not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn't call it a day at that point, but.....maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. "What's your name?"
Right now I'm sitting here typing out this story, and I'm still not entirely sure why I'm not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn't come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of "pop" with intention--pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day's end.
"DUDE," he shouted. "I'M NOT GAY."
That's when I dropped the bedroom eyes and switched to a normal voice. "Oh well I could see not being interested didn't matter to you when you were hitting on her, so I just thought that's how you rolled."
(Of course later, I thought of a dozen cleverer things I could have said, but, I'm going for honesty here. I was tripping over my own words due to the adrenaline dump. My voice was probably shaking too, and I'm guessing the line above was more shouted than said with even, level, movie-caliber cool. I am in no way a badass.)
But whatever I said, or however I said it, it did the trick. I don't know if he "got it." I don't know if he just thought better of committing assault in front of the BART cameras. I don't know if he just didn't want to escalate past bravado. But whatever went through his head, he turned back in his seat, sat back (away from her) and muttered "asshole." And that turned out to be this story's climax.
What I do know--and this made almost getting my clock cleaned worth it--was that the denouement was quite nice. She mouthed the words "thank you" to me as she stepped out the door of the Rockridge station.
Yep. Worth it.
I don't want to steer too close to the idea that no one but a writer could ever do what I did because that's obviously not true. Anyone could and more men should. But what I do sort of think is that I was aware of that narrative because I am a writer. Others might get it for other reasons, but I got it because I am a writer. I knew the tropes and the cliches and the tired old lines. I was aware of how to create a role reversal in the "typical characters." I'm aware that most men don't know what it's like to be hit on by someone they're not interested in who won't take their hints. I look at things differently. I see the world from another angle. I think what would happen if we told this story from another point of view. And sometimes, not often--but sometimes, I can change a narrative completely.
And I'm going to go ahead and say that too (at least for me) is because I am a writer.
Just plucked this off WM Israel's June report on wikimedia-l posted July 15
and wanted to share here in case you'll had missed it.
Fifth Wikipedia Academy Conference *
The fifth Wikipedia Academy conference in Israel was held on June 2, 2013
in the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. The central theme of this year's
conference, which attracted an audience of 150—among them Wikipedians,
members of the academia and the business world—was "*Why are there fewer
women editors on Wikipedia*".
We were honored to welcome the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
member *Bishakha Datta* , as our keynote speaker. We also had a women's
panel with some of our Wikipedia Israel community members, and several
- Follow this link to
latest update on Wikimedia blog
- Watch the video clip summary <http://youtu.be/Nr9VoizX0-Q> of the
- All the sessions are available on our
- Photos on Flickr<http://www.flickr.com/photos/wikimediail/sets/72157633952455042/>
Wikimedia Israel Survey
On June 2013, Wikimedia Israel conducted a survey, according to which 23%
of Israeli Wikipedians are women (compared to 10–15% in other parts of the
world), 57% of Wikipedians are single and have a bachelor's or master's
degree, 15% are under the age of 15 and 5% are over 60. Only 29% of the
editors said they wrote new articles; the others engaged in adding content
to existing articles, correcting mistakes and adding media.
You will find the exact statistics on this press
Some additional comments:
While researching my presentation, I went through every single email on
this list since January and found it incredibly useful. So thank you, all.
And thanks, Sue, for your foresight in getting this up and going. (In an
aside, I also found myself comparing and contrasting the tone/s and styles
of posting on this list and on wikimedia-l, which would be worth a research
study of its own someday).
But wanted to draw your attention to the conference itself, which was
excellently organized, meaty, and buzzing with men and women from within
and outside of wikimedia (bloggers, academics, students, researchers)
engaged in productive conversations, largely in Hebrew, which I followed
via informal translations. The conference room was full and everyone
present was deeply engaged.
Apart from all that is documented in the links above, we had an interesting
micro-exchange on gender habits related to editing: some editors felt that
men will confidently place information on a wiki page, even if not totally
sure about the veracity of this information. They said that women will
hesitate many times before hitting 'save'; checking and cross-checking the
information until they are certain of it beyond doubt.
This discussion was prompted by a study of women and knowledge of politics
in the US; a survey showed that women would click 'don't know' far more
than men, who would guess an answer if they didn't know one, instead of
hitting don't know. Removing 'don't know' was suggested as an option to get
women to change this 'uncertain' behaviour. Obviously, this doesn't hold
for all women or all men, but just wanted to put it out.
I also met the Monday Group, a small group of women, who edit every Monday
- they get together and get snacks and drinks and have fun editing
together. After the conference, we had a cozy wikichix dinner, with editors
working on Hebrew wikipedia. A lovely end to a wonderful day.
Seeing Sarah's question on safe space, I remembered I had something in
draft that should test the concept.
For a change I actually watched the video below; here are my reaction
comments, though not a systematic review of her talk. Quotes mean it's
pretty much what she said, no quotes mean it's me opining unless
Original message: An interesting talk by Alyssa Wright on the gender gap
Comments as listening - because now and then we females have to let it
all hang out here....:
* First time I ever heard of Open Street Map
* She talks about "Open Source and community." IMHO, Open source is not
really a community if it's anonymous. Community is based on truth. With
anonymity, people can lie about who they are, what their job and
education and interests and COIs are, what sex/gender they are, whether
or not they are law enforcement spies, whether they are a sock who got
kicked off before for bad behavior, whether their collaborator/colleague
is a meat puppet, etc etc etc. It's one of the reasons I've gotten
particularly fed up with Wikipedia in recent weeks and stopped watching
the most controversial/time consuming articles, cutting down my editing
(And just as I was getting to point where my # of edits would be in the
top 2000 editors; maybe I'll do vandalism clean up for a few weeks, she
said pounding her ample breasts On the other hand I finally have time
to start transferring my embarrassingly old fashioned websites over to a
more modern format, so I'm not totally complaining...
* "Lack of rules makes discrimination easier" - interesting... [[Tyranny
of Structurelessness]] is one of the articles I watch. I like
spontaneous order and participatory, consensus oriented democracy, but
I've also seen no rules and minimal rules abused by cliques in activist
groups. Wikipedia has fairly good rules, but too few people willing to
come to noticeboards where they are discussed and enforced. (Especially
if a female has complaints about editors perceived to be male?)
* She mentions "Incentive and motivation award gap" -- Hoo YA! While
some women get off on the competition for dominance as an incentive and
"victory" as a reward, most have different motivations...
* "Different Communication Styles not discussed enough" -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Tannen has an article on woman who
introduced a discussion on that 20 plus years ago; article has "needs
* She mentions "Active hostility towards women". She should have (may
have?) added: only the one's with their own ideas, especially if they
dare speak them and, worse crime of all, disagree with some alpha male.
* "Women who want to be part of community" But should they want to
belong if it's not really a community? If you value your time and
stress levels (which I've started to do lately), run from the articles
run by alpha males and POV pushers who get away with murder no matter
how many noticeboards you take them to. Just do the minimal on
"Dick-free" articles of interest to you where you can use it for own
purposes... (As in my now favorite wiki essay:
* She talks about her experience of community rejection of child care
tag for child care centers (the male argument being kindergarden tag was
sufficient for all types of child care) - even though the male editors
had been happy to approve a variety of tags for sexually oriented
venues. My snide comment removed...
* She talks about "Creating a knowledge base to represent the world..."
and "Open source not a utopia" I'm learning wordpress now.. I hear that
on sloppy organization and even worse technical support; unless I
haven't ferreted out the right help pages yet.... (Luckily I'm on
godaddy which squanders their profits letting us call up and ask the
questions which the online manuals don't answer too well.)
* Talks about "Converting white males..." ROTFL x 88..... Another of my
snide comments removed...
* "Stop being ass holes" she flashes on her big screen - see around 15
minutes in... Hoo Yah!!
*(Per Sarah's comment, I ask: Why can't we just make this a "how to
convert white males from being assholes" email list group??? Or start a
separate one on that topic. (I wrote at first draft of this "the most
liberating concept to jump out of my brain of late...")
* She talks about what I call the "either they ignore you or attack you
syndrome..." (I've found overtime on male dominated lists they usually
ignore me when I make a positive contribution - unless they find some
minor point that annoys me and attack me for that. Over time I've
gotten in the habit of just dropping some bomb of subtle or not so
subtle commentary that I know will get them crazy and then sitting back
and laughing my ass off at their immature and predictable tantrums. (Not
this post, of course, since these phenomena ARE the topic of this list!)
* Re her studies of two different OSM mailing lists, her comments, not
final conclusions: It's not just about openness but who's
participating; not just collaboration -- but how people are working
together; re: participation-- are women actually creating messages? She
found that on one OSM email list, even when the number of women grew,
men still do most of the talking. On another one where there were more
women and they spoke out more. (I don't feel like going back to see if
she had an explanation that I missed; perhaps something about critical
Q&A session: couldn't hear questions but her Italian Prime Minister
comment response evidently was a relevant and amusing reply to some
somewhat sexist question; she briefly mentions Wikipedia surveys in
context of her studies; "a woman asked a question!!!" she says when one
finally does; and she agrees with whatever the woman said and wants to
continue discussion in another forum.
Hopeful for constructive response to whatever... Carol in dc