I am delighted to say that Wikimedia Commons is today the /first/
project to have an official Gender-neutral language policy for its
policies and help pages, so that the project is a welcoming
environment for all. Thanks to everyone that took part in the
discussions and vote!
* https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_neutral_language *
The proposal was an unplanned outcome from the WM-LGBT+ user group
taking part in this year's Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, part of all
the creative discussions that go on when so many international
Wikimedians get together.
If you missed it, the English Wikipedia has an ongoing 'lively'
Request for Comment for its own Gender-neutral policy for policies,
Wikmedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT+https://telegram.me/wmlgbt
On 8 April 2017 at 14:04, Gnangarra <gnangarra(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> I beg to differ with Anders final comment;
>> And our standpoint is that we as Wikipedians should not be first in
>> introducing new use of language but wait until it has become mainstream (if
>> it ever will be)
> I have no issue within our policies and projects being a leader the use of
> neutral language that encompasses all equally because neutrality is one of
> the key pillars of the community. We can and must do better to ensure that
> everyone has the ability to contribute on an equal basis.
> If a language doesnt have a gender neutral way to express an individual
> then we should be encouraging speakers to find alternative ways which can
> best express our neutral position
> On 8 April 2017 at 20:32, Fæ <faewik(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> Thanks for the French experience. :-) You may not have picked up on
>> the specific comment about the French Wikipedia a few days ago in the
>> general Wikimedia Commons Village Pump discussion:
>> "* Total Support. This is not only useful to the trans community, but
>> in the case of French, it is more inclusive for women also, as the
>> French (I'm writing French and this does not mean francophone) have
>> the disastrous tendency to masculinize everything pretending this is
>> the way the french grammar addresses "gender neutrality in French". I
>> would really like us to reflect on writing a best practice manual for
>> all those who want to have an inclusive language (coupled with a non
>> violent communication guide for online practices). Actually on the
>> French wikipedia, most pronouns are in the masculine form even on talk
>> / user / help pages, and when one raises the issue, one gets insults
>> and very silly remarks. --Nattes à chat"
>> It is sad to see that the local community has difficulty staying
>> respectful or even civil when these gender related discussions arise,
>> and should be a welcoming and open debate about the facts for modern
>> language usage. There are no easy solutions, apart from persisting,
>> keeping the topic on our agenda, and gradually educating where we can,
>> even though this gets very tiring for our best volunteers!
>> The French Wikipedia is not alone, and I have been told over the last
>> week of exactly the same problem of "silly comments" on the German
>> Wikipedia, and my experience with raising a Request for Comment
>> yesterday on the English Wikipedia is that discussions on this do
>> include critical views being expressed, which is okay, in a
>> disrespectful way, which is definitely not okay! It's a shame that
>> even some administrators will defend intentionally disrespectful
>> comments as so-called "free speech", rather than a breach of our
>> P.S. Florence, your email gets automatically put in spam when using
>> Google's email system. I'm not even sure how to stop that happening
>> for yahoo addresses to this list.
>> 1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
>> 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fae/RFC_GNL
>> 3. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use
>> On 7 April 2017 at 20:58, Florence Devouard <anthere9(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
>> > A couple of weeks ago, I was asked - in my capacity of meta admin - to
>> > change the phrasing of a site notice on meta, meant to call for
>> > participation to the month of Francophonie.
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=MediaWiki:
>> > The sentence of the call in the site notice was in language neutral
>> > terminology.
>> > "les Wikimédien.nes" instead of the more traditionnal but non neutral
>> > Wikimédiens".
>> > That phrasing raised an uproar on the French pump. So I replaced the
>> term by
>> > "nous" (we). Seems to settle things.
>> > Clearly the French speaking community is not ready to adopt the gender
>> > neutral specific language accross the francophones projects. Alternatives
>> > (such as the "we") are possible but not always.
>> > Florence
>> > Le 06/04/2017 14:58, Fæ a écrit :
>> >> Thanks for the examples from French and I'm sure that our experienced
>> >> translators will have in mind specific best practice guides to turn
>> >> to. I like your illustration of "un/une adminstra-teur-trice" to show
>> >> the challenges. The use of "singular they" remains uncomfortable for
>> >> many English readers, but it has become a recommended standard for
>> >> journalists writing in English.
>> >> Once the principle of gender neutrality is agreed, I just don't know
>> >> what our next steps will turn out to be for non-English versions.
>> >> However I am much encouraged by the positive views on Commons, and I'm
>> >> hopeful we can, and should, find a way to set a better example for our
>> >> fellow projects in our aim to feel welcoming for all contributors. :-)
>> >> Links
>> >> 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
>> >> Thanks
>> >> Fae
>> >> Wikimedia LGBT+
>> >> On 6 April 2017 at 12:30, Antoine Musso <hashar+wmf(a)free.fr> wrote:
>> >>> Le 05/04/2017 à 12:52, Fæ a écrit :
>> >>>> I'm taking that further by
>> >>>> proposing that we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and
>> >>>> help pages. In practice this means that policies avoid using "he or
>> >>>> she" and stick to "they" or avoid using a pronoun at all.
>> >>> As a non native English speaker the use of a plural form definitely
>> >>> confuses me or at best. The example takes a sentence from Commons:FAQ
>> >>> which roughly looks like:
>> >>> A photographer has to be given credit when his or her picture is used.
>> >>> With the proposal to instead:
>> >>> A photographer has to be given credit when their picture is used.
>> >>> Why isn't "picture" plural as well? If using masculine as a neutral
>> >>> pronoum is the issue, just stop using the pronoum entirely. Eg one can
>> >>> instead write:
>> >>> A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
>> >>> That is going to be quite a challenge when ported to other languages.
>> >>> For 'A photographer', the english indefinite article is gender less.
>> >>> In french that would be either 'un' (masculine) or 'une' (feminine).
>> >>> What some are advocating is using:
>> >>> Un/une photographe
>> >>> If the noun varies as well, that becomes messy. Here for
>> >>> 'administrateur':
>> >>> Un/une adminstra-teur-trice
>> >>> That is not solvable in french and all other latin based languages most
>> >>> probably have the same issue (blame Rome!).
>> >>> --
>> >>> Antoine "hashar" Musso
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> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
Hi, apologies for cross-posting, this was suggested by someone
reminding me that many people gave up on following wikimedia-l. :-)
One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin
(waive out to all the lively GenderGappers I met), was that the
various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our language
presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about taking some
practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that having a
standard policy language of English makes it easier to use neutral
gender in policy statements. I'm taking that further by proposing that
we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and help pages. In
practice this means that policies avoid using "he or she" and stick to
"they" or avoid using a pronoun at all. I'm hoping that the outcome
will feel like a much more natural space for people like me that
prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly safer feeling
to the project by the very act of making the effort, as well as
avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty easy to
simply avoid it.
Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
for example something like getting a Wikimedia based consensus to
adopt terms like "Latinx".
1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal