On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM, Laura Hale <laura(a)fanhistory.com> wrote:
On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:28 AM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I believe issues relating to pornography are germane to a list discussing
the gender gap, and I'm happy to be informed about them (as with Andreas'
initial post) on this list. It's one of the reasons I subscribe to this
Laura, if there was consensus around a different point of view at your
conference, that's fine; but it's not binding on anybody who wasn't part of
As a woman, can you tell me if you regularly find pornography on Wikipedia
and you are offended by it?
This is not an issue of "my conference" but an issue of a group of women
involved in the global movement were together for several days and discussed
these issues almost all the time. This was the first WMF gender gap
conference. It was the first WMF women's only event. Do you realise how
offensive it is to dismiss us this way? Seriously, it is greatly offensive
to dismiss the conference and our outcomes and our conversations like you
just did. Can you please apologise for your incivility in dismissing us
Do you know why the issue even came up to begin with? Because I saw the
conversation appear here so often that I thought "Surely pornography must be
an important global issue that makes it difficult for women to contribute."
I was point blank told: "This is a problem for women from the USA and is
used to derail important conversations." Beyond that, the issue of
pornography was so unimportant as not to be discussed.
I can understand the viewpoint that inappropriate pornography is only
an important barrier to a subset of potential or current Wikipedia
editors, and that it can be frustrating when people succeed in
derailing a discussion about the worldwide gender gap by changing the
topic to prudery.
However, my personal approach is to work hard to combat derailing
rather than avoid the topic that triggers derailing - that is, it's
the people doing the derailing that is the problem, not the topic of
discussion. For example, responding with "Please don't derail the
conversation" and a link to the definition of derailing can help, as
well as general education on the original topic. I'm not sure how to
make progress on the gender gap while also avoiding topics that are
targets for derailing.
My personal approach to people using pornography in a manner that
creates a hostile environment is to educate people on the effect of a
sexualized environment on how women are perceived and treated:
I find that most people simply don't realize that pornography produced
for a certain specific audience doesn't produce the same feelings of
happiness and pleasure in everyone who views it, or that it only does
so in appropriate contexts. After all, even if a person enjoys this
specific kind of pornography, many people aren't interested in
becoming sexually aroused in, e.g., a public auditorium at a technical
conference, or while doing research for a non-pornographic topic.
Increasing the participation of women in open technology and culture