On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Laura Hale <laura(a)fanhistory.com> wrote:
So yes, systematic bias can be overcome by encouraging
the growth of
female contributors. The failure to attract women contributors to editing
Wikipedia across various languages has little to do with that.
I am actually in agreement with you on both points. The linkage I
postulated was a far more indirect one – I postulated an effect on
and how it may affect the behaviour of *male* contributors on Wikimedia
This has whut to do with the issue? Misogyny and
pornography are not the
same thing. I'll take the opinion of a
global group of women who came to
the conclusion on their own that this is a red herring issue that does NOT
work in terms of addressing the gendergap by trying to eliminate
pornographic material from one white woman from the United States, which I
previously stated was a consensus view at an internationally attended
conference for addressing the gender gap was not an issue.
Thanks for your links. If I may, I'd like to offer some thoughts on the
first two links you provided.
The first of these was
It mentioned, among other things, that –
the specific jargon, aggressive behaviours, strict rules and meritocracy
are factors pushing away certain users ... there is harassment &
aggressivity towards women ... lack of mentorship ... special jargon,
unwritten rules ...
The other link was the pinboard image:
It includes such points as these five:
– baja autoestima (low self-esteem),
– La opinión de los hombres vale mas que la de las mujeres (men's opinions
count more than women's opinions),
– harassment on the mailing list and on the wiki,
– La comunidad hace que te sientes incompetente (the community makes you
– Es un contexto agresivo? (is it an aggressive environment?)
Of course, there are many other points mentioned on the pinboard as well,
such as women having less time for volunteer work (beyond our means to
fix), or lack of mentorship/lack of community building compared to content
building (something the Tea House is designed to address, for example). So
clearly there are other important factors, and what I am talking about is
just one element in the overall equation.
But I believe the items I highlighted above relate to what I was driving at.
The fact is that certain male behaviours are only found in environments
like locker rooms or building sites where men feel that they are "among
themselves" and need not consider women's opinions.
Locker-room type imagery (as reflected in en:WP articles like "tit torture"
or "hogtie bondage" for example, which are transparently and needlessly
designed to serve the male gaze) psychologically *signals* to men that they
are in a male environment and are free to behave in that way. I believe
this explains something of the vehemence with which some male editors
defend articles illustrated like this: for some of them it is not so much
about censorship, it is really about defending the vision that *Wikipedia
is owned by men*.
A woman passing by a men-only building site has a greater chance of being
teased, cat-called, harassed, disparaged, put down, or belittled than a
woman passing a mixed-gender group standing by the road. A single woman
entering a male locker room is less likely to be treated respectfully than
a woman serving a male customer at a bank, or a woman being served by a
male shop employee.
This sense of being belittled, discounted, harassed and aggressed is what
is reflected in the pinboard statements above. Every woman entering
Wikipedia is surrounded by nine men who feel the place belongs to them.
It is no coincidence that banks and shops do not have calendars with naked
women (or men) on the walls, and that there are rules against displaying
such imagery in many workplaces. These rules open workplaces up to women.
Wikipedia's porn has a significance to the gender gap that goes far beyond
its capacity to turn off individual women encountering it.
(And pardon for my terseness. It is 4:14am and
I'm still jet lagged from
my trip to Buenoes Aires where I got to meet some truly wonderful women,
and discuss many of these issues for about five days. The ascyrhonous
nature of coming back to the list where the discussion is so out of line
with all these conversations from those actively involved in the movement
is a bit jarring on the brain.)
No worries. I hope you have a good rest ... I (and I am sure everybody else
here) would love to hear more from you about the conference when you are
rested. It sounds exciting!