As one of the English Wikipedia's top content creators , let me
weigh in here with a shameless plug that I would like to present my
work at Wikimania this year and am hoping for sponsorship from the WMF
in order to do that.
I agree heartily with Laura that
<quote>One of the things that really needs to be done is to develop a
list of inherently notable matching pairs and then see what the
patterns are, because general lists of notable women are unlikely to
answer the question of how real the systematic bias is. Further,
gendered lists where the percentages of men and women present should
also be attained and the red links percentages for each gender should
also be looked at.</quote>
My corner of the Wikiverse is art, and I have been busily matching up
various lists of artists and have become well aware of a huge
difference between "documented artists" and "art market artists". I
find lots more women in the second group than the first group, and
there has been a lot of previous work done on the why of this gender
bias. This was in fact one of the main reasons for people to join the
recent Art&Feminism edit-a-thon. The gender bias in the world of art
museums is much easier to document and track, because it is so
overwhelmingly obvious. Pick any top art museum in the world and do a
"weenie count" . The percentage of works by women actually hanging
in public display galleries is way less than 10%. The main reason is
of course that people want the biggest bang for their buck in any
situation, and art museum curators are no exception. They would rather
buy one Anthony van Dijk than 50 works by his lesser known male or
female contemporaries. If you prioritize any "would like to buy list"
that any art museum curator is holding at any given auction, the
percentage of female names on those lists will probably be zero. That
said, I have discovered that most art museums do have quality works by
women in their collections, but these are not on show. I have been
resurrecting these works wherever I find them virtually on Wikipedia
as a way to illustrate biographies on these artists.
On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:16 AM, David Monniaux
This could help identify to which extent the problem is created by the
Wikipedia authors, as opposed to simply reflecting the situation of
current scholarly literature. That is, I would like to distinguish the
effects of the Wikipedia writing process and the demographics of
contributors from those of available reference sources and general
This is often context specific to the area being edited on Wikipedia. It
is also hard to do 1:1 comparisons between men and women.
One area where it is easier to do 1:1 comparisons is sports. Sports
notability pretty much insures that any national team is notable, yet when
matching pairs are looked for on English Wikipedia, the chances are higher
of the men's national team article existing for the most popular and
historically male dominant professional sports are higher. These article
titles are implicitly non-gendered. On the other hand, women's national
teams do not exist, and are often gendered.
One example is basketball.
73 women's teams and
the Wikipedia list for men.
the Wikipedia list for women. Ignoring defunct teams and including
non-FIBA recognise teams, there are 69 redlinks for men. The number of
redlinked women's national teams is 182. The ratio of redlinked teams is
not near parity at all to suggest that the existence of men's national
basketball teams women's national basketball teams are similar.
There are 69 occurrences where both a men's national team and a women's
national team article exists for the same country. (Some of these matched
pairs are for junior national teams.) In 55 of these occurrences, the
men's national team article title is ungendered when the women's national
team exists, where in only 14 instances of men and women's paired team
articles are the men's article names gendered.
Again, notability guidelines generally imply these articles are inherently
notable. (And the lack of the existence of a team doesn't necessarily
negate the article's notability, as in a number of cases, the lack of a
team in certain sports is discussed in a lot of literature to the point
where non-existent teams can be considered notable.)
By competing in world championships and the Olympics, you're also generally
considered notable. Russia's women are ranked third in the world. The men
are seventh. 2 articles about women's national team players are missing. 1
is missing for the men. The French women are ranked fourth in the world.
Articles are missing about 4 of the 15 players. The men are ranked 8th in
the world. 0 of the 15 articles are missing. The Spanish women are ranked
sixth and the men second. 3 of the 15 articles are missing for the women,
and 0 for the men. (Though more articles exist about women than men for
the Czech Republic and Brazilian national teams.)
One of the things that really needs to be done is to develop a list of
inherently notable matching pairs and then see what the patterns are,
because general lists of notable women are unlikely to answer the question
of how real the systematic bias is. Further, gendered lists where the
percentages of men and women present should also be attained and the red
links percentages for each gender should also be looked at.
This just takes huge amounts of work because a lot of these lists are not
easy to get.