[Foundation-l] encouraging women's participation

Ryan Kaldari rkaldari at wikimedia.org
Fri Jun 18 17:20:07 UTC 2010

I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your post, but it sounded very much like 
you were saying that encyclopedia writing is a skill that is too 
academic for women:
"...general approaches which make Wikipedia more palatable to "average 
people"... may have a greater impact at reducing gender imbalance than 
female centric improvements... Though are limits to the amount of 
main-streaming you can do of an academic activity such as encyclopaedia 

Perhaps you were not meaning to imply that women are too "average" to be 
interested in academic activities. I'm glad to hear that isn't the case, 
but I would encourage you to be more careful with your wording in the 
future. There is a long history of scientific apologetics being used to 
perpetuate sexism, racism, etc. Just look at the "science" of 
phrenology, or more recently "The Bell Curve". Anyway, I don't want to 
drag this thread into a debate on scientific -isms. I just wanted to 
remind everyone that there are real steps that can be taken to address 
the gender imbalance problem, regardless of any real or perceived gender 

Ryan Kaldari

On 6/17/10 8:46 PM, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM, Ryan Kaldari<rkaldari at wikimedia.org>  wrote:
>> I don't think scapegoating Wikipedia's gender imbalances to biological
>> differences is especially helpful. And the suggestion that it may not be
>> possible to dumb-down Wikipedia enough to attract women is ridiculous
>> (and offensive).
> I'm finding your response fairly offensive and insulting.  It is out
> of line and I believe you owe me a public apology.
> That kind of hostility is no way to create an effective environment
> for collaboration for _anyone_.
> How can we hope to be inclusive of a broader audience when we can't
> even maintain professional decorum among the regulars?

More information about the wikimedia-l mailing list