Ladies, why won’t you return Wikipedia’s lonely booty calls?

31 Jan

Wikipedia has difficulty attracting women contributors, according to a recent piece in the NYTimes: “surveys suggest that less than 15 percent of its hundreds of thousands of contributors are women.”

What the hell, womyns?

Jane Margolis, co-author of a book on sexism in computer science, “Unlocking the Clubhouse,” argues that Wikipedia is experiencing the same problems of the offline world, where women are less willing to assert their opinions in public. “In almost every space, who are the authorities, the politicians, writers for op-ed pages?” said Ms. Margolis, a senior researcher at the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at the University of California, Los Angeles.

What the hell? I always thought supposedly women can’t shut UP about their opinions. With women, it’s just opinions all day, every day.

Even the most famous fashion designers — Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo — get but a handful of paragraphs.

Why aren’t women spending exhaustive lengths of time chronicling, researching and documenting their favorite shoe designers?

Here’s why, NYTimes writer: because that misses the point of fucking buying shoes. Besides, Blahnik and Choo’s labels I’m sure could get interns to beef up those pages if they really thought women consulted them when they were making decisions about shoe-buying. But they don’t. They’re just the kinds of pages reporters look up when they’re trying to write a piece about women and Wikipedia.

The article also sort of hints that maybe it’s dealing with annoying people that makes the Wikipedia environment potentially unfriendly to women:

Adopting openness means being “open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,” [Harvard fellow Joseph Reagle] said, “so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.”

Except, women are world-class at arguing and nagging other people into submission!

Basically everything in this article ruins my stereotypes about women. Women, get your shit sorted out.

Of course, none of this addresses the problem of women failing to contribute to Wikipedia, but the article writer dances around that actual question with some vague, mushy-mouthed quotes about how women “lacked the confidence to put forth their views” and then fails to include some quotes from actual women who use Wikipedia but do not contribute to Wikipedia, i.e. myself.

I don’t really know why I don’t contribute. I built and managed an intra-office Wiki at my former workplace, so I am already familiar with the basic language it uses for posting articles. However, I have never really thought of Wikipedia as a community where one goes to “hang out” and discuss with others, since that’s what internet forums and open threads are for. I also don’t really consider it a first or last point of research, either, since it is not specialized.

Readers, other thoughts?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: