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Wikipedia Works To Close Gender Gap

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the wiki-suffrage dept.

Wikipedia 376

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Wikimedia Foundation collaborated on a study of Wikipedia's contributor base last year and discovered that it was barely 13 percent women and set a goal to bring it up to 25 percent by 2015. But now the NY Times (reg. may be required) reports that progress in reaching that goal is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women. 'The big problem is that the current Wikipedia community is what came about by letting things develop naturally,' says Kat Walsh, a member of the Wikimedia board. 'Trying to influence it in another direction is no longer the easiest path, and requires conscious effort to change.' Joseph Reagle says that Wikipedia shares many characteristics with the hard-driving hacker crowd including an ideology that resists any efforts to impose rules or even goals like diversity, as well as a culture that may discourage women. Adopting openness means being 'open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,' adds Reagle, 'so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.'"

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376 comments

3 Suspects (2)

Rotworm (649729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119664)

Seems a statement of suspicious sketch. As long as I've been paying attention to Wikipedia there've been rules and guidelines to promote particular behaviours and dissuade others, from writing styles to definitions of what counts as evidence. Is the author saying the hackerish Wikipedia base will co-operate with other guidelines, but not ones promoting diversity? Suspect.
Futher, "adopting openness means being 'open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,'" also seems to be non-intuitive. I wonder what evidence drew those conclusions. If it was a Wikipedia article, at least I could follow the citation.

A bonus disagree comes from

"According to the OpEd Project, an organization based in New York that monitors the gender breakdown of contributors to “public thought-leadership forums,” a participation rate of roughly 85-to-15 percent, men to women, is common — whether members of Congress, or writers on The New York Times and Washington Post Op-Ed pages.

It would seem to be an irony that Wikipedia, where the amateur contributor is celebrated, is experiencing the same problem as forums that require expertise."

I don't think that's ironic at all. 85% of experts wear black socks, ironically 85% of the population also wears black socks.

Re:3 Suspects (1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119718)

Wikipedia is at best a joke, at worst a farce. Analyses of what's wrong with Wikipedia - insular central circle of power-hungry xenophobes calling the shots, constant wikilawyering and assumption that anyone new is automatically an "invader", scandal after scandal after scandal... wikipedia is a great resource if you want a single page for every freaking pokemon, and a lousy resource for documentation of anything that happened prior to 1990.

And don't even think of going near Wikipedia if you want to try to correct a problem article. Remember Lie #2: Nobody new ever comes to Wikipedia [livejournal.com] . Given the way their "culture" works, I don't wonder that women don't want to go near it - after all, women are notoriously more sane than men, and nobody with an ounce of sanity would want to get involved with the incestuous circle-jerk that makes up Wikipedia's power structure.

Re:3 Suspects (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119740)

For being so fundamentally flawed, the product is quite remarkable, don't you think?

Re:3 Suspects (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119832)

For being so fundamentally flawed [citation needed], the product is quite remarkable, don't you think?

This wp:article is wp:written in a wp:opinionated style, and contains wp:rhetorical questions. It should be wp:re:wp:wriwp:ttwp:en.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119874)

Would you pay to use it?

Re:3 Suspects (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120146)

No, because I also don't get paid for contributing to it.

Re:3 Suspects (2)

NotBorg (829820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120164)

How many people actually pay for an encyclopedia of any kind from any source? I wouldn't pay for Wikipedia, but then I wouldn't pay for another encyclopedia either. Does that mean that Wikipedia doesn't have value as an encyclopedia? No. It just means I'm not interested in paying for one. People do pay money for Wikipedia, BTW.

Re:3 Suspects (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119854)

Actually, there's no longer a page per Pokemon and that's precisely part of what's wrong with it. A lot of stuff got trimmed by people under the weird delusion that it somehow will get Wikipedia to be a "Real Encyclopedia". But it will never be one due to the way it's made. And in doing so they removed a lot of valuable stuff that wasn't present in any paper encyclopedia, which was precisely what made it so awesome to me.

I like the idea of compiling all of mankind's knowledge about everything much better. Including Pokemon, though I don't really care for it.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119880)

The main problem with articles that weird or special interest is not so much that no one will ever read it, but that no one will feel inclined to maintain it. So all it leads to is a lot of empty stubs and unchecked articles no one cares about.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119950)

I've never understood why this is a real problem; if a page is never served then it costs virtually nothing so what's the downside? Besides, that's hardly the standard they use; pages with enough fans willing to maintain them were also excised.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120166)

which lead to wikia. wikipedia's for shows, characters, etc. all done by fans. some better than others.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120204)

The issue is that if it's a narrow interest stub from a more popular article then it might go uncorrected for a prolonged period. So long as nobody clicks the link it's not a problem, but if somebody does then the information might be spam, libel or incorrect and almost certainly out of date.

Re:3 Suspects (4, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120066)

Nah, there's a lot of stuff that could be there but isn't. Go check any anime related wiki [wikia.com] and compare with the Wikipedia version [wikipedia.org] . With anything but main characters, the difference gets more dramatic.

Now that might seem like a silly subject, and it is a silly subject. But there's a lot of that stuff migrating to other wikis. And while stuff like that isn't as important as say, WWII, my lunch conversations are more likely to include the Ginyu Force [wikia.com] (wikipedia version [wikipedia.org] ), than Josef Mengele.

The reason for the difference isn't that the article would be empty, or that it's badly written. Apparently it's that somebody got upset that the article on Pikachu got longer than whatever subject they care about, and the solution to that is removing perfectly well written content from the disliked page, instead of finding something to add to the one they care about. I find that quite bizarre.

Re:3 Suspects (5, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119862)

women are notoriously more sane than men

[citation needed]

Re:3 Suspects (2)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119972)

[1] A bunch of women.

Re:3 Suspects (3, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120198)

I don't know about you but women get into worst fights than guys do. Women are far better at backstabbing people and jealous rages than men are.

Go spend a day listening to the teachers at a day care and decide if you would rather fight men or women.

Re:3 Suspects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120266)

I'd rather fight women. In bikinis. And lose. And be tortured by the winner and treated like a toy.

Re:3 Suspects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120024)

as well as a culture that may discourage women

Yeah, usually that means "no one can see your cleavage so you'll have to actually use facts and logic to back up what you say".

I'll worry about Wikipedia including more women the second Lifetime and Oxygen networks decide to stop portraying all men as evil.

Re:3 Suspects (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120010)

What you say about Wikipedia's structure and ingrained problems seems reasonable, if unnecessarily combative, but to draw from that the conclusion that it's "a lousy resource for documentation of anything that happened prior to 1990" is absolutely asinine. For all its problems, Wikipedia still provides excellent information on anything from particle physics to historical figures to linguistics. It might not be as deep as an expensive specialist textbook, and the work that goes into articles that many people consider pointless may well outweigh the work that goes into 'useful' articles, but those by no means negate the value of the site as a whole. I don't care what percentage of it's articles are 'worthwhile', I care that in absolute terms there are many thousands of accurate, well-referenced and coherent articles on a wide array of topics.

Re:3 Suspects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119928)

diversity is not a strength.

Why is this a problem? (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119678)

Being "open" also means being open to people who might not want to participate. What difference does it make?

Re:Why is this a problem? (3, Insightful)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119728)

I agree with you. I don't think there is a problem. The goal of Wikipedia should be to aggregate facts and develop well-written, unbiased comprehensive treatments on various subjects. Focusing on anything else only detracts from that. It should be run like a meritocracy. In the likeliness of open source where the best code wins, may the best prose win.

Re:Why is this a problem? (1, Insightful)

Rotworm (649729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119766)

Wikipedia thinks having diverse contributors helps develop well-written, unbiased comprehensive treatments on various subjects. In this case, the argument goes, topics of typically male interest tend to receive more attention from the larger male contributor base, whereas topics of typical female interest receive less.

Re:Why is this a problem? (4, Insightful)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120004)

Wikipedia thinks having diverse contributors helps develop well-written, unbiased comprehensive treatments on various subjects. In this case, the argument goes, topics of typically male interest tend to receive more attention from the larger male contributor base, whereas topics of typical female interest receive less.

Which would be a good reason to recruit women, but I rarely see campaigns to add the views of senior citizens, Mennonites, or third-world people to most websites. Because of that, I suspect that their motivation has more to do with bowing to social pressure and a desire to look good than to actually add diverse viewpoints.

Re:Why is this a problem? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120028)

If women consider that to be a problem, they should contribute to articles on topics of interest to them. If they are not willing to do that, then they can put up with the situation. There are plenty of articles that I have come across that I would have liked to see more detail on, and I have contributed to some.

There is nothing -- nothing -- that actually stops women from contributing. If they do not want to do so, then so what?

Re:Why is this a problem? (5, Insightful)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119910)

I actually wonder how they can know the sex of all the contributors. I don't recall having to fill this in , and i just looked at my preferences , i don't see it there.

So how can do they know this 13% ? If they did a poll , that may only mean women are less likely to fill in polls.

Personally , if more women want to join wikipedia , they are welcome , if they don't want to , we should respect that too.

The idea that you need to change wikipedia , so it attracts more women, implies that you do not respect women enough to allow them to make up there own mind about whether to join or not ( as you already assume that they won't like it, before they had a chance to voice their opinion ).

Re:Why is this a problem? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120156)

The idea that you need to change wikipedia , so it attracts more women, implies that you do not respect women enough to allow them to make up there [sic] own mind about whether to join or not ( as you already assume that they won't like it, before they had a chance to voice their opinion ).

The message it sends is that women are not self-determined and able to decide for themselves, but rather, are some kind of commodity to be traded or prize to be won. For some reason this is celebrated with lofty talk about diversity and such... I don't understand why so few see it as the insult that it really is. It can be phrased as "we know what you women want even better than you do and clearly your failure to recognize that is why our percentage of women is so low."

Garden-variety arrogance is obviously condescending and is intended to be. The refined, concentrated kind is very good at disguising itself as some kind of noble impulse. The people who perpetrate it are not really liars. They're true believers because they don't see the hypocrisy of their position. It doesn't help that so many naive people thoughtlessly give automatic support to anything that sounds like it has good intentions.

Now if there are women who make good contributions to Wikipedia who are getting shunned for no reason except that they are women, by all means this needs to be stopped. There's no good reason to do that to anyone who follows the rules and makes useful contributions. But once that's accomplished, stop telling people what they should want to do and how many of them should want to do it, especially on the basis of some group identity.

Re:Why is this a problem? (3, Informative)

bbtom (581232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120258)

Gender IS in preferences. You can choose between male, female and unspecified. This is to customise UI on the site so it has the appropriate pronouns. You can do this all over the place, like this:

{{gender:Jimbo Wales|man|woman|person}}

(replacing Jimbo Wales with your WP username (or a template that substitutes the current user's name) and the words man, woman and person with wikitext that you want returned)

This is used quite a bit for Userboxes so that they can make it text in the userbox switch dynamically between "This user lives in London and [they like/he likes/she likes] travelling on the Underground" or whatever.

The problem with the preferences route is unspecified may be because you haven't set it or it may be because you don't want to set it (or you don't fall into male/female because you are transgendered or whatever).

There have been polls and studies done though. You can read about them on http://enwp.org/WP:BIAS [enwp.org] or http://enwp.org/WP:ACST [enwp.org]

Re:Why is this a problem? (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119948)

Wait I disagree with this. There is no such thing as unbiased. We are all biased towards something.

Let me explain. Take any moment in life, and try to describe it. We can't describe every facet of it, since that would result in information overflow. Thus we narrow it down to a subset. And here is the rub. What subset will it be narrowed down to? Answer, to the subset that the individual thinks is the true answer. Hence we let our biases guide what we think are facts.

Thus while we write "unbiased" and only facts, it is the facts that we want to hear and read about.

I can completely understand the problem that there are not enough females commenting in wikipedia.

Re:Why is this a problem? (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119758)

Its a problem for the same reason low numbers of female workers is a problem in any tech job.

Jimmy thinks if he can get more 'female editors' he'll have a better chance of getting laid before he dies.

Too bad Jimmy and the rest of these idiots don't get that women neither like them nor their jobs and THATS why they have a lower number of female workers ... their off doing the shit the like rather than standing around to stroke your ego and provide you with eye candy.

Now if you want to talk about something that its clearly a sexist problem. Beauty pagents. When was the last time you saw a man in Miss America or Miss Universe?! We need to get the number of men in that contest up! Think of the gays!

Re:Why is this a problem? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119830)

If your project depends entirely on the effort of participants, trying to determine why some people don't want to participate, and then figuring out what non-participants can be converted without causing other damage, is pretty much the most important job the leadership has.

I don't think that focusing on the male/female ratio is all that productive in itself, a change that doubles the number of useful contributors but leaves the ratio untouched would be more useful than one that attracts a few more females to bump their numbers up to 25%, for instance; but it can be diagnostically useful.

If your numbers are 85/15, this suggests that there is something about your project that is leaving a number of potential contributors on the table. What is that? Are there changes we can make that would bring them in to the project? Would there be costs associated with doing so?

Since not all contributors are equally useful, not all changes that increase absolute numbers are good; but constantly trying to identify under-tapped potential contributors and figure out if they can be brought in in a useful way is a vital exercise. For a fairly mature project like wikipedia(everybody knows about them, they have more pagerank than god, ignorance is unlikely to be the reason behind most non-contributors), focusing on anomalies in your contributor statistics is a good way of identifying potential issues that might be standing in the way of your growth.

For J Random OSS project, it is easy(and often correct) to just say "obscurity is the problem" and go from there; but wikipedia is about as far from obscure as any entity without a 500million TV advertising budget can be. If they want new blood, their analysis will have to be more subtle...

Re:Why is this a problem? (-1, Troll)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119900)

there is something about your project that is leaving a number of potential contributors on the table. What is that?

This may be a shock to you, but men and women view knowledge differently. Women find written knowledge and "facts" to be intimidating, sometimes offensive, and some have even gone so far as to compare knowledge to rape. If females don't want to use wikipedia, why force them?

Re:Why is this a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119954)

there is something about your project that is leaving a number of potential contributors on the table. What is that?

This may be a shock to you, but men and women view knowledge differently. Women find written knowledge and "facts" to be intimidating, sometimes offensive, and some have even gone so far as to compare knowledge to rape. If females don't want to use wikipedia, why force them?

Citation needed.

Re:Why is this a problem? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120060)

While your brief overview of the the wackier quotes of gender-studies-influenced-postmodern-drivel is certainly amusing, I'm far from convinced that it is relevant to wikipedia's work. Even in some of its former bastions in the more incestuous and empiricism-free regions of academia that stuff isn't nearly as fashionable as it used to be, and its penetration among the population at large was trivial even at its height(as with most academic publications, works on postmodern epistemology don't exactly hit the bestseller lists...).

Since wikipedia has essentially zero coercive power, it isn't going to be "forcing" anybody to do anything. My point was that, if you are trying to increase your contributor base(which you really should be, if you are the wikipedia leadership) demographic analysis of who you are and aren't getting can be a valuable tool for working to identify what strategies are most promising. As I've noted elsewhere, I am uninterested in increasing the relative number of female contributors for its own sake; but characterizing non-contributor demographics, and attempting to determine what might convert each one, is an eminently rational strategy for working to bump contributor numbers. Not all non-contributor demographics will turn out to be worth what it would take to convert them, of course (I'm guessing that the epistemological concessions required to get team Conservapaedia back on board would be outlandish to say the least...); but it is a very sensible planning exercise from which to pursue such further work as seems valuable.

Re:Why is this a problem? (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120260)

This may be a shock to you, but men and women view knowledge differently. Women find written knowledge and "facts" to be intimidating, sometimes offensive, and some have even gone so far as to compare knowledge to rape.

Ah, the stench of misogyny.

I suspect that it may rather be the case that women you know (probably only a handful) find your opinions and attitudes to be intimidating, offensive, and comparable to rape, and that you have confused your confused opinion with "facts".

Re:Why is this a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120108)

If you go by the argument that the potential for personality characteristics required to partake in certain processes shouldn't be stereotyped to the sexes, why is Wikipedia editing not as statistically balanced as general net usage? What's the cause of this inequality? Gender roles IMO, as the world isn't as existential as it could be on that false dichotomy. Which is why I identify as 'queer' [theory] and as a radical feminist ('pro-sex' before you ask).

Re:Why is this a problem? (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120186)

Being "open" also means being open to people who might not want to participate. What difference does it make?

It makes a difference when the essays published in your encyclopedia have an unmistakable gender bias. It makes a difference when women are unwilling to contribute to your project or recommend it to others.

Rejected approaches (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119694)

1. Accepting nude photos of women as contributions
2. WikiRecipe takeover
3. 1001 articles on how to please your man
4. Paying hookers for editing sessions
5. Counting men who pretend to be women in chat as women on Wikipedia

Is it just me? (5, Insightful)

sixthousand (676886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119696)

Or is imposed diversity actually more sexist than a natural gender imbalance?

Re:Is it just me? (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119802)

That depends on whether the gender imbalance is really natural, or if it is caused by a culture of misogyny. In the case of Wikipedia, my guess is that it is indeed a natural imbalance - the people who edit it tend to be obsessive and may have minor autism spectrum disorders. Since autism is generally 3-4 times as common in men as in women, that would explain most of the imbalance.

However, there are other cases where the imbalance is legitimately caused by cultures which are hostile towards women. Whether it's internet forums with near constant sexist jokes ranging from sandwich-making to rape, or corporate good old boys getting together at strip clubs, it does happen, and often. So don't always dismiss imposed diversity as sexism, because it's not.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119974)

You're favouring one person's article over another person's because of their gender. It's the definition of sexism.

Re:Is it just me? (2)

sixthousand (676886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119994)

So clearly the solution is to increase the commonality of autism in women such that it's more gender neutral and let everything else fall into place. I kid of course, but this does raise a good example of natural gender imbalance. Genetic disease. I don't imagine that anyone whose lives are affected by autism would waste their time consulting the ACLU.

In regard to imbalance resulting from a culture of bias, I can't help but feel like imposing artificial equalizers does more harm than good by simply perpetuating the underlying discrimination, while depriving the oppressed of a natural opportunity to respectably bootstrap themselves into equality.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120052)

So don't always dismiss imposed diversity as sexism, because it's not.

Perhaps a nit-pick, but it is by definition sexism - the treatment of otherwise identical participants is varied based on gender. The question is whether it is valid to balance 'bad sexism' with 'good sexism' or not.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120262)

Imposed diversity in terms of gender is definitely sexism. You can encourage women to enter a field by cleaning up the misogyny and change rules to be equitable in that dimension which is definitely not sexist. However compelling parity without concern for why there is a difference in the future is a dangerous point to be in.

Also your argument that men make those sorts of sexist remarks more than women really requires some sort of a citation. Sure women tend not to be as vulgar about those sorts of subjects as men, but I regularly encounter women who make equally offensive remarks. Sure that's anecdotal in nature, but I do have to wonder what these same women are saying behind closed doors without any men present.

The point being that it's reasonable to institute rules and a code of conduct which basically requires people to behave in a way which is more or less professional. It's not however OK to go much further than that to increase diversity, except perhaps putting adverts in places that the underrepresented group is more likely to frequent. However you figure that.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119812)

There's a corollary in Major LEague BAseball. Various people have noticed that the fraction of Black ballplayers has fallen dramatically since the 70s. They want to institute programs to change this. Why? Maybe black people have something better to do. It's not like there are not opportunities, or that there is anything that is structurally preventing it.

     

Basketball (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120054)

Various people have noticed that the fraction of Black ballplayers [in Major League Baseball] has fallen dramatically since the 70s. They want to institute programs to change this. Why? Maybe black people have something better to do.

Of course they have something better to do. I think it's called NBA.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120274)

One of the reasons for that is that there's a lot more players being shipped in from other parts of the world, we've got a lot more players from Asia and various parts of the Caribbean than previously. Baseball is largely about winning games, and while it does help to be white, it doesn't get a team more fans or a player more lucrative endorsements if they're being outplayed by the rest of the league.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120178)

gender isn't 'natural', not if you can critically think that is.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120218)

Or is imposed diversity actually more sexist than a natural gender imbalance?

Why do you think that the gender imbalance is "natural?" What does that tell about you?

Integrate the LaLeche League! (4, Interesting)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120238)

Women dominate in certain fields of endeavor and it is generally accepted that the female brain is wired for social interaction. Men routinely dominate Jeopardy's Tournament of Champions. Perhaps there is something in the wiring of the male brain that favors the accumulation of arcane bits of knowledge. If so, then forcing gender balance in Wkipedia makes about as much sense as forcing gender balance in the LaLeche League. [wikipedia.org]

Does it matter (2)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119710)

Not to be sexist, but does it really matter? Is there some reason that having a larger percentage of women contributors would make Wikipedia a better place? If not, there's no reason to go out of the way to increase the contributions from women, especially if it degrades the quality of Wikipedia in the process.

If it's a problem of members being sexist or misogynistic, take steps to fix that. Trying to force some quota probably isn't the best solution to this problem, if it even is a problem.

Re:Does it matter (0)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119770)

There is nothing wrong with being sexist. We have two different sexes after all. And no it doesnt matter. Things like this and when companies NEED to hire minorities actually causes a greater negative sexist/racist problem. Instead of treating people as equals we elevate some purely on racial backgrounds or what sex they are. This will of course cause resentment from others who have/had to work harder to achieve the same position. Has anyone even considered that women dont WANT to write wikipedia articles?

Re:Does it matter (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119962)

Has anyone even considered that women dont WANT to write wikipedia articles?

The PC answer is, "Then Wikipedia should find a way to become more appealing to women, so that they will want to write those articles."

This situation reminds me of the severe gender imbalance in my graduating EE class -- there were 80 men, and no women at all. The department had the goal of doubling female enrollment each year before that; this had to be changed for obvious reasons. Everything that could possibly be done to try and attract female applicants was done, but I do not know of any year that had many, and several were like mine with none at all. Female applicants received preferential treatment -- it was a sort of affirmative action.

As far as I can tell, this was not the department's fault; they just were not receiving any applications from females. It was a simple case of lack of interest. I suspect something similar is happening with Wikipedia, although it is less extreme -- there just are not that many women who want to contribute, or perhaps women are less inclined to defend themselves in the sort of vitriolic debates that are common on Wikipedia. I really do not see how this is Wikipedia's problem -- Wikipedia is not going out of its way to attract men or to scare away women.

Re:Does it matter (0)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120002)

And here is the problem, you say: " Has anyone even considered that women dont WANT to write wikipedia articles?"

This in itself is the old boys club mentality. Instead of trying to figure out why women might not like to write articles you go on and think it is because women don't want to. In other words you are putting the blame on the woman, instead of figuring out what is wrong with the process.

Re:Does it matter (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120094)

There is nothing wrong with the process; Wikipedia is open to everyone, exactly as it is intended to be. Nobody is stopping women from contributing.

There are people who insult women on Wikipedia? So what; there are also people who insult Jews and Muslims, but you don't see those groups failing to contribute or being scared away. If the process is not "wrong" for Jews or Muslims, why should it be considered "wrong" for women?

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120014)

This is entirely possible, but looking at history it's not the only possibility. Throughout history women have been actively prevented from contributing to a lot of fields, and looking back it seems evident that this has lead to less innovation, less achievements and plain less output. It's possible that women aren't interested in contributing to Wikipedia (or open source, etc.) but it's useful to remember that back in the day people said women don't _want_ to do science or learn a higher education and even if they did, they wouldn't be good at it... Maybe we should be careful of making the same mistake again?

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120082)

Things like this and when companies NEED to hire minorities actually causes a greater negative sexist/racist problem. Instead of treating people as equals we elevate some purely on racial backgrounds or what sex they are. This will of course cause resentment from others who have/had to work harder to achieve the same position.

Spoken like a true member of a privileged group. Have you ever considered the resentment caused when it is the minority who has to work harder to get accepted? How a barrier develops where no opportunity is ever given?

You may buy into the idea that if somebody is truly capable, they'll get in regardless of the obstacles, but that is a dream rather than a reality. It's far easier to say no, to shut the door than it is to open it.

Or does that not bother you?

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119992)

I sure hope you are not a student at a U.S. University. If you are, you best keep those kind of ideas to yourself. The idea of making something "better" has nothing to do with making it "diverse". Diversity is a goal into and of itself. Ask any progressive/leftist/socialist/communist professor: If the percentages of all the hot-button minority groups is correct in any program, then that program is a success. So the bridge fell down? The rocket blows up? Doesn't matter. If the bridge was designed and built by the proper groups, it is a success. You best remember this if you are ever tempted to speak up during a class discussion of "diversity": diversity of thought is not allowed.

Could be useful... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119724)

I don't see that trying to bump the percentage, in itself, would be wildly useful to the project(trying to bump the absolute numbers, certainly; but the ratio, less obviously)...

However, efforts to modify the current situation might well have broader benefits. Criticism of wikipedia(aside from that of sniffy old media types, which is rarely all that interesting) largely focuses on the perception, sometimes the reality, that swaths of it tend to fall under the most obsessive rules-lawyering assholes with sufficiently long attention spans. On the plus side, these types are something of a bulwark against pure chaos and obvious troll-edits. On the minus side, as anybody who has ever played a tabletop RPG with an obsessive, rules-lawyering asshole can attest, such people are hell to work with and can crush the enthusiasm and patience of virtually anybody by sheer force of persistent pedantry.

If they want more female contributors, they'll have to do something about that. If successful, they will probably end up with more contributors across the board.

I blame deletionists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119726)

Not that I have any evidence, but screw those guys.

Real Problem (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119738)

Wikipedia is full of jerks obsessed with rules, with dominance and penis waving.

Women see this and take off, because it's jut not appealing to most of them. So do a lot of men. What's left is the aggressive types who further escalate the problem every step of the way.

Oddly it's much like Congress.

Re:Real Problem (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119786)

I agree.

I used to "edit" quite a bit, but after being banned by some penis waiver, I just edit anon (with IP).

It's not really a "community" I want to be a part of.

Re:Real Problem (0)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119984)

What could possible embody masculine dominance and penis waving more than an online encyclopedia? And what could be more sexist than allowing anyone to contribute? Those damned facts and the misogyny they purport. I mean, I would love to contribute to Wikipedia, but it's just such an aggressive, hostile environment. I click 'edit' and I'm presented with these aggressive text boxes that I can modify, it's just so intimidating.

Obviously males should be banned from Wikipedia so the 13% of female contributors can all get together and instead of posting facts in regard to each topic, they can talk about how these topics make them feel.

You're right, it is just like congress, where anyone can contribute and is held accountable for said contributions. Where large influential corporations and religions are locked out of the system for being dishonest and all the finances are covered by a community of volunteers. Just like congress.

Re:Real Problem (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120036)

Wikipedia is full of jerks obsessed with rules, with dominance and penis waving.

Looks like Academia to me.

Re:Real Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120252)

Right on the spot. actually WIkipedia's sex imbalance is the least of its problems. The number of active editors has been falling steadiy since 2006, when the bureaucrats and "defenders of purity" were given the green light by the Foundation. I have been editing for several years, mostly out of stubborness; but every time I run into one of those thugs, I feel like quitting.

Wikipedia editing has also become infinitely more complicated because hackerish editors keep adding silly features to the source language. Try clicking "edit" on any article and you will see what I mean. So perhaps the sex imbalance also has to do with women's general lack of enthusiasm for hackerish exploits --- specifically, mastering poorly documented and brain-damaged computer languages?

Sort of ironic (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119762)

... that when writing an the article about a gender gap at Wikipedia the author hardly talks to any female Wikipedians and then completely ignores the position of the only one he does talk to when her comments don't agree with his pet theory [mindspillage.org] . Meanwhile the author, and slashdot, quote extensively from some dude who's never really used Wikipedia and who's primary qualification is writing a book on about Wikipedia based mostly on his own weakly researched but confidently stated opinions.

I guess the intention was to inform people about the wikipedia gender gap by demonstrating how it comes into being: The woman of considerable expertise gives a polite, considered, and conservatively stated opinion-- while the man of no particular qualification gives an exaggerated and speculative answer... and the reporter responds be deemphasizing the woman's qualifications, ignoring her position, and running with whichever view is most aggressively promoted or fitting his preconceived notions. Kinda like how Wikipedia works. Women are systematically excluded not because they're women, but because the entire process promotes assholes and women are flaming assholes a little less often.

Re:Sort of ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119966)

"and women are flaming assholes a little less often."

Do i need to tell you how *sexist* that is ?

What difference is it (1)

asasdlfgnjl (1678718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119774)

That a woman reverts my edits rather than a man?

Loud Mouths rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119776)

The reason that Wikipedia is full of Jerks ( men) is that they can be bigger jerks.
Wikipedia is NOT information, or an encyclopedia, its a SHOUTING MATCH, so or course its DOMINATED by jerks, led by the biggest jerk of them all.
For Wikipedia, to close the gender gap, it has to RECOGNIZE the contributions of the women editors, who contribute at least half of the quality of the writing if not more. Of the women editors on Wikipedia, they are better educated, better writers, much more able to fit into an aesthetic of something other than the shouting match it is.

Example, Slashdot links to a video of someone spelunking the NY underground, It shows for the first time I have ever seen, a narrative and exploration of the ghost station, called City Hall Station, unique in the subway system. I put a link up as a contribution, and its removed by a loud mouth within minutes as 'insignificant.' He literally didn't even debate the issue. Such is the major failing of Wikipedia, and policies that create the atmosphere that is Wikipedia, not the ideal of a wide contribution base, especially of women, but a opinionated place dominated by loud mouths. That is why Wikipedia is where it is in terms of its accuracy and the structure that keeps the contributions out, and the clicish core group in. To assess Wikipedia, just click on Random Article link, until you get to an article on something you know. Read the article. See the opinions of the writers. hit and run the whole way.

Re:Loud Mouths rule (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120194)

If this is luls, I salute you... Otherwise, It sounds like you are suffering from the same disease your male archetype suffers from. Women like you deserve the men that truly do abuse...no not 'emotional rape' but hard core wifebeating.

Shouldn't be a big problem (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119784)

They just need to publicize all the great anime information that's available on Wikipedia.

Chicks dig anime, right?

Re:Shouldn't be a big problem (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119872)

Chicks dig anime, right?

That's so rude. You should never call broads "chicks"!

Re:Shouldn't be a big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120042)

Sir, i am shocked and apalled.
Shocked, i say.

One does not refer to a housecunt as a 'broad'.

Educate thyself.

Let's be honest... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119794)

The very active people on Wikipedia are not very stable people. They are perpetually absorbed in squabbling about Wikipedia's rather subjectively-applied "policies" (curiously, some of these have statements along the lines of "ignore all the rules") and edit wars, votes for delete based on non-notability or some other bullshit that most human beings couldn't care either way about.

This is not a desirable state of affairs... Have you ever considered that maybe women are smarter and better off for not participating in these endeavors? As a man, this crosses my mind. Wikipedia is great for some light reading, but the "community" of frequent and longtime editors is pretty worthless. Leave it to the solar-phobic basement dwelling troll-men.

Easy Way... (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119836)

Easy way to get women to correct more Wikipedia articles: change the template so that every article starts out with "Your husband says that..."

Social is the key. (2)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119844)

I've always found computers, coding and gaming to be a social experience, and indeed any online community is exactly that, a social group. I pretty much got into computers when I found other kids at school who were into them also. Any partiuclar hobby or career may have it's clique, and such social groups tend to recruit new members as they grow.

This may explain gender imbalance, once the social group becomes predominantly one sex or even one demographic, it makes it harder for the other to enter.

So the solution is... well I don't know, but knowing the above, that gives some idea on how to make change? Get high profile women involved, who can encourage others?

Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119858)

It's not as if women are doing nothing while being blocked from doing things that are more open to men. Women are doing whatever it is women do and most of the time, it's whatever they WANT to do. It just so happens that what women want to do is often different from that which men want to do. Why is that wrong?

Equal participation and equal access are not the same. There is already equal access. My internet connection doesn't check for a penis before letting me route traffic. So what's the REAL issue here? What's the real goal?

There are many things where men aren't expected and aren't exactly welcome. I rarely... actually, NEVER hear about that. Women are not the "under-privileged sex." Why do we have to keep acting as if they are?

Re:Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120068)

Because in our society they control the sex, which means they have all the power; the more we pretend that they are an oppressed underclass, the more we can avoid acknowledging that men only run the world because they hope women will notice.

Re:Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (1, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120158)

It's not as if women are doing nothing while being blocked from doing things that are more open to men. Women are doing whatever it is women do and most of the time, it's whatever they WANT to do. It just so happens that what women want to do is often different from that which men want to do. Why is that wrong?

Equal participation and equal access are not the same. There is already equal access. My internet connection doesn't check for a penis before letting me route traffic. So what's the REAL issue here? What's the real goal?

The real goal is some sort of imaginary "equality". A few people suffer from the delusion that increasing the number of women will somehow magically make Wikipedia better. Sorry, but there are just as many stupid women as there are stupid men. Actually, there are probably more stupid women since women out number men.

The only thing Wikipedia should be concerned with is "are these articles any good". Period.

Re:Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120270)

Actually, there are probably more stupid women since women out number men.

But from what I've read on the subject men seem to have greater IQ variance than women, so the percentage of really stupid men is larger than the percentage of really stupid women (but so is the percentage of really smart men).

Re:Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120188)

Why do we need to care about a gender gap?

We don't 'need' to but it is fun. We're members of the most staggeringly wealthy class of people in the history of our species and have solved most of the actual problems suffered by our ancestors. As such, we must invent new 'problems' to indulge.

As for why Wikipedia doesn't attract women, the reason is obvious when you take off the rose-color glasses through which we've decided to view all things Wikipedia. Wikipedia is competitive and its participants are highly critical, even hostile. Fewer women than men gravitate towards such an environment.

There are several other 'why's here, but those are the most relevant.

Re:Why do we need to care about a gender gap? (4, Interesting)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120226)

There are many things where men aren't expected and aren't exactly welcome.

And lord have mercy on any transsexual that gets clocked in one of those places. Females are far more sexist and closed-minded than any male I know.

Let me share my experience with both genders when caught as the other gender in a place I shouldn't be as that gender.

There's a reason I use the men's bathroom at bars, even if I'm passing. It's just not worth the drama to use the bathroom of the gender I'm presenting as.

A guy who sees someone apparently female in the men's room is sometimes surprised or shocked. Sometimes the man will become angry, especially if he's older. But yet, at the end of the day, I have not had a single serious problem with being apparently female, even fixing my hair or something, in the men's room. No police, not a ton of drama.

Now, I don't know myself what it's like to be a guy caught in the women's room, but from what I understand, it involves the police, drama, screaming, more drama, and signs that get posted at clubs saying that "crossdressers" must use the men's room. Then you have to show your papers and make sure you always have that letter from the psychologist that says you may use the women's room. Even though that really carries no legal weight and you're still getting your ass escorted out of the bar anyway.

No, females are not the under-privileged sex anymore, if they ever were.

I rarely... actually, NEVER hear about that.

How many guys do you know who want to be in on a baby shower?

Why do we have to keep acting as if they are?

Because nobody understands exactly how men and women are different. It's frustrating trying to relate to a society that believes men and women are different, but in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong reasons.

Once people learn to be as indifferent to a starving woman with 3 starving kids as a man who's failed to provide his family with food, once people learn that those two situations are the same thing, then we might get some true gender equality going on.

Women should not need to be coddled little children. Men and women are different, but women are certainly not weak. They do not need to be coddled. There aren't enough women contributing to wikipedia? What the hell is a man going to do about that? Anything a man does is, by definition, a man contributing to the project. He can't force women to participate.

Look into the drama surrounding a transsexual in an abusive relationship who tries to get into a battered women's shelter, and the truth shall set ye free.

It's a chauvinism designed to keep women irresponsible little children. The worst part is that, for the most part, its women who are propagating it. Women want to be able to walk through the door to the male side, but they don't want to let anyone in from the other side.

A woman just has to sit back and let her body just do its animal functions, because there will always be a man to rush in and save her whether personally or by proxy of government assistance. There will always be someone to feel sorry for her. A woman has no need for something like wikipedia. Wikipedia has man-knowledge, things that men write down so the next generation can build upon it. Woman-knowledge, on the other hand, is always about transient, animal things, like their period or their pregnancy, things they feel in the moment. Woman-knowledge is always renewed, but yet stagnant. Woman-knowledge is not knowledge for building and improving, like man-knowledge is.

But hey, if you had that deal, would you want to give it up?

It can't be any more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119868)

It can be updated by anyone, at any time, and from any computer in the world with internet access, how do they expect to make it more accessible?

If it's that available, then maybe it's case of want, as in, they don't want to participate.

What are they going to do, make it pink?, send flowers and gift baskets when you sign on board?

Oh, and they talk about how tv shows have far less information then they used to, that's because of their noteworthyness, that stripped away most of the details, and gave contributors pause about spending hours adding information that will probably just get axed.

"Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119884)

... an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men ...

Now, where have I heard that before . . . ?

And? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119938)

If women don't contribute to WIkipedia, that's no loss. It's not like they actually know anything anyway. Fewer women means a higher proportion of experts contributing to their fields. The only article that will suffer is the one on menstruation.

More benefits than you think (3, Insightful)

xkr (786629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119946)

I was a teacher for a while, while my daughter was in an all-women college. The fact is that women find group participation harder than men. We saw it in the classroom all the time. Teachers had to gently restrain over-eager boys while calmly encouraging the girls to speak up. But surveys at the end of the term ALWAYS showed that both the boys and girls said they "got more out of" classes that had mixed gender participation. Why would the wikipedia environment be any different?

Re:More benefits than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119982)

the boys and girls said they "got more out of" classes that had mixed gender participation.

that's code speak for "got some stanky on the hangdown"

Re:More benefits than you think (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120140)

Many males are dominated by the urge to be the "alpha male", and this turns it into a battle wills. That's just the nature of most male mammals and has been for hundreds of millions of years. Females typically avoid the center of contention and use the quiet periods in-between confrontation to subtlety work their influence.

Perhaps they may feel more comfortable focusing on ignored or low-profile topics rather than just jump into the center of the pile. There's plenty of topics that need attention.

Re:More benefits than you think (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120212)

women do the same kind of thing, just with things men don't tend to care about. Want examples? Flip on the tv and watch some soaps like 'desperate housewives' and 'jersey shore.' Women get off on that shit, that's why there's so much of it.

Re:More benefits than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120278)

I wonder if it's the family or the school-yard that fucks them up more?

Re:More benefits than you think (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120280)

I suspect many people here and on Wikipedia value unrestricted free speech as an intrinsic moral principle more than they value diversity as a goal or even more than they value having a good encyclopedia as a goal. If the consequence of allowing everyone people to participate as much as they want is that there are more men than women or that the encyclopedia isn't quite as good as it could be, then that's just the way things have to be, unfortunately.

Equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120076)

Equality is the availability of equal opportunity, and we should strive for this, not for the equal performance of every activity.

Now stop trying to change your statistic to make Wikipedia look better. This is pointless.

Is this the right forum? (3, Funny)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120084)

I am amused that the Slashdot crowd is trying to give advice on how to encourage the greater participation of women in an online community.

Just sayin'.

List of male dominated subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120114)

Guns
Cars
Computers
Science
Math
Archeology
Paleontology
History
Science Fiction
Horror
Video Games

And now facts in general

What are the subjects that women are most interested in? I know in a few things like casual video games women are the dominant market and a few areas of science there are a high percentage of women. There are a large percentage of women in some environmental areas like Green Peace. Not to be sexist but I find it far easier to find men interested in what I would call interesting subjects and not just the "male ones" than women. The old "encouragement" argument is getting old. I was never really encouraged myself I simply studied things that interested me. Women have more access an encouragement than in any other time in history but little has changed. Eventually we have to accept the fact that there are differences in the sexes. I know it's not politically correct and the only acceptable position is androgyny is the normal state for humans but that is simply not true. Do we blow resources trying to force men to be more like women and women to be more like men or do we get on with our lives?

the comments on Slashdot sadden me (1)

nigeljw (1968314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120124)

wow... the crowd here could not be any more like the elitist Wikipedia community. try being a little less esoteric. also, a little less indifference would be nice. the comments are about ten to one negative for this article. slashdot is a container for a huge amount of negativity, and it never fails to sadden me about mankind. I wish more of this intelligence was use to produce positive "constructive" change.

Re:the comments on Slashdot sadden me (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120276)

The only thing worse than people bitching about TFA is people bitching about people while completely out of context of TFA.
The general opinion seems to be that forced diversity is useless in this particular case.
Atleast tell us what you think would be the "posivibe constructive" thing here.

Why does it have to be... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120126)

statstically more men are drawn to math/science/technology than women. Big surprise there. that's why most people who post to wiki are male. However, I am sure there are articles written by women on subjects they're interested in. Does anyone here even wonder about the gender of the author when they're looking something up? I highly doubt it. Why? Because gender in this case is an irrelevant attribute. The article is sound or it is not.. Another example of 'initiatives' like this is when colleges fall over themselves to get women into their male dominated programs, not because they're intellectually superior, but just because they're women. That's straight up discrimination, period.

Why does it have to be 50/50 across EVERY demographic dichotomy everywhere? seriously, just because one grouping is under/over represented doesn't mean it's due to malicious intent. A lot of this is natural self-selection. It doesn't need fixing. Of course, that doesn't stop insecure individuals from those demographics from forming 'political action committees' just so they can cry victim when they're culled from the herd in some context. In the case of women's rights, the situation has gotten so biased that it's impossible for any organization to avoid catering to feminist gynocentricism which usually boils down to: "you are not complete without us women, and women have special needs yet we are 'equal,' and, no, we don't hate men, in fact, we love them, so long as they act/think like women." In any context, individuals who don't fit the norm are ostracized sometimes, yes, and that should be dealt with on a per-individual basis, but only when they were judged based on irrelevant attributes (add/delete the article because it rules/sucks, not because of the gender of the author).

Wait, what's the problem? (2)

Pranadevil2k (687232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120134)

Okay, so we have an organization that invites everyone to join in and write stuff. There is no discrimination, as long as you follow the guidelines which are perfectly reasonable for keeping Wikipedia a useful and informative source of information. Years pass. Then some analyst comes along and says there aren't enough women contributors at Wikipedia... Well, it isn't like there was a sign that said 'no girls allowed.' There was nothing barring women from joining the community at all, except possibly their own personal decisions not to.

Wikipedia is 'equal opportunity' in just about every sense of the term. If they start incentivising or somehow attempting to skew the population of contributors to get more women, they become LESS so, not more. This is like the manager of a McDonalds seeing he only has white employees so he posts a sign that says "Black help wanted." It's completely batshit crazy. Maybe women who use the site just don't want to become contributors; maybe the majority of users of the site are men; maybe people in general don't know how to become contributors (which is at least somewhat more of a legitimate issue).

There could be any number of reasons for the shortage of female contributors, but as long as there are no restrictions on women joining and putting up their information I don't see this as any problem. I'd be saying the exact same thing if they said only 13% of the wikipedia contributors are men, or black, or jewish, or whatever denomination. It really doesn't matter when they haven't prevented anyone from joining.

Okay, hold on a second... (1)

drej (1663541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120136)

"...an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women." "The big problem is that the current Wikipedia community is what came about by letting things develop naturally" So...it was a natural development that men are in the majority, and it may be uncomfortable for women. Why do we need to shoehorn them in then? What's with this diversity-fetish?

NPOV (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120256)

I though Wikipedia was supposed to be objective facts; neutral point of view.
Unless some pages of Wikipedia are misogynist, gender diversity won't improve Wikipedia.

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