The Signpost

The University of Oregon
Sue Gardner
Occidental College
Antonio Gramsci
+ Add a comment

Discuss this story


  • Wow, great piece of writing. I agree completely with the conclusions - as the article notes, the actions being used are universal, they just make this particular topic area even more difficult to work with. Universal problems require universal solutions. Sadly I'm not sure I see any way to do this, because policy change is itself subject to those same policies. I hope I don't sound too cynical, but the Wiki's immune response is astonishingly powerful. Maury Markowitz (talk) 16:07, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Looks to me like crude opinion masquerading as serious research, written from an a priori position. - Sitush (talk) 16:13, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Which part(s) and why? EllenCT (talk) 21:14, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Hello, John Broughton! It is I, Ellie, er, FeralOink, your frequent up voter on Quora. It is nice to see you here! After reading the title, and then this passage, I was uncertain if the entire thing were parody:

'In the wake of a high-profile case, administrators callously and robotically rehearsed the "one time is too many" – a catchphrase that through its rhetorical singularity renders campus sexual violence an "isolated issue"'

The author states that University of Oregon administrators were callous and robotic for saying "one time is too many" in reference to rape. Claiming that "one time is too many" is unreasonable, given that all catchphrases are, of necessity, simplifications, made me less receptive to the article. Happily for me, there was better content that followed, that was separate from university campus violence toward women. The latter is something that is distinct from Wikipedia, and might not be the best focus for us at the moment, if we see more of this: Student's False Sexual Assault Claims Go to Trial.--FeralOink (talk) 02:44, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • the so-called "encyclopedia anyone can edit" doesn't mean "anyone can say whatever they want". Wikipedia is a consensus-based encyclopedia, not a blackboard anyone can write on. -- GreenC 16:30, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • In this case, the point is precisely that "consensus" is not inherently balanced when those forming the consensus (who are, in fact, wikipedia editors, not outsiders or what they write, no matter how much we pretend otherwise) have an inhenrently imbalanced makeup. This response in an incredibly cheap shot at thoughtful essay on a very important issue. Circéus (talk) 10:31, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • It's a long slog getting through this, but it deserves careful reading. The author obviously knows something about how Wikipolitics work as well as infopolitics in general. I don't think we'll ever completely get away from this type of politics (and I'm not just talking about gender issues here). But we can make an effort to move away from such tactics in our policy discussions. If you recognize yourself in some of the descriptions, please consider yourself chastized.
BTW, I particularly like the academic use of the term "asshole consensus", but wouldn't suggest that we use it in our discussions here. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:33, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • The piece was written for the journal Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. A journal which, apparently, favors namedropping of French philosophers over references to actual talk page discussions that would have served as evidence in a serious treatment of the topic.--Anders Feder (talk) 16:35, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • The pages in question are reasonably identified. You also have the user name to find out the discussions the author took part in. You are welcome to do your own research of the validity of the reported findings; for any wikipedian it would be a piece of cake. Then you try to publish it in Ada, if only to figure out whether it is indeed "A Journal of Gender" or "A Journal of Female Gender". Staszek Lem (talk) 17:34, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
      • No, they aren't. The whole piece is just a long screed of no consequence.--Anders Feder (talk) 17:46, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
        • Yes they are: "I spent some five hours creating the Wikipedia category Schools under investigation for Title IX violations, which included a short introduction and links to all" + "information about campus sexual violence was removed from college and university pages because it was not "defining" of the". For any wikipedian with 6 month of editing it would only take 10 minutes of lookin into wikipedians' contribs to nail them all. I do agree with "long screed of no consequence" judgement, though. It was tl;dr where I failed to find suggestions how to fix the problem alleged. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:26, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
          • So from what item in that contribution history can we conclude that debates on Wikipedia's talk pages are about "the metapragmatic dimensions of [information's] inclusion as determined by Wikipedians with expertise"?--Anders Feder (talk) 18:39, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
            • Wha...??? <45 sec of stunned silence> ROTFL. <wipe tears off> <breathe>. Step one: Look up metapragmatic or meta-pragmatic in wikipedia. No such word. Found "metapragmatics". Ah, that's an easy one: the author meant we spend more time on discussion of policies than of content. (And the word was used 5 times in the article (that's my contrib to metapragma:-)) Do you really need references to support this statement? On the other hand I do agree that the author did not provide any stats in support of the claim. And by the way, your request to provide links to talk pages in its support is pointless: to support a general statement one needs stats, not occasional examples. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:20, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
              • You have come to phase where you try to save face by sputtering random internet acronyms. Let's not waste other reader's time on that. Cheers.--Anders Feder (talk) 20:00, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
                • I was making fun of my own ignorance. If you call it saving face, then yes: I admitted my stupidity and tried to decipher what I did not understand. How about ignoring jokes if you don't like them, avoid personal attacks, and comment on the essence? This is the point of numerous complaints about wikipedia discussions: ignoring the essence and cherry-pick on the talker's slip of tongue. Now, jokes aside, what do you say in answer on what I really posted: In my reading, the author claimed that we spend more time on wikilawyering and discussing policies than on content. If I read it correctly, do you agree or not that broad statements of this kind must be supported by broad data analysis rather than links to random talk pages? Staszek Lem (talk) 21:02, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
                  • A data analysis will ultimately be based on references to random talk pages, but yes, a broad analysis would be excellent. All I was saying was that, as a bare minimum, he should have supported each of his allegations with examples. The lack of evidence and the litany of jargon reminded me more of the Sokal paper than of an informed opinion piece.--Anders Feder (talk) 21:18, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
                    • Sorry for my sloppy writing: data analysis is to be based on a representative sample of random pages. What I starting from is that anyone can easily cherry-pick 2-3 pages where wikipedians behave as assholes. Therefore I wrote that your request was pointless in terms of improving the scientific quality of the article. Just the same, anyone can cherry-pick a dozen or even a gross of extremely civilized discussions. Therefore I don't consider this text as a scientific article, but rather as a primary source describing their personal encounter and personal conclusions drawn. In your words, yes, it is an opinion piece, regardless it is informed or not. And waving hands expressing our opinions here will change nothing, unless, as I wrote, someone is willing to scrutinize it in a critical reply submitted for publication to Ada. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:59, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
                      • User:Anders_Feder, if I understand what User:Staszek_Lem is suggesting here, it is that a *new* Sokal paper be written up, and dutifully published in Ada, as the critical response to the above work by User:Bryce_Peake. The new paper can discuss how the 'bangvote' is coded trigger-phrase referencing copulation, and just like the citations-are-elsewhere-or-vaguely-mentioned work here, the new Sokal response can give ephemeral citations to now-admin-deleted pages about wikipetan and the now-verboten trifecta -- both themselves clearly additional evidence of the hegemonic discourse spaken here -- until you have considered the metapragmatic discourse they truly represent which is a rebellious gender-neutral-language proletarian revolt against the misogynist overlord Jimbo and use of the singular they -- see also, the wikipedia trademark, and disputes about whether wikipetan is WP:OWNed by the WMF, aka the hermeneutic whipping-girl to the iron fist in the velvet glove, Sue Gardner! Best, (talk) 18:09, 25 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
          • The fix proposed was "culture change". On a predominantly male site that is run by consensus, you can't wikilawyer successfully to improve the treatment of women, because asking people to be more considerate regarding women is considered "WP:THREATENING2MEN". There is lots of elegant academic explanation of the mechanisms of why attempts to wikilawyer for improved treatment of women fail, but the philosophical underpinnings lead back to the obvious: When you run an 80% male website by consensus, with no restrictions whatsoever on sexual, violent, or profane speech in interactions between editors beyond the criterion, "Was that a direct personal attack on a specific individual?", this is unlikely to result in extensive participation by women, and will also deter many men. The author thinks you won't get a "climate of respect" unless WMF becomes involved: "In order to establish healthier habits and traditions, the Wikimedia Foundation would have to actively cultivate a climate of respect. Culture ... is derived from cultivation." In other words, WMF is setting the ground rules here as to whether respect is a requirement for participation or not, and maintaining a climate of respect takes effort that hasn't been forthcoming. --Djembayz (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
            • re: "the fix proposed was culture change" - yes and World Peace, too. Such things don't happen overnight. People who hadn't been around long enough do not notice how the overall atmosphere of discussions changed to better over last 5 years. We already have WP:CIVILITY policy; I've just reviewed it and find it decent. And the community does not stop at that. Throwing in more heavyweight bureaucracy IMO will not help much. How about enforcing what we already have? Staszek Lem (talk) 21:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yawn This stuff is so common to the point it is boring and incredibly formulaic. 1. Person comes onto Wikipedia to advocate a particular viewpoint. 2. Said person runs into the NPOV policy and has POV-pushing reverted or deleted. 3. Person writes long post decrying the "bias" of Wikipedia. At this point I've probably read this from every major advocacy group out there, from MRAs to Altmed folks to left and right wing mainstream political organizations. Winner 42 Talk to me! 16:49, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • It is probably because "advocates for a cause" have nerve and energy to shout about deficiencies of wikipedia consensus process. True, the "advocates" collide with the rest of "wikipedia community" more strongly. But what do plain folks like me do when in a talk page discussion you present 4 arguments to prove your point, you opponents find the weakest one and simply dismisses the rest? WP:DGAF: I can write 10 more articles during this wasted time instead. Only an "advocate" is stubborn enough to keep on punching through. That said, "just because you are paranoid this doesn't mean that they aren't after you". Wikipedians, and especially admins do have to do a better job at judging and counting actual arguments in discussions. And unfortunately tl;dr is a significant factor. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:34, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
      • Writings like this are also common because there are a surprisingly large number of people in the world who are used to politeness in their personal lives, and collegiality in their professional and intellectual interactions. These civilized individuals don't really have the option to avoid Wikipedia and Wikipedians altogether, due to Wikipedia being so omnipresent in Web searches. Whether there is some critical mass at which people who prefer a respectful, polite atmosphere can no longer be ignored and pushed aside remains to be seen ... --Djembayz (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
        • There are also a surprisingly large and growing number of people in the world who read your mind, read between the lines, read in your face, etc. with the sole purpose to read there a personal insult towards them. if only this "number of people" read and follow our policy of WP:CIVILITY, esp. in the part "dealing with incivility", we'd had World Peace 'in dem Augenblick'. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:00, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • "WP:THREATENING2MEN" made me laugh. Nice analysis of how the use of lawyering + "consensus" that allows fallacious arguments to win where they really shouldn't. i.e "it shouldn't be on Wikipedia because it isn't on Wikipedia". Needless to say, lots of detractors... Battleofalma (talk) 17:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • A decent read, but the author seems to 1. completely misunderstand the purpose of Wikipedia and 2. have come here specifically to push a specific point of view. If you want to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses, great and more power to you, we have an article on that for you to edit. But to try to put a sentence based on a single accusation in the lead of every single so-accused college or to create a category based on it is POV-pushing. We don't have Category:People under investigation for murder, or Category:Companies accused of fraud, etc. either, for a whole host of reasons. shoy (reactions) 18:44, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't have a particular interest in whether or not information about campus sexual violence is included in a particular article, but one of the reasons I chose to republish this piece was because it raises provocative questions about why Wikipedians make the decisions they do. We label certain motives as an "agenda" and "POV-pushing" - like coming to Wikipedia to include information about campus sexual violence - but we label other motives - like adding articles about every military cargo ship and video game ever created - as value-neutral or positive. Does misogyny or systemic bias play a role how we view those motives? Why are those feminist interests labeled "POV-pushing" and not those traditionally masculine ones? For some of our decisions we can point to external benchmarks, e.g. we don't include or give weight to certain information or viewpoints about alternative medicine or the JFK assassination because scientists and historians have not supported them. But one of the points this article makes is that we make the mistake of thinking all of our decisions are similarly based on an external objectivity. What scientific or historical consensus says that campus sexual violence is unimportant in the history of universities? There are plenty of external reliable sources which say it is important, and we can't point to other encyclopedias as our external benchmark to justify excluding it, because it's not like they include every military cargo ship and video game ever created like we do. Gamaliel (talk) 19:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
+1. Thank you for mentioning the bias towards inclusion of military / engine-powered ships rather than merchant / sailing vessels, as this is truly distressing. And there are no doubt many other communities whose interests are not being served by the current focus of our article writers. With the ability to make multiple articles on the same topic, you'd think it would be possible to find workarounds that serve different communities. --Djembayz (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think military/merchant vessels bias has anything to do with male POV pushing: I doubt that women flock here to write articles about cargo carriers. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:17, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
We don't? I would never have started otherwise. :) --Djembayz (talk) 12:12, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
re: Why are those feminist interests labeled "POV-pushing" and not those traditionally masculine ones? Answer: the keyword is already here: "traditionally". Feminism is historically new thing. Any new thing has to struggle with tradition, to enforce their POV over a stereotype. Wikipedia is merely a mirror of our society. Yes, we have to work to make wikipedia a better place, but without impatience and pessimism. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:17, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
re: We label certain motives as an "agenda" and "POV-pushing" - like coming to Wikipedia to include information about campus sexual violence - Please be careful with your phrasing: I don't label anything like that. As for "every videogame ever created" - I've seen lots of mockery about this. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:34, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
re: " What scientific or historical consensus says that campus sexual violence is unimportant in the history of universities?" - I looked into the category:Sexual violence and here you go: Campus sexual assault. What is your complaint about wikipedians with respect to this article? I looked into its talk page; at least the very bottom of it looks an extremely civilized talk. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:34, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, so why can't we have campus sexual violence? Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 02:23, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Huh? "Campus sexual violence" we have. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:31, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • This jumble of paragraphs has no head or tail, as far as I can see. Anyway, I read the author «assumed that I could assert my male privilege through "wikilawyering" and wiki-policies». In other words, he started in bad faith, hoping to game the system for what he felt was the superior good. Countless characters follow to show that his bad faith was ascertained and his gaming failed. Is my summary correct? --Nemo 19:30, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. But the fact that he honestly doesn't understand that is I think the reason it was reposted here. The truth is that it is very hard to explain to passionate newbies that they may be barking up the wrong tree, no matter how many citations and reliable sources they come up with. Jane (talk)
  • This is excellent, very well-researched writing that exposes a major systemic problem with Wikipedia. I've examined this topic of community, gender, and bias on Wikipedia for a college class, and I agree that the Wikipedia community needs to seriously rethink how it operates and how it determines which content, and editors, are worthy of inclusion (should content and editors have to be proven "worthy?"). I do think that Category: Schools under investigation for Title IX violations" should have been deleted though, as I don't think subjects should be identified with violating laws or policies unless they actually have done so.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 20:48, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • You seem to be saying the community should settle the deletionism-inclusionism question. That discussion has been going on for over a decade. It's not going to happen.--Anders Feder (talk) 21:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
      • On the contrary, the community decided long ago that statements supported by the peer reviewed WP:SECONDARY reliable sources were to be included, and those opposed were to either be deleted or noted in a voice other than Wikipedia's. If only editors would uphold that consensus. EllenCT (talk) 21:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
        • Riight. Because "reliable" is completely objective.--Anders Feder (talk) 21:25, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
          • Your irony is misplaced. WP:RS criteria include objectivity. And if you look into the WP:RS noticeboard, you will notice that objectivity of some sources is routinely challenged, i.e., the issue is taken seriously. What is more, we even know that "reliable" may be in an honest error. Wikipedia text is not cast in stone. Errors may be corrected, bias may be fixed. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:40, 20 August 2015 (UTC) Stricken (sorry, jumping to conclusions base on incomplete information.) Staszek Lem (talk) 22:49, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
          • Please explain in plain words what you wanted to say with your irony. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:49, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Is he saying that the mere act of consensus is biased because the majority of editors are male? Or that the idea was created by a majority of males? So then practically any joint effort is doomed to contain bias if it has a majority of men running them—isn't that his implication? So what are we to do, rewrite almost every law in existence because a majority of men formulated them? - kosboot (talk) 21:06, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • Please review the wikipedia article "systemic bias" and pay attention to the point that a bias is not always malevolent. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:52, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I, for one, always marvel at the pretentious foolishness of the crazy left. Wikipedia is no bastion of right-wing patriarchal heteronormativity although the left-libertarian aggregate still isn't perfectly globally representative. Still, there are POV pushers that get stopped by our conscientious editors. I'm dismayed that this so-called academic wrote a journal article about his stunt and now perhaps believes he did his part to "check his privilege." I'm simultaneously glad Google made Wikipedia ubiquitous and disappointed these types wash up on our shores where we have to waste time cleaning their mess up. Thanks to Gamaliel for republishing this tripe sandwich. Chris Troutman (talk) 18:43, 24 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Deletion of category for Schools under investigation for Title IX violations

  • Oh no, those damn men (and they must be white too, right?) spending countless hours of their free time without any compensation to do boring and often frustrating editing tasks in Wikipedia. How dare they. You have to be clueless if you still haven't figured why Category:Schools under investigation for Title IX violations wasn't a suitable category and that we should have disregarded policies and common sense for your ad hoc activist name-and-shame purposes. Checking the author's contributions, he seems to not have been very active ever anyway, perhaps for the best, as being here for the purpose of identity politics is not the same as to build an encyclopedia. Pudeo' 22:53, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • Sorry, faulty logic (if I read your irony correctly): the fact about "countless hours of their free time" per se is a non-argument. Did you ever count hours of their free time spent by kooks? Shall we pay them respect for this? The exact same answer to your rhetorics you will get from a hardcore feminist: "sure they do, they spend countless resource to impose their male dominance onto the whole wikipedia under the guise of NPOV policy they designed themselves to suit their interests". Staszek Lem (talk) 23:12, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • The Great News! :D ---Zemant (talk) 01:11, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • "I'm not going to address ANY of the rational arguments that people made for my category's deletion, and try to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Recent politics about rape on campus is a major part of centuries old institutions. Wikipedia who disagree with me are MISOGYNISTIC and need to be BANNED!" Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 22:30, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Policies, WP speak and Women artists

Thanks for using that graph about the RKD database showing the women artists and accompanying it with the quote about 24% women on Wikipedia. Since the graph shows clearly that the best matching percentage is only about half that, then it is clear that Wikipedia does better than the RKD at including biographies (or at least Wikidata items) about women. In fact Wikipedia is twice as good. That said, 24% seems lagging, but this has to do with a gendergap in the arts world. Wikipedia cannot fix any existing gendergap, but it can help to stop them being amplified. A gendergap is amplified for example when a museum opts to spend all of its purchasing power on modern artworks by men. This may not even be a decision made by the museum directly, but indirectly, by stipulating that only prize-winning works should be purchased, and no prizes are awarded to women that year, etc. Looking at the history of this particular case, namely the history of sexual violence in US universities, I can imagine the amount of pushback this got at each turn. Most Wikipedian editors are students or just-graduated and looking for a job. In both cases they are highly motivated to keep their alma mater pages in order. If you had selected the topic of deaths relating to alcohol abuse at universities or just fatal accidents due to stupidity during "rush week", a yearly phenomenon which happens alas to ALL genders, I don't think the outcome would have been different. Wikipedia is not good political arena, though I would agree that it is one. It is just very tricky to maneuver within the confines of the Wikipedia policy system. I am ashamed to say that I agree with some of the quotes that you repeat here by Wikipedians. Sorry about that, but I think ALL of your work would be welcome on Wikidata, and we should probably make a Wikidata project to do just that. Jane (talk) 16:44, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Let me just say that I really do love these quotes and yes, I can imagine how at times I may come across as a complete asshole. I like to tell myself that it happens only rarely. Jane (talk) 17:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Jane, I think you make some incredibly important points. My response to your argument about the structural conditions beyond Wiki (i.e. art awards) is that you are absolutely correct. But I think Wikipedia has the capacity to buck those structural conditions in the same way it transformed the norm for encyclopedic composition. I think I state above that Wikipedia is currently a microcosm, if not an amplification, of the ways campus sexual violence is handled. As for your argument re: college students, alma maters, and greeks, I think this is an empirical question that requires observation and testing. I could see it going two ways: 1) that it would not have as much of a reaction, because it seems like the Wikipedia demographic does not typically overly with the Greek demographic, except in those instances (many) where PR teams watch Wikipedia like hawks. I know that these PR teams exist for universities, having lived in them for much of my professional life. Or, the second possibility, is that these would go incredibly contested as edits, given that the history of Greek drinking is that frats/men were able to support parties and buy booze, while sororities have for the most part been "dry" victorian-esque lady-like spaces. In other words, men controlled access to booze, while sororities were dependent upon frats for house parties (not always the case, of course). The factual confrontation, then, is that Greek drinking incidents and sexual violence are not as totally separate as they may appear - but I will be the first to admit that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING IN TOTAL. Again, these two guesses, they are really assumptions without any real empirical grounding from experience or testing. It would be important to see how it pans out, and to take a long critical look at the divergence and confluence with the ways content debates over campus sexual violence go. Thebrycepeake (talk) 13:31, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Well I don't know about the costs for boozing by sororities - last I checked the cost of beer per keg was still pretty low. And some women can be extremely aggressive when they drink as well. I sympathize with your ultimate goal, and I am personally a big fan of the shame game on Wikipedia (and I am not alone). My own personal targets are small though: figuring out ways to get stuff on Wikipedia that others claim is non-encyclopedic, or getting museums to get something out of storage and put it on show, or even get someone to restore a building. I am not paid for anything I do onwiki, so I am willing to take my time, sometimes years, while constructing elaborate arguments before making my move. I always have my ducks in a row before I attempt something and I certainly would never, ever, attempt to do something on the scale that you attempted. Know your enemy! Universities are among some of the biggest PR watchdogs we have, and like I said, they are supported by our highly productive editor base of mostly male undergraduates and recent graduates. If you had restricted yourself to fatalities (Wikipedians LOVE fatalities - not sure why) you would probably have had a lot more support, but as it was, you had no support except for the usual goodwill, which in your case wasn't enough. Don't forget the greeks are pretty horrible institutions by nature and those in them find it amusing to attack anyone who attacks them. Even though many Wikipedians may not have been members of greeks, if they went to those schools they will still vote to keep their school's name cleared of anything they perceive to be slander. If you could change your list to be a list of greeks with the various campus locations where these problems came up, then again you would increase chances of support. In the north I think the greeks have slowly been losing their following. I believe your work is valuable and should be on Wikidata. Your main problem is the aggressive nature of the process you followed, not the Wiki way itself, which works pretty well once you get used to it. Jane (talk) 14:14, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Something else which may be helpful in future attempts to set the record straight: The link on the left hand side of your screen for "Page information" gives you the number of watchers. I noticed that <<Dartmouth College>> has 171 watchers while <<Dartmouth College Greek organizations>> has fewer than 30. If you are going to start linking up negative factoids on wikipedia pages in order to build a nation-wide case about something, it's best to start with the ones no one is watching. It is pretty interesting to look at the long list of defunct greeks on that page btw - lots of minorities tried and failed to sustain one over the decades. Only two murders listed! Ironically, Dartmouth was founded for American Indian youth, a factoid that was also deleted. Thank goodness the history is preserved in redirects, for anyone willing to take the time! As I was digging in (no particular reason to look at Dartmouth btw - all college campuses with greeks have the same problems) I remembered that there is another factor involved in Wikipedia editor page watch protection: not just current students and graduates are eager to keep these pages inviting and clean - also town residents and college employees! Most of the more powerful greeks are property owners in small towns and the local council is not unwilling to help them out from time to time. Jane (talk) 07:01, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]


One small point, I thought that the WP:GGTF was a community initiative started by @SlimVirgin:, not a WMF one started by Sue Gardner. ϢereSpielChequers 19:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Hi WereSpielChequers, it looks like the writer confused the GGTF and gender-gap mailing list. Sue set up the mailing list. I set up the GGTF in 2013 and re-launched it in 2014, with help from Carolmooredc, BoboMeowCat, The Vintage Feminist and others. Sarah (talk) 21:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Off wiki criticism

The article rightly pointed out that one of the critical comments was on Wikipedia Review, but while it linked to for the quote "Accusing Wikipedia culture of being 'trollish and misogynistic' is nothing less than a way to silence people who challenge mainstream feminism,", it didn't name that site in the text. It would have been better if it had been clearer that this criticism was also elsewhere on the Internet, as currently written this could be misread as criticism from within the Wikipedia community. ϢereSpielChequers 20:06, 20 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • I wonder exactly what "open peer review" means. I started reading the original article and found it so turgid had to give up. In one place it seemed to say that because Wikipedia was misogynistic it was less gender discriminatory.
  • I might return to the article some time, to see if it actually says anything, apart from "I put some content on Wikipedia and it was removed": but for the author's information 15 hours research does not make you an expert on campus rape, or campus gendered violence, or Title IX, or the OCR.
  • All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:11, 21 August 2015 (UTC).[reply]
  • Let me just pick one excerpt that highlights the type of problem in this screed:

Here, I want to note an important distinction between male privilege and misogyny. Where male privilege might be understood as a form of power granted to individuals based on assertions or assumptions about their gender, misogyny is the use of that power in acts of domination.

  • The biggest issue is that the definitions of both "male power" and "mysogyny" are wrong. According to these Bryce's attempts to defend his edits were "misogynistic". And any power due to assertions or assumption of femaleness is an example of "male dominance".
  • Second, why assume that anyone is confused by these terms? Especially when terms such as "metapragmatic universe" are introduced undefined.
  • I intend to attempt to read the article again, in the hope that there is some substance in it. But it is exceedingly long.
  • All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:34, 21 August 2015 (UTC).[reply]
  • He is writing for a very different audience. I tried to wiki-link a lot of the terms his academic audience would be familiar with but Signpost readers might not be. Gamaliel (talk) 02:36, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Giving readers here access to how the circumstances surrounding Wikipedia fit into the larger academic debates and discussions surrounding cultural hegemony is a useful thing. The question of cultural hegemony and Wikipedia is an idea worth thinking about, even if you are not an academic, and would tend to use simpler terminology to express your ideas. --Djembayz (talk) 12:45, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I don't dispute that off wiki criticism is worth including in the piece, but in the context of this Op-ed being a diatribe against Wikipedians and our plicies it would have made more sense to label those criticisms as from off wiki. I clicked on the link to see who on wikipedia has said "Accusing Wikipedia culture of being 'trollish and misogynistic' is nothing less than a way to silence people who challenge mainstream feminism," and only after clicking the link I found out it wasn't on wikipedia at all. ϢereSpielChequers 08:09, 24 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]


The author has constructed a lot of generalities out of a handful of incidents and quotes, and ignored other facts that are hard to fit into the narrative. For example, he also created a List of American higher education institutions with open Title IX sexual violence investigations. This, too, was subjected to a deletion debate, but in this case the keep and delete votes were almost evenly divided. Ultimately the nominator withdrew the nomination without prejudice and redirected the list to Office for Civil Rights, where prose coverage of the investigations could be developed, offered to help develop it, and had no objections to the eventual creation of "a decent article on Title IX sexual violence investigations." At the time, the author seemed content with that decision. Wikipedia is not monolithic. RockMagnetist(talk) 06:29, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for posting that! That helps restore my faith in our (admittedly faulty) crowd-sourcing system. Jane (talk) 07:52, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Jane and RockMagnetist. I'm not taking a lot of time to respond to comments, but felt obligated to respond to the accusation of "cherrypicking" here. Note that at the beginning of this debate for deletion/merge, that 1) the person who opened this discussion was being reprimanded for harassing me across multiple other articles, which made goodwill on his part imperative as admins watched his actions, 2) that all of the delete comments fall in line with the discussion and analysis above, and 3) that the votes for keep come MUCH later in the discussion -- as in after I went around drumming up support by posting the AfD on every page possible, while it remains the same group of individuals (and potential sockpuppets) voicing the delete. The outcome: as long as the information is silo-ed away from actual higher education pages -- which is pretty much wiped off of EVERY college and university page -- it seemed acceptable to the majority (not consensus). So, the argument that this is cherrypicking doesn't actually hold any water in the face of my argument: rather than discussing the long histories of sexual violence documented in primary and secondary sources, rather than providing evidence that the announcement of the list of schools under investigation (for a civil violation and not a criminal violation, which are not similar in anyway) was not a historic or landmark event, Wikipedians chose to debate their own policies and how campus sexual violence is anathema to the definition of information outlined therein for all the reasons I've listed. Also, I think I may have had to submit the article for peer review before that AfD began or resolved... so that plays into this as well.Thebrycepeake (talk) 12:09, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
"after I went around drumming up support" ... bangvote != vote. (talk) 18:09, 25 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Why should Wikipedians not debate policies and what they mean to the question at hand? That is like saying that politicians or participants in a trial should not be allowed to discuss the law. I am genuinely interested in figuring what it is you are complaining about, but I just can't make sense of it.--Anders Feder (talk) 14:43, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Thebrycepeake: So it appears that one editor was harassing you, and was reprimanded for it (and more recently has been threatened with blocking for violating the neutral point of view policy at Planned Parenthood - so this policy can cut both ways). And something like three other editors have supported deletion of your edits, and they were investigated for sockpuppetry. These are the individuals that you generalize to "Wikipedians". After the AfD decision, the nominator added a section on sexual investigations to Office for Civil Rights, and no one has challenged its content. There is also coverage of the investigation of universities at Title IX#Litigation after Grove City case which has been stable for most of a year. And how many edits did you contribute to those articles? Zero. It appears that Wikipedia policy is no barrier to coverage of this issue - if you understand why it is there and how to work with it. RockMagnetist(talk) 16:24, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
And I missed the big one - Campus sexual assault, which you have contributed 6 edits to. While you were dreaming up slogans like "hegemony of the asshole consensus", other Wikipedians were getting things done. RockMagnetist(talk) 17:00, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I find your characterization of what “work” I "didn't do" baseless and wrong RockMagnetist. For starters, the majority of information contained on the OCR page that was transferred from the list was my work, copied and pasted by the editor who did the merge. Second, you are correct in the fact that I did not add to the conversation on whether to add 2 sentences – near verbatim from the ones I included in other pages – to Title IX after Grove City. I would point out that while the reference is made in the article to the schools named in the historic event, reference to being named during the height of campus sexual violence investigations does not appear on the vast majority of those colleges' and universities' Wikipedia articles for reasons that this essay describes.
In closing, I want to say thank you for reading my article so thoroughly. The time you spent examining its falsifiability is very appreciated. However, my experience is that ad hominem attacks about who is doing “the real work” – itself a description with a long gendered legacy – signal the end of a civil and rational discussion. I leave you the last word. Thebrycepeake (talk) 19:04, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
He is right though. Publishing a screed, and not answering the critical questions raised against it, may help you sustain the funding you receive from your employer, but it doesn't do anything to improve the content offered by Wikipedia to the public. Those who bothered to help preserve it in the face of the disruption you were causing, on the other hand, did.--Anders Feder (talk) 19:32, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Thebrycepeake: I apologize for (unintentionally) misrepresenting your contribution to the topic; I didn't dig deep enough. You are right that I shouldn't be using ad hominem attacks. Aside from being rude, they are self defeating because they allow the other person to ignore the substance of the argument. After the attacks are crossed out, I think my remaining text still severely weakens your claim that your experience reveals anything about Wikipedians in general. RockMagnetist(talk) 19:55, 21 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]


  • (Note I am still reading the article, these diatribes can be hard for me to read.) I think WP:UNDUE is applicable for the reasons stated. The articles on the schools are large, and an investigation, not an accusation by the Department of Education (either in a report or administrative hearing), not an accusation by the Department of Justice (either in a report, administrative hearing, or court hearing), or any conviction or settlement in an adversarial hearing whatsoever, is just too early in the game not to be unfair. Yes, it's news, yes, you can ask that the student union representatives get involved in the investigations (to throw their asses out of office, and ruin their fledgling political careers, when it's discovered they didn't do anything). But to put forward *an investigation* as a significant part of the school's character needs something more. It needs, well, as is stated, to overcome WP:RELIABLE and WP:RECENTISM. There's obviously a reason the United States federal government is looking into their schools. I think it's likely, if you could go through the court filings of those states and localities, find some juicy court cases where the school looks like it's run by a bunch of bafoons and jackasses, but you nor the national news conglomerates can afford to get them all (the 1 TB harddrive with the court filings would likely cost in the millions of dollars, if PACER is any indicator). But only the Education Department can just make the school give them all their court filings and go through it all, so until the report comes out, this investigation is just too nascent. Help us (yes, I work on this problem IRL) open these databases up to make journalism easier (and therefore your articles you want to create) or just bitch bitch bitch (sorry, my patriarchy showing) and get nothing done, your choice. (I know what you've chosen, let's keep it real.) Matriarchy and misandry are real, to be sure, but the real issue here IMO is that you want to fix a problem without working whatsoever on an underlying contributing factor, which is ultimately costing you the reference citations you so desparately need. (Note your would-be work would probably help men more in the beginning stages, which I don't think is going to encourage you any, but there it is.) There are so few of us working on this problem, we won't make any significant progress for a few more generations, so I think you're pretty much screwed on this, but have faith, future generations of women will not be nearly as poorly prepared as you. Int21h (talk) 18:46, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), and categorization

This op-ed was a difficult slog for me to read, as I'm not sure it adequately summarized the point(s) it was making. So I'll just comment on two of my takeaways from it. (1) Regarding the idea that men dominate Wikipedia so as to suppress coverage of topics like campus rape, see Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight). This topic was featured on Wikipedia's main page in the "Did you know?" section. This is a controversial topic, as demonstrated by its extensive talk page archives, but the "men's club" here has not suppressed it. (2) Regarding categorization, yes, Wikipedia:Defining applies here. I created Category:Facebook groups, and successfully defended it from a deletion attempt. Note, however, that it has less than a dozen members. I don't do Facebook, but my understanding is that it has thousands, if not millions, of "groups". However, only a handful of notable organizations are WP:defined by this characteristic. For example: "Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement (CREWE) is a Facebook group..." I'm thankful that, as yet, there are no colleges which are so well-known for the frequency of rape on campus that we define them by that. Wbm1058 (talk) 19:46, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

The linked page doesn't help your case. The page as written is pushing the POV that the rape allegations by four students are false (Wikipedia has a strange over-emphasis on "false rape" in many articles) and that the accused is the real victim. For example, it states inaccurately that "Columbia cleared him of responsibility in all three cases" but according to RS he was found "responsible" for another sexual assault, but won on appeal after the woman graduated and withdrew her complaint. The alleged rapist's name, which was mentioned in all reliable sources, is suppressed and was redacted even on the article talk page per consensus. That consensus reflected (some) editors' belief that the alleged victim was lying or to blame, notice comments like "mattress-girl's propaganda show".. "Sulkowicz's report, seven months after the alleged incident, may have been less than truthful"... "just leave the guy alone." By contrast, the faces of the women who helped the alleged victim carry the mattress are shown. Wikipedia covers topics like campus rape but the way Wikipedia covers these topics is usually biased in favor of the majority POV (male, Western, white..). I'm saying nothing new here, it's been shown in several studies that our content isn't as neutral (in the sense of a pure reflection of RS) as we like to think. And in my experience we are much more open toward people and views from the manosphere than voices from the other end of the spectrum. --SonicY (talk) 22:30, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Wbm1058, the Mattress article and talk page have been unpleasant to work on, to the point where I took them off my watchlist. Pinging BoboMeowCat, who has been active there. The emphasis on talk has been that the four accusers are probably making things up. The woman behind Mattress Performance made a video reconstruction of what she said happened. This prompted a suggestion on talk that some German IPs who had been editing the article might want to watch the video after having a beer. When a woman objected to the comments, she was told to watch her mouth. [2] In fairness to the editor who made the beer comment, I don't think he meant any harm, but the point is that men have difficulty noticing a locker-room atmosphere because it doesn't bother them. I added to WP:TALK that editors should bear in mind that "male is not the default," [3] but was reverted. Sarah (talk) 23:13, 22 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Sonicyouth86 and Sarah, thanks for your comments. I'm not trying to make a case, but rather to evaluate the case which was made. I'm still finding it difficult to get past all the buzzterms thrown out by this op-ed: misogynist infopolitics, asshole consensus, THREATENING2MEN, male privilege, "ontologizing" gender, the positivistic "how many women equals equality" question, "gender gap" civilizing mission, WikiLawyering, rhetorical "power plays", ethnographic approach, scientism, "ruling with reason", metapragmatic dimensions of inclusion, cis-gendered... sorry, my head is spinning. I know that there's likely some real issues behind the buzzterm wall, but the only thing concrete I picked up from it was the categorization argument, which I think is weak. In contrast, you two, with your short replies, have given me more rationales worth looking in to than the entire lengthy op-ed. Mattress is a complex, but interesting case. I just read the December 21, 2014 NY Times story, which I found to be pretty thorough and fairly balanced. I'm resisting my desire to respond more directly to your comments here as I don't want to fork the discussion too far from the original op-ed's points. I'd be interested in an investigation into cases, not limited to this subject area, where the encyclopedia which prides itself on being NOTCENSORED, decides to censor by consensus. A look at "to censor or not" debates and comparison of cases where the consensus was censor vs. not censor, would be illuminating. Wbm1058 (talk) 13:18, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Wbm1058, the thread that runs through these issues is that women, and issues that matter to women, are regarded on Wikipedia as the Other. We are not Self. One of the responses to the "have a beer then watch the sex tape" comment I mentioned above was illuminating. A woman objected to the remark. [4] A male editor told her off on her talk page for objecting, and on article talk a man asked what the problem was. A third replied that it might help to know that the complainant is "a female." There you have the Otherness in a nutshell, intended kindly in this case – Achtung! a female has entered the locker room.
Every aspect of this needs to change, or women will continue to drift away or never arrive. Either we need a massive influx of women who won't tolerate it (which isn't going to happen), or we need male allies to speak up whenever they see it. It's very difficult to do that because you'll lose wiki-friends, and you may even find that some women will defend whoever is being corrected, so the objector may end up feeling completely unsupported. Sarah (talk) 22:05, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Sarah, right, an uncivil "civility" discussion. Not good. So, this is about behavioral issues, now, not content, which, theoretically should be right up the ArbCom's alley. Have these issues been taken to ArbCom, and if so, what is your general impression of how the ArbCom has dealt with it? Wbm1058 (talk) 23:02, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Responding to Sarah's ping regarding Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight). In my experience, it has been a difficult article to work on. Every minor detail seems to be a battle. The fact that the article is remotely neutral, I suspect is primarily due to the fact that the article has gotten some attn from the gender gap task force, but honestly I'm not sure how much longer I personally can deal with editing that article. For context, here is what the article looked like before gender gap task force was alerted to inaccuracy and neutrality issues there. Notice it used to open with factual errors such as Sulkowicz never filing a police report: [5].--BoboMeowCat (talk) 05:22, 24 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Having picked up on this essay at the GGTF, I have a few observations on this particular article which I've also edited. I became active after the BLP debate which led to the suppression of the accused's name. I personally disagree with that since he's pretty widely known and has personally gone public about it. However, my reading of the BLP debate suggests it started with an effort to keep Reliable Source commentary and publication of Sulkowicz facebook postings out of the article because she seemed friendly and expressed affection for him well after the alleged assault. So there seemed to be a big blow up about that which ended up with neither the accused's name, nor any mention of those Facebook postings left out of the article, perhaps because they went hand in glove in that particular discussion. So it was not a one-sided, protect the man only, outcome.
In a more recent debate, there's been a concerted effort to reduce and qualify comments about the artwork by Camile Paglia, as quoted from a Salon Magazine interview. Paglia's opinion is not kind to the work, and that has created a lot of pushback by some editors who would rather we not quote so directly (or pick another quote that's less searingly critical), or they want to include a qualifier that she's a "dissident feminist". What I've seen is an effort to minimize criticism of the work, no matter if (or perhaps because) it comes from a notable social critic. Is that debate an example gender bias in Wikipedia? Well, maybe. Or it could be a content dispute, with both perspectives having merit.Mattnad (talk)

General comments

  • Not everything that is true, interesting, newsworthy, or which needs to be discussed by society at large is encyclopedic. Other, better venues may exist. Where such things are worth mentioning in Wikipedia, attention must be paid to WP:Undue weight and WP:Neutral point of view. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 02:03, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Davidwr: I don't think the author is disagreeing with that. Rather, they are pointing out that what is considered encyclopedic and suitable for Wikipedia is currently very hetero-normative masculine.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 02:38, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
No, there are not better venues, this is why Wikipedia is bearing the brunt of these social issues. By and large, if my edits on the United States' political systems are any indication, the US political establishment has abdicated its role as a forum for common political debate. The establishment is setup nicely enough (except in California, which is the complete opposite to New York in that it completely fucks any non-rich person in counties other than San Fransisco city), but it was setup this way in the late 19th-early 20th century and has been forgotten and fallen into disuse. And for that, oddly enough, I blame everyone here more than the politicians; we should know better. Int21h (talk) 04:51, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]


In an earlier discussion on this page, I made an ad hominem attack on Thebrycepeake, and I was surprised at myself. This is something I studiously avoid doing in Wikipedia (not to mention real life); I believe strongly in the core policy of civility. I came to realize that it was a response to the extended incivility of this article. It is one massive failure to assume good faith. When editors disagree with an initiative by Thebrycepeake, it is because the information threatens male domination. When they cite policy, they are using "scientism" to mask their ignorance of fact. Deletion debates become opportunities for the majority to impose their will on a minority. And by extension, Wikipedia as a whole is subject to a "hegemony of the asshole consensus." There is no real evidence for these claims; they are constructed out of a mixture of mind-reading, rhetoric and guilt by association. It positively invites an uncivil response.

For a glimpse of male hegemony in action, consider discussions at WikiProject Universities on University Sexual Assault Investigations in Lead, where staunch hegemonists like @SarahStierch express doubt that the material belongs in article leads or in its own "controversies" section; or Editing Infoboxes, where another gang of oppressors questions its inclusion in the college/uni infobox template. Yet, on reflection, these people don't sound very frightening. They don't challenge the accuracy or value of the information; they simply question the way that Thebrycepeake wishes to present it. And they frequently propose alternatives such as creating a separate article on the investigations and linking university articles to it, or incorporating the material into the history section for each article. Indeed, that has been done in University of Chicago, while in Occidental College it is part of a multi-issue Controversy section.

The real problem is that Thebrycepeake wants to broadcast his information with a megaphone, and when his desires run counter to what he calls WP:<POLICIES>, he blames the policies. Consider, for example, the question of defining characteristics of a subject. To quote WP:CATDEF,

A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having.

In the category deletion debate, Thebrycepeake says, "The fact that the President's own taskforce NAMED (for the first time EVER) these institutions, and that the news has widely broadcast this naming, further makes it a defining feature for a lot of current and future occupants." Unfortunately, the other editors are not able to articulate the crucial flaw in this reasoning, falling back on statements like "it doesn't have the long-term and wide-ranging significance to be defining." But the real point of WP:DEFINING is clear from the examples it provides:

"Caravaggio, an Italian artist of the Baroque movement ...", Italian, artist, and Baroque may all be considered to be defining characteristics of the subject Caravaggio.

"Subject is an adjective noun ..." or "Subject, an adjective noun, ...".

When the University of Chicago is named in an article on the President's task force or on sexual assaults in colleges, the investigations are the subject of the article, so they are not defining. If, however, U of C were commonly referred to in other contexts as "The University of Chicago, a university under investigation for Title IX violations," it would be defining. But, of course, it isn't.

I have not been involved in any of these discussions, but it seems to me that most participants were trying to honestly assess the information and the best way to present it; and they believe that Wikipedia policies are there for a good reason. They don't deserve this smear. They have proposed reasonable alternatives, and there is no evidence that Wikipedia policy is any barrier to implementing them. RockMagnetist(talk) 19:03, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Scientism and the other

The op-ed seems to take an issue with scientism on Wikipedia, definining it (I am paraphrasising here) somewhere along the lines of an unjustified use of scientific arguments and terms to silence critics and dissenters, strengthening one's own political views with scientific authority and thereby claiming objectivity, and, on top of it all, being blind to the various forms of injustice and discrimination that are created in the wake of objectification and neutralization. While the above text makes those things sound as if the devil himself had devised them for this site, it should be clear that in most of the cases, these things are absolutely normal and essential for Wikipedia. Even Thebrycepeake, if he is serious about his work here, will have to engage regularly in these kinds of activities: We cite a physicist's textbook to silence those who claims that jet fuel can't melt steel beams; we counter claims that there is no racism in western societies with statistics of the job market; and we make a clear distinction between points of view that deserve to be presented in a well-balanced fashion and those who don't deserve that kind of privilege. And if we follow our conscious, we are doing this by being faithful to our sources, the issues we write about, and what we hold to be true and just.

But of course this is not what Thebrycepeake protests against here. What delineates scientific from scientism, it appears, is that the latter is phony and hollow, and that its proponents either bluntly lie about their real motives or (even worse!) are oblivious to the inherently mysoginist, sexist, hegemonic, or what ever you would like to call the forces that make them act in the ways which are criticized in this opinion piece. They are borrowing from science an authority they don't deserve, making them the actual opposite of what they claim to be – neutral, objective, fair, pragmatic, and so on. But here we might hesitate for a second: Isn't this article doing the same thing by citing renowned scholars who allegedly support the author's point of view? Isn't erecting the ideal of a fair and balanced account that manages to include everyone's views, claims, and needs and then pitting it against the messy reality of everyday Wikipedia guilty of the same sleight of hand that accuses others of their bias and their obvious personal interests, while firmly situating oneself outside such political quarrels? Doesn't the op-ed, by shifting away from the countless wikilegal, wikipolitical, and wikitechnical arguments brought forth by countless Wikipedians who hardly qualify as "Men™" (at least not any more than Thebrycepeake himself) towards the issues and arguments the author deems the most important commit the very same crime of ignoring problems that actually matter in the here and now in favor of dogmatized slogans, phrases, and claims which only bear the cloak of feminism?

I have to admit that I do have a problem with the way a number of STS scholars are cited in this op-ed. And it is not merely the fact that this text does not seem to have a problem with quoting both Latour and Bourdieu for its agenda, two authors whose theories and political stances are so radically opposed to each other with regard to this op-ed's theses that I find it hard to believe its author has thoroughly engaged with their relevant writings. For an article so ostentatiously bearing the banner of a critical approach to unquestioned truths, I think it could do a better job at exposing itself to the shortcomings, risks and blind spots of its own approach. Others – Wikipedians, Men, hegemonists, ignorants, formalists, etc. – cannot cease to fail in their quest for truth and neutrality, because they are mistaken from the very start. The author, on the other hand, or who ever it is who speaks through this lines to the readers, does not seem to live the dangerous life of being prone to error or having to learn about his or her own mistakes. I think this way of telling a story is bit too lazy, at least for our times who seem to have their difficulties with perspectives who claim access to an infallible truth.

After Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto I thought at leasts feminists were immune to falling into this kind of trap. But maybe that's also a bit too presumptuous from my side, as I have written pieces like this one myself, albeit I hope it's been some years by now. I can understand the rightful indignation of someone who's seen their hard work erased without sufficient explanation and whose complaints have been overheard, ignored, ridiculed and in any case misunderstood. The only reasonable way of resolving ignorance and misunderstanding, however, is not by hailing some kind of world where the differences from which they stem are finally – once and for all – done away with. Sacrificing this world, how ever inconvinient and troublesome it may be, for a utopian vision which feeds from exactly those false and phony transcendent truths STS has been criticizing for roughly fifty years now cannot be the answer. An encyclopedia where women and men finally get the same amount of kB for equality's sake may be anything, but it sure as hell will not lead to the end of history. Yes, crying out against injustice must be impossible, and that includes questioning the value and adequacy of certain norms, rules, and arguments. But that requires situating oneself within the landscape that is about to be renegotiated and accpeting the risk that, in the end, it might also be ourselves who will have to change or acknowledge our mistakes – and not solely those who we have conveniently bxed as "the others".--Toter Alter Mann (talk) 22:40, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

WHA...? " An encyclopedia where women and men finally get the same amount of kB for equality's sake may be anything, but it sure as hell will not lead to the end of history." .... "Yes, crying out against injustice must be impossible," ... " And it is not merely the fact that this text does not seem to have a problem with quoting both Latour and Bourdieu for its agenda, two authors whose theories and political stances are so radically opposed to each other with regard to this op-ed's theses that I find it hard to believe its author has thoroughly engaged with their relevant writings." I feel reaally stupid, but the only thing I got out of all the above is that it appears to be an extremely elaborate tu quoque-type argument against Thebrycepeake. If I am mistaken, could you please state your criticism in simple Bullet Points for Dummies. Otherwise I am afraid the answer can only be an equally long and fuzzy "flow of consciousness". Staszek Lem (talk) 21:21, 24 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
As used in Thebrysepeake's article, scientism is a malapropism because it is applied to the use of Wikipedia rules, not anything related to science. The right term is, of course, Wikilawyering; or, if a more general term is desired, pettifogging. RockMagnetist(talk) 00:07, 25 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Some comments

Similarly, the history of the Elliot Rodger article (merged with the 2014 Isla Vista killings) reveals debates over whether he should be included in the category "violence against men" instead of "misogyny," whether the word "misogyny" should be used since he killed more men than women, and if there should even be a section entitled "misogyny" given the "bias" of the term.

I think it is unfair to actual victims of violence against men to apply the term so carelessly. Gender-neutral violence, sadly, usually affects men more. To me, violence against men is violence against someone because they're male or assumed to be male (women/non-binary assumed to be men can be victims of VaM and vice versa). It is a real thing but it doesn't apply in the Isla Vista case.

I am female, I was assigned male at birth and have stereotypical male body parts. I shy away from the label "transgender" because I find the trans community too exclusive. I don't get into gender politics on Wikipedia or edit gender-related articles often because I'm afraid. The environment of gender on Wikipedia is extremely hostile and I don't think I'm qualified enough to speak on gender issues. I am learning to break free from that.

I agree with that Wikipedia policies are exclusive. Knowledge is biased to who writes it and we are seeing that our sources of knowledge exclude the knowledge of minority groups. Of course women and men aren't psychologically different but being treated differently leads to a different PoV.

Sorry if I misunderstood the article. :( Andrea Carter (at your service | my good deeds) 05:03, 26 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Controversy in leads

It's a pretty high bar to include mention of any controversy in any lead paragraph. The controversy generally needs to be a major or defining event for the subject at hand, not just one thing that happened to an otherwise large, complex, or old subject. The removal of these was probably well justified and had nothing to do with any gender issue. Gigs (talk) 20:05, 27 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This editorial missed the forest for the trees

What's happened here is that someone tried to expand, categorize, and restructure a whole bunch of articles in a skewing way, that focused, laser-like, on something that's really a vague, open-ended "investigation" the basis and parameters of which are unclear. When reasons were given why this exact approach isn't appropriate on WP, rather than listen to the reasons and reapproach the issue by writing an article about the investigation(s), their scope, and the targeted institutions (i.e., salvage the work), the writer instead declared WP full of hegemonic assholes, abandoned the work, and parlayed the "experience" into a one-sided journal paper instead. I kind of feel WP was used, and the entire situation is a false dichotomy setup: Either the author gets her way, in every single way, or WP is a wicked place to be publicly shamed. There were so many other ways to handle this.

The sad thing is that there really are a WP:BIAS problem and a WP:GENDERGAP problem, but this editorial missed both of them widely, and devolved almost immediately into an incoherent conspiracy theory. Just because not every imaginable approach to coverage of campus sexual violence is an encyclopedic approach doesn't mean that some good ol' boys' club of misogynist douchebags is in control of Wikipedia and is censoring the issue from our pages. What really happened was someone was trying, however inadvertently, to inappropriately use Wikipedia as a soapbox, meanwhile the actual facts they sought to include should actually be included, just in a more encyclopedic, less tabloid, manner.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:30, 28 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

PS: I've gone back through this editorial, and what sticks out most is this claim: "It becomes clear that the intention is not to improve content ... but to prevent the publication of content." There's no actual evidence to back this wild claim of censorious suppression; all there is is "I didn't follow the rules, and now I'm going to get even because others noticed and didn't let me have my way." The closest thing to evidence is just unsupported, overgeneralizing mass accusations, like "Wikipedians argued that research on Wikipedia's gender bias ... are themselves [sic] 'biased' and 'invalid' because they don't include information about men", and "To demonstrate this bias, Wikipedians either engage in shallow methodological critiques or cite a litany of WP:<POLICY> ... they don't add the so-called missing men to these articles. Nor do they ... demonstrate... all of this is just 'feminist bluster'." Show us "Wikipedians" in the aggregate doing this. Generalizing from what some particular individual posted, into an all-encompassing "Wikipedians" is exactly the same logic error as assuming that all dogs are vicious because one bit you when you were a kid after you kicked it. The entire piece is laced with this diffuse and unaccountable blaming. Take this, for example: "Within two weeks, a group of Wikipedians nominated the category for deletion." It's not possible for a group to nominate anything for deletion; it's only something individual editors do. Here's a real doozy, a case of psychological projection in which the conspiracy theorist fantasizes up a conspiracy theory in the mind of "the Wikipedian", again an amorphous, unidentifiable, generalized nemesis: "The Wikipedian's assumption here is that the creation of the category was not driven by the verifiable, factual nature of the listing of schools under investigation for Title IX violations as a historical precedent, but a deeper feminist conspiracy against some undefined neutrality on Wikipedia and against universities more generally." Are we to believe Peake can peer into the minds of Wikipedians, assess their motives, and identify a common nefarious one, focused on hating feminists? (Never mind the fact that none of this has anything to do with the actual objections raised about the category, remember.) This whole line of thinking raises obvious questions: Why does Wikipedia have so many well-developed articles on feminism if it's puppeteered by a masculist dirtbag conspiracy that recursively consists of anti-woman conspiracy theorists? Why don't our articles on feminism and women look like those of Conservapedia and Metapedia? How could there be some right-winger cabal in control of Wikipedia to fend off a "feminist conspiracy against ... universities" when the conventional far-right view is that universities are the collective den of feminism? And so on. The whole thing unravels very quickly.

This kind of doublethink and cognitive dissonance is found throughout the piece. To just pick a paragraph at random: Peake, in criticizing WP's consensus decision-making model says "This ethnography is not without its quantitative supporters", and cites previous work he feels is enthnographic in nature, but the works he cites are not actually research in that field but two papers by largely the same researchers, on computer-mediated work collaboration; to the extent they have a social sciences component, they seem to be sociological and microeconomic (particularly concerned with distributed organizational ergonomics), not culturally anthropological, i.e. ethnographic. Since when do Wikipedians form an ethnic group or anything like one anyway? WP is a self-selecting affinity group. A sentence later Peake turns this "ethnographic" criticism on it its ear, and says of his own counter-argument "Through an ethnographic approach, however, I am able to go one step further than these quantitative studies to demonstrate ..." [various things he can't prove]. So, what is this? An ethnographers against ethnographers war? While Peake has some educational background in anthropology, I do, too. I'm not detecting anthropological thinking at work in this editorial; it's a socio-political communications (i.e. PR) piece; like Peake, I coincidentally have a degree in that, too, so I recognize it when I see it (especially having been a professional activist for about a decade). An ethnographic approach is certainly not evidenced by a claim of "scientism" on the part Peak's "asshole" opponents. Last I looked, anthropology is a science. And it doesn't require a focus on science to decide whether something is a defining quality of a university, for either lead or a category, anyway. No untoward veneration of science is required to assess whether some vague "investigation" is encyclopedic material or of indeterminate importance. It's absolutely the wrong approach to ethnographic methods to generalize from observations of outlying members of a group to assumptions about every member of a population.

The frustrating thing is, this is all a total distraction from the real bias and gender gap problem on Wikipedia. There is no "WP:THREATENING2MEN" factor at work here, except on the part of a few isolated individuals. Men are not generally threatened by women or feminism (even if some outlying weirdos with mental issues are). Rather, the gap and the bias come from "WP:NOTINTERESTING2MEN". Males in the aggregate tend to be self-absorbed and simply WP:DGAF about things that aren't "guy stuff". There's a reason that WP is dominated by coverage of sports, video games, rock stars, hot actresses, machines, warfare, business leaders, and other traditionally "dude"-leaning interests. It's not because men hate women and want to keep them from writing articles on other things or minimize their proper representation within those topics, too; most of them simply can't be bothered to notice or care. It's not even male privilege, it just male collective narcissism. It's not a conspiracy (and it does not posit one about women), it's just systemic apathy commingled with willful ignorance, a combination that, when it becomes self-congratulatory, we call stupid. There is, surely, a Wikipedia douchebag factor at work (closely related to that found in the gaming community, the free software movement, academia [at least in the sciences], and business, but it's just Y-chromo jackassery, not a vindictive political movement. It's a thick wall to knock down, but hammering on the wrong one doesn't help. I'll close with Hanlon's razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:59, 28 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • I have not visited Wikipedia for several months as my studies are more important but hey Spring Break is next week so here I am. I thought I would check up on my "All Time Favorite" Wikipedian. I say that seriously and humorously. She was here to push her POV that guns and men are evil. Lightbreather was her handle and the Sausage Fest banned her for being way to of a demanding woman. Seriously, she was demanding, a woman and was banned. I did love how she attacked the meatheads and even agreed with her when it came to the porn loving adolescent meatheads assessment. She played both sides of the fence, I am woman you cannot do that around women. And you can't treat me different because I am a woman. She stirred the pot by getting all the women in uproar to help her promote her view. She surely lurks here to this day as another editor (Areola Dark) as no one can really ban anyone. Of course I could be wrong, she might be in Ranger training right now to come back and kick this sausage fest out of the closet. But I really do miss her, she made wiki lawyers come out like roaches when you turn the lights out. You could of sold ring side seats when she got a bee in her bonnet. Jerry Springer could of learned a few things. The Gap it is there and always will be there. It is a man's world and always will be. Women are the weaker vessel and there is no disputing that. Men are very aggressive and women who try that will be brought down by other women. The old saying they eat their own is there for a reason. Hey it was women who did not come to her aid and let here be devoured in the Sausage Fest (Wikipedia). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 3 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Correction needed

Hi Bryce. It has been brought to my attention that you wrote this article in 2015, and that it cites a diff of one of my edits. Unless I'm missing something, you either used the wrong diff or misquoted me. Here are the diffs:

  • Your article "WP:THREATENING2MEN: Misogynist Infopolitics and the Hegemony of the Asshole Consensus on English Wikipedia" is found here and here.
  • Your statement (which contains my diff): "When a Wikipedian claimed that the removal of information about campus sexual violence was disruptive, pointing to the existing article on 'Higher Education Institutions Announced in Title IX and Clery Investigation,'..."
  • My diff and edit summary: "Perfectly good content. Undue and recentism are very poor excuses. Heading changed to be more accurate. This matter applies to all the schools under investigation."

As you can see, there is a total disconnect between your description of my thoughts and my edit summary. Did you use the wrong diff? If there's another explanation or some other diff and or quote(s) of me in that article, please clarify it for me. Thanks. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:13, 21 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

BTW, it was a sad day when your efforts to document campus sexual violence were defeated here. That needs fixing. The category should be restored, as well as the content on each article. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:13, 21 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0