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back to article Wikipedia: It's not for girls

Time-rich computer scientists in America say they have conclusive proof that online encyclopedia/graffiti archive Wikipedia is biased against women. Hardly any of the site's legions of volunteer editors are female, and the few who are get picked on by the male majority: as a result Wikipedia fails to provide quality in-depth …

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Anonymous Coward

As well as a few guys pretending to be female...

A lot of women on the internet either pretend to be male or don't mention their gender at all.

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Headmaster

"Sex", please; ...

... not gender. Being male or female is >not< gender: it's sex - got that ?

Gender is a concept in grammar that describes (among other things) which articles and adjectival endings "agree" with the noun.

So, for instance, the German for "the little girl" is das Madchen *. The noun has neuter gender, even though the girl herself is female.

Similarly, "the spoon" (no sex at all) is "die Loeffel" (feminine gender) *.

* (Sorry about no double dot over the a or the o)

<rant ends>

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Anonymous Coward

Words with more than ONE meaning

http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=gender#hl=en&q=gender&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=ZUFJTu6KFsOg8QOI1IjIBg&ved=0CCUQkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=add46516a83689d1&biw=1276&bih=679

3. The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)

Don't really care what that means in german, language gender is a completely different thing.

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Silver badge

Sex? gender? What about the other two?

Yes, the *first* definition (according to my OED) of gender is a technical term used in grammar. However the next definition is the property of belonging to such a [gender] class and the colloquial third definition is "a person's sex".

Also, regarding your examples. I think a fair few people will agree that spoons (no sex at all) does often lead to sex. Which is really what I wanted to steer the post around to.

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Sorry to be so German, but...

... it's 'der Loeffel'. Stick that in your Wikipedia and smoke it!

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Headmaster

Well,

as we are wearing the four-cornered hat already:

"Löffel" is actually of masculine gender, and so the singular goes with "der".

"die Löffel" is _plural_, and the plural article is "die" for _any_ gender

sg. .................. pl.

der Löffel -- die Löffel

der Mann -- die Männer

das Haus -- die Häuser

die Frau -- die Frauen

"Deutsches Sprak schwerer Sprak", as the man said.

:-))

</counter_rant>

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Headmaster

Mark Twain on language and gender

To quote the very excellent writer Mr. Mark Twain, on the subject of "The Awful German Language":

"In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl."

linguistic gender != sexual gender

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FAIL

It's all about the timing....

Sex......is what happens before you get your gender. Typically the gap is around 9 months

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This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Doesn't exist

Well I checked Wikipedia for an article called "Male bias in articles" and got the response: "The page "Male bias in articles" does not exist"

Should we therefore assume that since Wiki doesn't have an article for it, it doesn't exist?

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Devil

Creating new articles isn't hard...

... but keeping them is something altogether. If you would sit down and do a wikipedia writeup of this research, you could expect jimbo's self-selected selective semantics sodomists to shoot it down because that's a "primary source", and not sufficiently hear-say to include in wikipedia.

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Anonymous Coward

{{original research}}

If you edit for a while (or even just tagging articles as needing attention) you're bound to attract other editors' attention, some of whom are the stereotypical overzealous young male. You know the type, heck most of us here will have been such at one time or another: Freshly high on the awesomeness of their pet project and more capacity to find fault with others than in moderating their own actions.

I imagine that girls are less likely to pick up something like wikipedia for their pet project needs and are more easily put off by having their contributions be not so subtly "improved" away, or "helpfully" criticised into oblivion. And of course the fair sex automatically attracts fair amounts of attention and thus more scrutiny on their works.

Of course, the above is all speculation and even if true I wouldn't know what to do about it. Maybe ze big jimbo can come up with something original. Or not, as the case may be.

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Bronze badge

Wiki Circle Jerk

Wikipedia long ago became a clique so it wouldn't surprise me if it is as male dominated as most other institutions are with their 'I know best', other males tolerated but considered inferior, and women can just sod off back to the kitchen arrogant attitudes.

The question is; are women locked-out and discouraged or just disinterested in playing the Wikipedia game?

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Anonymous Coward

re: Wiki Circle Jerk

Couldn't have described Wikipedia any better. Most articles being maintained by a bunch of immature males and the rest being corporate PR propaganda. Try and point out an obvious inexactitude and you immediately get shouted down and/or banned, mainly because you're not a member of the clique or the truth doesn't match some corporate propaganda line.

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Joke

Or....

..women are just crap at providing detailed info on any subject..ask any married man.

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Thumb Up

Anon for a reason

I whole heartly agree with the first anon and will remain anon for good reason.

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Ru
Meh

Hrm

So, does wikipedia's little echo chamber, deliberately or otherwise, exclude known female editors? Can it tell an editor is female just from their writing? Or are its actions fundamentally offensive to the female psyche? That would be entertaining.

Maybe the fairer [citation needed] sex is simply less interested in contributing to what is largely a collection of technical articles with a scattering of noticably poorer quality nontechnical content, given the general trend of women to study and work in non-technical fields in the english speaking west, which is where most contributors seem likely to live.

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Paris Hilton

"Can Wiki tell if an editor is female from their writing?"

If they're writing about friendship bracelets and/or Sex in the City, then the answer is an unequivocal "yes".

(Paris, because more people have looked her up than have looked her up on Wiki.)

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Devil

You don't hear much from the wiki-whackies these days

Not that that's a bad thing.

It's just an observation.

Might just go over and make some edits.....

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Coffee/keyboard

You owe me for this ...

"Researchers there found their flabber gasted to its very limit"

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"friendship bracelets or Sex and the City"?

I didn't realise only teenage girls counted as women on the internet?

My idea of a more female-biased article would be either about female health or, being a little sexist perhaps, beauty products. OK, so that's almost as stereotypical -- but at least they're things common to at least some women in all age groups an cultures and not just Western teenagers.

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Unhappy

Must... resist... temptation....

... to see what Wikipedia says about Twilight. Too Much Information is my guess.

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Silver badge

Re: I didn't realise only teenage girls counted as women on the internet

Are you kidding? Everyone (even guys) count as women on the internet!

Did SitC have a teenage demographic? If so, is the demographic STILL teenage? I'll be honest, I have no idea what it's demographic is. I think a more interesting question then "what percentage of SitC's audience is female?" is "What percentage of females are SitC fans?"

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FAIL

I am worried about you

You are familiar enough with said popular (ladies') TV programme to refer to it using an acronym, but yet you have still got the name wrong.

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Silver badge

Staggering

Most silicon chips are designed by men too. I know, I can hardly believe it either. Anyone who wants to change that could start by encouraging girls to study engineering. Good luck with that.

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Ru
Paris Hilton

Lack of female engineers

is a largely english-speaking western cultural issue. Russia and China do alright, for example. There's nothing fundamentally alien about women working in highly technical fields.

I know a british female Verilog coder; she observes that the lack of female engineers in the industry means she can pretty much walk into a company, say 'gizza job' and they'll fall over themselves to provide very competetive salaries and reward packages. She's not unhappy about the lack of competition, but doesn't quite understand why some many of her peers went into mediocre jobs in law, media, journalism and the like where they don't make big bucks and don't stand out from their peers.

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Joke

Welcome to the internet

Where men are men ... and so are most of the women

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Big Brother

and

the children are FBI agents

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Happy

hahaha

Sounds funny if you imagine Jeremy Clarkson saying it ^_^

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Coat

Hmm?

What about the small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri? What are they?

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small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri

"What are they?"

Lunch

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Girls bullied on nerd forum?

That would run contrary to experience, perhaps wiki editors are unlike any of the nerds on every other internet forum but I doubt it.

Could be the women don't want to argue, hide the fact they are women if they have any sense and aren't used to being corrected when wrong (it is the ones without sense who own up to being a woman remember).

Then the clincher, women just don't want to edit a wiki.

Lets face it, most guys have better things to be doing than editing a wiki, what kind of swamp monster must the women on their be?

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Girls bullied on nerd forum

It's not that uncommon for nerds to try to push women out of their groups. Some of them are very resentful against the opposite sex. Some believe that women shouldn't be allowed to participate in whatever particular nerdy activity they are involved in. Others just drool too much which isn't the same as bullying but I imagine is a bit of a turn off.

I think some of it is because some nerds blame women for not having any interest in them. After all it couldn't be related to their social skills because they get along with each other just fine.

Full Disclosure, I participate in several different activities that would likely put me in this category.

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Thumb Down

"critical information resource". Apparently not to women.

"As Wikipedia continues to be a critical information resource,..."

That's a very male centric view :-)

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Trollface

Time for a rename

Dickipedia, the free male encyclopedia

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Thumb Down

Meh

There are a large number of clique-ish, angry nerds on there who will delete pages and revert information that goes against their political views, or is decided quite arbitrarily not to be notable enough.

I watched a friend's page get deleted because of notability concerns (he's had three novels published recently) while there's a page for every bit-part character in the most obscure anime/manga you can think of....

Yeah, it's populated by the absolute worst sorts of geeks and I can well imagine rampant sexism in the mix there too.

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Windows

Notability Concerns

A friend of mine, a publisher, had his page modified to say he had died. Being upset about this, I rang him to ask him about his death and how it would affect his short-term plans and whether we were still on for a beer on Friday.

Despite not being dead, the numpties at Wikipedia initially refused to change it, citing "notability concerns". After a whole raft of emails, which have been become legendary in our circle, as well as pictures of him with that days Evening Standard etc., they relented.

You can´t make this shit up.

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Anonymous Coward

"Hardly any of the site's legions of volunteer editors are female"

Doesn't this mean that women are biased against Wikipedia?

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Joke

8.3% of Encyclopaedia Britannica's

editorial board is female. Wikipedia are therefore trailblazing for women's rights?

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Meh

Not sure if trolling or just very clever.

I'm not sure if 16% isn't pretty good, compared to the general background of male domination of the internet and technology firms and projects. I can't think of, e.g. any open source projects that have reached that degree of female participation, and in a long career as a programmer I've never worked anywhere that managed to recruit that many female programmers.

We fail pretty hard as an industry.

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Unhappy

Correction

> In general on the internet it's safe to assume that a fair number of people claiming to be female are actually men or teenage boys

..and the remainder are undercover cops and law enforcement agents.

No. There are no women on the Internet. Except on female safe web yards like Twitter and Facebook...

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Pint

Age old battle of the sexes

However as a bloke the three female bosses I've had have been ten times better than the five males bosses I've had. No it's not some lurid little workplace, domination trip, they just made working for a living slightly more pleasant than having to deal with all that alpha-male, bloke-shit.

That's another thing, while we're on it! Why is it obligatory to know all this useless fecking bloke-shit?! I couldn't give toss about football, rugby or cricket ( snooker and darts, different story! ). I don't care that you need a double-overhead ooja wotnot to cover my flange-vibrating baboon monkey nut wrench splurch capacitor or that a double 5 inch wotnot, thingy doodah fits into a rotary, mucsle pulsing castle-nut splat-box! Getting my arse out of bed in the morning is a trial in itself, let alone doing a day's work, dealing with the kids and doing my share of the house-chores, having to learn a load of useless shit just feel more of man? Bog off, life's hard enough as it is!

Now if you want to discuss the in's and out's of camera focus mechanisms and creative aproaches to photographic compositions over a pint of genuine brewed pint of Suffolk "cyder", I'm your man!

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Anonymous Coward

I am fed up in the morning hearing the office conversation turn to football

Two football fans turn up, discuss a match at the weekend. After they are done, a third turns up. The first few words he utters is "did you see that atrocious penalty?" and the whole conversation repeats. Then the fourth and fifth turn up...

Nothing else gets discussed to the point of wanting to make me scream until they stop.

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Silver badge

If you ever want a new job ...

> I don't care that you need a double-overhead ooja wotnot to cover my flange-vibrating baboon monkey nut wrench splurch capacitor or that a double 5 inch wotnot, thingy doodah fits into a rotary, mucsle pulsing castle-nut splat-box!

There's a senior mechanics position just waiting for you at my local "%£^&*$*($(" main dealership - they don't know the square-root of sod-all about mechanical things, either.

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Coat

Mechanical idiocy

Yeah, you wouldn't believe: when my partner's car lost the oil, the clowns at the dealership actually tried to put new bearing shells on damaged crankshaft journals, with the predictable result that it ground... to ... ... a halt .... Ummm. Castle-nut splat-box, was it? I'll pop down to the stores.

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Pint

Re: I am fed up in the morning hearing the office conversation turn to football

> Two football fans turn up, discuss a match at the weekend. After they are done, a third turns up. The first few words he utters is "did you see that atrocious penalty?"

The trouble with arsenal is that they always try and walk it in.

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Facepalm

Not all bias is a bad thing.

'As Wikipedia continues to be a critical information resource, it is important that all voices be heard.'

Err no. If Wikipedia is a critical information resource it is important that the most intelligent and knowledgable men and women on that subject are heard. Reading the comments thread of almost any video on YouTube shows what happens in the internet when all voices can be heard.

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But...

Women are far too busy with the ironing and cleaning to take part.

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Unhappy

Re: But...

It's amazing what we can get away with now that we have lost the Moderatrix.

sigh.......

I miss her.

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Anonymous Coward

They will be using that "positive discrimination" shit...

...to boost the number of women working there.

I hate positive discrimination, and not just when its against me.

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