Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wikichix

On the mailing list for the English Wikipedia there were some women who articulated that a sizeable group of women feel not comfortable in the en.wikipedia community of editors. To alleviate this issue, they decided to create a community of women called Wikichix.

Angela, who is one of the best around for creating communities, set up some infrastructure including a mailing list for those interested in joining. A lively discussion started about this. Many men denied that there is a need, and that it is appropriate to have such a self help group. Several of them expressed that they feel excluded and even discriminated against. Several women including Anthere, provided graphic evidence of how women are dealt with by some of the males that think nothing of making disparaging remarks qualifying them as "jokes".

Even though it was said time and time again that this was to engage more women to become part of the Wikipedia mainstream, some people could not accept that what is good for some does not need to be an affront to others. Sadly, Anthere has now asked for the mailing list not to make use of WMF infrastructure. :(

Personally I feel it as a loss. A loss because it does not help to engage more people. A loss because it may even prevent the engagement of people who are not part of the Wikipedia community and all this because of the boorish behaviour by some.

Thanks,
GerardM
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