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Latest comment: 8 years ago by MarcoAurelio in topic Opposition "votes"


Would this be for English Wikipedia specifically? Would it include developing software to restrict edits to women only or would that be enforced simply by community agreement/convention? Kaldari (talk) 00:32, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

I don't think that software-enforced restrictions make sense; they would be easily gotten around by switching one's gender setting anyway, and as such the space would need to be regulated by community norms regardless. Fhocutt (talk) 08:34, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Actually, I think software could help manage it, but based on two parameters: 1) the "she" setting on the user's preferences, and 2) an oath by the user that they are a woman or identify as female.
The "she" setting alone would not work because you can toggle it. The two conditions together should suffice, though there would still need to be community managers. I would be happy to be a manager, but of course we would need several to start. Lightbreather (talk) 16:40, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
About the "she" setting under preferences, is there a way to tell who has set that setting? EChastain (talk) 15:43, 17 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
There are several that give slightly different results: {{they}}, {{pronoun}}, {{gender}}. There is also this query: [1]. --Lightbreather (talk) 16:23, 17 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
It's possible to lie in an oath, too, so at some point there has to be trust and reliance on community standards. On the other hand, I can see where it might be useful to programatically require someone to have made a conscious choice to join the space, as a first line of defense against "please explain why this exists" or similar from men dropping by. Although I also suspect is that the harder it is to join the community, the less likely women who don't necessarily feel welcome in "women's spaces" will be to feel welcome in this one. Fhocutt (talk) 19:52, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I understand. I was thinking of something along the lines of the agreement women make with the Systers list at the Anita Borg Institute. It's a mailing list, but I think it would make a good model for this since they've fine-tuned the process over 20 years. Lightbreather (talk) 20:50, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

The proposal is for a WikiProject Women for the English Wikipedia, though I am not opposed to one at the meta level (if I'm using the correct term) to support women who contribute to the various WMF projects. However, that would complicate the verification process. I know that the English Wikipedia has a user preference that can be set to "She edits wiki pages," and I know that there is a "Female wikipedians" category, but do other projects have these features?

Perhaps if it goes up on English Wikipedia as a pilot program and helps women editors to enjoy their editing experience it could then be expanded to other languages/projects?

FWIW, I am sure, based on my editing experiences and on comments on Wikipedia and here, that if I had simply created a "Women" WikiProject, it likely would have been killed before it could get off the ground. Also, although I wish it weren't so, money is going to be necessary to create software and processes to help the project moderators (volunteers) to ensure, as much as possible, that only women use the project. It may also benefit from a "pretty" interface. Lightbreather (talk) 00:50, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

If the scope was narrowed to English Wikipedia, you might be interested in learning from w:fr:Projet:Femmes or de:Wikipedia:WikiProjekt Frauen who might have some of the experience you need — NickK (talk) 09:23, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

About opposition[edit]

@AWang (WMF): I am new to this process. An "Opposition" subsection has been added to the idea proposal page under "Get involved." Is this typical for idea proposal pages? If there is to be an involved "opposition" group is that the place for it? Lightbreather (talk) 00:47, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi, Lightbreather. An opposition section isn't typical for every idea, but I suppose not totally unexpected for controversial ones like this. As creator, I feel that you should get to "own" your idea, however, even though respectful opposition will need a place to be voiced. I'd be ok moving opposition to a new section on the talk page here, instead of on the main page, and just linking it from the bottom of the main page, if you like. Thoughts? Happy to help make this happen if needed. This is in line with how we handle the issue of support/opposition on IEG proposals here on meta-wiki...endorsements on main page, concerns on talk page. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:54, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I actually thought of that, too, but was afraid to be bold, based on lack of experience with the IdeaLab process and some unpleasant experiences from being bold on the English WP. Lightbreather (talk) 19:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes, Siko (WMF), can you move "Comments" and "Opposition" to the Discussion page? Thanks. Lightbreather (talk) 19:57, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Done, and added a note in endorsements section pointing folks to the talk page for voicing concerns instead. Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:11, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Keeping discussion, comments and opposition on discussion page (more room to discuss here!)[edit]

Just noting that I've moved all discussion, comments and opposition sections to this talk page (see sections below), in an attempt to keep the main idea page tidy. IdeaLab ideas don't have votes, so that type of support/oppose tallying would probably best be reserved for discussions happening on English Wikipedia itself. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:09, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

  • Is there any particular reason why the disagrees were moved to the discussion page while the endorsements remain visible on the front page? Is that standard practice in situations like this? Thorrand (talk) 04:37, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    • Endorsements are part of the standard IdeaLab template for Ideas, so they've been retained. Respectful disagreement & concerns, while expected and welcome, are reserved for talk pages in IdeaLab. Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:55, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

So the censorship is back again? Both parties have the right to be represented in the same way. But this project is in line with the image filter and superprotect and now womenprotect. --Bahnmoeller (talk) 17:11, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

With all due respect as a non-WP editor - I understand that opposition voices usually are not part of the IdeaLab template, but I feel that this idea is extremely controversial to say the least. Removing opposing voices from the mainpage in my humble opinion invokes the image of this suggestion being univocally accepted, which is clearly not the case. --2A02:908:B41:E2A0:45B1:F14F:421A:7DCA 21:33, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Why was the Oppose-Section removed from the front site?[edit]

I see that the section for opposing comments has been removed from the front site. I perceive this to be unfair as there is still a section for supporting comments. If such absurd measures are proposed, i'd like to be able to speak out against them. --

The opposing coments are using logic. Since the supporting comments can't refute that logic, the creator of the idea hides the comments she doesn't like. Nothing strange here. Of course, that is another reason to oppose this group.
It wasn't the idea creator who moved the opposition section. It was a Wikimedia Foundation staff member. The talk page is the place for discussion. Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 16:15, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Then that member should have moved all comments here, not only the ones that oppose the idea. It's pretty stupid to have a discussion page with only half of the comments, isn't it?
All IdeaLab ideas have an "endorsements" section. It's part of the template. Someone added an "opposition" section to this idea page. Plenty of ideas face opposition. In the IdeaLab, we hold those discussions on the talk page. Cheers, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 18:32, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
That's a good idea to suppress opposition. --Bahnmoeller (talk) 17:16, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


@AWang (WMF): I am new to this process. I invited a couple dozen Wikipedia women to visit this idea proposal page. A WP editor started a discussion on my WP talk page suggesting that I was possibly canvassing and asking me to stop. I'm not writing content here or proposing policy changes, I'm proposing making a women-only project that recruits, encourages, and supports WP women, regardless of their preferred topics and positions on policy. Is inviting women to review this proposal allowed? Lightbreather (talk) 01:01, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Just my 5c: a women-only project is in fact a policy change, as so far policy does not allow to restrict users from editing based on their real-life identity. But I would be glad if @AWang (WMF): clarifies what is a policy of IdeaLab on this, as I couldn't find any guidelines — NickK (talk) 01:26, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I am the editor who had the original concern. Lightbreather seems to have notified around 30 people, and I have no idea how she managed to come to this list. There's a gender gap wikiproject on Wikipedia, I thought she got it from there, but nope, there are people she notified that have never contributed to that wikiproject. Maybe the 'female wikipedians' category? Nope, as she's going totally out of order and in specifics, plus there's a lot of them there. So I'm not sure where she's getting this list of people to notify. It looks as if she's notifying random people, but some of them have !voted to endorse Lightbreather's own idea. Wikipedia has a canvassing policy. Plus, the gender gap is under discretionary sanctions set by Wikipedia's ArbCom, so canvassing would be in scope of that. If she's indeed only notifying people she thinks will be sympathetic to this IdeaLab, then that's votestacking, mass notifying, and selective notification, a violation of Wikipedia's canvassing policy and possibly a violation to the discretionary sanctions. Tutelary (talk) 02:41, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Nineteen are women on the GGTF who hadn't yet shown up here on their own; the other six (I notified 25 total) are just editors that are women. They all got identical, brief, neutral notices. I don't expect them to endorse the proposal, though I suspect some will - and some won't. If you think I'm breaking a Wikipedia rule I'd prefer you take it up at the appropriate WP forum. Lightbreather (talk) 03:55, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
You didn't answer my question though. Where did you garner this list? Tutelary (talk) 08:04, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Lightbreather informed women she thought might be interested, which is legitimate per the enwiki canvassing guideline. I've noticed that guideline – and that's all it is – being misused several times to try to stop women from letting other women know about issues of interest. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:43, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Of course it's canvassing. It's a proposal to exclude a majority of editors from participating, and not only are the canvassed editors women, the list excludes significant senior enwiki women contributors (e.g. Fluffernutter, SandyGeorgia, Bishonen), so it falls under Wikipedia:Votestacking. It also doesn't matter, as it's a sufficiently bad idea that word will spread. NE Ent (talk) 20:24, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
After reading the Wikipedia:Canvassing I'd have to agree it would count as vote stacking. The existence of such a group that would only welcome one genders participation is of interest to everyone on wikipedia. Inviting based on gender is an attempt to skew results. Thorrand (talk) 01:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi folks, here's my 2 cents from the perspective of IdeaLab organizers. This is a space for sharing ideas and getting feedback on them, it isn't a vote and nothing will be decided based on sheer numbers either way. Lightbreather, you started this page to get some early input from people about your idea as you were wondering whether or not it should move forward, and I don't think you've done anything wrong per se by starting to bring people into the open discussion here, where plenty of opposing voices have also entered, as noted below. We encourage folks to follow guidelines from their target wikis (in this case, English Wikipedia) for bringing more folks into discussions, but there is no formal canvassing policy here on metawiki that I'm aware of, and as SlimVirgin notes, English Wikipedia has canvassing guidelines, but doesn't actually have a formal policy either. In terms of IdeaLab guidelines, based on this discussion, it sounds like we might want to give a bit of extra thought to providing idea-creators some helpful guidelines about ways to engage their target communities in ideas they create, to help ease the discomfort and questions around this. Pinging Jmo, let's add this into ongoing idea-creation campaign planning. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, Siko. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Lightbreather (talk) 19:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
English Wikipedia does have a policy against "meatpuppetry", or "recruiting communities of people who agree with you for the purpose of coming to Wikipedia and supporting your side of a debate". This policy, however is never enforced, as accusations require proof, and proof from off-wiki is not accepted. In fact, some members with these outside affiliations have actively worked to have any Reddit affiliations that were voluntarily revealed by Reddit members rev-deleted or suppressed, on the grounds that it constitutes "outing". The English Wikipedia used to use community sanctions to deal with Reddit sockpuppets and meatpuppets, and two admins, Killerchihuahua and Kevin Gorman were very effective in dealing with these individual, however these admins are not so active now, because of health issues. The English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee has shown little inclination to deal with the issue or even acknowledge that it exists. So it is now up to the Foundation to deal with the off-site problem that the ArbCom failed to fix with the recent Gender Gap arbitration case, at least in the current context of grant proposals.
The fact remains that most of those who arrived to vote as a result of the off-wiki canvassing do not oppose the proposal because they think something else might be more beneficial to closing the gender gap. They oppose the proposal because they do not wish to see the gender gap closed. —Neotarf (talk) 22:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Is there any reason to believe that's the reason for the opposition? I'd love to see a more balanced range of editors as well, but I would love to see that happen without the discrimination this proposal entails. The author of this proposal also makes the assertion that male voices inherently make wikipedia 'unsafe' for female editors. I'd like more of an explanation of what that means and why they perceive that as the case. This is an encyclopedia. Contributions are contributions regardless of gender and I don't even see why gender is an issue. For what reason would one disclose their gender in discussions? It doesn't strengthen or weaken an argument at all when discussing facts. Thorrand (talk) 05:08, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Opposition Canvassing on Reddit?[edit]

I just want to point out that this discussion has been brought to the attention of /r/MensRights and /r/WikiInAction (a GamerGate affiliated subreddit). I'm not sure if this qualifies as canvassing or if it should be just thought of as offsite critique, but people should probably know that this is going on.

Seeing as this is not a vote, there is no problem with the arguments of anyone interested in the subject being voiced. Assume good faith. A lot of people dislike the notion that a sexist wikiproject would be allowed through, and those people's arguments are no more or less valid because of where they learned of it. 19:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Also how come there's nothing like en:Template:Not a ballot to use on metawiki, is there any way to use the enwiki version? Bosstopher (talk) 20:38, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Mhm I've also seen a few anti-Gamergate people link to this, see [2] which was retweeted by [3] who shows he/she's anti-GG by RTing these [4] [5] [6]
Seeing that the proposer has posted this on 30 user's talk pages, I'd say the canvassing boogeyman doesn't apply here to invalidate certain votes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Loganmac (talk) 00:48, 12 January 2015
Metawiki makes very little sense to me, but I'm fairly certain (or at least hopeful) that like in regular enwiki, this discussion is not a straight ballot count vote. For instance if 90% of commenters voted for this but it turned out to be against WMF discrimination policy, it obviously shouldnt pass. Similarly if 200 IP accounts suddenly Spam no votes, this should be treated with suspicion. Hence why I wanted to add a en:Template:Not a ballot template to the top of the page.
Also on the topic of staying updated with recent canvassing and discussion, influential GamerGate redditor and renowned man of mystery "Logan_mac" has posted about this on /r/KotakuInAction where it has gotten 246 comments and clearly been given wide exposure. Bosstopher (talk) 12:50, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Not only women?[edit]

Although I appreciate her impulse to support the proposal, I do not agree with the tweaks proposed by Carolmooredc. The proposal is for an area for women-only (or those who identify as women). To change that would not be a "tweak," but a different project. My inspiration for this proposal is the Anita Borg Institute's Systers forum - a place where women in tech have come together electronically for over 20 years. It's about women supporting women. Of course not all women feel a need for such a space, but a lot of women do, and considering how few women edit on Wikipedia, having such a place may be very attractive to some. Lightbreather (talk) 16:39, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

{Insert:Note that I propose this just because I think it would get shut down otherwise. But feel free to ignore!} Carolmooredc (talk) 05:00, 18 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Lightbreather, I see a possible middle ground. A place where all women who want to can join and participate. Guidelines would allow the design and moderation of the pages so that the comments of women would be prominently displayed, and other people would have their comments placed in alternative ways. This would allow for new voices to be heard without them being overwhelmed by people using existing policy and guidelines to cutoff free expression of opinions. I'm not convinced that having an on wiki discussion in total isolation is desirable.
The important aspect of the plan would be for women to be able to speak their mind without having the area over run by people who on either outright sexists or nice friendly helpful regulars who are mostly males. The second group in many ways are more of a problem because each person needs to self censor and not comment or the new ideas are drowned out by helpful people explaining the current ways of thinking.
I don't think that it has to be a complete women only area for this to happen. It is possible to separate out comments so that voices can enter the discussion in managed ways. I think that this approach is one that would be a great pilot project and worthy of investing funds and human resources. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 21:29, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The part of your proposal that I am open to at this time is the pilot project idea. Keep it women-only, as proposed, but at the end of one year, let the women vote on whether or not they want to include others, and how they want to include them. The larger project, as it stands right now, is 90% male and effectively run by the men. I think women need a space that is theirs. Again, it's not like it's going to be a secret space - whatever goes on there will be visible, just like all the other Wikipedia pages. Lightbreather (talk) 21:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I think the priority should be having a place where that women can go on wiki to work on topics that matter to them and get the support that they need. Other women can be encouraged to self identify as women and they can have a prominent location for their comments. But others who want to join in can be offered ways to either comment or support the women. This approach embraces the wiki ethos that allows all people to join. I don't think an on wiki isolationist approach is viable or desirable in the wikimedia movement. It loses too much of what makes the wikimedia movement work. I have no problem with an off wiki forum that is only women. But I don't see how that it is useful to have people see an on wiki discussion but not allow them to participate in it. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 22:02, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. After actively editing here for a year and a half, I believe that if there truly is a "strong wikimedia ethos," it's not surviving its voyage to Wikipedia. The recent ArbCom that ended in one woman being banned from Wikipedia while saving the behinds of two men convinced many women that Wikipedia, with the support of the WMF, needs a project for women. Lightbreather (talk) 22:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The situation is that this WikiProject will not really be like the places that I know that are support organizations for women. Those places are completely separated places where women go and are not open forums where men can see the comments and ideas but are not allowed to join in the active discussion. I'm not seeing a case for why an on wiki only women area that men can see the comments of women but not reply is needed. As I've said, giving women a chance to get their thoughts out is Goodness. Helping them to connect with each other and design the area to make it appealing to them is also Goodness. But I can't see having an openly viewed forum where men are not able to offer any insight into ideas that are publicly viewable to everyone. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 22:54, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'll try one more time to explain my thinking on this. If it's off-wiki and/or secret, people (mostly men) will complain that we're up to something. Anything we brought back to the open areas of Wikipedia would be put down because they were done in secret and the men had no input. If we do it on-wiki but let the men participate... They. Will. Dominate. The. Discussion. I've seen it happen over and over again. Part of it is a matter of odds. If 10 editors are talking about something and 9 of those editors are men, it is almost certain that men will dominate the discussion. It is also to do with how most (not all, but most) men communicate in groups. Consider:
I can't speak for the other women here, but I would absolutely hate it if we had a forum where, while we women were talking, some kind of feed was being displayed in the margins with men chiming in with their comments. Honestly, we need a place to talk, and if we decide we want to talk with the guys, we go to another page - again, maybe the Village Pump - and talk with the guys. Lightbreather (talk) 23:22, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'm not saying that isolated places for women to support women are bad ideas or the wrong answer. But I think that my idea is more what is needed on wiki now and captures a lot of what happens in these groups but also eliminates some of the problems that occur in them, too. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 21:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
It's not like women in the group, if they want male input, couldn't go to one or more of hundreds of other pages if they want to discuss something in particular with the men... the Village Pump for example. However, I strongly believe that at this time, women need a refuge, so to speak from male-dominated pages. Perhaps there could be an agreement that at such time that women make up over 33% (or 40%, or some other agreed upon percentage) of the active, experienced editorial body, that the project would close. (Active might be "has made at least 'x' number of edits in the past year," and experienced might be "has made more than 'x' mainspace edits.") I dunno. It's hard to even imagine such a day! Lightbreather (talk) 21:54, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I can't see a compelling reason to break the strong wikimedia ethos that the wikimedia projects are open areas for every one to participate. I can see why that we would structure an area to give women a better chance to get their voices heard. Using guidelines about participation, facilitators, and tech solutions I think that it is possible to do this and still keep with the idea of wikis being open for one and all to join. This idea I can easily support. I'm not there now for a women only project. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 22:18, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
If you read what I wrote under Discrimination, I think you'll see that the proposed project does not break anything. And other projects that have been created in part to help women's voices to be heard - like the Teahouse and GGTF - have not helped, because, I am now convinced, there are run by men. Lightbreather (talk) 22:38, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I agree that it is not legal discrimination. But the idea of having a permanently selective members only editing page on a Wikimedia website is a drastic change that breaks the ethos of the community that developed around the wiki software. To me this plan falls into the category of throwing the baby out with the bath water. As I've said, I agree with socially and using technology to help women have a place to connect and work without being overwhelmed. I think we can learn a great deal from a location on site that is designed to aid in collaboration among a narrow group and also have a larger group participate along side of them. My suggestion is to think about this alternative for a few days to see if you think that it might be more adaptable to current wiki technology and community values. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 23:06, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
This proposal is just another Gender Gap group, but without male members. ArbCom has just killed GGTF, I don't see much point in just doing it over, but without the guys. Most of the women have already been driven off anyhow. Wikipedia does not need yet another failed wikiproject.
This proposal is much too small. What is needed is a moderated discussion, similar to the pipermail, but set up as a forum, so you don't have to click forever to see the full discussion. It needs broad policy discussion. It needs formal male "allies" advocacy participation. It needs educational initiatives that can be applied broadly across other areas of Wikimedia. It needs a mandate from the Foundation. The right kind of proposal will also address editor retention and the Endless September problem; anything that works for retention of women will have applications elsewhere.
Jimbo once said on his talk page that if anyone wanted to create a toxic and uncivil Wikipedia, and wanted to fork off, he would be willing to pay for the servers. A similar question about whether he would be willing to pay for servers for anyone who wanted a civil Wikipedia went unanswered.
What is needed at this point is a project on the level of a WikiNews or WikiVoyage, that can serve as a platform for testing new social forms and hammering out ideas. Perhaps creation of a "Wikipedia Prime", a super-pedia that could serve as a repository for such diverse needs as:
  • an educational mission to support English Wikipedia and Global South initiatives
  • articles for female Australian football players that can't get an article in Wikipedia because the notability requirements are more stringent than for male Irish players, or
  • top level medical or science articles that have been checked by experts, or
  • featured articles as they appeared on the day they were featured, or
  • atlas-type articles with extended content and links to museums and other institutions that would be deemed too exhaustive for an encyclopedia entry
  • educational resources for editathons and local groups
  • a speaker's bureau or video repository suitable for educating the public about Wikipedia
  • rules, and moderators with the authority to enforce them on the spot
  • a broad mandate that includes women, but goes beyond "women's" issues
And of course, a place to discuss all of this that is free from the disruption that has characterized gender-topic and gender-inclusive discussions up to this point. —Neotarf (talk) 00:54, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Some lessons from Sumana's keynote[edit]

You might also consider some of the points about the Hacker's School in Sumana Harihareswara's keynote.

Characteristics of Sumana's group:
  • 59 people, 42% women.
  • five paid facilitators
  • diversity goals, grants for women
  • concrete, shared goal (become a better programmer)
  • face-to-face, some online chat with alumni, but very little remote component
  • they’re willing to exclude
  • balance basic skills check with valuing heterogeneity (two months, or twenty years of programming experience is all ok)
  • experimental and consensus-driven, a lot of ad-hocracy
  • a balance between peer mentoring and paid help
  • a "no asshole zone", participants chosen for their ability to collaborate
  • formal social rules that are part of the core values
  • an invite-only space where everybody coming in agrees to follow the same rules, so it’s a place where they feel safer
And finally, don't forget "How it works" (xkcd #385). In this context, it can apply to men as well. —Neotarf (talk) 22:08, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for pointing out her talk. I heard her speak and thought it was a great example of what works. I think we can learn from their bold approach to managing the environment to make it friendlier to more people. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 23:18, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Comments by idea creator[edit]

I am reviewing comments one-by-one and will put my responses here. Lightbreather (talk) 21:14, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


Some have brought up concerns that a women-only space would violate the WMF Non discrimination policy. As FeralOink has suggested, I will ask Wikimedia legal for guidance on this, but in the meantime here is my take. The policy states that it applies to all Wikimedia projects, meaning Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons, and so on - not the individual Wikipedia WikiProjects. A woman-only WP WikiProject would not prohibit anyone from editing on WMF projects.

Further, if you read just the lead of the WP:PROJ page, you'll see that a WikiProject for women would simply be a "a group of contributors [women contributors] who want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia." It could:

  • Help coordinate and organize the group's efforts at creating and improving articles;
  • Write advice for editors;
  • Use bots to track what is happening at articles of interest to the group;
  • Create lists of tools and templates their members commonly use;
  • Use project discussion pages as a forum for its members to talk about what they are doing, ask questions, and receive advice from other women.

The project could not:

  • Make rules (that apply outside the group);
  • Have special rights or privileges;
  • Impose its preferences on articles.

Again, a woman-only Wikipedia WikiProject would not prohibit anyone from editing WP articles, policies, guidelines, or dispute-resolution forums, or on other WMF projects.

--Lightbreather (talk) 21:49, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

After a related, test "Kaffeeklatsch" was created in my user space on Wikipedia, and then nominated for MfD,[7] I have received this reply from Luis Villa:

Without weighing in on the larger question about how to provide safe spaces so that all users are comfortable participating in Wikimedia projects, I wanted to clear up the misunderstanding related to the WMF non-discrimination policy. In WMF Legal's opinion, the non-discrimination policy does not prohibit users from setting up a women-only discussion in their user space, because the policy was passed by the Foundation board to apply to acts taken by the Foundation and Foundation employees, not individual users. Other policies may, of course, apply.[8]

The result of the MfD for the Kaffeeklatsch was page kept. --Lightbreather (talk) 20:26, 7 February 2015 (UTC)Reply


Some have asked why a grant is needed. That was my first thought, too. However, having the proposal go through a vetting process at the WMF level might help to get the project off the ground. Women online receive a lot of harassment. Just reading the news this past year makes that clear. It is also clear from the amount of opposition "votes" piling up below (especially some of the comments that accompany the votes), and from the vandalism this page is already undergoing (I have asked for semi-protection), that the project can expect disruption. Although I myself plan to work on this project as a volunteer (as do others), there will be some up-front costs.

  • Possibly a prettier (for lack of a better word) interface for the project pages - kind of like the Teahouse.
  • Definitely software for project moderators (volunteers) to:
  1. Invite women editors to join (using the user preferences "Internationalisation" setting, or perhaps the "Female Wikipedians" category).
  2. Verify that editors who ask to join the group are women or people who identify as women (to minimize the disruption and help members feel safer).
  • Possibly advertising dollars? (Has WMF ever directly advertised to try to get more women editors?)

--Lightbreather (talk) 22:31, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


The group would be open to all women editors. The only thing an editor would need to reveal - and swear to, to a project moderator - is that they are a woman or a person who identifies as a woman. Identifying as a feminist (or anything else, except for gender) would not be required. Lightbreather (talk) 23:02, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


One opponent said, "since by definition editors would be excluded, (and by the proposers reasoning, a super-majority would be excluded) no consensus or decision could ever be formed on any topic." Consensus within any project only ever applies to the project itself. No project can go to an article or policy and change it without the consent of other editors. Let's say that WikiProject Atheism agreed that a WP article that mentioned religion also must mention atheism? Or that WikiProject Religion agreed that a WP article that mentioned atheism also must mention religion? Even if the members of a project agreed to such a thing, the five pillars would make it impossible to do.

Besides, as stated above, the project would probably be more focused on community, policies, and guidelines than on content. Though content discussions would not be off limits, at some point in such a discussion the OP would be directed to go to the article talk page, or to the project page related to that article.

--Lightbreather (talk) 19:12, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


An opponent expressed concern that the project would be nothing more than a WP:FORUM. He and others have suggested that an off-wiki forum should be created. That idea was addressed in part by FeralOink, whose response - about why we wouldn't want to use Facebook, Google, or Yahoo - I wholeheartedly agree with. But more importantly, there's no need for us to seek a place with "no policy barriers" where "ladies can commune to their hearts content"[9] because there are no policy barriers to prevent us from talking here. (It remains to be seen if our "communing" will differ, qualitatively or quantitatively, from that of male editors.)

Activities and discussions on this project will be related to the task of improving the encyclopedia. Although non-encyclopedic, bonding comments will undoubtedly be made (just as they are now on other talk pages about getting a beer or watching a game), the thrust of the project will be about improving the encyclopedia.

--Lightbreather (talk) 19:51, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Discrimination concerns[edit]

Discussion of Comments by idea creator: Discrimination

I don't see why there should be a ban for male editors here. I don't see any problem with males writing advice for female editors and vice versa. Nor I do see a problem if a bot owner will be a male and not a female user — this will not have any impact on article lists or tools used by the project. As I see from the discussion, the problem is that a few editors (and probably exclusively on enwiki) have offensive behaviour on gender-related issues. In this case the solution is a topic ban for them (or, probably, ban from the project in this case). I have not seen even in this thread even a single example of a discussion that shows how male editors harm discussions on gender-related topics, and you propose a quite radical change to all Wikimedia projects (as if you had wanted to propose a change for enwiki only, you would have probably chosen a local RFC page and not IdeaLab on Meta) — NickK (talk) 23:37, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

I don't see any problem with males writing advice for female editors and vice versa. This is exactly what happens on every other talk page on WP right now, and that won't change. There will be no rule that women have to go to WP:WOMEN to get advice. Lightbreather (talk) 23:41, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Oh, really, males writing advice for female editors and vice versa? So far my experience was more about a healthy collaboration between male and female editors who are writing advice for both male and female editors together.
By the way, I have found that fr:Projet:Femmes has also male participants... will they be banned from the project after this decision, or will French community have to create a female-only fork? — NickK (talk) 23:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
... the problem is that a few editors (and probably exclusively on enwiki) have offensive behaviour on gender-related issues. That is only one problem, not "The Problem," but nonetheless, women who would like a more peaceful environment have no option right now that doesn't involve many hours of complaining and defending your complaining... with no guarantee at the end that the environment will improve. In fact, you're likely to be attacked, harassed, and/or labeled a "civility warrior" for complaining about it in the first place.
Also, it should be noted, offensive behavior doesn't only happen on gender-related topics. Lightbreather (talk) 23:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Still, could you please provide an example of discussions — preferrably from several different wikis — where the discussion would have been constructive only without male participation? I can hardly remind seeing even a single similar discussion, I do remind only one gender-related discussion where both male and female editors had both constructive and offensive discussion patterns. But probably even after 100K edits I do miss something... — NickK (talk) 00:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Surely if the goal is to create a more peaceful environment in which to collaborate, then this doesn't have to be gender specific. YellowStahh (talk) 15:36, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • I'm no expert, but I suspect that civil rights experts would say it's not 'discrimination', it's 'affirmative action' (or whatever the latest equivalent expression is), justified by the need to counter the discrimination to which the existing system subjects women in practice (if arguably not in theory), as well as to try to help them obtain in practice equal opportunity (as also promised in the WMF anti-discrimination policy) in the many areas of Wikipedia where they do not appear to have such equal opportunity in practice (even if they arguably have it in theory).
  • As an example from the real world, I've never heard of women being obliged to admit men to shelters for battered women on grounds that to refuse access to men would be discrimination (yes, I know the analogy is imperfect - all analogies always are).
  • And, incidentally, what's sauce for the goose may eventually turn out to also be sauce for the gander, because quite likely in a few years time males may well be in need of similar affirmative action themselves, so it might not be such a good idea for males to try to outlaw it now.
  • Still, it might perhaps be helpful to get the views of some people who are genuine experts on such matters.
  • And if Wikipedia's legal people say it is discrimination, a second opinion might then be called for, because I'm not sure that Wikipedia's legal eagles are necessarily civil rights experts.Tlhslobus (talk) 11:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    I don't think your example matches the case, as no one will ever think to discuss business affairs in a shelter for battered women. I would probably give a different one. If I meet a colleague in gent's washroom, I can ask him how he spent his weekend or whether we will have a coffee together, but I will never discuss business affairs with him there, just because this is not the right place.
    In my view, any restricted spaces are good for informal chat, but not for project-related discussions. In real life I would never organise a business meeting in gent's washroom (a gender restricted place) or in a monastery (religion restricted places). I do have some experience of real-life diversity-related discussions (things like equal representation of both genders or ethnic and racial diversity), but these groups were always diverse themselves. Of course, there were no trolls in these groups (e.g. no one invited racists to discussions on racial diversity), but composition of these groups was explicitly made as diverse as possible.
    This was just to say that I do not accept the point that discussions on diversity issues should not be accessible to the diverse audience. And yes, my opinion would have been the same if I had been the minority in question (either as male or by any other criterion)
    Speaking of experts, I think it would have been much more helpful to ask experts contribute to the gender gap strategy and not to this discussion — NickK (talk) 16:00, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@NickK, contrary to what you have stated, I expect that plenty of women discuss 'business affairs' in shelters for battered women, seeking advice on the 'business' of how to protect themselves, how to recover, how to get on with their lives, and so on, and it makes a great deal of sense for them to do so. For the same reason, I think much similar 'business' would and rightly should be discussed in what seems to me to be at least partly a proposed 'center for verbally battered women', and the same would apply in any future proposed 'center for verbally battered men' should men ever feel that need at some future date (as I think quite likely), although whether men wished to admit women to any such centers should be a matter for them to decide at the time, just as it should be a matter for women to decide in the present case. As for your somewhat unfortunate analogy between a gent's washroom and either a center for battered women or this proposed partial 'center for verbally battered women', to use your words, "I don't think your example matches the case".Tlhslobus (talk) 06:34, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Tlhslobus:, I think that shelters for battered women might be an appropriate place to discuss psychological problems, or in Wikipedian terms this could be a place for general help on Wikipedia, some discussions on motivation etc. However, this is not the place for 'business', i.e. for discussions on article content, especially for discussions on gender-related topics due to an obvious bias — NickK (talk) 09:01, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@NickK:, regardless of what you think they ought to discuss, I'm pretty sure that they discuss many other things besides 'psychological problems', and that they quite rightly see no reason why they should pay any attention to men telling them what they should and shouldn't discuss. But as our discussion is now just pointlessly going round in circles, I propose to now try to quit the discussion. So provided any reply you care to make is not unduly provocative, I propose to try to leave you with the opportunity of having the last word on the subject should you wish to avail of it.Tlhslobus (talk) 09:38, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Disruptions and the abuse filter solution[edit]

  • Nick, you wrote of the groups you were in: "Of course, there were no trolls in these groups (e.g. no one invited racists to discussions on racial diversity)," but that's the exactly situation we've found ourselves in on the English Wikipedia – forced to discuss sexism and its effects on Wikipedia with people who are sexist (with varying degrees of insight). It makes intelligent discussion impossible, it causes people to get burned out very quickly, and it means no progress is ever made. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    Quite helpful to know that this concerns only English Wikipedia. I thought this was a cross-wiki problem and such female-only project had to be created on all wikis, but if it concerns only enwiki, local discussion (e.g. at en:WP:RFC) would have been more appropriate. However, I do not think that gender-based discrimination is a solution. If people are sexist with varying degrees of insight, they should probably get a topic ban from ArbCom no matter what is their gender, at least this seems to be the most natural solution. Instead your proposal makes a risk of NPOV violations even higher, as you will exclude not only people with destructive behaviour, but also people who are males but want to participate in an intelligent discussion. This will most likely result in well-coordinated POV-pushing instead of intelligent discussion
    This reminded me of the case of en:Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Eastern European mailing list. This was also a kind of positive discrimination, as users from Eastern Europe were underrepresented in English Wikipedia. And this project could have been beneficial for the community, as Eastern European users were supposed to coordinate their efforts towards improving English Wikipedia. In addition, this discrimination (only users from Eastern European origin could participate) was perfectly reasonable, as users were often attacked by people with nationalist views on talk pages, which maed intelligent discussions impossible. However, you know the result. This project did not get a grant from Wikimedia Foundation, instead it got a ban from enwiki ArbCom. This option is my major concern about this project — NickK (talk) 20:26, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi NickK, I don't know whether this only concerns the English Wikipedia. I was only describing my experience there.
So how would you handle a project to combat racism, where racists turn up to join the discussion? I agree that the ArbCom or admins should ban disruptive people from Wikiprojects, and in some cases they did (in the case I am thinking of), but not all, and it took months for it to happen, which caused a lot of otherwise interested editors to leave. How would you ensure that such disruption is recognized and dealt with immediately? SlimVirgin (talk) 22:03, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
There is a wide range of measures you can take, the easiest is probably banning a user from editing a page (or a series of pages) using AbuseFilter. It would be much more productive to impose restrictions on a few disruptive users by creating a filter that would not allow them to edit particular talk pages then to make a harder filter banning all male users altogether — NickK (talk) 01:11, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@NickK, the problem with English Wikipedia is that there are too many disruptive editors and you can never get a consensus to keep them off any page. How do you make an abuse filter, and what kind of pages can you use it on? Do you have to be a sysop, or can anyone do it? Is this only on Ukrainian Wikipedia? —Neotarf (talk) 20:22, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Neotarf: Abuse Filter is a global extension available in most Wikipedias, the English Wikipedia page on it is w:en:Wikipedia:Edit filter. You need to have "edit filter manager" rights to create or modify edit filters. You can use it on any pages (you can define list of pages or a particular pattern), but I do not know what exactly local rules say about this. From my experience on Ukrainian Wikipedia, this is a helpful page to prevent the most disruptive users from editing their "favourite" pages — NickK (talk) 22:48, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks NickK, I like the basic idea of the abuse filters. It looks like you would be able to limit disruptive comments without all the drama of blocks and discussion boards, so this would be good from the standpoint of editor retention and for building an admin corps, since new admins are usually required to have empty block logs. But I have looked over the description page, and even if I could get the necessary permissions, I don't think I would be experienced enough to construct these abuse filters. Also, some potential participants would prefer a discussion page on Meta, rather than en.wp, because the admins are different (see Slate article), and I think Meta requires admin permissions to construct these filters. So perhaps the participation of one or more admins would be necessary for a group like this. Also, if I am reading this right, an abuse filter is for the whole wiki, so if you construct a filter to keep someone out of one page, it will keep them out of the whole wiki. So, in order to make the abuse filters work for a discussion group like this, you would need a separate wiki. —Neotarf (talk) 00:12, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

@Neotarf: yes, you need special permissions (and perhaps community discussion) for enabling an abuse filter. The policy varies from one wiki to another, in enwiki the necessary right is "edit filter manager". But no, you do not need to ban from the whole project. The idea of an abuse filter is that you can ban specific editors from specific pages, e.g. you can state that editor X cannot edit pages in Wikipedia namespace that contain the word "gender" in a title, or, say, editor Y cannot add the word "sexism" to any article. These filters are extremely flexible and allow to define a specific pattern of edits you want to ban, and are the best solution when you have editors disruptive in some particular topic but helpful in all other topics — NickK (talk) 01:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
So @NickK, is this something that a non-technical person can do easily, or would the Foundation need to be asked if they can adapt the filter system so that it can be used by a non-technical moderator? —Neotarf (talk) 06:19, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Neotarf: It is something in between. If you know how to write a simple piece of code or are able to write logical expressions or regexps, you should be able to do this. In most communities there are at least several dozens of users who can do it, and in English Wikipedia you will easily find hundreds of people skilled enough for writing a filter. So you can just ask for help on IRC, and you will most likely find it there — NickK (talk) 12:34, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Okay thanks, I don't know what IRC is either, so it looks like such a project would need either admin involvement or a completely different type of forum software that could be used by moderators who didn't have specialized software expertise. —Neotarf (talk) 02:17, 31 January 2015 (UTC)Reply


  • A reminder to everyone here, that this Grants was edited/created here on multilingual and multicultural meta-wiki (which is a hub to all wikimedia project), what makes proposer think that other people with different culture, will like this idea? if this is just for en.wp, proposer should just make an RfC on en.wp, ultimately, Grants is not for these kind of ideas.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 20:24, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Grant concerns[edit]

Discussion of Comments by idea creator: Grant

Internationalism is shown on a section of a user's Preferences page. I am not going to provide citation's for "women online receive a lot of harassment. The discrimination concern I answered elsewhere on this page, in a section titled "Discrimination." Lightbreather (talk) 22:19, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
From what I can see, in French Wikipedia some 70 users identify themselves as 'asexual', so how would you deal with them? These users explicitly state they don't want a particular treatment on gender-related issues, and they are very likely to answers "prefer not to say" to the questions about their gender — NickK (talk) 09:10, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
This wouldn't work 4 years ago there are people raise same concerns on Translate wiki (Translatewiki:Thread:Support/New option in sign up form) following phab can be seen here (phab:T32442), it would lead to cultural clash IMO.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 10:39, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Some have asked why a grant is needed. That was my first thought, too. However, having the proposal go through a vetting process at the WMF level might help to get the project off the ground.
I wonder —genuinely, not just rhetorically— whether the vetting process for grants is the appropriate sort of vetting. It seems to me the vetting process for grants doesn't put opposition on the main page because it is sometimes appropriate to provide a grant to a controversial project; indeed, one might imagine sometimes providing grants simultaneously to controversial projects with diametrically opposed philosophies. This is very different in purpose from the RfC process, where one is hoping —optimistically— to have an open, honest discussion by the community in which pros and cons are both equally relevant. At the very least, an RfC would not have produced contention over moving opposition to the talk page. --Pi zero (talk) 14:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Feminism concerns[edit]

Discussion of Comments by idea creator: Feminism

Consensus concerns[edit]

Discussion of Comments by idea creator: Consensus

You're somewhat wrong. If you look at en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Islam/Members, you will notice that this project has participants who are atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian or even Bahá'í. And I don't think they even considered banning all these users — NickK (talk) 20:56, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

It's not somewhat wrong, it's totally wrong, just like segregating religion and race is not okay, segregating genders is also not okay. It's creep me out, it's like en:Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, 1953 in south africa, there was a case about non-white can't enter this beach, I see this were the same case except in term of genders. This is very, very disturbing.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 21:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Forum concerns[edit]

Discussion of Comments by idea creator: Forum


  • Whether this idea is a good or a poor idea, it remains very unclear to me why the creation of an on-wiki space requires a grant. You could simply create a page somewhere - whether on en-wiki, meta, wherever. It can be discussed and developed from that point, and ultimately either accepted or rejected by the community. This process happens every day, without any money being directly funneled into it. Could a proponent please identify what this project would be doing with grant funding? Nikkimaria (talk) 01:48, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Comment - I put in an argument for opposing the proposal on such grounds as that Off Wiki, however unsatisfactory, seemingly makes more sense than a women's shelter at the mercy of Wiki's 90%+ males, that opposing will help show women the need to have it off-Wiki, and may usefully help show Wiki as unavoidably institutionally sexist, and so on. I've now deleted it as a probably rather pointless 'Wall of text', and a poorly-informed one (I don't understand grant application rules, etc), but in the very unlikely event that anybody is interested, it can be found at this diff. I've now switched to support (see above). Tlhslobus (talk) 04:10, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    • Not at all, Tlhslobus. Your comments are an example of exactly the kind of participation by men that should be most welcome. You asked honest questions, and were willing to listen. The nature of the oppose votes below, a result of off-site canvassing, would tend to support the idea that men must be excluded in order for any progress to be made. But I would argue exactly the opposite, that a number of men have participated positively on the Gender Gap Task Force pages, without dominating, and that these are exactly the kind of men that are needed as a bridge to collaboration, both as role models for the males who just don't get it, and as an antidote for the women editors who are still shell-shocked from the most disturbing recent ArbCom case, and the brutal and dehumanizing interactions leading up to it.
    • I have been privately invited to join some of the current off-wiki women's groups, on the condition that I adopt a female persona or user name. I am not interested in such a group, and will not be participating. Likewise, I do not consider myself to be a "feminist", and while feminism is a Thing, and should have some kind of article, I do not wish to participate in a politicized group.
    • The goal is clear enough, to decrease the gender gap, and anyone who shares that goal should be welcome. The broader the base, the more likely the chance of success.
    • Wikipedia is supposed to be "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit". Unfortunately, right now, that "anyone" does not include women. If a project external to the Wikipedia can be made where women *can* edit, I daresay you will find that other disenfranchised groups--academics, men who can work collaboratively, individuals who edit from work environments that prohibit discrimination--will find that they can edit as well. —Neotarf (talk) 23:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your kind words, Neotarf. Tlhslobus (talk) 09:43, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Everytime something controversial is done on Wikipedia, accusations of canvassing boogeymen pop up, unless you can pinpoint specific editors, please stop. It only takes me to make a proposal, link it everywhere, and then say "well it was canvassed so all Opposes are invalid". Loganmac (talk) 22:42, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Your audacity is amazing Logan. [11] Bosstopher (talk) 12:55, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Comment All genders are subject to harassment on the internet. That's not a good enough reason in my opinion to make a group that discriminates based on gender. I would be in opposition to any group that promotes inequality by saying someone can or can't participate based on arbitrary reasons. Thorrand (talk) 23:16, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • From what I've seen things that make Wikipedia more accessible in general attract more female users. I think things like The Wikipedia Adventure and The Treehouse would be more useful. Though the only real problem I can see is female editors getting segmented off, if this can be avoided I have no issue with this, but I think there are more effective methods. Halfhat (talk) 22:50, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Based on discussion with several members of the proposition, I find that there are two aspects with completely different possibilities of impact on the community:
    1. It can be benefitial for the community to have a help desk where female editors could get help from fellow female editors. This can be something like WikiWomen's Teahouse that should not be the place for discussions on article content, but it should be the place where female Wikipedians will help each other with getting a better knowledge of Wikipedia. This page can have strict rules about personal attacks, sexist etc., and this page will possibly make a positive impact by creating a welcoming atmosphere for new female editors.
    2. It can be very harmful for the community to have a project that will discuss article content but some editors will be banned from it based on their real-life identity. If someone has disruptive behaviour in gender-related discussions, one should just ban him from this topic instead of banning all male editors, including those making good faith contributions. The expectd impact of such project will most likely be a massive POV-pushing on gender-related issues, as this project will promote exclusively female POV on gender issues. I think that such a radical idea should be discussed on en:WP:RFC (as so far only editors of English Wikipedia raise this concern), and it should not be up to WMF Grants team to decide — NickK (talk) 20:42, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Comment It reflects very poorly on the merits of the grant that the endorsements are presented on the grant page while the opposition is relegated to the discussion page. Xenomancer (talk) 17:52, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose as there is no logical reason why we need a "women's only" area. The talk about men drowning out women's voices doesn't really make sense, as any discussion on this women's only area couldn't really come to a consensus on anything affecting things outside of the area, as the area would exclude male editors. They would have to go into all the areas outside of their area if they wanted to achieve consensus, which makes the area redundant. If the area is just for women to discuss things not related to the project, it would essentially just be an off-topic forum. There are plenty of off-topic forums in the world that you can use, and I'm fairly sure there are some that are women only. I am also fairly sure that if there aren't ones that are women only, then somebody could make a women only forum using phpBB, or even MediaWiki. What discussions can be held in this area that can't be held in others? The only possible discussion I can think of is women editors helping other women editors, or for women editors to share their experiences, or to co-ordinate within the group to recruit women editors. Really, though, if there's any proposal that'll affect other segments of Wikimedia, the hypothetical members of this WikiProject would have to "face the music", so to speak, and face the criticisms of male peers. Chess (talk) 03:11, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Opposition "votes"[edit]

Please add your opposed "votes" after others' and sign with four tildes (~~~~), which will insert your username (or IP address) and date.

  • Will fight this tooth and nail. This is ridiculous, and is in strictly prohibited by the WMF non-discrimination policy. 09:04, 8 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • As a male contributor I would strongly support this project if it would have a different scope:
    However, I do not agree with an idea of a space on-wiki where a woman can go and be sure that she'll be able to participate in discussions without being dominated by men's voices. This seems to be a strong discrimination, as so far there were no on-wiki spaces with any sort of restriction on participation, moreover, this seems to state that male participants are not able to provide constructive arguments in disussions with female users.
    Just imagine an opposite — a WikiProject where females are banned from participation. Or, even worse, a page where only black users (or only white users) can participate, or a page where only users of particular religious views can participate (e.g. Jewish users who state that don't want to be dominated by Muslim voices). This would be a ridiculous discrimination, however, this proposal would set a very worrying precedent of such discrimination
    I do agree that both women-related topics and participation of women are decent topics for WikiProjects (and both are of a certain interest to me), but please do this without discrimination — NickK (talk) 13:33, 8 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • As a female editor, this is wholeheartedly and painful discrimination. I don't need a special place where only I can speak, nor where my male editors which I encounter every day can't contribute. Plus, the proposal is just plain vague. A place where male editors can't contribute where 'advice, criticism, and explanations' from men are not allowed. Seriously, this whole proposal is based on the false premise that male editors are intimidating, that Wikipedia is deserving of being segregated by sex and that women need their own space where they can't be criticized by the other sex. This is out of the window in terms of civility, wikilove, and everything like it. Oppose. Tutelary (talk) 19:55, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose as discriminatory. --Avono (talk) 20:17, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose: per Tutelary, but also because it would lock out women (cis, trans, whatever) who for some reason do not wish to identify as such online. BethNaught (talk) 20:50, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose per NickK's expanded example and Tutelary. Intothatdarkness (talk) 23:16, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Nowhere is it explained how a discussion being "dominated by male voices" constitutes an actual problem. If anything, this notion strikes me as patronizing, especially in an environment where participants do not see each other face-to-face and thus there is normally no reason for their gender to come up. It's antithetical to the notion that women are equal to men. Would anyone similarly object to a discussion being dominated by the voices of the right-handed? Or the brown-eyed? 23:48, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    Just to clarify, in some cases gender will come up for grammar reasons, however, frequency of this varies from one language to another. The simplest example is when someone uses a male pronoun for a female user who may want to object. The only way to avoid gender coming up is to have a userpage with simplest userboxes and never participate in discussions, otherwise sooner or later it will come up — NickK (talk) 23:58, 9 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • oppose I have to say I also see this as violating the WMF discrimination policy. Further, since by definition editors would be excluded, (and by the proposers reasoning, a super-majority would be excluded) no consensus or decision could ever be formed on any topic, rendering the site nothing but a WP:FORUM. If thats the goal, just go make a forum off-wiki where there are no policy barriers and the ladies can commune to their hearts content. 00:15, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose: This very premise is discriminatory. Reason first. I did not receive one of the canvassing posts to my user page, although I am female. (So this will be a sorority then, for the in-crowd?) Secondly, I do not want to be in a cloister of women in habits and hair coverings. I have taken such abuse from men on EnWiki (one that is an unusual suspect and shall remain nameless) it would make your hair curl. Yet I value the input of male voices. This would make us seem like fainting flowers. I can, have and will continue to fend for myself amongst the dogs as well as the cats. Fylbecatulous (talk) 00:40, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - There is definitely a problem in gender disparity on Wikipedia, and I do want Wikipedia to be a place for each and every individual to contribute without feeling intimidated - but I do not think this is a good idea to implement. Tutelary's rationale is well-put and I agree with it. Wikipedia is largely governed by the idea that anyone in the community can contribute to discussions; splitting off discussions to a women-only forum, in which men cannot contribute, comment, or offer constructive criticism is not something that fosters a community-driven environment. We need to find solutions that help integrate women into the community, not segregate. I think any projects that do help give women editors resources is a good one, as long as anyone is able to still contribute. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 05:20, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
    • Additional comment - In a way, this made me think of the Teahouse, which was created as a resource for new members to receive welcoming and patient help from experienced editors - and it has functioned very well. Not only has the Teahouse helped improve editor retention, but 28% of Teahouse participants were women in the pilot (vs. the <10% of overall women editors). Yet, anyone is free to ask or answer questions at the Teahouse if they like - the only "limitation" is that designated hosts must be experienced, and that's a merit-based allocation that is not a requirement to answer questions. I would support a similar forum that revolves around supporting women and discussing Wikipedia in regard to female editing, as long as it does not prevent participation based on gender. Such a forum would (ideally) host a women majority, without preventing potentially valid input from the proposed discluded audience (which includes men, IP editors, and anyone who doesn't feel comfortable with disclosing their gender). ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 05:46, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose as discriminatory. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ShotmanMaslo (talk) 08:38, 10 January 2015
  • Oppose- if you feel like you need said safe haven make a feminist wikipedia, let the grown up women stay where they should be (en.wiki) and work with the rest of the community like the adults they are. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 12:33, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose- I have a lot to say about identity politics, but I'll just keep to what's relevant to the topic. Identity politics do not belong on a platform such as Wikipedia where users are essentially genderless, raceless, classless, nationless and religionless. The only reason you would display your identity in such a fashion is to attach it to your argument as if that gives it validity. This is completely unacceptable for an organization with a pretense of neutrality. Akesgeroth (talk) 13:19, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose per wmf:Resolution:Nondiscrimination NE Ent (talk) 19:25, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Opposeyes, I also oppose it strongly. --Rafaell Russell (talk) 20:19, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - discrimination. Also I see no reason why a grant is needed. If you want to make it, make it. Takes me 10 minutes. And you instantly find out what the Wikimedia opinion is. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 20:20, 10 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - Both men and women can help and give advice respectfunlly. Wikimedia should promote enjoyable coexistence. Separatism as proposed goes against that. Assume good faith, please.--NaBUru38 (talk) 16:03, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose This is discriminatory, sexist, and unbelievable. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:11, 11 January 2015
  • Oppose: The very idea is discriminatory and there is no reason to believe any gender needs a place to speak that doesn't welcome certain peoples inputs. Thorrand (talk) 20:46, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong oppose. This is a terrible idea. You don't cure discrimination by discriminating against a different group. If this is done, what will we say to those who want to start Wikiproject: WhitesOnly? --GRuban (talk) 16:28, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strongest possible oppose, unethical as a wikimedia which is should be open to all regardless of their gender (wmf:Resolution:Nondiscrimination), it's also against the (should be) interest of WMF that should participate more on Global South, quoted from Jimmy Wales : Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.. Now we going against that?--AldNonUcallin?☎ 20:00, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - On the grounds that it discriminates, what's next for men and women to have completely separate places to communicate? Hardly a collaboration. YellowStahh (talk) 20:44, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - Segregation based on sex that excludes half of humanity from participating. JoshuaKGarner (talk) 21:23, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose, of course - This is completely idiotic. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:48, 11 January 2015
  • Oppose - Are you seriously campaigning for segregation of sexes on Wikipedia? This has to be a joke. 22:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong oppose - Wikipedia doesn't discriminate, you will only be judged by the quality of your contributions. This would only end badly, but just imagine if a bunch of "white males" decided to do the same, there would be a shitstorm in media. Don't do this, don't segregate, the civilized world is past this. See Also look at it from another perspective, imagine if I, as a male, came here and said that "from now on all women shall have their own space and that's the end of it", this is sickening sorry people but women segregating themselves doesn't make it right. Loganmac (talk) 22:44, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose as per Tutelary. If this was a real problem said disruptive men should be banned, but as it seems right now you're fabricating a problem where none exists. Damon Ganto (talk) 22:42, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose for this is a sexist and discriminatory proposal, completely against the WikiMedia Foundation's policies. This proposal has the means to promote sexism and misandry. 23:21, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • This is not going to work because anyone could lie or make a fake profile to gain access. Even if it wasn't accessed by men you would end up with an echo chamber effect with no real discussion or debate, but only women agreeing with themselves. Wikipedia started with the idea that EVERYONE could have equal access to all information. That is how we accomplish great things. Not by segregating groups of people. Lastly there is no need for "safe space" online. You are in no danger hiding behind a computer screen, so safety isn't a problem. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Topbookclub (talk) 23:32, 11 January 2015
  • Oppose, unless you create a homologous space for male editors and administrators. And another for homosexual editors and administrators, and for feminists, and for MRAs, transgender people, otherkin, queerfolk... Good luck managing that degree of identity separatism. 23:50, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose Extremely sexist. 23:48, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose In addition to the WMF non-discrimination policy concerns, the grants for this project would be a poor use of donor funds and goes against the ethos of the Wikimedia movement. The Wikimedia projects are strongly opposed to displaying ads, so why would it be desirable to place ads outside of the project? It seems too commercial to me and may be off-putting to editors and donors alike. It also sets a terrible precedent by allowing other projects to make similar request. Even if a new project was established, why wouldn't you just use the free, open source MediaWiki software? What benefits would be gained by creating a new framework? I'd argue that by using the same software as the Wikimedia projects it would make it easier for women to contribute since they are already familiar with it. Finally, I don't like the idea of hiring individuals to verify that a volunteer is a self-identified female; that seems way too intrusive and raises many concerns. Who is qualified to view and authenticate it? How is it authenticated? Is this information stored? What safeguards will be in place to protect it? To whom would one address grievances if there was a misuse of this information? As proposed, this would create more problems than it would solve. Mike VTalk 23:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose Along with being blatantly sexist twords men on an anonymous website, this proposal will do nothing but create an echo chamber for women with no opposition to other sides of the coin, put this into fruition and I will boycott this website 00:01, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose This is blatantly sexist to Men and is an attempt to segregate the community of Wikipedia into gender and political based factions, Wikipedia does not need a hugbox. Pepsiwithcoke (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and the facts presented in articles should be judged based on their merits, not the identity of the author. Whether a voice is a "man's voice" or a "woman's voice" should make no difference to the editorial process, instead each voice should be judged on its own merits (WP:V and all the rest). I strongly believe that it is not true that women can't feel safe on Wikipedia, or that women's voices are diminished because of simply being women. And no evidence for these assertions was presented in the suggestion. Nitro2k01 (talk) 00:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose The goal is equality, not further sexism and division between the sexes. Women do not need special protection, to suggest so is a clear case of sexism. To outright state that it is the gender of the editor that determines whether or not they are "too hostile" and that one superior gender should get a vacation from the evil other is a clear case of sexism. To deny an editor based on gender, race, or ethnicity, is a clear violation of countless ethics policies not only on wikimedia, but across the globe. I am particularly surprised that some supporters are trying to find a loophole in wiki's rules rather than considering the purpose of those rules and respecting them. I suggest editors in support of this take a very long look at their understanding of sexism and perhaps devote some time to study and contemplation of the subject, I'd even consider banning some of these individuals. 00:43, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose Totally sexist, impractical and a waste of money. 01:09, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose Discriminatory, and is only punitive to neutral or constructive male editors, as destructive male editors will have no problems circumventing the approval process to inject themselves into the group regardless. Lowconfidence (talk) 01:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose as clearly discriminatory. Correctrix (talk) 01:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose This is incredibly sexist! As a woman I am absolutely outraged by this suggestion, and how it infantilizes women. We're perfectly capable of engaging in intelligent discourse and working with people from all walks of life and to suggest or imply otherwise is absolutely vile. 02:12, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose For the same reason that segregation and "separate but equal" did not and wouldn't be expected to improve race relations, this is an absolutely terrible idea for genders as well. To whatever extent the incivility exists, this is not the solution. WhatOn (talk) 02:24, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose I like the basic heart behind the idea, but this would set a precedent for all sorts of things. I'm fairly sure everyone would cry foul if Wikiproject Men were created. More inappropriately than that, what about groups based on other things, like race or wealth, or even a non-real-world idea ("The Admin's Club"). KonveyorBelt 02:28, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose The proposal begins with a premise it fails to justify or explain adequately: "women can feel safer and not always overwhelmed by male advice, criticism, and explanations". What does any of that even mean? Do women feel unsafe on Wikipedia? How do women feel unsafe on Wikipedia? Is this a sensible response for women to have? Should we bend over backwards to justify paranoia? What is it about interacting with men that women find to be "overwhelming"? How has the human race managed to survive for so long with half of the population feeling so "overwhelmed" that they can't even discuss things? This proposal raises so many questions, and answers none of them. Willhesucceed (talk) 03:00, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose This is blatantly discriminatory and you would be opening up a can of words if this project sets precedent.— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pietrus69 (talk)
  • Strongest oppose This will become an echo chamber that is discriminatory towards men, if this is made i will help set up a males only safe space that allows men to converse without fear from women dominating conversation. Retartist (talk) 03:37, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • SRTONGLY Oppose! This is an incredibly sexist proposal that would contribute absolutely nothing to the quality of Wikipedia. Can you even imagine the outrage if someone tried to create a "WikiProject Men"? Well that's the same type of outrage that this proposal should be getting. Copulative (talk) 03:45, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Will fight this tooth and nail to the death. It is not only discriminatory, it reduces the transparency and openness of the Wikimedia project, and, as stated before, violates the rules of the Wikimedia foundation. If such a protected space is needed, it should be taken elsewhere.— The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
  • If you want to change a longstanding policy, may I suggest an RFC to change the policy before putting in a grant application. Systems that exclude some goodfaith contributors but don't exclude trolls can turn out problematic. I'm also concerned about "content discussion would not be off limits", so let me set out a scenario: Two trolls who claim to be female are in dispute with someone who chooses not to disclose their gender. The trolls decide to take the content discussion from the article talkpage to a "women only" environment, thereby excluding the other participant from the discussion or obliging them to disclose their gender. WereSpielChequers (talk) 10:02, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose You don't create equality by being sexist against men.09I500 (talk) 21:10, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose unless a similar man only proposal also exists. Otherwise deeply sexist. --Mrjulesd (talk) 22:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose Silencing one entire segment of the so-called community does not lead to intelligent discourse. It leads to anger, marginalization, and internalized feelings of low self worth. If WP thinks this is the answer for women, they might as well just close up shop and delete the entire site, because you've failed. 13:50, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose I am a female contributor in Wikimedia projects since 2005. The proposal is an attempt to enforce positive discrimination in favor of female contributors, and is highly polarizing and deviding the community. Such a project would broaden the gender gap, instead of helping to close it. We live in a diversified world, opponing opinions help us to widen our perspective and to finally make informed decisions. As a memeber of the female minority in Wikimedia projects, I prefer to srengthen female perspectives and voices inside these projects instead of separating discussions to different platforms. --Martina Nolte (talk) 14:48, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Martina Nolte, do you have any concrete suggestions, or ideas for ways to do that? Or perhaps some examples of best practices? Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 16:24, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Neotarf, my answer is too long for this section. You find it here. Cheers --Martina Nolte (talk) 19:19, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Perfect, danke. —Neotarf (talk) 20:14, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose --Bahnmoeller (talk) 17:13, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose - A person's gender does not make one abrasive or non-abrasive, civil or non-civil. It doesn't mean one will always agree with others of one's gender. The wikimedia projects are designed to share knowledge, and not just the knowledge of one female to another or one male to another. I have learned a great deal from dissenting voices of both genders. I have had a great deal of help in developing content aimed at women (i.e., romance novels and their authors) from male editors, and I, as a female, have developed a great deal of content "aimed" at men (military). I have gotten help and mentoring from men as well as women and I have given the same to editors of both genders. Automatically excluding the opinions/comments of everyone in a gender group will have much more harm than value. I am quite concerned that a project such as this will become a way of coordinating meatpuppetry. At the very least, it will likely encourage group-think, because most of the dissenting voices will be either banned because of a factor they cannot control or will stay away because they see no point in having the discussion twice - once with only women, and once in mixed company. (I will be even more perturbed if I'm told this isn't the case, because if it's decided at WP Women, then it doesn't need to be brought to the wider community.) The very fact that some people think my opinion might be more worthy of being heard because I preference it with "As a woman, I believe" stands against what I thought Wikipedia means. Karanacs (talk) 19:14, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose per everybody who opposing here. Also Sexism, and Gender segregation is wrong. Minimaxima (talk) 23:48, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Against per my new section. --DSA510 Pls No AndN 02:06, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - not a good idea at all to exclude one gender and also require folks to disclose whether they identify as female or not. Not to mention the whole echo chamber effect of excluding other viewpoints (and the whole "we need to protect females" meme also). Ealdgyth (talk) 02:12, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strongly Oppose - Incredibly sexist and problematic. Xenomancer (talk) 03:24, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Weak oppose: Well, I suppose what people do in their own userspace is pretty much up to them, at least if it isn't obviously harmful in some way, so the current setup (which is a "Kaffeeklatch" in the initiator's userspace) doesn't bother me too much. But as a woman who's been editing since 2005, I do not see particular value in the notion of forcing women's hands to self-identify on-wiki and to swear allegiance. Frankly, I've seen plenty of strong, bold, effective women editors, and plenty of women whose behaviour has been in some cases even more egregious than some "civility-challenged" men editors. I agree pretty much with Karanacs and SuperHamster above. And, as an aside, I found the section below analysing the contributions of the editors participating in this discussion to be rather disturbing and perversely intimidating. Risker (talk) 05:52, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose per the arguments put forth by SuperHamster and Karanacs. Also, I don't think that it's a good idea to force women to identify on WP as women to be in a safe space - especially since isn't just women who need that space. If this is an en-WP proposal only (which it appears to be), I think it would be better to extend the Teahouse to provide a safe space for all editors who need it. Finally, like Risker, I also find the analysis section below unsettling and a bit bullying, as I think it implies that not all opinions are equal. Ca2james (talk) 17:13, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strong Oppose per Karanacs, Risker and others. Also, as a female editor I've found I've been severely harassed by a GGTF editor who filed a SPI report based on inaccurate evidence, claiming I was another editor she had been in dispute with. This SPI has deeply affected my desire to edit there. Though I'm female in RL, it seems on Wikipedia that my views and interests don't concur with what is considered "female interests". EChastain (talk) 16:52, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose -- as noted above, this will "require folks to disclose whether they identify as female or not," unnecessarily creating a distinct class. The best way to get more female editors is to welcome them as equals. Shii (talk) 19:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - I was In support until this: [12]. It made me think, at what lengths and cost to wikipedia is this going to be enforced? It is a bad idea that will create a rift between sexes. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:35, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • also oppose, for the reason that under What is the problem you're trying to solve? there are five links that are supposedly support the proposal. Two are on WP, an academic paper which seems not to offer a clear recommendation except "More research ... is needed", and an opinion piece that has almost nothing on gender imbalance. The other three are on interpersonal, i.e. non-virtual, meetings and working environments, so are irrelevant to Wikipedia. None of them clearly identifies the problem that needs addressing, nor does the text above (the text starts "There is currently no space on Wikipedia..." which presumes the lack of the proposed solution is the problem). Without that it's impossible to even consider whether the solution is a good one or even needed. Apart from that the solution itself throws up both technical and privacy issues and could easily lead to more conflict by becoming a focus for certain problem editors.--JohnBlackburne (talk) 07:10, 25 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose for three reasons. First, it is impractical. Tying off-site qualifications to on-site privileges has backfired on at least one occasion. Kaffeeklatch already ran into problems creating a set of qualifications that circumscribe the community. Self-identification is an interesting solution, but it will inevitably lead to both infiltration and rejection. The latter, where a woman wants to join but is excluded because the community thinks she is not female, is a particularly devastating outcome. Second, it is sexist. It fails the flip test, because a similar community for men would be roundly rejected as such. The proposal argues that it is in keeping with WMF policy because most Wikimedia projects are still open to other sexes and/or genders. But the WMF policy does not place limits on acceptable discrimination. Lightbreather's argument would, for example, permit all Wikimedia projects except for WikiProject Women to limit their participation to men. Third, it is unnecessarily divisive. Wikipedia and fellow projects are a nearly unique place where all people can participate without being pressured to reveal their sex or conform to gender roles. This proposal abandons that by requiring editors to reveal their gender identification in order to participate in projects that may interest them. DPRoberts534 (talk) 03:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - Reverse discrimination is still discrimination, and sure to be the epicenter of an earthquake more disruptive than the so-called "incivility" that this is somehow meant to address. Equality is the way forward. Carrite (talk) 16:33, 8 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose Jianhui67 talkcontribs 08:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose Oppose I doubt that this will be a good idea in my opinion because(I also have some questions about this).
    1. How are you going to make sure that the editors on that section would be women only? What 'proof' would you ask for? Additionally , if I were to go by your idea described on the project page that any editor can contribute , this may end up being the same thing - universal editing. How would your idea work there?
    2. What about girls? Would they be allowed in?
    3. I do not know as to what you would mean by male voices and criticism. Everyone should be able to voice their own concerns , and criticize freely. That's what we do now - what's the problem? Also , most of us do not even know other users' genders(not revealing) , from what I see on Wikibooks.
    4. How is that going to increase women editors on Wikipedia?
    5. What would you even discuss there?
    6. The project works best when both genders work together. Can you justify how 'separation' is better here?
    7. How about transgenders?--Leaderboard (talk) 13:09, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Strongly oppose --Cmckain (talk) 03:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • For how long will the Wikimedia community have to put up with Lightbreather's incessant gender-issue trolling?--Anders Feder (talk) 06:51, 5 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'm sure Wikipedia is doing a good job of shutting up/kicking off women who are just a tad to assertive in this regard, just as it barely wrist-slaps the guys who insult and harass women who are too assertive about getting more women involved; unless of course they are inordinately diplomatic, to the point they should be working in a highly paid position as a negotiator or psychological counselor... Carolmooredc (talk) 20:00, 5 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Not good enough, apparently.--Anders Feder (talk) 00:23, 6 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Pros and Cons of an on wiki women only project[edit]

Beginning a list of Pros and Cons


  1. Targeted area on wiki for women to connect with other women who may be having similar on wiki experiences.
  2. Open viewing of comments allows for transparent monitoring by the whole wikimedia movement
  3. Safe space for alternative ideas to policies to be created without being dominated by negative comments too soon.
  4. Safe space for women to comment without facing sexist or misogynist comments on site during the discuss.
  5. Group work instead of solitary work that could be appealing to some women.
  6. Systemic bias in content and policy is adversely effecting neutral point of view of wikimedia content. Having a successful area to counter it would improve the quality of content.


  1. Negative opinion of this group by people who have a strong belief in the community ethos that every one can edit every page. Association with the group could harm the credibility of the women during other wiki work.
  2. Open viewing of comments on wiki could stifle comments from women who feel intimidated about discussing ideas in front of men.
  3. Women who speak openly could still be targeted for off site harassment.
  4. Lack of input from outside voices can create an echo chamber
  5. Community-wide consensus building discussions can not occur so participating in the discussion could be seen as a waste of time.

Feel free to add more pros and cons or to discuss them. Would be great to add academic papers or other verification of them as a citations for the ideas. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk)

I would like to add more cons, two content-based and two identity-based:
  1. Risk of transformation into a project promoting POV-pushing in article namespace (explanation: if any content discussions on gender-related topics occur in this project, they will represent only one POV as the opposite POV will be banned from the project)
  2. Risk of increasing split between male and female editors (female users work on content in this project, male users usurp "mainstream" talk pages)
  3. Impossibility to verify whether declared gender matches user's real life identity
  4. Asexual, transgender Wikipedians or those who don't disclose gender may be forced to do so or face exclusion
NickK (talk) 09:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I was going to grumble about this idea for a number of reasons but I think "Impossibility to verify whether declared gender matches user's real life identity" is the most glaring issue here. What's to stop people changing their on-site gender to female and joining the project? If membership of the WikiProject can't be enforced then what's the point? Samwalton9 (talk) 15:31, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Of course it will be impossible to verify gender, but it will be a two-step process. First, the editor must set their internationalisation setting to "she" (and/or add their name to Category:Female Wikipedians - haven't decided if I prefer one, the other, or both) and keep those settings while they are a member of the project. In addition, they will have to swear to the project moderators that they are female (this is what the Anita Borg Institute "Systers" forum does), or perhaps we'll just have a project page where they swear that they are female. Lightbreather (talk) 17:08, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I would like to elaborate on and add some Pros:
FNP1. Targeted area on wiki for women to connect with other women. Period. (Yes, we may share some experiences, but there is one experience we all share: editing on Wikipedia while women.)
FNP5. Group work with other women. The fact is, one can do group work on other projects, but none where you are guaranteed to work with women only.
FNP6. Systemic bias in content and policy is adversely effecting neutral point of view of wikimedia content, but this is discussed on numerous pages. This would be only one page where the topic could be discussed, but with a guarantee that the discussion won't be hijacked - intentionally or otherwise - by men.
  1. Positive opinion of this group by people who have a strong belief that women's voices are underrepresented on Wikipedia, and that this project will not keep anyone from editing any other non-project space that they are already able to edit. Association with the group could benefit the credibility of the women during other wiki work.
--Lightbreather (talk) 17:27, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
This last statement concerns me - "Association with the group could benefit the credibility of the women during other wiki work?" How exactly do you see that happening? I can see how association with the Featured Article process or, on English WP, with the Military History WikiProject, can benefit credibility for article-writing. Can you please explain to me how participating in an only-females-can-comment group would increase an editor's credibility? A few examples of that would be very helpful. Karanacs (talk) 19:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
It was a counterpoint to the OP's "Cons" statement above - "Association with the group could harm the credibility of the women during other wiki work"[13] - which concerned me, but not enough to hassle her about it. Lightbreather (talk) 19:58, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I would like to comment on some of the Cons given:
FNC2. There are already women stifling comments (or struggling to have them acknowledged, and civilly) because they feel intimidated about discussing ideas in front of men. On the project, your feedback will be from women (gender won't enter into the criticism) and it will be civil because the civility policy will be strictly enforced.
FNC3. Yes, women who speak openly could still be targeted for off site harassment, that won't change. But we'll have a refuge on-wiki, which we don't have now. Again, the civility policy will be strictly enforced.
FNC4. Lack of input from outside voices can create an echo chamber? This project will be open to all women: cis, lesbian, trans; conservative, liberal, libertarian; young and old. The only thing we're guaranteed to have in common is gender, and any consensus we reach as a group of women carries no special weight outside the group. Per Wikipedia policy, we can't impose our preferences on articles.
FNC5. Again, no consensus we might reach within the project is special. Let's say the project agreed that the word "cunt" should be banned from Wikipedia talk pages. We could not just start deleting the word "cunt" from talk pages. If we agreed the word should be banned, and if we decided to do anything at all, we'd have to use other talk pages and reach consensus with the wider community. (Since we will be strictly enforcing the civility policy within the project, name-calling should not be an issue there.)
--Lightbreather (talk) 17:35, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Another potential con: that this project's very existence will encourage bias on WP, similar to the reasons why caroledcmoore was banned. Karanacs (talk) 19:27, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

The WP:ARBGGTF case "Remedies" says Carolmooredc was banned for "her actions discussed in this case," not because her very existence encouraged bias. Your interpretation is interesting, and others might share it, but myself and many others do not. Lightbreather (talk) 20:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Another potential con: "Wikipedia creates woman only area" as an internet news headline, what does that say about Wikipedia a place where "Everyone is welcome" to edit? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

How about: "Male-dominated Wikipedia prohibits women from creating a space to talk amongst themselves." What does that say about Wikipedia a place where "Everyone is welcome" to edit? Lightbreather (talk) 20:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
User:Karanacs above compared this proposal to: "encourage bias on WP, similar to the reasons why caroledcmoore was banned." Just having noticed this, here is the link to the Arbitration "findings" which is not at all what Karanac's inaccurately states. Carolmooredc (talk) 02:43, 30 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Moving to RFC?[edit]

What is happening here seems to be the consequence of the enwiki arbitration requests concerning GGTF, w:en:Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Interactions at GGTF. As Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Interactions at GGTF/Evidence confirms, most of active participants of this discussion were involved in that conflict and address their concerns here. (Looks like I was the only one not aware of this, so this case could be worth mentioning).

It looks like the discussion here went far beyond the scope of Grants/IdeaLab, so probably it is worth going ahead to the RFC? I do not know whether w:en:WP:RFC is a good venue (as some of participants of this discussion seem to be indefinitely blocked on enwiki), but at least there is RFC on Meta. This can also be an opportunity to discuss the problem in a wider context, most notably conflicts around GGTF that seem to concern many users here (and which do not belong to IdeaLab) — NickK (talk) 14:14, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Wow, en:User talk:Neotarf and en:User:Carolmooredc(endorser) are actually banned from en.wp, then, is this considered as trying to circumvent their local ban by "doing something" here? Anyway, good finding NickK.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 15:52, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Their participation here doesn't help them as even if we do create a WikiProject Women on Wikipedia, they won't be able to participate. Lightbreather (talk) 16:23, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The case may be worth mentioning, but your comment, NickK, that "most of active participants of this discussion were involved in that conflict" is untrue. Also, how many of the participants in this discussion are/were involved in the GamerGate case? Lightbreather (talk) 16:23, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Eh? Why do you imagine "the GamerGate case" to be relevant here? 03:00, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Probably because a gamergate related sub reddit links to this very page, so they're directing traffic here (which is how I got here) http://www.reddit.com/r/WikiInAction/comments/2sb3cv/wiki_noob_here_what_happened_to_all_the_opposing/ --Jobrot (talk) 13:36, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Idea support as of 2015-01-13 20:47 UTC[edit]

Endorse Oppose Meta user En WP User Total edits Edits in December 2014? FW? Prefers
Y Audacity Audacity 13,831 Y N he
Y Bridenh Bridenh 276 Y Y she
Y Carolmooredc Carolmooredc 31,986 Y Y she
Y Djembayz Djembayz 24,728 Y N they
Y DungeonSiegeAddict510 DungeonSiegeAddict510 583 Y N they
Y FeralOink FeralOink 2,163 Y N she
Y Fhocutt Fhocutt 25 N N they
Y FloNight FloNight 17,701 Y N she
Y Hmlarson Hmlarson 9,023 Y Y they
Y Kmccook Kmccook 911 Y N she
Y Knowledgekid87 Knowledgekid87 26,161 Y N he
Y LauraHale LauraHale 45,890 N Y she
Y Leela0808 Leela0808 201 N N they
Y Lightbreather Lightbreather 12,309 Y Y she
Y Luxxxbella Luxxxbella 248 Y N they
Y Miniapolis Miniapolis 25,785 Y N she
Y SarahStierch Missvain 116,169 Y Y she
Y Montanabw Montanabw 69,322 Y N they
Y Neotarf Neotarf 4,055 Y N they
Y NewsAndEventsGuy NewsAndEventsGuy 10,827 Y N they
Y Ongepotchket Ongepotchket 441 Y N they
Y OrangesRyellow OrangesRyellow 2,099 Y N they
Y ParulThakur ParulThakur 317 N Y she
Y Rosiestep Rosiestep 93,723 Y Y she
Y SlimVirgin SlimVirgin 143,780 Y Y she
Y Slowking4 Slowking4 21,145 N N they
Y Smirkybec Smirkybec 406 Y Y she
Y The Devil's Advocate The Devil's Advocate 19,575 Y N they
Y The Land The Land 7,688 Y N he
Y The Vintage Feminist The Vintage Feminist 7,610 Y Y she
Y Tlhslobus Tlhslobus 4,554 Y N he
Y 2602:306:8B12:6970:1CD3:3441:4DFC:9D6D 0 N N
Y 09I500 09I500 99 Y N they
Y Akesgeroth Akesgeroth 47 Y N they
Y Aldnonymous Aldnonymous 2,416 Y N he
Y Avono Avono 15,946 Y N he
Y BethNaught BethNaught 15,649 Y N they
Y Copulative Copulative 261 Y N he
Y Correctrix Correctrix 112 Y N she
Y Damon Ganto Damon Ganto 2 N N they
Y Fylbecatulous Fylbecatulous 14,775 Y N they
Y GRuban GRuban 7,839 Y N they
Y Hell in a Bucket Hell in a Bucket 24,995 Y N he
Y Intothatdarkness Intothatdarkness 3,455 Y N they
Y JoshuaKGarner JoshuaKGarner 202 Y N he
Y Konveyor Belt Konveyor Belt 3,123 Y N he
Y Loganmac Loganmac 774 Y N they
Y Lowconfidence Lowconfidence 1 Y N they
Y Mike V Mike V 18,440 Y N he
Y Mrjulesd Mrjulesd 1,073 Y N he
Y NaBUru38 NaBUru38 18,357 Y N they
Y NE Ent NE Ent 899 Y N they
Y NickK Nick UA 4942 N N they
Y Nitro2k01 Nitro2k01 49 N N they
Y Pepsiwithcoke Pepsiwithcoke 67 N N they
Y Pietrus69 Pietrus69 74 Y N they
Y Rafaell Russell Rafaell Russell 70 N N they
Y Retartist Retartist 1,077 Y N he
Y ShotmanMaslo ShotmanMaslo 977 Y N he
Y SuperHamster SuperHamster 26,333 Y N he
Y Taketa Taketa 7,751 Y N they
Y Thorrand Thorrand 4 Y N they
Y Topbookclub Topbookclub 1,011 Y N they
Y Tutelary Tutelary 15,242 Y Y she
Y WereSpielChequers WereSpielChequers 120,552 Y N they
Y WhatOn WhatOn 3 Y N they
Y Willhesucceed Willhesucceed 1,597 Y N they
Y YellowStahh YellowStahh 1,209 Y N they
Y 99 Y N
Y 8 N N
Y 8 N N
Y 8 N N
Y 8 Y N
Y 5 N N
Y 1 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N
Y 0 N N

I've pulled this together manually, so if anyone wants to check me (or fix how the table displays), please do. Lightbreather (talk) 22:53, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

(edit conflict)So far:

  • 32 support the idea, and 51 oppose, but a few things are important, I think. Of the 32 supporters, only 2 have fewer than 100 edits. Of the 51 opposers, 26 have less than 100 edits.
  • 3 endorsers and 2 opposers are currently blocked on Wikipedia.
  • Removing the respondents who have fewer than 100 edits or who are blocked leaves 27 endorsers with a total of 656,321 edits and 23 opposers with a total of 304,065 edits.
  • Of those that remain: 14 of the 27 endorsers (51%) identify as "she" or belong to the Female wikipedians category; 2 of the 23 opposers (less than 1%) identify as "she" or belong to the Female wikipedians category.

--Lightbreather (talk) 23:02, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Surely you mean less than 10%. Connor Behan (talk) 22:42, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Could you please explain what does "7" means next to my username? If this is the number of edits, I think I have made more edits even on IdeaLab. And, by the way, as the template states, please note that this is not a majority voteNickK (talk) 22:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
It means the user "NickK" has made 7 edits on Wikipedia. I understand that this isn't a majority vote. The number of votes is only one factor. Who votes is also a factor, IMO, as well as the reasons they give for endorsing or opposing. Lightbreather (talk) 23:06, 13 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Could you please explain how did you count this? I should have between 90K and 100K edits on Wikipedia but definitely not 7 edits — NickK (talk) 00:15, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I used the X! Edit Counter for the English Wikipedia, since the proposal is for the English Wikipedia. Lightbreather (talk) 00:19, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
If it was a proposal for English Wikipedia, it would have been better to discuss it there. Here I consider this as a crosswiki proposal that can be implemented in any project, as the word "English" does not appear on the proposal page, thus global contributions would have been more appropraite. Even if you deliberately limit this to English Wikipedia, the account "NickK" there is not mine (check sulutil:NickK for confirmation), mine is en:User:Nick UANickK (talk) 00:23, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I have fixed the table. As for the scope, I think this has been discussed elsewhere, but I just added comments to the "Scope" section at the top of this page. Lightbreather (talk) 00:55, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

This may be interesting. Edit counts obviously don't tell the whole story. There is also a statistical difference between men and women, that men tend to make many small edits, while women make fewer edits with a larger word count[citation needed]. So here is a count of the number of articles written, taken from X!'s Tools. Let me also just mention what may be the most intriguing edit I have ever made, a link to the International Courage Award that I dropped on the GGTF talk page. At the time, there were only two or three blue links on the whole list. When I revisited the page a few months later, all 86 names were blue links. Someone had written an article for every one of the women on the list. This really brought home to me the limitations of the star system and the power of collaboration, and how it can exponentially magnify the contributions of one person.

Articles created:

Audacity - 21

Bridenh - 6

Carolmooredc - 11

Djembayz - 214

FeralOink - 0

Fhocutt - 0

FloNight - 179

Hmlarson - 134

Kmccook - 9

Knowledgekid87 - 41

LauraHale - 1543

Leela0808 - 3

Lightbreather - 24

Luxxxbella - 1

Miniapolis - 3

Missvain - 689

Montanabw - 212

Neotarf - 12

NewsAndEventsGuy - 1

Ongepotchket - 0

OrangesRyellow - 16

ParulThakur - 47

Rosiestep - 3693

SlimVirgin - 319

Slowking4 - 1071

Smirkybec - 4

The Devil's Advocate - 26

The Land - 84

The Vintage Feminist - 120

Tlhslobus - 3

09I500 - 0

Akesgeroth - 0

Aldnonymous - 19

Avono - 3

BethNaught - 21

Copulative - 2

Correctrix - 0

Damon Ganto - 0

Fylbecatulous - 0

GRuban - 77

Hell in a Bucket - 99

Intothatdarkness - 1

JoshuaKGarner - 8

Konveyor Belt - 5

Loganmac - 1

Lowconfidence - 0

Mike V - 21

Mrjulesd - 0

NaBUru38 - 62

NE Ent - 13

NickK - 0

Nitro2k01 - 0

Pepsiwithcoke - 0

Pietrus69 - 2

Rafaell Russell - 4

Retartist - 0

ShotmanMaslo - 1

SuperHamster - 9

Taketa - 161

Thorrand - 0

Topbookclub - 10

Tutelary - 2

WereSpielChequers - 75

WhatOn - 0

Willhesucceed - 1

YellowStahh - 221

"Endorse" votes with zero articles: 3

"Oppose" votes with zero articles: 13

Neotarf (talk) 02:43, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Worth pointing out since nobody doing these vote count thingies seems to have noticed User:The Devil's Advocate's endorsement is very obvious sarcasm. Bosstopher (talk) 09:38, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

It might also be worth a mention that I have never thought to set my gender in my preferences, as will many editors, especially anyone who isn't informed that this needs to be set for this idea to work, and brings up the question of any participation by female users using IP addresses. YellowStahh (talk) 10:17, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Lightbreater use CentralAuth and count global edits, this is multilingual wiki for global wikimedia project, if you can't do it, you won't making any point to this idealabs grants.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 14:45, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I noticed that The Devil's Advocate's "endorsement" looks very much like sarcasm, and I almost didn't include it in the table. However, I figured if I didn't include it, someone might complain. If TDA wants their comment to sit there? Eh. Lightbreather (talk) 22:26, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

You are trying to make your own view of the realities. The opposition is there and it will be greater if you start more of theses tricks. Is just Sexism and you want our money. That's the truth. --Bahnmoeller (talk) 17:23, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

I don't want "your" money. I edit as a volunteer, and if this project goes forward, I will participate as a volunteer. Lightbreather (talk) 22:26, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
WMF give out Grants money from donator's money, you think it will help your cause by saying "I don't want your money"?--AldNonUcallin?☎ 07:52, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

No moslems and no homosexuals![edit]

"No moslems on this project" would be a discrimination on the basis of religion. But "no male editor on this project" is shall not be discrimination on the base of gender? Could one of the project supporters explain it to me? ...Sicherlich Post 16:42, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

See: Political Correctness. Carrite (talk) 16:36, 8 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

best practice?[edit]

In my oppose comment above, I wrote: As a memeber of the female minority in Wikimedia projects, I prefer to srengthen female perspectives and voices inside these projects instead of separating discussions to different platforms.. User:Neotarf asked me: do you have any concrete suggestions, or ideas for ways to do that? Or perhaps some examples of best practices? This is my answer:

  • First, some idea about my personal background might help for a better understanding. Though I am not doing any kind of organized feminist work, I am strongly influenced by the feminist movement of the 1980s. I share the view, that women should have equal chances and equally participate in decision-making at all levels of private and public life; free of gender discrimination and marginalization. We are half of the society and should be visible, and listened to - more than we actually are. In Wikimedia projects, too. Sometimes, I personally experienced gender discrimination and sexism in Wikimedia projects, or I saw it directed against other female contributors. Yes, this should not happen. As discrimation of any other group should not happen in our projects. Very often, I feel disgusted by brutal language in project discussions, also when I am not involved myself. This atmosphere is not inviting.
  • But I am here, my tenth year now. I stand up if I don't like what I read. I take responsibility and sometimes leadership in Wikimedia projects. In my understanding, this is normal and simply how it should be. Women can and should make themselves visible and speak up in all of our projects. Maybe, thus even act as role models and encourage others. It is up to us to simply do this. We are free to do this. All Wikimedia projects offer this freedom to us.
  • In de-Wikipedia, a lot of discussions about gender issues take place. Throughout the project's everyday business, male contributors, too, oppose sexism and discrimination, promote a friendlier atmosphere, or initiate community polls aiming towards more gender equality (less male bias) in the article namespace. We do this together, not in exclusive or opponing groups.
  • Women can, and do, have own project pages inside de-Wikimedia where they can discuss their matters without disturbance. de-Wikipedia policies have a kind of castle doctrine that allows you to open a project site in your user namespace and disallow disruptive participants while all other project rules (like: no personal attacks, anonymity etc.) are still in place. This is a transparent way how to create a "protected" room for all kinds of movements inside the Wikimedia movement and for those persons who feel the need for a protected room to empower them.

Of course, I am not offering any "solution" or a "best practice" that could easily help to close the gender gap (lots of smart Wikimedians are working on this since years and did not reach the breakthrough yet; so my 2 cents won't change a thing). This process will take years and years in Wikimedia projects like in our private and public life, too. Heads up, guys and gals, please keep going. I just do not believe that exclusion could help us in any way to reach this goal. --Martina Nolte (talk) 19:16, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thank you Martina Nolte, the German Wikipedia has always had some creative solutions. The basic problem with the English Wikipedia is with disruptions, that it is impossible to have any serious discussions. Do you have an example of what one of these "castle" projects looks like on de.wp? Can you give a link to one of these pages? How do you keep the disruptive people away?
The English Wikipedia also has men who are positive and oppose sexism, but no one feels free to speak up. Is there something special the German men do to organize with each other to promote the friendlier atmosphere, or is it all informal? What are the community polls? Is that only for men, or do women participate in the polls? Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 21:06, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@ Neotarf: Generally, the German Wikipedia is most likely not friendlier, nor more engaged in gender equality topics, nor has the project less sexism, discrimination, or harrassement (and, of course, there is high aggression among and against men, too). The feature "Wiki Love" was rejected as useless "cat throwing". The term "gender shit" (when people talk about the gender gap) is on a voting list for the "no-go word 2014" but far from being elected. German communication and wording is rougher, more in your face, and more directly addressing conflicts than I experienced in English speaking countries and groups. Colleagues at Wikimedia Commons sometimes find German contributors, say, "special" in this regard...
The German Wikipedia has some online and offline Wiki projects around women and gender topics, like Portal Women (organizing articles around women and possible female topics) including Wiki Project Women (maintenance lists of missing and new articles about women, articles menaced by deletion requests, etc.), a Portal Discrimination including Wiki Project Discrimination and Wiki Project "Wikipedia free of discrimination". Male and female contributors participate in these projects, male and female colleagues speak up at diverse occasions throuhout the project. I don't know their numbers or percentage because the gender is not known for all accounts; the feature to mark one's account as female user is not used by all female contributors and can be used by male users for their account, too.
Examples for, let's call it, "castle" user pages are Women's Teahouse about gender issues (now adopted by a male collegue; he calls that "a little mistake"), the project Womenedit, Women's history (about successes in Wikipedia gender issues and successfull, as well as some inactive, female de-Wikipedians). There are also other user subpages like Diderot Club (strongly critizing internal happenings and the Wikipedia/Wikimedia "establishment"), even one whole user account, de:Benutzer:Grillenwaage, with its talk page as think-tank about de-Wikipedia policies; moderated by few self-elected "owners".
Polls about gender topics were: "generic masculine" and "gendering" in Wikipedia articles (opposed by the community), article title for female circumcision (opposed by the community, a year later moved to the title "mutilation of the female sex organ" by an administrator as the poll initiator had asked for). Other discussions about gender policies and topics take place on certain functional pages, like inclusion criteria for women biographies (opposed). --Martina Nolte (talk) 06:21, 15 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I absolutely agree with what Neotarf has said here. The editing environment on the English Wikipedia is very hostile, especially to women, and if you complain about it, you are likely to be attacked, harassed, or even banned. The proposal of this project isn't my first choice for solving the problem - I've tried a couple others - but since the "community" hasn't been able to solve it, I decided to get creative. EVERYONE DOES UNDERSTAND HERE THAT THIS PROPOSAL IS *NOT* TO KICK MEN OFF WIKIPEDIA, RIGHT? It is NOT against the WMF non-discrimination policy. It's just to have ONE place on-wiki where women can get together to discuss things with other women - if they want to. If some women don't feel a need for such a space, fine. Participation is not required. For women who are afraid of attacks and harassment, it will be an on-wiki refuge - just like real-life women's spas (on one end of the spectrum) and domestic violence shelters (on the other end of the spectrum). It will be open to all women, or persons who identify as women, and it will have no special powers over mainspace, policies, guidelines, or essays. Lightbreather (talk) 22:46, 14 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Lightbreather: As I wrote above, I do not believe that the English Wikipedia is outstanding in regard to rudeness. Anyway, it is very individual if, and how strongly, verbal aggression disgusts, hurts, or scares a person. But I would be extremly reluctant to compare the experience of verbal aggression in Wikipedia with the psychological, physical, and/or sexual, abuse and violence that women and their kids who are protected in domestic violence shelters had to face. --Martina Nolte (talk) 06:21, 15 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi Martina, the idea of hosting a "Stammtisch" in user space is very interesting. I considered moving the gender gap task force on the English Wikipedia to user space at one point. The problem we had there is that men who were opposed to the project disrupted the talk page for months, and we really haven't been able to recover from it, so several women are searching for another way to host a quiet space. Sarah (SV) talk 00:55, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Sarah (SV), in my understanding, we are dealing with three different things at the same time:
A disruptive atmosphere in Wikimedia projects (personal attacks, harrassement etc.). - This does affect, but is not limited to, women in Wikimedia projects. It is an overall issue, first addressed by the WikiLove initiative some years ago, but still actual and actually (again) in the focus of the Foundation (Jimbo Wales speech at the at Closing Ceremony of Wikimania 2014, Fabrice Florin about a "A Culture of Kindness"). A lot of people think that a friendlier atmosphere would help to invite, and encourage, more (new and old) contributors in Wikimedia projects. This assumption is often, but not exclusively, addressed towards female contributors. I do not see, how an external platform for a special editor group would help to come to a friendlier, more constructive, and more inviting, atmosphere inside a Wikimedia project. I'd rather recommend to work towards this goal, with joint forces, inside each project.
A male bias in Wikipedia content. - Articles about women (like biographies) and gender topics (like women's organizations, books and movies by women, scientific gender theories and researches etc.) are not as much represented in Wikipedia as "male" articles and topics are. Additionally, articles often have a male perspective and often also lack a gender neutral language. There are many possibilities for WikiProjects, or Task Forces, to organize the writing, reviews, and maintenance, of articles with gender topics, or to enhance gender neutrality in articels where needed. This also can only take place inside a Wikimedia project. If I understand these proposals at "Gender gap task force" right, there are some good reasons for a "sleeves up" call in enWP. Inside, not outside.
A male bias in Wikipedia policies. - The proposed women's platform shall be "more focused on community, policies, and guidelines than on content". I do not know if, and in which regard, the English Wikipedia has male biased policies. (For example: German Wikipedia has "relevance criteria" to define which topics are worth to write an article about. Articles that do not meet these criteria can, and often do, get deleted. A male bias in our society is reflected in these criteria.) Anyway. Core values and features of Wikimedia projects are openness to everybody, transparency, and cooperative development of content and rules. Wikipedians are very sensitive for any attempt of external influence by special interest groups or "pressure groups". If this proposal would be accepted by the Foundation, this would be the first time that a single editor group would get financial support to externally coordinate efforts for policy changes in a Wikimedia project. --Martina Nolte (talk) 17:12, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Martina, thanks for the detailed response. My understanding of Lightbreather's proposal is that it would be an internal project, not an external one. I agree that these issues are better handled internally if we're allowed to discuss them. The situation on the English Wikipedia, though, has been one of almost constant disruption: men questioning whether there is a gender gap, questioning every suggestion anyone made, posting insults, etc.
As one woman put it:

The comparison I would make is a group of women walking into a pub, choosing a table and sitting down at it, in the middle of their conversation some bloke grabs a chair, plonks himself down and insists on joining in. The women get up and move elsewhere but he insists on following them around, even though they make it clear that it is against their wishes.

It should be possible to get swift admin action to help, but it didn't happen, and women get burned out having to ask for it. This is why the idea of a user space Stammtisch is so appealing. It could be inclusive to anyone supportive of its goals, but could quickly remove anyone disrupting it. Sarah (SV) talk 17:58, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
This will date me, but I know this (and my mother's and grandmother's generation) concept as a Kaffeeklatsch - and it meant women getting together to talk over coffee. Lightbreather (talk) 18:19, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Stammtisch means group of regulars. Anyway, you are free to name your user subpages the way you choose. But I sure do not wanna talk this into you. --Martina Nolte (talk) 19:13, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
While verbal aggression in Wikipedia may not be equivalent to the violence experienced by women and children who are physically abused and killed, it should not be just dismissed. A number of women have expressed to me privately how intimated they feel at the aggressive and sexualized language used on English Wikipedia. They consider it to be part of a "rape culture". I have also heard privately about women editors who have been harassed in their personal lives, and had Wikipedia users try to contact their employers, or people they thought were their employers, to try to make trouble for them at work. There is also the example of Anita Sarkeesian, Anita Sarkeesian#Hasskampagne (auf Deutsch)(in English), who had to leave her home after receiving terrorist rape threats and death threats on the internet from people associated with Gamergate. You may have noticed people voting against the proposal above, who came from Gamergate.
This level of vitriol is something new for English Wikipedia. I first noticed it coming across my watchlist about 3 months ago. —Neotarf (talk) 07:35, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Controversial idea[edit]

I propose a different fix to the problem of sexism. Remove "sex" altogether from the equation. You won't be female or male or whatever, you'll be an editor/Wikipedian. I don't think playing the identity game will help anyone. Without knowing what genders someone is, can you really be sexist? I think not. So why not remove sex completely from the equation? --DSA510 Pls No AndN 02:03, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

That would work, User:DungeonSiegeAddict510, if Wikipedia readers were also gender-less and sex-less. And the rest of humanity... Having women editors is necessary for the same reason why editors with different religions (and lack of any at all) need to participate, and editors with a varied age range too. My favorite examples are in biographies, BLP or not, of admired individuals. There is a distinct tendency to cast these figures as though through the eyes of sensitive, academically inclined 18 to 25 year-old atheist males. So John Nash, winner of the Nobel prize in mathematics and father of game theory, is described as an awkward loner. No mention is made of his Roman Catholic wedding ceremony, his female family members, even though he actually made a point to mention his grandmother's piano playing and hymnals as an inspiration in his Nobel prize acceptance speech! When younger, before the schizophrenia, he was described as tall and physically imposing. He had several serious relationships with women, one of whom he got pregnant, but he finally married and re-married his wife, who is a graduate of MIT in physics, class of 1956 (Nash was a post-doc there). None of this was mentioned in his WP bio until I got a hold of it. Instead, there is an interminable discussion on the talk page about whether anal penetration is necessary to be homosexual, and not one, but two re-hashings of the same material, Nash's sexuality and claims of being gay. Apparently, he liked cuddling with his male classmates in the engineering school dorms while an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon. I tried to point out that it wasn't accurate to describe Nash as gay or even bisexual (his biographer and The Guardian explicitly said he isn't and never was) but my comments on the talk page got blanked. The reasons it is important to have these female-relevant details are 1) Accuracy; John Nash said they were formative, and in NPOV sources. 2. Given that it is factual, it is important to learn that women who are physics majors can be loved by handsome brilliant mathematicians, and that grandmothers and music can be of great importance too. None of this should have undue influence, but it deserves two or three sentences in the article. It wasn't there before I arrived.--FeralOink (talk) 08:09, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I don't understand. My thoughts was that the purpose of the proposed idea was to eliminate sexism. I merely provided an alternative. Plus, most readers could not care less about wikipededians, so I'm unsure what you're trying to say. --DSA510 Pls No AndN 09:27, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Your idea would not work, User:DungeonSiegeAddict510, unless Wikipedia readers were also gender-less and sex-less, and only for Wikipedia subject matter that was e.g. for splines but not for biographies. Having women editors is necessary for the same reason that editors with different religions (or lack of any at all) need to participate, and editors with a varied age range too. That is why I wrote such a long reply to you earlier. Sexism isn't just about pronoun usage. Also, point of view isn't sexist per se with just men, but it can lack balance. We don't write Wikipedia for ourselves, but for readers. The content of articles is different when only men edit, per the lengthy example I provided earlier. I hope that helps.--FeralOink (talk) 13:16, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Just as a matter of information, in some languages it is completely impossible to eliminate sexuality, for example, in Slavic languages the phrase "I have written an article" will sound differently depending on whether "I" is a male or a female. In addition, most languages do not have the gender-neutral "they" that is present in English, thus no, it is impossible to eliminate sexuality at all.
On the other hand, it would be great if users anywhere on Wikipedia talk pages would have been considered primarily as Wikipedians, not as males or as females. However, this requires some change in the attitude of the community, which is not that easy... — NickK (talk) 11:42, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
We have the option of not identifying gender right now. That is the status quo. It isn't working too well though. We are not "playing the identity game". This isn't only about pronoun usage. May I suggest that you both, NickK and User:DungeonSiegeAddict510 read the idea proposal for complete details?--FeralOink (talk) 13:32, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@FeralOink: As many users have stated above, one of the main reasons for this proposal is that some users do not treat male and female users equally (and behave disruptively towards female users). It would be helpful if such users would be unable to know the identity (and thus determine targets for their attacks), but I agree this cannot be resolved by this proposal — NickK (talk) 14:27, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@NickK: Nick, the point is that (on the English Wikipedia) around 90 percent of editors are male, so the content reflects that, both in terms of which articles are included, and perhaps also in terms of how those articles are written. The way people interact reflects the male dominance, as do our dispute-resolution processes. We need more women editors if that is to change, but it will have to change before more women will become involved. That's the pickle we find ourselves in. Sarah (SV) talk 18:34, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The problem is that by making an artificial separation between male and female users you will definitely not change the way people interact — NickK (talk) 02:18, 18 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Those of us who do not wish to identify by gender have little recourse, in spite of the Foundation privacy policy that considers gender to be “personal information” if it is otherwise nonpublic. The oversight group refuses to remove such edits, although individuals who have made public their affiliation with Reddit Men's Rights seem to have no problem getting that type of information removed, sometimes within minutes. I myself received harassing emails after individuals conducted "opposition research" into my gender right on English Wikipedia. But where can someone report such a thing, and have it taken seriously? —Neotarf (talk) 06:02, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

A women-only area has been made on enwiki[edit]

Here it is. It's called a Kaffeeklatsch. Thought you'd be interested. Chess (talk) 02:05, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

The question springs to mind, if any male editor was to make a comment, regardless of what that comment may be, whether it would be removed because it isn't made by a female editor. YellowStahh (talk) 10:58, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Any civil comments by anyone who is not a member of the group, I move to my user talk page. Any uncivil comments, I will delete. Lightbreather (talk) 17:33, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
So if you were to decide to collaborate on an article and a male editor had useful but a controversial edit, or just was interested in collaborating with you regarding it, you would require at least two separate discussions to be taking place, rather than one talk page? YellowStahh (talk) 22:50, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I expect collaboration on article's will mostly happen on article talk pages, or perhaps on the talk pages of projects that are to-do with certain categories of articles. You might want to review the Project idea and Goals sections of the proposal. Lightbreather (talk) 22:55, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
No, I completely understand the goals and project idea, which is why I'm happy to pursue the question, because I don't see a reason to restrict a male editor in his right to join in a discussion should it take place on the Kaffeeklatsch talk page for example, if he's being conductive to a woman's collaboration to Wikipedia, especially if he's not "overwhelming" with advice, criticism, and explanations. I'm also interested in whether if a female (or trans or other identification) editor were to join in, at what point does her advice, criticism, and explanation become "overwhelming", and does it then not only become a space to restrict a males collaboration, but does a restriction then begin to apply to a their contribution to the discussion? YellowStahh (talk) 23:05, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

No, YellowStahh, I don't think you do get it, and this is beginning to sound a lot like conversations I've had with dozens of other editors (mostly men). I would suggest you review what SlimVirgin shared on this talk page just a few days ago re this proposed space being like a table in a pub where a few women would just like to be able to talk among themselves - but they keep getting followed by a man who insists on inserting himself into the group. I would point out that your last response to me included your belief that a male editor has a "right to join in a discussion" - apparently anywhere he wishes. And I would suggest you review the Wikipedia guideline on user pages.

BTW, trans-women are welcome at the Kaffeeklatsch, the same as other women who sign the pledge, and unless you have something new to say to me that I haven't heard dozens of times before, I probably won't be responding. Lightbreather (talk) 00:35, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

You take that kind of tone, when I'm just asking how your idea works, you say I don't get it so explain to me what I don't get. I think any editor has the right to join a discussion, this conversation just happens to include the idea of exclusion for male editors, if this idea was to include a space to exclude female editors, I would pose the same viewpoint but with the words male and female interchanged, so to me it's not a question of men being able to do whatever they want as you seem to think I'm suggesting. You can ask me to review Wikipedia's guideline on users pages, but since it's a test page as you've stated, I'm treating it in a similar fashion as if the WikiProject had been created. When we're talking what is considered to be overwhelming advice, criticism, and explanations, I think it's only reasonable to define what "overwhelming" is otherwise it's an incredibly vague area, and if the purpose of the project is to be conductive to a woman's collaboration, I don't see why a male's participation even if it only ends up not amount to anything of real significance why that should be completely restricted. YellowStahh (talk) 01:20, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
You might consider your own tone in this discussion. One example? Putting the word "overwhelming" in scare quotes twice in your "I completely understand response." Lightbreather (talk) 21:05, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
So it's wrong of me to be skeptical of a word which is not defined or provided with no such examples in your project idea? I have no problem if you think my questions are stupid, but I don't see why you continue avoiding answering them. YellowStahh (talk) 21:54, 20 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
You asked several questions - and I answered them. If putting the word "overwhelming" in scare quotes was meant to function as a question, just ask the question. Do I think the "question" is stupid? No, I think it's rhetorical and derisive. As for the answer, you might want to read numerous articles that have been written about Wikipedia and other places with wide gender gaps. There are some given on the proposal page. You could also try this reading list. Lightbreather (talk) 18:55, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Question for WMF[edit]

@Siko (WMF) and Jmorgan (WMF): When someone makes a proposal here, but they don't have experience with the process, is there someone who helps them to keep it moving? Lightbreather (talk) 19:02, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Lightbreather. What do you want to know? I'm happy to help any way I can. Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 20:53, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I've never been involved in the process before, and I thought maybe I was ready to get help for the next step, but I want to start one more discussion, which may help in development if the project is approved. Lightbreather (talk) 01:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Lightbreather:. Just a quick follow-up, hopefully helpful: The IEG program will begin accepting proposals (for projects related to the gender gap) in early April. As you continue to build out your idea into a project proposal in the meantime, you might find it helpful to look over proposals for similar IEGs that were funded in previous rounds, and start to write up the kind of project info that these proposals included. Here are a few funded projects that involved on-wiki community organizing, which you could mine for inspiration: Grants:IEG/Reimagining_Wikipedia_Mentorship, Grants:IEG/Medicine_Translation_Project_Community_Organizing, Grants:IEG/Art+Feminism_Editathon_training_materials_and_network_building, Grants:IEG/Elaborate_Wikisource_strategic_vision. This page also contains some notes on what sections to add as you build your proposal. Cheers, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 22:53, 27 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Lightbreather, if you want to start building a grant proposal from this idea, my suggestion is to use the "Expand to IEG" button on your idea's Toolkit page. As Jonathan says, nothing will really move in terms of funding decisions until April, and in March we'll have more folks here to help advise as you and others grow ideas into grant proposals. But if you click the button now it will at least give you a sense of what a final proposal should include, and will probably spark some further thoughts about what support ($, community, technical, etc) you'd actually need in order to accomplish an experiment like this. Personally, I'm not at all sure how something like this could be feasibly implemented on English Wikipedia, but perhaps just going through the process of fleshing out a plan will help shed some more light on this. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 02:36, 28 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Question at the English Wikipedia Village Pump[edit]

There is a question at the English Wikipedia Village Pump that may be of interest to watchers of this proposal:

Risk in identifying as a woman editor on Wikipedia

--Lightbreather (talk) 02:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Ghettoization and short bus[edit]

Two terms that have come up in discussions I've participated in re a women-only space on Wikipedia are "ghettoization" and "short bus." Here is my take on equating these terms with this proposal.

First, comparing a women-only space to a "short bus" is absurd. In a nutshell, people who ride the "short bus" need help from the better-abled to get around. I have never for a moment thought men are better-able than women to edit Wikipedia. A women-only space has nothing to do with women's ability to research, write, collaborate and code.

As for "ghettoization," a women-only space is not being imposed by the majority; it's being proposed by a women - and endorsed by women. That is empowering, unlike the current situation, which is demoralizing. Women editors who meet in a women-only space on-wiki will not be given any special rights when they go out to edit, nor will they be asked to give up any rights. Lightbreather (talk) 22:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

If you take a look, not all women are endorsing it, Lady of Shallot for example pulled her support on en Wikipedia because of your standards. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes, there are some who object to the proposed requirement that editors not only say "I am a woman," but also set their user preference to "She edits" and add their username to Category:Female Wikipedians.
It's probably worth noting that the proposal is endorsed by men, too. Lightbreather (talk) 23:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Why not just create a female friendly environment where both men and women can edit Wikipedia without feeling the need to identify themselves based on their gender? Are you really planning on banning (well-mannered) male editors from the project page? Sikjes (talk) 23:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
"Why not just create a female friendly environment where both men and women can edit Wikipedia without feeling the need to identify themselves based on their gender?"<-- Pretty much this, I hope everybody will do this.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 23:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Great idea! Ping me after you get it created. ;-) Lightbreather (talk) 23:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Of course! :D Segregating gender will serve the idea! Am I right?--AldNonUcallin?☎ 07:47, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I have personally never encountered one example of an editor being harassed because of her gender. Wikimedia and its projects are generally very female friendly. Sikjes (talk) 16:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Sikjes, I've been sexually harassed on wiki because of my gender. Now you have "encountered one example of an editor who was harassed because of her gender".
Actually, you've probably encountered a lot more than just one. Even if you're doing everything right—even if you're aware of the many forms that it takes, even if you are trying to pay attention, and even if you aren't trying to dismiss everything short of actual sex crimes as "just normal"—you just may not see it. The goal when you've been harassed is to get that garbage deleted or oversighted, not to make sure that everyone sees it. If you didn't happen to read the page in between when the garbage was posted and when the garbage was deleted (sometimes mere minutes), then you'll never know that it happened.
(I've also seen men sexually harassed. There's one user page on my watchlist solely because of the number of times that someone has edited it to claim that the editor is a pedophile. Unless you have oversight privs, you'll never see those edits.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:11, 25 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Can I just jump and say that for some women find offensive other women see it as no big deal? The same goes for men, how do you propose we please everyone here? Some people are so sensitive that even the smallest thing would offend them, so when you say it takes many forms you are right. Im saying unlike a small forum or unlike in public where you have the social norms online is different, you have hundreds of editors here and cant expect every single one of them to fall in line or read your mind on what you think is right or wrong. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:04, 25 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
It's true enough that we're dealing with many dozens of cultures. However, I think that there are some standards that are so basic that they apply to all cultures. You might put basic skills like "stop using female-specific profanities to address someone after that person has directly told you to stop calling her that" on the list of standards that anybody ought to be able to apply. How about "do not post information about someone else's personal sexual history on wiki"? (I was going to say "false information", but even if your post were completely accurate, it still wouldn't be appropriate.) I'm sure you could come up with a whole list of simple rules like that—rules simple enough that anyone could follow them without needing to have any psychic skills at all, and that cover only behaviors that nobody believes to be good behavior, no matter what culture he or she is from. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'm genuinely sorry to hear that happened to you. Some anonymous contributors and some users can be very rude. Still I don't think creating a women-only section will bring improvement. I hope you understand. Sikjes (talk) 19:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I think that I do understand. I don't plan to join the project, if it happens. It might help some women, but it's not a kind of help that I personally feel the need of. If you come up with a way to prevent drunk editing (as I think that was the primary cause of one particular problem that I encountered, then do let the world know. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
This should be like the left and right brain, one cant function without the other, both sexes should work together to find solutions. Light can you please just drop the woman only bit? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:25, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Every other space on Wikipedia is wide open to both genders. The IdeaLab is to try out new ideas. There is no harm in trying a women-only space as proposed, and nothing new will be learned from opening up another mixed-gender project. It's as simple as that. Lightbreather (talk) 22:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Why off-wiki forum is a bad idea[edit]

In addition to what I mentioned previously about why I'd like WikiProject Women to be on-wiki and public, there is the danger of this:

You may possibly not have noticed, but there's been a lot of talk of mailing lists, and secret plots to drive you off lately. I have a problem believing in the conspiracy theories because conspiracies require clever Machiavellian people, and I have seen precious few of those sallying against you, and while [redacted] has his faults (as we've seen over the last few days, he's not Machiavellian and I think he's basically honest, if easily led, frequently obsessive and mistaken. However, there is no doubt that some mailing lists have been rallying against you, and as they are offshoots of Wikipedia, we all have a right to know, which are these lists and which users subscribe to them - so lets have some names for these lists, details of what exactly are they saying and their membership. For the benefit of the shy, my user-email is working and discretion is assured. So let's get this cloak, dagger and stiletto stuff out in the open before the next poor wretch is set upon.[14]
The only relevant WMF mailing list I'm aware of is [the Gendergap].[15]

Women (and some men) being investigated by other editors who want to know what they're saying - suspecting them of being up to something. Lightbreather (talk) 21:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

That post seems to have started after one of their buddy's got kicked off for mocking the purpose of the Gender Gap email list. Since the email archives are public, it's hardly a secret conspiracy list. But the more forums, on and off, the better. Persistence is the important thing. Keep up the good work! Aka User:Carolmooredc 16:38, 30 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
The potential advantage of an off-wiki site is that you can have a more visible blog for outreach to gender researchers and journalists, to cover relevant Wikipedia stories as and when they occur, etc. As long as forum discussions are public or semi-public (e.g. you could give everyone who wants to register an account read-only access to the discussions), the risk you refer to could probably be managed. Andreas JN466 13:30, 9 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
In that case you don't need a women-only forum, you only need a safe space or moderated forum. The mailing list works remarkably well in that regard, its main disadvantage is that it's not very publicly accessible. —Neotarf (talk) 05:05, 11 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
Indeed. --Andreas JN466 23:41, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

Oppose - fundamental reason[edit]

This would require building into the software a mechanism - let us call it gender-protection. Such a mechanism would also allow "Boys only" pages. It's not hard to imagine that in some cultures this could be used to completely drive females from a project.

Rich Farmbrough 20:25 4 February 2015 (GMT).

The Foundation could see to it that the mechanism would be unavailable in namespaces where its use wouldn't be appropriate. Andreas JN466 13:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
Just a nitpick: this particular proposal would allow men who identify as women. That is, someone who has male chromosomes, a male reproductive system, and looks socially like a man IRL can participate as long as they "identify" as female, or subscribe to some social, rather than biological definition of what it means to be female. —Neotarf (talk) 05:18, 11 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

Oppose - practical reason[edit]

I think Lightbreather has found the fatal flaw with this proposal herself:

I would absolutely hate it if we had a forum where, while we women were talking, some kind of feed was being displayed in the margins with men chiming in with their comments...

In the event that anything of consequence was discussed in this walled garden, it would of necessity be copied out to a space where everyone could discuss it, resulting in a fork of the discussion. Women would then be faced with the dilemma of whether to contribute to the gender-barred version, or what would then be the "real version", since it would have the legitimacy of allowing anyone to comment.

Rich Farmbrough 20:25 4 February 2015 (GMT).

I'm not seeing the problematic part of forked discussion, where men discuss the women's comments. It would be a bit meta, and I doubt it will happen much, but I share your belief that it will happen and is worth thinking about a little. The way I see it happening, the women would continue the discussion with the men over in some general discussion area (they already do this), and/or with the women in this isolated area (a bit new). I am sure they can pick and choose their venues based on their preferences and the utility of the 'forked' discussion. To generalise a bit, I find women are able to hold multiple conversations at once far better than I can, even 'irl' even which tends to throw me into a head spin. As an 'Idea' in and 'IdeaLab', it sounds 'worth trying' at least. However I am not jumping into the 'supporting' column as I have no idea what this idea is doing in the Grants area of meta, and what ramifications that has. It looks like it has zero dollars attached, unless some software support is envisioned: I'd like a bit of clarity on that, I guess. John Vandenberg (talk) 07:54, 7 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
"-as I have no idea what this idea is doing in the Grants area of meta", it was to circumvent GGTF ban on English Wikipedia by Arbcom w:Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Interactions at GGTF.--AldNonBicara? 13:53, 7 February 2015 (UTC)Reply


In all honesty, I really wish that we could all just get along and not pay attention to each other's genders. I personally do not care what someone's gender is, because as far as I am concerned: we are all people. And that's what really matters when it comes to interaction. Nothing else whatsoever should supersede the understanding that we are all people first and foremost.

With that said, I do support the proposal for a part of Wikipedia where women can feel free to discuss things without being worried that they will be overtaken by male editors.

If this particular proposal were to be put into practice, it would require significant tweaks. However, I could see this becoming something that ends up being put into practice following such. I would happily welcome the presence of another area of Wikipedia that encourages discussion. Far too many things are being taken away from Wikipedia these days, so it would be a breath of fresh air for a new area to actually be introduced into Wikipedia.

Nevertheless, I would just like to make this clear to @Lightbreather: the phrase "affirmative action" is marked as directly synonymous with the phrase "reverse discrimination". Further, the phrase for this concept in other languages tends to be a direct translation of the phrase "positive discrimination", which is also listed as a synonym of both affirmative action and reverse discrimination. In other words, affirmative action is the same as positive discrimination/reverse discrimination.

The reason that I bring this up is not to disparage or discourage this proposal. Not at all; as I have said before, I quite agree with the idea. However, I cannot in good faith allow someone to try and skirt around or undermine the implications of their own words, no matter how legitimate and well-intentioned they may be.

Lightbreather, though I am glad to see you make this proposal, and also your willingness to being open to tweaking it if so needed, I am disappointed to see you try and discredit the claim that the membership requirements that you presented are of an exclusionist nature. Exclusionism is a part of the direct core of your proposal: to make a part of Wikipedia where women can feel free to discuss things without being worried that they will be overtaken by male editors.

Once again, I am not against the proposal. I am, however, upset by your claims that the proposal does not contain a form of discrimination, when the proposal itself makes it quite clear that such is a rudimentary part of its raison d'être. Tharthan (talk) 21:14, 6 February 2015 (UTC)Reply

But the phrase "affirmative action" has not been used anywhere in the proposal. This "affirmative action" thing has been proposed by men again and again without consulting any of the women. From what I can tell, the women want to work on the issue of gender gap without being constantly derailed by these non-issues, and having to stop and explain this stuff to the men yet again. It's really unfortunate, because there are really are a number of men who are up to speed on the issues, who have been very helpful, and whose support is crucial. Unfortunately there are others who are either clueless or outright hostile or want to use the group to argue against the existence of the group itself. So far there has been no way to exclude these individuals from a gender-based project, as they would be from any other type of project. So, unless you can come up with a viable alternative, no one is going to pay any attention to this argument. —Neotarf (talk) 05:52, 11 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
T̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶o̶s̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶s̶e̶l̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶c̶r̶i̶b̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶o̶s̶a̶l̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶"̶a̶f̶f̶i̶r̶m̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶"̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶t̶a̶l̶k̶ ̶p̶a̶g̶e̶. Furthermore, there are several women who disagree or even strongly oppose the proposal, so please don't be sexist.
Also, did you actually read what I wrote? I never once said that I opposed this proposal. The fact that you seem to think that I oppose it shows me that you probably don't care to actually read through any criticism on this page. One thing is certain: if one is not willing to take criticism, one will get nowhere. I personally am quite offended that you tried to claim that I opposed this proposal when I already stated that I support it. Tharthan (talk) 16:44, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
The proposer themselves described the proposal as "affirmative action" here on this very talk page. DIFF please, because if you're talking about me, it's untrue. Lightbreather (talk) 16:51, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I just rechecked this page, and found that it was said by another user. You have my sincere apologies. Tharthan (talk) 16:56, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I personally am quite offended that you tried to claim that I opposed this proposal... Who are you saying made this claim, because I certainly didn't say it. Don't be sexist. Who are you accusing of being sexist? —Neotarf (talk) 23:32, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
What else is "So, unless you can come up with a viable alternative, no one is going to pay any attention to this argument." supposed to imply? Tharthan (talk) 13:54, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
The missing concept here I think is the idea of "privilege". Separate space for the purpose of encouraging minority participation is nothing new. There have been special universities for women and for blacks for generations. That said, it's a second-best option; the preferred option would be to change the main game so that women can participate, instead of forcing them to participate in a side game. I foresee more issues, that women will be forced to edit in a narrow range of topics deemed "female topics", BLPs of women and such, instead of editing whatever they want. But it's better than nothing, and nothing is what the women have right now. —Neotarf (talk) 00:12, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
That's not an excuse. That's the same logic as the "positive discrimination" concept. We should strive and go RIGHT NOW towards what you list as the preferred option. Skip this discrimination nonsense and go straight towards the intended goal. Don't do something warped and twisted to try and "make things better. Instead, go and directly try to make those things better. Tharthan (talk) 18:54, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Ill conceived[edit]

I'll also against "male only space", what is this? A Syariah Islamic Madrasah school? This is Wikipedia! We work together, collaborate together to bring more content, not segregating editor based on gender, race, religion.--AldNonymousBicara? 16:51, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Neotarf I don't know about the others, but I personally despise to sexism in general. I will act to stamp out any sexist projects on Wikipedia if I see any. If you know of any offhand, please link me to them and I will see if I can do anything about them. Tharthan (talk) 16:53, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
If they are off-wiki, what can anyone do? It is very difficult for editors to discuss this without being accused of "outing" them. [16] They do not want women to have even a public space for discussion, but for themselves they want "privacy". Here is the RFC to change the OUTING policy: [17]. —Neotarf (talk) 00:00, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I don't understand. Can you give me some context to those things that you linked? Tharthan (talk) 01:04, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'm also not sure I understand what you're getting at, Neotarf, or why you're segueing into that RFC discussion. Comparing off-wiki activities with on-wiki activities is comparing apples to oranges. Of course I and others object to these forums but since they're off-Wikipedia, objecting here doesn't do much good. Behaviour off-Wikipedia can't be regulated on-Wikipedia no matter how that RfC ends. Moreover, since these "all-male restricted-access secret forums" aren't hosted on wikipedia, their views on privacy (or "privacy", as you call it) don't seem relevant to this discussion. Have I missed something? Ca2james (talk) 16:57, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply
I see the RFC has now closed as not passing, and the policy remains unchanged. Tharthan, no, I can't give you much more than is already written above at Grants_talk:IdeaLab/WikiProject_Women#Opposition_Canvassing_on_Reddit.3F, because the first rule of off-site harassment is that you cannot talk about off-site harassment. And that, I believe, is not good for the Project. Ca2james, what you are missing is the double standard of, on the one hand, forming restricted-membership forums with all-male membership, while on the other hand, objecting restricted-membership forums with all-female membership. This is before even considering the purpose of the group. In this case the purpose of the all-female group is to further the stated goals of the Wikipedia--and indeed, the Koffeeklatch has already produced an article about, um, female bodily functions--while the purpose of the all-male group is to subvert the policies and purposes of the Wikipedia. ——Neotarf (talk) 23:50, 4 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for clarifying your thoughts in bringing up the RfC. I don't see this as a double-standard because one area was off-wiki and the other is on-wiki, which means that different standards and policies apply. ETA: en:Tampon Run is about a video game, not "female bodily functions". The article was also created by someone who was not a member of the Kaffeklatsch. Ca2james (talk) 16:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Ca2james: They are not making their arguments based on "standards and policies", their argument is based on "sexism" which they define as excluding men. And they exclude women.
I'm not sure what you think tampons are for, you should probably google it. There are probably a number of individuals who have been taught to expect that such things are not to be discussed in mixed company. This does not seem much different from tolerating separate toilets for men and women, especially when the discussion is transparent. ——Neotarf (talk) 21:47, 20 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Discussion on-wiki[edit]

Without commenting on the merits of this proposal, I think that discussion on en needs to take place before the WMF should decide whether to give it their blessing, because this proposal is certainly policy changing and huge and needs to be discussed in a formal RFC setting., because if I'm not mistaken, this proposal is only for en-wiki and not any others yet. KonveyorBelt 22:42, 4 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

I somewhat support this so long as it is hosted here on Meta-Wiki, but I do not support this if it is to be hosted on the English Wikipedia. Tharthan (talk) 18:55, 5 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Suggestion on a slightly different approach[edit]

Considering the discussion on this page, and trying to look past misogynistic tone of the opposition, I have a lot of empathy for the basic goal (as I perceive it anyway - apologies if I am off) and for some of the concerns around technical limitations and best place to house such a feature. I wanted to share one idea, which folks are welcome to borrow from or toss aside completely. :) It seems very logical to me that a Wikimedia user group could be created and made up of people from all genders interested in advancing the participation of Wikimedians that identify as female. Affiliates have access, upon request, to things like private wikis. If that co-ed WUG came to consensus on doing so, it could adopt as a project creating a female identified Wikimedian only private wiki. This would also give some flexibility should the group one day decide to allow non-female identifying people into the space for whatever reason, and for however long. My sense is that this would put less operational burden, and does not pose any of the "threats" to existing projects that some concerned by. As an added advantage, there would be a new cooperative effort by all genders to advance this issue and possibly develop other spaces and projects. There are already user groups that have an open membership, but recognize there could be times when a more limited group of members might convene to address specific issues. I am incredibly empathetic to the advantages of a space where women identified Wikimedians could discuss issues, and frankly, feel that this page is something of a testimony to why that space is needed (ironically). My suggestion is basically that perhaps there are other methods to accomplish this that will get less opposition. I mean I suppose folks will be against a private wiki anyway, but I feel like the arguments on "risks" to the projects falls apart quickly. Just my two cents. :) --Varnent (talk)(COI) 01:11, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

A new proposal[edit]

Based on the extensive comments here, and the extensive interest in this proposal, I would like to propose a re-purposing of this request.

If you go back to the original problem, it was "a place where a woman can go to be able to participate in discussions without being dominated by men's voices". That problem still exits.

But I have given a great deal of thought to this, and I don't think getting rid of all men is the answer. The mailing list is the proof of that. Women are heard, and the mailing list is richer indeed for the contributions from the men's voices. And don't forget the men like Tony1 and Rich Farmbrough who made valuable contributions to GGTF. Male speech is not always hate speech. What you need is a *moderated* space, or a *safe space*.

The basic idea of a moderated space is sound. It would not have to deal specifically with women's issues, either. How many powerpoints are floating around, that have been used for successful editathons? Why not put them in one place, so someone who is preparing an editathon can see them? And a place to discuss best practices. Or help with collaboration/translation between different language wikis? And what happens to all the red links after an editithon. Do they just get abandoned on a project page somewhere? Where can you set up such microprojects, in a central place? There are probably even more educational uses for such a safe work space.

There is some precedent for such a space as well. The WMF spent, what, a million dollars for WikiVoyage which is unlikely to ever be able to compete with Wikitravel? And what about WikiNews, which only has a handful of users.

A women-only forum could easily fit inside such a project, especially if there was a men-only forum as well. Forums like Majoob.com come to mind, where the more conservative religious groups do not allow women and men to mingle, even in cyberspace. This is now unfortunately password protected, but it used to have one large forum with multiple topics, and two small forums, one for men and one for women.

I would re-purpose the proposal, and make it broader. Make it very simply a place where new women editors can go to be welcomed and find mentors, irrespective of gender. As they say, "Build it, and they will come". —Neotarf (talk) 23:44, 31 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

That's a great idea. Tharthan (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it's a good idea and I would support it. Having a place where new women editors can go to be welcomed is a much better and less controversial solution, as it reaches the goal (comfortable environment for women) and is inclusive instead of being based on exclusion — NickK (talk) 23:41, 2 April 2015 (UTC)Reply