Sexism on Wikipedia: Why the #YesAllWomen Edits Matter

Sexism on Wikipedia: Why the #YesAllWomen Edits Matter

New on my blog: the Wikipedia page for #YesAllWomen, a record of an anti-sexism protest movement on Twitter, is being edited to make it “less misandrist.” This Wiki page documents the hashtag that is being used internationally by women to share their experiences of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination following the Isla Vista mass shooting in America.

The Wiki edits matter because Wikipedia has a massive problem with sexism. Only 13% of Wikipedia editors are women and many of them have spoken out about how their entries are often edited by men in malicious ways. Wikipedia sexism is also reflected in the lack of entries on women professionals and historical figures, including women scientists. I supported the Royal Society’s Wikipedia hack-a-thon, which highlighted the lack of Wikipedia articles about notable women scientists (http://goo.gl/5BuQ0E).

The issue with this latest edit is further evidence of so-called “reverse sexism,” which I wrote about recently in reference to the “not all man” defence (http://goo.gl/SH3qMh). Women speaking out about sexism is not an act of sexism. The #YesAllWomen tag is about creating safe spaces for women. The Wikipedia page on this movement documents this global conversation. Acts of gender violence reflect power. Men who are editing this page say they want to use “more neutral” language. In actuality, they are simply defending their own social privilege on a platform that already favours men.

Read more on the research on Wikipedia gender dynamics on my blog: http://buff.ly/1kOfnqw #sociology #feminism #socialscience #wikipedia #women

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