April 24, 2013

NYT: "Wikipedia’s Sexism Toward Female Novelists"

There's much in the news these days to opine upon, but the New York Times op-ed editors have discovered the biggest breaking story imaginable:
Wikipedia’s Sexism Toward Female Novelists 
By AMANDA FILIPACCHI 
Published: April 24, 2013
... I belong to an e-mail group of published female writers called WOM (it stands for Word of Mouth). Some of the members are extremely well known. On Tuesday morning, when I made my discovery of this sexism on Wikipedia, I sent them an e-mail about it. I have since then been deluged with scandalized responses from these female authors. Word is spreading at a phenomenal rate, on Facebook and elsewhere. 

What's going on?
... It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too.

I would presume the motivation for this would be for the convenience of English / Womyn's Studies majors and the like. (I could look it up on the Talk page, if I were interested enough.) It sounds like a bad idea, but one that my sources at Sexism Central tell me was not on their radar for implementation in the 2013 Protocols of the Elders of Patriarchy.

But this published female writer is sure it's a male plot to exclude women from American literary history:
The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men.

Or, then again, this op-ed could be a parody.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm with the women on that. I'd be pissed.

Auntie Analogue said...


Heh. Looks that that gol-durned Panopticon is on the blink again.

Anonymous said...

And Steve wonders about the dearth of women in computer sciences, when a woman can clearly get more positive pub by whining about said dearth rather than mending or even comprehending it... This esteemed opinionator doesn't realize a database entry can belong in 2 or more categories if the query is structured accordingly. Nah, it's more likely a sexist plot. Full fathom five the collective reasoning capability of the U.S.A. lies.

wikipedian on the sly said...

I'm gonna hit up her page right now and add the link about her newest project there.

postprelapsarian said...

What's exactly a "prodigious postfeminist talent"? She is supposedly literary company w/ the woman who wrote the incest memoir. (That's certainly post-something)

Orthodox said...

Better to be thought a retard than write an op-ed in the NYTimes and remove all doubt.

wren said...

I am starting to learn that if I really want to know what is going on in the US, the paper of record is the Daily Mail Online.

;-)

Anonymous said...

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/world-thinkers-2013/

Barf

Anonymous said...

This article is to journalism as Women's Studies is to college degrees.

Anonymous said...

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/04/george-w-bush-tells-jeb-to-run-says-jeb-vs-hillary-would-make-fantastic-photo/

When Bush comes to love...

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-2JsACs1pw

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2313755/Chinese-mother-accused-killing-shopkeeper-squeezing-testicles-hard-died-shock.html#ixzz2RKCXWtlJ

battle grip of the tiger mother

Anonymous said...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/04/23/george_w_bush_legacy_it_s_not_all_bad.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_share_chunky_bottom

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that if we all had longer, more unkempt neckbeards this decision would make vastly more sense to us.

Happy goy said...

Amanda Filipacchi will undoubtedly find solace learning the Fed has eventually embraced diversity and is soon to be led by a woman, none other than Bill Gates' wife.

Anonymous said...

Damn, are patriarchal plot found out again! The only place safe for patriarchy is wife grabbing Chechnya

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with her oeuvre. I'll hit the remaindered section at Barnes immediately!

Indian Casino said...

Its all a plot to crush womens' lives for the benefit of men. These wicked men. Its just like when they give far more money for breast cancer than prostate cancer... uh, no wait, its like when they work harder than women to support their families and die earlier.... no wait, uh, its like when they wouldn't allow women in combat to protect womens' lives... no wait, its like when in the last century or so, so many more medical advances benefitted women more than men, that women who had a lower life expectancy ended up with a far higher one...no wait, its like when women are given less time for the same crime, no wait ....

Anonymous said...

Off topic. I find that my music collection has nothing by female vocalist. In my youth I attended two concerts by women. Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. They both had the voice of angels, but I did not purchase one of their albums. I'm sorry. I'm not very interested in what most women write about.

chucho said...

Pretty much every "published author" of Generation X/Y has created his (or her...) own Wikipedia page. Typically they are MFAs who published some obscure banality through a small university press or some other vanity establishment. Of course no one read or bought these works besides the author's immediate family. Perhaps the purge is due to this abuse, I don't know.

A fun exercise for iSteve readers is to take the year of your birth and look at the Wiki category for people born in that year. Invariably 80% of the entries are sports figures or B-list actors, but you'll definitely see a handful of these inconsequential MFA author/arts types there too.

Anonymous said...

In the time it took to write this, this person could have gone on Wikipedia and reverted all the changes. She probably doesn't know how it works though.

Anonymous said...

i love the line from Gilbert & Sullivan's mikado (a list of people to one day be executed)
"and that singular anomily the lady novelist, i don't think she'll be missed, i'm sure she won't be missed"

Was that a thought crime?

Hunsdon said...

To quote George Takei, "Oh my."

Anonymous said...

And yet two of the first five authors listed on the American Authors page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_novelists) are female:

Patricia Aakhus
Belle Kendrick Abbott

Megan Abbott is the ninth author listed

slumber_j said...

And here I thought the literary writers most likely to face discrimination were the ones who aren't publishing heiresses. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Worst reading of a list ever.
Louisa May Alcott still listed under American Novelists.

Svigor said...

I hate to break it to these broads, but Wikipedia is a free site that runs on donations, is maintained by volunteers (the vast majority of them men), and despite its great utility, really isn't all that organized.

If you don't believe me, go look at the pages for American States. There is no consistent template. Look at the demographic information; sometimes there's a separate demographics page, sometimes just a section, and sometimes crucial information like the state's percent black is omitted altogether. In sum, the articles are a mess.

American States. But these ladies expect the volunteer army to have their articles spit-shined?

Anonyia said...

I don't understand why she doesn't just edit it. I do it all the time, mainly to update/add demographic statistics. Unfortunately most women think you aren't "allowed" to edit wikipedia. And how does she know it was men that altered the databases in the first place? Most men probably are not interested in editing the "American Women Novelists" section.

Cail Corishev said...

Yeah, it'd be kinda funny if the page was created by a woman who thought it'd be neat for American Women Novelists to have their own page without any icky boys on it. They could decorate it with ribbons and glitter and stuff.

Anonymous said...

If you put them in the American novelist category,t hey complain that their "achievements as women aren't highlighted enough", if you put them in the American Women Novelists category, they complain that they're being "gender-segregated".

I think the old-school response to this kind of silliness,"Shut up,b**ch", was probably the only one you can choose that doesn't leave you pounding your head against a desk wondering why you can't win.

Anonymous said...

I belong to an e-mail group of published female writers called WOM (it stands for Word of Mouth). Some of the members are extremely well known.

Really? Common!!

Ray said...

"I don't understand why she doesn't just edit it. I do it all the time, mainly to update/add demographic statistics. Unfortunately most women think you aren't "allowed" to edit wikipedia. And how does she know it was men that altered the databases in the first place? Most men probably are not interested in editing the "American Women Novelists" section."

Who the hell can edit wikipedia? They've got bots that change everything back, and anal-retentive administrators who work on wikipedia in their parents' basements all day long who would block any edit.