Feminist groups bring another 'Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon' to campuses, claim website has 'political impact'

Campus Reform Reporter

Total Shares
This is the CRO SBAR

  • At least nine American schools will host the event.
  • Organizer: Wikipedia has "very masculine" design aesthetics.
  • One organization involved in event says website is "clearly skewed" towards males.
  • At least 15 colleges and universities worldwide are hosting events to edit Wikipedia articles about art to make them feminist.

    "How the site is written has a political impact, I think," said multimedia artist and digital designer Krystal South, who is helping run a “Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Art and Feminism” at Portland State University on Saturday.

    "It's aesthetically very masculine in its design."   

    In addition to Portland State, there are at least eight other American colleges and universities hosting the event, including the University of Texas, Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Sarah Stierch, a Wikipedia editor who has worked with event co-organizer Wikimedia to increase female participation, said the very appearance of the Wikipedia website proves it is skewed towards males.

    "It's aesthetically very masculine in its design," Stierch told online news source The Daily Dot.

    Another group involved in organizing the event, “art and technology center” Eyebeam, which “challenges convention … educates the next generation … and invites the public to share in a spirit of openness,” claims that since there are “more articles on notable women missing when compared to Encyclopaedia Britannica—Wikipedia is clearly skewed.”

    Eyebeam also cited a 2010 study which found that fewer than 13 percent of Wikipedia editors were female. Stierch, however, explained that the actual number may be higher because editors often choose not to disclose their gender. She also argues that many women simply choose not to edit the website.

    Joseph Reagle, an assistant professor at Northeastern University, however, said that women are not capable of making a true choice whether or not to participate because of Wikipedia’s “brogrammer' locker-room type of environment."

    This campaign is not the first time a feminist group has organized an effort to edit the free encyclopedia.

    Last fall, 15 colleges and universities offered college credit to students who “write feminist thinking” into Wikipedia articles about technology.

    Other organizers of the Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Art and Feminism are Art Libraries Society of North America’s Women and Art Special Interest Group and researcher Jacqueline Mabey of The office of failed projects.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf

    LATEST TWEETS

    Tim Waller
    @timwallerWYFF - 2 hours ago

    Campaign compares Clemson athletics to slavery, accuses university of 'whitewashing' history http://t.co/A8TQYZRg2h @campusreform

    CampusReform.org
    @campusreform - 4 hours ago

    UNC professors call for boycott of Israeli academic institutions http://t.co/Vt1TdE3Dd8 via @campusreform

    Stephen Gash
    @Stephen_Gash - 4 hours ago

    @Gabby_Hoffman @campusreform @MaggieLitCRO Presumably @UNC encourages Saudi academic institutions & offers PhDs in stoning.

    Stephen Gash
    @Stephen_Gash - 4 hours ago

    @Gabby_Hoffman @UNC @campusreform @MaggieLitCRO No wonder the West's educational standards are in severe decline.

    Tom Thurman
    @Tommm1954 - 5 hours ago

    UNC students protest 'ladies' night' because...sexism http://t.co/rzb8fabenK via @campusreform

    Jeff in Exile
    @JeffHGreen - 7 hours ago

    @BigRMV @campusreform Wait. What's a transgender male? One who was female and got the add-on or was a male who got the shaft?

    Drone Bait
    @BigRMV - 7 hours ago

    Stop. Just stop it now! <= MT == All women's college to admit transgender males http://t.co/S3u6BSfcV2 via @campusreform

    Dennis Mahon
    @DJM1968 - 7 hours ago

    RT @campusreform: Campaign compares Clemson athletics to slavery, accuses university of 'whitewashing' history http://t.co/w6ypFv872Z

    CampusReform.org
    @campusreform - 7 hours ago

    Campaign compares Clemson athletics to slavery, accuses university of 'whitewashing' history http://t.co/WUTSQdrIlh via @campusreform