Ahh Wikipedia...truly my oldest and most treasured childhood friend. Without ye, so many A- papers would be mere C+’s...So many useless facts would remain unknown...Truly a bleak world would exist if not for Wikipedia. Yet, statistics show that less than 15% of Wikipedia contributors are female. Could it be that my heart and soul has been devoted the most patriarchal website of them all?! Say it ain’t so!
The debate on why such a huge gender gap exists on such a supposedly “open” platform is inconclusive. Some suggest behind-the-scenes power struggles, while others suggest that the presence of male “trolls” and comparable annoyances drive women away—far, far away. So far, in fact, that the most-edited pages by women are reserved to “menstruation” “gender identity” and “cloth menstrual pad.” Hoo boy.
Whatever the reason, this imbalance is unreasonable and Brown University has plans to fix it (or at least give it a really, really great shot)!
On Ada Lovelace Day (October 15th), a five hour “edit-a-thon” will be hosted in Providence, Rhode Island with the goal “to edit and create Wikipedia entries on women who have made significant contributions to the STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] fields.” The first hour of the event will provide step-by-step instruction on how to create the greatest of great Wikipedia articles. The remainder? Write, write, write! The event’s Wikipedia page (oh the irony!) already has an extensive list of articles that could be created, added to, or revised.
If you can't make it to the actual event, online participation is encouraged--this is the interweb, after all! I'm excited to see the results of the event and have serious hope for the ladies of Wikipedia. After all...who run the world?!
Image via Wikipedia.