Wikchix meetup, Thurs. March 1

If you’re in the Bay Area and are a wiki-ish person, you might like to swing by the Wikichix meetup tonight. Add yourself on this wiki page or on the wikichix page if you’re registered there; either way. So far, only about 5 people have actually signed up.

We’ll have another meetup in April, because over email, people have shown a lot of interest. I’d love to pull in some Woolfcampers and Feminist SF wiki contributors as well as Wikimedia-focused people, to share ideas about wiki theory and community politics as well as tech tips or whatever else people end up bringing to the meetup.

I was just reading over Annalee’s article on the Wikichix on Alternet, reading the comments, and marvelling anew at the huge misunderstandings. It is very strange to me that so many people (incorrectly) see such a group as having an agenda of creating an alternate feminist version of Wikipedia; when actually its purpose is more to share stories and talk about the experience of being female in a specific male-dominated environment, a purpose that is hardly new and that has Linuxchix as a model. Part of what many women experience online in highly male-dominated environments is:

- the discounting of the substance of what they’re saying
- the demand that women be always calm and care-taking, while guys have permission to get angry
- the demand that women never be wrong, while guys can be wrong and correct themselves, be corrected, or change their minds
- never-ending commentary about looks, sexual banter and references to sexual tension, sexual commoditization, remarks on one’s girl-ness
- the assumption that what guys consider is important is The Important Thing and what women consider important is trivial and can be dismissed
- always having your credentials and knowledge and background questioned; having to prove yourself over and over; basic competence, much less expertise, constantly doubted; condescension
- the struggle women have against internalizing all of the above.

All of that is worth discussing in women-only forums. I called this Wikichix meetup but didn’t call it as women-only. The wiki and mailing list are women only, though.

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