Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality

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Men/Women vs. Male/Female[edit]

I am unfamiliar with categorization policy in this area, although I did read the project page and searched the talk archives, and I was hoping that someone could tell me what the deal with gender categorization using "Men or Women" instead of "Male or Female" is. For example, there are categories called Category:Men sociologists and Category:Women sociologists. Why are the categories not called "Male sociologists" and "Female sociologists"? To me, it seems like very awkward phrasing, especially for the "Men" categories. I am not sure why they should be different, but my brain seems to hate the "Men" thing more. I do not think that precedent for it always being done this way should apply, if it was done incorrectly to begin with. In addition, if we could program a bot to change the categories, I do not think that the amount of work to change it is insurmountable. However, I cannot make that claim with certainty, as I am not a bot programmer or operator.

I also question the need for splitting the sociologist category this way, or even creating a "Women sociologists" category on its own, as I do not see how gender could possibly be relevant in this case. I recall that some people wanted to create categories like "Early women sociologists", but I do not know if that went anywhere. If I remember correctly, there was a question of how to determine who counted as an early person. -- Kjkolb (talk) 00:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

This is a perennial issue - it comes up frequently. See Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2013_April_27#Women.2FMen_or_Female.2FMale_as_an_adjective for a recent discussion. Current consensus seems to be that these should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Attempts at making them all the same have failed again and again. As for "men", you'll just have to get over it - see "Where women are concerned, the majority of men sociologists still engage in the put-down" Radical Sociologists and the Movement: Experiences, Lessons, and Legacies edited by Martin Oppenheimer, Martin J. Murray, Rhonda F. Levine or "in this study we examine one form of collaboration among women and men sociologists: coauthorship of published articles. We find that being female and writing about gender increase the propensity to produce joint-authored rather than..." Beyond Methodology: Feminist Scholarship as Lived Research edited by Mary Margaret Fonow, Judith A. Cook.
Category:Women sociologists was kept, per a recent discussion Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2013_July_29#Category:Women_sociologists. if you want to nominate it and the male category again, be my guest, and see where consensus lies.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 07:53, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Obi-Wan is correct, there's no uniform consensus that applies across the board about whether to use "male/female" or "men/women"; it has to be decided on a case-by-case basis in each individual situation. There are certainly some situations where "male/female" is more natural, but there are others where "men/women" better fits real-world usage. (When the gender of sportspeople is pointed out in real world sources, for example, the words "sportsmen" or "sportswomen" predominate over "male/female sportspeople".) You're welcome to nominate the categories for renaming if you wish, but if you're looking for a policy which mandates your preferred wording you're not going to find one. Bearcat (talk) 20:56, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bearcat for your replies. I was simply wondering what the current consensus is or if there is a policy that deals with the issue, and together you answered my questions, fully. I currently have no desire to try to change categories on a case-by-case basis or to gather support for a policy that covers this issue. -- Kjkolb (talk) 06:13, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
hi Bearcat and Obi-Wan Kenobi et al. So, when starting a new category of Female or Women X (profession), I should choose what I think is best? Or do I need up front research (which I'd rather not do) about real world usage? Given the gender gap issues, I think this (and most) professions are notable. Thanks! ProfGray (talk) 09:54, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Adding another group of people to this guideline[edit]

Closing per a WP:ANRFC request.
There is a clear consensus to add a section for people with disabilities to this guideline, which was already done in this edit. Armbrust The Homunculus 09:01, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What do you think about adding a section for people with disabilities to this guideline - e.g. Category:Blind people and Category:Deaf people. I think in cases where we have (disability) + (job), they should be treated similarly here - these are the cases where you can create such an intersection, and such an intersection should be non-diffusing - if someone is a Category:Blind academics they should also be in the more general parent.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:42, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Please see the discussion at WikiProject Disability about this issue. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:24, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Does nobody here have an opinion about this, or are people with disabilities discriminated against even on WP, by being ignored? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:06, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I get the feeling there isn't a lot of motivation to edit this guideline - it's a bit of a mess, and people may be loathe to tweak it further. Perhaps you and I should work on some language and just put it in, if someone resists then we'll start a discussion.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:53, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I just came here from the (WIP) style guide page. I would like to offer the opinion that this page seems to be ready for bold edits. I'm only hesitant to make any changes myself because I haven't yet read it thoroughly enough. Muffinator (talk) 19:29, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • proposed addition

Disability, medical, or psychological conditions[edit]

There are several guidelines that apply to categorization of people with disabilities, or those with medical or psychological conditions.

  1. People with these conditions should not be added to subcategories of Category:People with disabilities or Category:People by medical or psychological condition unless that condition is considered WP:DEFINING for that individual. For example, there may be people who have a speech impediment, but if reliable sources don't regularly describe the person as having that characteristic, they should not be added to the category.
  2. Categories which intersect a job, role, or activity with a disability or medical/psychological condition should only be created if the intersection of those characteristics is relevant to the topic and discussed as a group in reliable sources. Thus, we have Category:Deaf musicians and Category:Amputee sportspeople and Category:Actors with dwarfism since these intersections are relevant to the topic and discussed in reliable sources, but we should not create Category:Biologists with cerebral palsy, since the intersection of Category:Biologists + Category:People with cerebral palsy is not closely relevant to the job of biologist nor is it a grouping that reliable sources discuss in depth.
  3. The final rung rule described below also applies to disability- or medical/psychological-based intersection categories; such categories should not be the final rung in a category tree, and should not be created if articles can't be otherwise diffused into sibling categories. For example, even if reliable sources regularly discussed Category:Deaf flight attendants, this category should not be created since it would be a final rung category underneath Category:Flight attendants, which isn't otherwise able to be diffused.
  4. All such intersections between disability or medical/psychological conditions and other characteristics like jobs should be treated as non-diffusing categories, meaning that adding Category:Blind musicians should not remove the article from Category:Musicians or any of its diffusing subcategories. All such intersection categories should be considered as "extra" categories, and people should still be placed in all other categories for which they would qualify if they didn't have this condition. A person in Category:Actors with dwarfism is first and foremost an actor, and should be categorized alongside other actors who don't have dwarfism.

Comments on guideline[edit]

I'd suggest Wikipedia:Categorization of people/sensitive categories. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:47, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
No, the phrase "sensitive categories" is so vague and unspecific that it is practically meaningless. Guidelines by their nature must be as exact and specific as possible. The current title and its acronym/shortcut "WP:EGRS" is very well established and widely used, such a large change of the title would be massively disruptive. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:29, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • It works for me. Just want to propose a small tweak - change "narcicistic personality disorder" to something more mundane. The only time I've ever heard that term was in a police drama tv show where it was the serial killer's diagnosis! Something like "paraplegic biologists" would work without the "what the xxxxx is that!?!?" factor diluting the point of the example. BTW, you dropped a stray signature into the middle of the draft text. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, fixed, take another look plz... thanks.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:53, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Excellent! I think it's ready to submit to an RFC. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 05:33, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • User:DrKiernan and myself have been discussing this guideline on Category talk:People with disabilities in regards to the category Category:Royalty and nobility with disabilities. He is reluctant to include royalty and nobility who had mental health issues to the category, but if we are to go by the guideline of "defining", then I think it is appropriate as the mental health issues of several notable figures, such as Ivan the Terrible (who killed his heir in a fit of insanity and thus changed the course of history) and Charles VI of France, whose mental instability seriously affected his reign, are extremely relevant to their historical legacy and to academic study. I argue that the mental illness of royalty and nobility is a defining aspect of their role and legacy in history, and are thus an integral part of any historical study of their reign. Furthermore, the adding of these historical figures to the category is in my opinion, relevant to the field of Disability studies. While I am willing to concede to his point on that Diana, Princess of Wales should not be included due to the lack of a formal diagnosis of clinical depression (considering that she lived in the modern era), I am still of the opinion that other indisputably mentally ill members of royalty and nobility should be included in the category. I am willing to cut those whose mental illness is disputed by historians, or are living people for whom their mental condition is not defining from the category, but I think that the remainder should stay. Asarelah (talk) 15:03, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not aware that I have discussed this guideline. I have no particular opinion upon it, other than being broadly supportive. DrKiernan (talk) 15:58, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Question: "Death from (medical or psychological condition)" categories?
e.g. Category:Deaths by type of illness
How would the proposed guidance affect such categories?
Most of these conditions would not be WP:DEFINING, so if this becomes guideline there's gonna be havoc in the Category:Deaths by type of illness tree. The question is: would that be a good idea (my preference leans in this direction), or do we want to prevent this (in other words, inscribe an exception in the proposed guideline addition)?
I suppose only the following "Death from (disease)" categories would still be possible under the proposed guidance:
  • physical chronic conditions that were defining for the person and ultimately led to death (think e.g. morbid obesity); Similarly: physical genetic disorders that are defining and are known to have an effect on life expectancy, and also were the actual cause of death for the person;
  • physical condition related to occupational hazard, when the occupation is defining (think e.g. Marie Curie); or resulting from other significant life choices (e.g. malnutrition following from an extreme diet or hunger strike etc);
  • psychological conditions ultimately leading to suicide (or drug/medication OD). While the link "condition"-"suicide/OD" is difficult to establish this would often be very close sailing to WP:OR. Currently not problematic, while the "condition" and "suicide/OD" categories can be applied separately: e.g., Virginia Woolf: (condition category:) People with bipolar disorder — (suicide categories:) Suicides by drowning / Suicides in England / Female suicides. Similar: Amy Winehouse: (condition category:) People with bipolar disorder — (OD-related category:) Alcohol-related deaths in England.
  • defining neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease. But, from my part, with great reserve, see Alzheimer's disease#Prognosis:
    • The actual cause of death might be a minor infection, so the categorization can easily be wrong one way or another.
    • people with a neurodegenerative condition which was defining for a large part of their life but not the cause of death might not get the condition reflected in the categories of their biographical article.
Thoughts? --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:36, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
We should not include deaths here. There has never been a good consensus around whether "deaths by X" should always be included, or only if it's defining. In practice, it's broadly used in my experience. The same applies for where someone is buried. None of these are part of "identity" that someone had when they were alive, as in most cases they don't know why they died (in some cases they do, but it's maybe having the disease in that case that becomes defining, not dying from it.)--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry it took me so long to get back to this, I've been busy. Anyway, I would argue that a historical individual who clearly suffered severe mental illness (such as Ivan the Terrible or George III) should be included in this category. And that living people should not be included unless the self-identify as disabled due to their mental health issues, as per the self-identification criteria for Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Asarelah (talk) 21:00, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Added "...or OD..." to 3rd case (death by psychological condition) above. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:33, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Added neurodegenerative conditions --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:33, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Survey on proposed addition #Disability, medical, or psychological conditions[edit]

Note I have "upgraded" this discussion to a formal WP:RFC. Posts above this point were made before I added the RFC template. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:14, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Support Robert McClenon (talk) 18:29, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per my earlier comments above. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, even with the implication this would make several "Death from (disease)" categories impossible (see my question above). --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:48, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


A bot removed the RfC template, so time to close this I suppose. I thought of taking this to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure but with an unanimous survey result I see no problem to proceed and introduce in the guideline. --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:45, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality#Sexuality under discussion[edit]

I am going to go ahead and close this as No consensus, the discussion is stale. Revert if you feel the discussion needs to be started up again. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:16, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I placed a discussion tag Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality#Sexuality, as the opening sentence of that section ("Categories regarding sexual orientation of a living person should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question (see WP:BLPCAT)." is apparently used as an excuse to circumvent WP:BLPCAT, part of the WP:BLP policy.

See discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies#Inclusion criteria for Category:LGBT people category --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:55, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Status discussed[edit]

Editors use this page as an excuse,

  • Not to conform to WP:BLPCAT policy;
  • To exempt several sensitive categories from the WP:OVERCATEGORIZATION guideline (where that guideline does not make such distinctions)

Hence, this is not a guideline (as in generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow), it is a questionable essay at most. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:51, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Francis, frankly you are being a bit impatient here. Guidelines must be changed according to consensus. If your edits - which are wide-reaching - are Not discussed and do not gain consensus, it is normal that they all be reverted and discussed individually. This is indeed a guideline and while you may be right that there is a disconnect between this and BLPCAT what is ultimately more important is consensus as lived - eg how do people use these categories? The changes you have suggested would lead us to depopulate thousands of articles from categories like 'American women novelists' since being 'woman' + 'novelist' is not at all defining for many many writers these days, the same would apply for 'African American x' or 'LGBT y'. So before changing the inclusion criteria of categories to exclude thousands of bios we should discuss here whether that is the right thing to do.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:14, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

No, my edits were not wide-reaching. They only are if not accepting such guidelines and policies as WP:COP, WP:OVERCAT, WP:BLP, WP:NOT and Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Categorization. I didn't change a word to cross-section categorization issues currently explained on the page (really, they're not at odds with policy and related guidelines except when not accepting these). --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:20, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, they were wide reaching, even if you don't interpret them that way. Francis, the bottom line is, we need to have a serious discussion about WHEN someone can be added to a gender+x or lgbt+x or ethnicity+x category. As I see it now, there is absolutely NO dispute that someone can be added to a gender+x and ethnicity+x category provided reliable sources agree that person X is a woman or is african-American. There is *some* dispute as to when, exactly, someone who is gay can be tagged as such. There also seems to be agreement that religion+x categories should only be added if the religion of the person in question was a significant part of their public life and work. Thus, just of those 4, we have different treatment in both the guidelines as written and the practice of hundreds or thousands of editors over many years. Your changes would undo much of that lived consensus, and force a much higher standard for inclusion in (characteristic) + (job) categories. From WP:DEFINING, we see that "Definingness is the test that is used to determine if a category should be created for a particular attribute of a topic." - so while DEFINING is sometimes applied to categorization of an individual in an individual and accepted category, DEFINING is also used to determine whether the category should exist at all. This is a tension in the guideline and it is in need of being resolved, but pointing to a bunch of blue links and trying to steamroll a change here isn't the way.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:25, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, there was nothing wide-reaching to them. Guidelines and policies as WP:COP, WP:OVERCAT, WP:BLP, WP:NOT and Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Categorization apply. Making connections with the policies and guidelines that apply is nothing controversial. Except, as said, for those * unknowingly * wanting to subvert policy and guideline that have consensus. --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:16, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Francis, now you're making accusations in bad faith. You may have a very clear point of view that there is disconnect with these various policies and you may have a very clear view that you have the right way to fix it, but that doesn't make consensus, no matter how much you hammer on about it. A bit of civility would go a long way here - propose WHY your changes are better, and engage with the critiques I have leveled against them. I am not against change at all, I just think your changes would result in us having to empty a great many categories of many of their contents if we took your words seriously.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:28, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

As said before, deviation from policy as proposed is probably with the best of intentions so I added "* unknowingly *" to what I said above. I truly apologize for the ruffled feathers I may have caused.

The changes I propose are precisely intended so that editors don't * unknowingly * cause BLP issues, overcategorization, and what not. I hope that I don't have to defend that these policies and guidelines are there for a reason and that they have consensus. If you don't think that is the case, then you go there and not here. Here there's no discussion that WP:COP, WP:OVERCAT, WP:BLP, WP:NOT and Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Categorization wouldn't apply in general, nor that what they say about categorization wouldn't apply to sensitive categories. --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:49, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Francis, I think the first thing you need to think about is what WP:POLICY says to do when two advice pages appear to conflict. The solution is "resolve the conflict", not "make everything match a page that is called 'policy' at the top". It is entirely possible that the resolution here involves changing the BLP policy, not the EGRS guideline. Narrow guidelines are often more nuanced and closer to the actual state of community practice than broad policies. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:59, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
WP:POLCON would be the more precise part of WP:POLICY you're referring to. Its first paragraph reads:

If policy and/or guideline pages directly conflict, one or more pages need to be revised to resolve the conflict so that all of the conflicting pages accurately reflect the community's actual practices and best advice. As a temporary measure during that resolution process, if a guideline appears to conflict with a policy, editors may assume that the policy takes precedence.

(my bolding) - Obviously, that's what I do regarding WP:BLP and WP:NOT here. Additionally, I pointed to the talk page where currently the WP:BLP/WP:EGRS harmonization is discussed, see above: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies#Inclusion criteria for Category:LGBT people category. So, indeed lets keep that discussion in one place, that is: not here, but there
For WP:COP, WP:OVERCAT and Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Categorization I see no conflict with WP:EGRS... until I point to them as related guidance from the WP:EGRS page. Here's the second paragraph from WP:POLCON:

More commonly, advice pages do not directly conflict, but provide multiple options. For example, (...). Editors must use their best judgment to decide which advice is most appropriate and relevant to the specific situation at hand.

My idea is that at least WP:COP and WP:OVERCAT should be linked, so that Editors can use their best judgment to decide which advice is most appropriate and relevant to the specific situation at hand. Failing that, this is no better than a one-sided essay.
Apart from procedural remarks (which I think I had covered) I'd be happy to see your thoughts on the content of the matter. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:49, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
My point, Francis, is that following POLCON is exactly what you're not doing. The "temporary measure" is not an excuse to edit all the conflicting advice pages to match whichever policy you prefer. The "temporary measure" is about which of two conflicting guidelines you should apply to an article. What you need here on the guidelines and policies pages is a WP:CENTralized discussion of the differences between what the pages say and what the established practice of the community is, and a question about which page(s) need to be changed, and how they should be changed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken - It would help if we could see actual examples of where this guideline has in fact been used to subvert BLPCAT. You keep claiming it but have yet to bring anything specific to the discussion. Point out in detail the exact parts of this guideline that conflict with the policy so that we can concentrate on actually fixing them instead of all this "meta-waffling" around the issue. This is supposed to be a how-to manual, not a philosophical dissertation. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:37, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Again, above I linked to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies#Inclusion criteria for Category:LGBT people category. It contains:

There is conflicting guidance and conflicting practice: WP:EGRS states: "Categories regarding sexual orientation of a living person should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question (see WP:BLPCAT)." while WP:BLPCAT states that "Categories regarding religious beliefs or sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question, and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to their public life or notability, according to reliable published sources." However, actual practice seems to disregard the second portion, and people are "gay-tagged" even if being gay isn't that relevant to their public life or notability.

(bolding added) Again, I think this was all done with the best intentions, but imho it begs to be sorted out one way or another.
Note, again, I would have this discussion (possible EGRS/BLP conflict) in one place, and that is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies#Inclusion criteria for Category:LGBT people category, as specifically asked by Obiwankenobi. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
This guideline does not actually tell editors to ignore the "second part" - it simply fails to mention that part at all. Adding it in is a simple edit that could have been done days ago without any drama at all - per SOFIXIT. Instead you went on a "rampage" of editing and moving and whatever that totally obscured the actual issue in a huge heap of waffling. BTW "gay-tagging" is not the only such issue, "jew/atheist/muslim-tagging" is just as big a problem, or even more so. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 09:39, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Re. This guideline does not actually tell editors to ignore the "second part": I never contended it would, see first sentence of this subsection:

Editors use this page as an excuse,

(bolding added)
Re. Adding it in is a simple edit that could have been done days ago without any drama at all - per SOFIXIT.. I did. Of course. Several days before starting this #Status discussed subsection. Here, reverted back out here, here and here (the last revert by Dodger67) - notwithstanding my pleas ..., don't remove improvements anyone would agree with don't destroy acceptable changes
So, then it became clear nobody wanted the suggestion that EGRS was subject to WP:BLPCAT on the EGRS page, not even on the topic of sexuality for living people. Made me wonder whether this is in fact a guideline or an essay... from then on we're here, in this section. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually you did not simply add the "missing phrase" you added several large chunks of yadda yadda blah blah waffle waffle - most of it with the clarity of sludge. The simplicity and clarity of meaning of the actual phrase used in BLPCAT was not visible at all in what you attempted to add. If you had in fact added just that "second part" phrase, as written in BLPCAT, we could have avoided the waste of this discussion and used the time and energy for far more productive editing. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:06, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment If these sorts of categories (rather than lists, which show sources) are to continue, we have to assume that an individual is notable for his or her bearing of the trait being categorized. If that's so, they should all be removed from higher categories (diffused) - like governors of various states are diffused from "people of the state", "politicians of the state" etc.. When looked at from that perspective, you'll likely find that these categories really aren't meant to be (which is what this page generally says). Carlossuarez46 (talk) 17:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Make Category:LGBT people non-diffusing?[edit]

Higher on this page I see a few discussions relating to the diffusing nature of LGBT categories, e.g. #Privileging words over thoughts and deeds: attraction vs identity vs behaviour in sexual orientation, #Help, please with LGBT Categories.

As this also came up at the BLP noticeboard, further extending to non-BLP examples I proposed to have the discussion at Category talk:LGBT people#Make non-diffusing? --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:49, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Bold page move[edit]

I reverted a bold page move. Since the page may be expanded soon to cover disabled people, let's propose here other names for this page and then open up a move discussion. For one, I think we should not call this 'categorization of people', since I believe the precepts on this page apply nonetheless to things like 'African-American literature' and 'Gay villages' etc - so these rules extend beyond people. Secondly, I think 'sensitive' is not the best way to describe these categories. I'd rather just have the page describe what it's about, et Categorization by ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or medical condition. It's a bit wordy, but at least it says what it does on the can.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:23, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Francis, could you please revert your other changes to various pages from the rename en attendant the results here? Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:23, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

"Categorization/Representation vs. ghettoization" All the best: Rich Farmbrough23:48, 9 June 2014 (UTC).

  • oppose, too narrow for all the topics treated on the page. For instance, there are several paragraphs on the topic of WP:NPOV. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 09 June 2014[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved to "Sensitive categories". No prejudice against a new RM discussing either the addition of "disability" to the title, or to simply "Identity", but neither of these counter-proposals gained a consensus either. Jenks24 (talk) 12:43, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexualityWikipedia talk:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories – Per Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality#Comments on guideline:

Version with lead section adapted to the new proposed page name --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:56, 9 June 2014 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support as nominator. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:07, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • oppose no, this isn't just about people, these guidelines would also apply to things like 'Gay literature' (kept) and 'women-owned businesses' (not kept). Sensitive is not a good word here. I had started a section above to brainstorm collaboratively new titles, but instead you jump right to an RM. I think criminality is a very different set of issues and we should not add it here, by the way.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:09, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Category:Women business executives? Whatsoever, the current content of the page says nothing on why 'Gay literature' would be a good idea and why 'women-owned businesses' wouldn't.
    Which is only logical, Keep people categories separate.
    Also, currently (I'm sure, unintended) it works in a sort of evasion scheme so that the basic people-related guidelines and policies wouldn't apply to the most sensitive people categories.
    "Sensitive categories" is the term used in WT:COP for nearly 10 years (since categories existed). I don't think that suddenly people have started failing to understand that. Anyhow, I proposed a clear definition for the lede under the new name, see above Version with lead section adapted to the new proposed page name
    Re. criminality, it isn't unrelated when accepting WP:BLPCAT. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:50, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Francis, you'd have to get consensus to include criminality as part of this guideline. I would oppose any such addition, for one since it links criminality with being gay or being from a religion. It just looks bad. Sensitive is a broader term, and applies beyond the specific cases outlined here. The current category does discuss this - for example, it says "A gender-specific category could be implemented where gender has a specific relation to the topic." - this applies beyond just categorization of individuals.
WP:BLPCAT is consensus, it contains language about Category:criminals in the same section as the language about religion/LGBT. Referring to policy on these topics from this page is nothing exceptional. BTW, WP:BLPCAT doesn't name criminality, religion nor sexuality in its title (nor in the page title, nor in the section title above it), where is the problem? --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:37, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • rename to Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability to clearly delineate the now expanded scope, in line with the previous names of this article. I would also support or Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Identity if consensus leads that way. I don't like "sensitive categories", however.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:16, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not opposed to renaming this in principle if we can come to an agreement on a suitable generic name, but I don't think the proposed name is the right one. It's not an issue of "sensitivity", as there are lots of topics that present "sensitive" issues when it comes to categorization (religion, criminality, political ideology for a person whose notability isn't specifically tied to politics, etc.) but aren't covered by this guideline — rather, the scope of this guideline is generally limited to "identity politics" issues such as sexuality or gender. So I might support a new name aiming more in the direction of "identity categorization" — but I can't and won't support the new name that's been proposed for discussion at the present time. Bearcat (talk) 03:49, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Thanks for your insights. @bearcat and others interested in this, may I invite you to have a closer look to the version I proposed to go along with the name change as a whole, not only for the updated lede with a definition of what for the guideline is understood by sensitive categories and for the introductory paragraph for the section that treats Sensitive categories by type, but also for specific additions: criminals are mentioned referring to WP:BLPCAT; the section on People with disabilities, medical, or psychological conditions could be inserted per the RfC proposal above, so soon ".../Identity categorization" would become a shoe that doesn't really fit. I'd appreciate to hear your thoughts. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:47, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
      • Firstly - We do not categorize people, we categorize articles, they may or may not be about people. Secondly - If a medical or psychological condition is not causing disability it would also not be defining, so "non-disabling" medical/psychological conditions are by definition out of scope. Thus it is acceptable to "summarize" the phrase "disability or medical or psychological condition" by the single word "disability". It also follows that the "identity categories" shoe would still fit. BTW, just to establish my "credentials" (for what it's worth) - I'm coming to this discussion specifically from a disability perspective, I'm one of the founders of the Disability Wikiproject and I have a physical disability. I'm also a communication science student, which has given me further insight into various aspects surrounding issues such as this. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:32, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
        • Re. 1: Categorization of people has afaik never been perceived as an oxymoron before. Since people categories usually only contain the article titles of biographical articles, and the article title of a biographical article is almost always the name of a person (WP:NCP), Wikipedia categorizes the names of people. Since in the Wikipedia system the name of a biographical article is unambiguous, we categorize people.
        • Re. 2: Dwarfism? I don't see "disability" as a descriptor of the condition in the Wikipedia article. The proposal above mentions Category:Actors with dwarfism as an example of what falls under it.
        Similar would be Klinefelter syndrome. Generalizing that under disability would seem offending to me. Asperger syndrome might be one in the subset op the psychological conditions that might better not be generalized as a disability.
        I'm not sure, even for the people for whom this is defining, if this would also resort under their identity. e.g. Category:Classical pianists who played with one arm: defining, not necessarily part of identity in my appreciation. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:41, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not disabled so I don't speak from experience but I'm pretty sure that forms an important part of their identity - see the advocacy and work of deaf people for example. There's no perfect word any case, which is why I proposed listing them all to the extent possible.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:27, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, that reasoning makes no sense. Because some groups of deaf people are quite vocal, that doesn't mean the all deaf people are. And even less that all other people under disability, medical and psychological conditions were. I'm quite sure that most people in Category:Deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysm didn't identify with their physical condition, nor were vocal about it.
Taking it all together:
  • Support because it's getting unweildy and perhaps being abused for partisan reasons. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 13:31, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I support in principle finding an umbrella concept to tie these personal characteristics together, but "sensitive" is absolutely the wrong word. It says nothing about why, e.g., these categories should be non-diffusing. We should be moving away from a functional scope for this guideline based on categories that Wikipedians handle badly and toward a stronger philosophical underpinning. In human rights law there is the concept of personal characteristics that are either immutable or changeable only at unacceptable cost to personal identity. I don't know that we will do better than either enumerating the specific characteristics (as we do now) or calling it simply "Categorization/Personal characteristics".--Trystan (talk) 16:01, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Ooh, that's a nice one - Personal characteristics. Not bad. Worth considering.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:09, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Re. "... philosophical underpinning": that's exactly where you'd not want to go on this one. However commendable a certain philosophy, it's always someone's philosophy, and so a POV. Same for "...human rights law...", laws are tied to countries, universal human rights declarations are no laws, and even then sometimes interpreted as POV. Leave the explaining of respective POVs to CfD, but keep the guideline as neutral as possible.
  • Oppose Wikipedia:Categorization/Personal characteristics — too wide: doesn't indicate where this would be different from WP:COP and/or WP:DEFINING. To narrow it down to what's actually the topic of the page you'd need something like Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Personal characteristics that are either immutable or changeable only at unacceptable cost to personal identity. Apart from the philosophical POV we're back at the unwieldiness. And even then it's too broad. Year of birth categories are not subject of this page, while not problematic. For non-BLP biographies all personal characteristics would have become "immutable", not all of these fall within the scope of this page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:34, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • My chief objection to "Sensitive categories" is that it is purely POV; we would be explicitly defining the guideline around whether or not Wikipedians feel sensitive about a category. There would be no objective standard to even try to be neutral about when considering what should be included in the guideline (e.g., age, disability) or how to interpret it. It also could come across as a bit patronizing to dismiss someone raising an issue about how core personal characteristic categories are handled as being "sensitive".
Without any philosophical basis to treat these categories differently, there is no basis to avoid ghettoization of articles. Our categorization principles say not to have a category in both parent and child categories. The reasons we want to depart from that practice with matters of core personal identity have nothing to do with sensitivity.
I raised the human rights quote partly simply for comparison, and partly to show that there isn't likely to be a simple magic bullet phrase that conveys exactly the scope we want. Whatever name we choose, the guideline itself will need to clarify the scope.--Trystan (talk) 17:02, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
There is a philosophical basis, of course, you can find it here: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ#There's no such thing as objectivity.
Categories are sensitive when they tend to turn up at WP:CfD in contentious elaborate debates. That has been the take of WP:COP for nearly 10 years now, basically from when categories existed and started to set off problems in certain fields. See lede section of the WP:COP guideline. Arguably, to that has been added in recent years: categories that turn up in external press in a negative daylight (see for example Kevin Morris article mentioned in one of the templates above on this page). Defining sensitive categories thus is Wikipedia's POV, a.k.a. putting NPOV in practice to the best of our abilities.
I only observed that the POV Trystan proposed to introduce appears to me less compatible to the NPOV approach (and its philosophical basis). --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:11, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I sympathize with the proposal. But wouldn't it be better (and wouldn't it even be a prior step) to change the guideline itself in such a way that there would be no need to mention specific minority groups in the guideline? Marcocapelle (talk) 06:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Something in this vein? --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:41, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I'm thinking about way more generic guidelines, just based on observable characteristics of persons (which contains e.g. ethnic and gender) versus unobservable characteristics of persons (which contains e.g. religion and sexual orientation). The only two rules in the current guideline that specifically address E/G/R/S categorization, and nothing else, are:
        1. the prohibition of race as a criterion for categorization, which is surely okay to keep,
        2. and the final rung rule, but I guess this rule can be changed into something more generic as well.
      Marcocapelle (talk) 08:45, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
      • WP:EGRS refers to WP:BLPCAT for religion and sexuality categorizations (and for none of the others currently in the guideline). Other categorizations currently treated in WP:EGRS can be both observable and subject to BLPCAT (so that a link to the policy from this page is understood or might need to be explicited at some point) So, what's the difference? — which would indicate that the division proposed by Marcocapelle (observable/unobservable) maybe isn't all that straightforward.
      Also, what is observable/unobservable status for e.g. the T in LGBT (which may include both transvestites and transsexuals). Same for intersexuals. We'd go in a muddle there I'm afraid. The categories touching to both a bit of the sexuality and the gender categorizations are among the most sensitive ones, it would be difficult to treat them from either observable or unobservable angle alone
      Also ethnic subdivisions (as covered by the current WP:EGRS) are often unobservable I suppose, again a muddle if forcing all this in "observable".
      I'd avoid the chicken-and-egg discussion about name and content. I've proven they can't be done both in a single go. In the mean while the Disability, medical, or psychological conditions RfC was concluded and that content was added to the guideline per unanimous outcome of the RfC (see above — note that also these categorizations are thoroughly impractical for an observable/unobservable distinction). That new content makes the current page name incomplete. Yes also the intro would benefit from a rewrite taking account of this newly added content, but then that intro can not very well be ad rem if we don't take account of what the eventual page name would be. So, lets proceed with the name change keeping in mind possible future expansions of the content (as already detailed in this RM discussion). --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nominator and carolmoordc. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:03, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment another editor moved the page before conclusion of this RM discussion [1] - without wanting to make a pre-emptive conclusion of this WP:RM I moved to the more likely outcome, pending conclusion. [2] --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:35, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to "Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories"; too vague, can include almost anyone. Best to be specific. I only support the long-standing title of "Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexuality" or "Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability." Flyer22 (talk) 11:09, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is absolutely no reason to add an ambiguous 'sensitive' to the end of this category, as it can apply to almost anything, even to things which do not need it. If there is a need to have more 'categories' listed, then we can discuss that, but this opens the door to all sorts of nasty things, such as politics, or job occupation, and a bunch of other things. I do not support the move and wish for it to be moved back; indeed, it should never have been moved without this first closing. Tutelary (talk) 16:44, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose "sensitive categories" as the phrase carries too much "baggage" as in "intellectual baggage that keeps one from thinking clearly". Bus stop (talk) 08:07, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

There is no WP:Consensus to move the title of this page to any new name. And yet Muffinator (talk · contribs) recently moved the page to Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability, as seen here. And then Francis Schonken moved the page to the ridiculous title Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories, as seen here, even though people are generally opposed to that title above. Then Timrollpickering WP:Move protected the page on this ridiculous title, as seen here. All of this is ridiculous, with the exception of Muffinator's title change at least being reasonable. Wikipedia:Requested moves has a requirement that potentially controversial moves should be discussed through the Wikipedia:Requested moves process; it states, "Use this process if there is any reason to believe a move would be contested." BD2412, will you move this page back to where it belongs until, or if, there is a new WP:Consensus for a title change? Flyer22 (talk) 10:59, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

I would prefer that Timrollpickering do that, to avoid the appearance of edit-warring at the admin level. I would hope that we can all agree that a page (in any namespace) should remain at its longstanding title while discussion proceeds with respect to a move of that page. Cheers! bd2412 T 11:40, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. When I saw that Timrollpickering didn't move it back, but even reversed me here to match his WP:Move protection (though I did mess up on that move with the "Wikipedia" bit), I decided to call on you, since you are pretty much an expert regarding page moves and WP:Disambiguation matters. Your reversing the edit wouldn't be WP:Wheel warring. But, anyway, you know what they say: Administrators always protect the wrong version. Flyer22 (talk) 11:57, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Where a title dispute is involved, the "right" version will always be the stable title prior to the dispute beginning, until such time as the dispute has been resolved. I would hope that all administrators would be aware of this, and proceed accordingly. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:40, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Francis has also gone ahead and edited the lead to make it match the new title. In the interest of giving this RM a chance to be closed fairly, I would strongly support the article being moved back and the accompanying edits being (hopefully self-)reverted.--Trystan (talk) 13:43, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Just by way of clarification, the page isn't currently at Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories, it's at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories, with the double namespace. The entry at WP:RM and associated pages is updated automatically, so it appears as a request to move it from Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categoriesWikipedia:Categorization of people/Sensitive categories. There are several double redirects, but I would not suggest that they be fixed until the page is appropriately moved back to its original name pending the outcome of the RM.--Trystan (talk) 19:02, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for for the double Wikipedia at the start of the current page name:


By a mistake I made the page name now starts with "Wikipedia:Wikipedia:...".

The page was move protected by Timrollpickering so whoever responds to this needs to be clear with this admin when wanting to gratify my request to undo the double "Wikipedia:"

Most important is that this is a guideline not deserving a crooked page name. What the least crooked name is will only become clear when the WP:RM above is concluded. In the mean while everyone agrees I suppose that having the page name start with "Wikipedia:Wikipedia:" looks at least quite unprofessional.

Sorry again for the inconvenience. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Rather, you should not have moved the page period since the page is undergoing a move discussion and multiple users (including myself) opposed the radical move without the requested move being ended. Administrator, while you're at it, move the name back to WP:STATUSQUO until the requested move has its consensus assessed. Tutelary (talk) 20:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Move back until requested move is ended The reasoning of 'it's a likely outcome' I think is not a good reason to be moving this page UNTIl the requested move is complete. Tutelary (talk) 19:08, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I moved the main page to Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality and this talk page to Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality: in essence I have restored the page names as they were at the start of today, and also as they were when the above WP:RM was initiated. Of the triple redirects that these moves have given rise to, I have fixed up some so that are normal single redirs, others have been left alone. I have fixed up all the double redirects; by doing this, the remaining triple redirects have become double redirects. Most are WP:ALPHABETSOUP. I have not moved any subpages. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:06, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree that "sensitive categories" is more of a commentary than the more neutral way of simply listing the categories. I added "disability" to the title because the content of the page now includes disability as one of the main 5 (previously 4) categories. Support "Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability" as the ultimate page title. Muffinator (talk) 03:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to apologize for making a preemptive page move. In my defense, there was no tag on the main page pointing to this discussion, so I was unaware of it. Muffinator (talk) 04:00, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment I move protected the page because it was expereiencing multiple moves during an ongoing RM and also the talk page was getting left behind - my move was to undo that, not "reverse" another move. Once everything was together and locked I was about to determine the status quo ante but this took longer than expected and real world connections intervened. Timrollpickering (talk) 09:50, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Request for Guidance[edit]

Hi. I'm in the process of cleaning up after a maverick editor, and one of the things that has come up is the use of "descent" categories - that is, categories of the form "Category:American people of Italian descent". I haven't been able to find a clear rule for using this category, by which I mean a statement of the form "a person is of (say) Italian descent if they have one or more grandparents who were Italian". There's a similar problem with Italian Americans, I suppose. As another editor has remarked (above), this kind of issue can get a bit pointy, so I recognise that any definitive rule is probably impossible, so I wanted to mention the general principle that I've been trying to apply, and check that it seems reasonable:

  • I generally take "Italian descent" to mean "at least one Italian grandparent", but with a sort of proviso that a more distant relationship (e.g. one great-great-grandparent) can also yield "Italian descent" if the person particularly uses the term or something similar in describing themselves. When using this sort of categorisation I usually require mention of the specific descent to appear in the person's article, or, if their parents or grandparents have articles here, in those. Where there's no evidence I don't include a category.
  • For cases like Italian American I try to treat people on the basis of the particular community with which they most closely identify within their home country. So someone who was born and brought up in that community may or may not be Italian American, depending on how they self-identify. This gives the slightly odd result that of two siblings, one might be Italian American (say), while the other might not be, with the defining difference being their self-presentation. Under this approach it's possible for people to be (say) Italian American without being "of Italian descent" - they had some great-great-grandparents who were Italian, but they and their whole social community are based in America.

Does this approach seem reasonable to experts in Wiki-categories? Or, if not, what should I be doing differently? I look forward to your guidance. RomanSpa (talk) 08:08, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

I think we should have a broad discussion around descent categories. No clear consensus has formed around their use, how many generations one can go back, and even which are appropriate -eg is it for any arbitrary combination of country + nationality of ancestors or must it be a grouping that is discussed in the literature. For example I suppose there are Icelandic people of Lithuanian descent, but is this a group that sociologists or Icelandic scholars look at and study? If not, - and we have tons of such singleton cats - we should probably delete the cat entirely. The 'of descent' cats seem to be generally applied regardless of self-identity, and thus, for now, don't really fall under the scope of this guideline.-Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 01:19, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Change proposals to WP:COP#N relating to WP:DEFINING[edit]

WP:COP#N is that part of the Wikipedia:Categorization of people guideline that talks about categorizing biographies along lines of notability and definingness.

Several changes to this part of the WP:COP guideline have been proposed. Input welcome!

Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Categorization of people#Proposed language change to WP:COP#N

--Francis Schonken (talk) 06:35, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

deghettoization algorithm[edit]

There is a discussion at the Gender bias task force page around the deghettoization algorithm I created and placed there for use by project members, it was suggested it could be moved elsewhere, and I think here is as good a place as any. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias/Gender_bias_task_force/Categorization to see the algorithm. Does anyone have any opposition to adding that algorithm to this page? If needed we could place it on a subpage here and let people edit it until they're satisfied.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:54, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

To repeat some of my (and sometimes others) various objections and concerns:
  • "Alogrithm" is a mathematical word and "process" or "Procedure" more appropriate
  • "Deghettoization" remains a loaded word because a) tends to trivialize real life ghettoization and b) not clear if it means removing categories with these subgroups or adding more people to those subgroups or adding people to larger groups as well as subgroups or some combination thereof.
A more neutral and explanative phrase is needed like proper." Proper procedures for categorization of individuals is nice and generic and non-confusing. To me, the phrase is becoming an incredibly annoying hobby horse.
The algorithm has been moved to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias/Gender_bias_task_force/Categorization. It's now just called "instructions". As mentioned to Carol previously, I'm very open to replacement words for deghettoization. Also, to be fair, this algorithm isn't really just about deghettoization - it's more "How to fully and completely categorize a person".--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:22, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Others at that Wikiproject who have a greater understanding of the topic have expressed opposition to that and a variety of other concerns. It seems to me like something you have to develop on your own talk page with non-jargon language, making its purpose and the need for it more clear. Also get more input from informed editors before you try to promote to other wikiprojects. Have you asked if Wikiproject Judaism is concerned that Category writers/ethnicity/Jewish is a ghetto as evidently you think Category writers/gender/women is? Similarly other narrower wikiprojects? Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 21:19, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
hi Carol, the sequence of steps applies to any biography, so would apply to Jewish writers equally. I think we just have to wait for other editors here to weigh in on the series of steps @Sionk: who I know used them, any inputs on same? Also pinging @Bearcat: and @BrownHairedGirl: and @Johnpacklambert: and @Xezbeth: and @Silverseren: for input into the series of steps linked above to 'properly' categorize a biography.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:50, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I can only say again, I understand what Obi-Wan is explaining and I know why the "de-ghettoization" procedure was encouraged following last year's press furore. I spent a long time 'doing' de-ghettoization, though it was like pushing sand uphill because most other enthusiastic categorisers carried on as before. It makes god sense to call is something other than "de-ghettoization", because that obviously is confusing people/getting their backs up. Sionk (talk) 22:59, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
thanks. Would you mind responding to the particulars of the sequence/algorithm described above? Do you think it reflects the guidance here and do you think following it will result in proper categorization of biographies? Do you have suggestions for improving it (besides changing that problematic word...) thanks--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:10, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I'd suggest some sort of explanation about *why* this is required i.e. something about the 2013 press furore. Generally we're encouraged to place articles in categories that are as exact as possible, so it is counter-intuitive to many editors to tell them not to do this in certain circumstances. People will (and often do) argue that because Category:African-American poets is a sub-category of Category:American poets we don't need to have them in both. Sionk (talk) 23:33, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Even more complex is that poets should actually be in the by-century categories as well as the state-categories, and technically not in the parent Category:American poets should be empty - it will one day when someone gets around to it. I can try to provide some exposition around explaining why, yes it's a good idea. Do you think otherwise that following the steps will result in correct categorization? Should I make the example simpler - or add a simple example to go along with the complex one?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:31, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


I tagged Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender bias task force/Categorization#How to categorize without bias as an essay, while it seems not to take into account basic bias-avoiding techniques like WP:EGRS#Special subcategories. The new essay suggests that additional intersection categories should be created without hindrance from prior existing guidance. Same for WP:COP, WP:OVERCAT — also: not checking whether all the categories being proposed for the "bisexual, African-American woman, who is a journalist, poet, and writer" example make actual sense, e.g. categorizing someone as an LGBT poet would imply that at least some poems by this author have a LGBT theme. For real life examples like Ida Gerhardt and Paul van Ostaijen I fear that such categorizations wouldn't work. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:46, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Slightly odd. The 'essay' is not an explanation or instruction to create new categories. I don't see that anywhere at all! Sionk (talk) 00:00, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

... - the whole tree is lopsided. We don't have Category:Bisexual journalists or Category:African-American women journalists or Category:African-American women writers from Chicago or Category:LGBT poets from the United States. This is the odd nature of the current tree, as created by many different editors with many different viewpoints - it is highly heterogeneous and not consistent - ...

...fails to mention consistency with WP:EGRS#Special subcategories. When consistency is exclusively looked at from characteristics of the tree (lopsided, odd, heterogenous, more or less calling its creators clueless,...) the so-called inconsistency problem can only be solved by adding categories as proposed and explained.
This is an indirect invitation to create categories without taking some of the essentials of WP:EGRS, WP:COP and WP:OVERCAT into account.
Note that essays should never contain direct instructions unless supported by a consensus of editors — generally an essay is about advice and opinions (see {{essay}} template). --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:36, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
As you say, there is no direct instruction. You are simply inferring an indirect instruction. But I agree it is probably misleading to say the current category tree is "not consistent". Instead it would be better to say the categories are created "consistent with WP:EGRS#Special subcategories". Sionk (talk) 17:07, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
As said, {{essay}} is an appropriate qualification.
That being said, WP:EGRS#Special subcategories was drawn in by me as an informed guess by prior history. The same informed guess that makes me look with little surprise to the recently listed Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 July 4#Category:Dutch-language LGBT writers - inviting to participate in that ungoing CfD discussion. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:42, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
As long as it is an archive subpage of Gender Gap Task Force it is a proposed essay since there were many questions and objections about it in the task force, especially the mass deletion of categories from a number of articles related to women. Even if someone wants to make it an essay elsewhere, I think it still should be labeled as a proposed system of categorization. It really hasn't been accepted throughout en.Wikipedia, has it? Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 13:45, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Technically a single person offering advice and opinions in Wikipedia namespace can be labeled {{essay}} (see content of that template). Lacking support or gathering disapproval from multiple editors there are a few options:
  • WP:USERFY when it is worth reading
  • WP:MFD when there is little or no interest in keeping it
  • tag {{historical}} when it has been a broad initiative supported over a longer period of time (not really the case here imho)
Tagging as "proposed essay" is a bit of an oxymoron. There is no way to differentiate between "accepted" and "proposed" essays, while an essay is always "proposed" (compare guidelines that run through a propose → accept or reject cycle). Rejecting an essay is according to one of the methods mentioned above, not by adding the redundant "proposed".
I have read this essay and found it interesting while it allowed its creator User:Obiwankenobi to explain himself more comprehensively than in a series of replies in a discussion (which, BTW, made the weak points in his reasonings stand out). Then I quoted from it above, and have commented upon it (I could further elaborate how it misses its goal to counter bias and would also lead to overcategorization but the general thrust is clear I suppose), so for me it no longer has to be kept. WP:MFD might be the road to go, and when that would result in a keep, userfy. --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I had a closer look at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force/Categorization. Apparently this has been going on for a longer period of time. Leaves {{historical}} open as an option. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • comment I will reword to make sure it doesn't suggest creating new categories; that's not the point. It was only to illustrate that the category tree is lopsided; this is partially due to sourcing requirements, but sometimes this is due to certain categories not yet having been created. I think the algorithm is still robust, however, so would like recommendations on other changes needed before we can add it to the guideline.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:34, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • I'd welcome such rewording, which however hasn't happened yet. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Possibilities for the next RM[edit]

Given the outcome of the above RM, I would suggest that, while there may come day when we can agree on an umbrella term for the areas covered in this guideline, we are not there yet. I think it therefore makes sense for us to do a more conservative RM simply to add Disability to the guideline name at this time. What are people's thoughts on shaking up the order of the title when we do that to make for a more memorable mnemonic, and less alphabet soup? I was thinking "gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality" (GREDS).--Trystan (talk) 13:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Like I stated in the previous move discussion, "I only support the long-standing title of "Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexuality" or "Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability." I'll stick with that statement. So I can be fine with "disability" being added on, but I see no need to change up the order, especially since all of the other categories tend to be more contentious than the topic of disability. Flyer22 (talk) 13:46, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I see the piling on of temporary mnemonics (and/or shortcuts) as part of the problem, not part of a solution. That's why I would go to a generic title straight away.
Indeed I would choose a title that allows treatement of other categories with similar issues (e.g. "categories that suggest a person has a poor reputation" as they are named at WP:BLPCAT) if and when consensus of editors chooses to do so in the future, but then without needing further title rewrites, and keeping the list of shortcuts in the guideline template manageable and fixed. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:16, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
There should not be any more "temporary mnemonics (and/or shortcuts)" regarding this page. The "Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality" page, whether its title or body, should not be continually added on to when it comes to a perceived "sensitive" category. That's like continually adding on to a policy or guideline's title simply to cover something else. If other categories are needed on this page, and I don't see that they are, an "Other" section (or something similar) can simply suffice. The title does not have to be interpreted so strictly that it can't include a related topic not covered by the title. Take WP:Meatpuppet, for example, which does not have its own page; it's not the same thing as a WP:Sockpuppet, but the WP:Sockpuppet page is where it redirects to because it's a closely related matter that is best discussed on that page. I'm not convinced that the disability category should have been added to this page. This page worked well for years without that category, and the new category, to me knowledge, has yet to prove it's an improvement; perhaps because it's still very new and time is needed to gauge whether or not that addition is beneficial to Wikipedia. This page already covers what it needs to, and I can't see any need to extend it beyond disability. Editors can also propose a different page entirely if there is some "sensitive" category they want covered, instead of trying to piggypack a category on to this page. This page should be as specific as it can be regarding what it covers. Not vague, or generic as you call it, to cover almost any perceived sensitive category. Other editors have already discussed with you above about the problem with such a generic take. I don't think a rehash of those points are needed in this new section. Flyer22 (talk) 18:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • comment The suggestion that Francis added somewhere that these are "sensitive" categories because of controversy is missing an important part of the reason for this particular grouping - and why disability was added. The overriding gist of all of this guideline is (a) Only create such categories carefully, when there is sourcing and the group itself is identifiable and (b) Do not create such categories when they are likely to ghettoize (hence the final rung rule) and (c) Ensure that if such categories exist, people are nonetheless placed in neutral equivalents (e.g. deghettoize). All of these categories should be non-diffusing categories on their neutral parent equivalents, and as such we could shorten it to "Non-diffusing personal categories" or "Non-diffusing personal characteristics" to emphasize that fact in the title, because that non-diffusing nature is what separates these categories from nationality, "from" categories, "year of birth", etc. But I completely disagree that we should add crime or other "poor reputation" categories to this guideline, that should be covered elsewhere - none of these categories are or should be considered to be disparaging in any way, and adding such categories which potentially disparage would only muddy the waters (and those categories do not generally share the "non-diffusing" aspect that these ones all have in common).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:52, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I suppose because it's easier/quicker to address all those matters on one page. I'm usually in favor of consolidation, which is why a fragmented discussion (a discussion spread across multiple talk pages) often irks me and I lean toward WP:TALKCENT or WP:CENTRAL. Flyer22 (talk) 20:51, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
But what is it that we are consolidating? Categories should all be dealt with in one place if they are all the same kind of thing, but if that is the case, what sort of thing are they? We've seen a number of answers proposed (sensitive categories, aspects of personal identity, non-diffusing personal personal characteristics), but none with consensus behind it. If there is no consensus on a a broad scope statement for what sort of thing this guideline addresses or should address, it would make the most sense to me to split into its individual components.--Trystan (talk) 21:20, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a need for a split in this case. My mindset is "split only when necessary." Not in the case of a page that has worked fine as it is for years. In this regard, I also advise editors not to create a WP:Spinout article unless necessary (and that guideline states similarly). Flyer22 (talk) 21:44, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
What is the argument for having an umbrella term? I understand that it “has worked fine as it is for years.” Of course it has worked fine. But that isn’t because there is an umbrella term. It has worked because we have written policies and guidelines addressing WP:Categorization by these various attributes. We would continue to do the same if these dissimilar qualities, attributes, and conditions each had their own separate headings. When a dispute arose, we would refer disputants not to a broad heading—an "umbrella" term—but to a targeted heading. Rather than a catchall umbrella term we would be linking disputants to the language in policy most relevant to the particular issue at hand. What is the purpose for an umbrella term when we have perfectly understandable specific terms for the areas of interest: Ethnicity, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, and Disability? Bus stop (talk) 02:07, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Like I stated, unless I think that a split is necessary or is especially beneficial, then I won't agree with a split. It's "easier/quicker to address all th[e]se matters on one page" and doing so has not proved problematic. Any other categorization of people matters can be handled at Wikipedia:Categorization of people, where some others already are...without a page similar to Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality devoted to them. Flyer22 (talk) 02:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course it has “not proved problematic.” Nor would it be “problematic” to address these qualities separately. So, why lump these dissimilar qualities under one heading? Is there an advantage to grouping them all together? Bus stop (talk) 02:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Bus stop, why are you linking to my comments when those comments are right above? It's not like I've changed them, except for in cases where the original post was tweaked before you replied. As for your question of "advantage," I've already responded with my opinion -- "it's easier/quicker to address all th[e]se matters on one page." And like I essentially noted above (my "13:46, 11 July 2014 (UTC)" post), and like Muffinator seemimgly hinted at below (his "23:56, 11 July 2014 (UTC)" post), these categories are clearly the more controversial categories, which is clearly why they've all been lumped together. In my opinion, it's best to address them all on one page, just like we do at Wikipedia:Categorization of people; it's just that the Wikipedia: Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality page is here to significantly expand on those listings. If there was a need for a split in this case, such as all of these listings can't be adequately covered on one page, then I'd agree with a split. But there is no need for a split. For this case, I've pretty much stated, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.", and I stand by that. There are no other arguments that I have for keeping these listings on one page. You see no advantage to keeping them on one page. I see no advantage in splitting them into multiple pages. Flyer22 (talk) 06:02, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—there is no commonality linking Ethnicity, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, and Disability. You are artificially creating a commonality by saying “these categories are clearly the more controversial categories”. Any Category can be controversial. These Categories are not always controversial. Our approach should be rational as befits an encyclopedia. I think that points to separate pages for unrelated attributes by which people can be Categorized. Bus stop (talk) 11:49, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I didn't include" disability." And "more controversial categories" clearly is not the same thing as "possibly controversial" or "not always controversial." And I certainly don't agree that any category can be controversial; we have many examples of non-controversial categories on Wikipedia; the vast majority of categories on Wikipedia are not controversial. Either way, I've already stated my opinion on this matter, and that opinion won't be changing. Flyer22 (talk) 11:56, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—I am simply asking you to articulate a rationale for lumping together unrelated qualities on one page. Bus stop (talk) 12:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
And that's the thing -- you don't find my reasoning rational; I do. I don't find your argument for splitting the Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality page into multiple pages a beneficial or necessary action; you do (you find it beneficial at least). I really don't see what more I have to discuss with you on this topic. Flyer22 (talk) 12:17, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—you earlier said “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”. Do you think that qualifies as a rationale for grouping together on one page several unrelated attributes by which subjects can be Categorized? Bus stop (talk) 12:46, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Okay, since you keep trying to continue a discussion that is clearly over (at least over between you and me), I'll end it with: "I stand by all of what I stated above." Flyer22 (talk) 12:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—rational and rationale are two different words. Bus stop (talk) 12:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And if I didn't know that, I wouldn't have immediately fixed my wording here. See how I had the wrong word used in a sentence? What I can take from our discussion above is that you do not find my argument rational and therefore consider that I have not given a rationale for my opposition to a split. Do take your need to get WP:The Last Word elsewhere, especially if you are going to be attempting to insult my intelligence. Take it elsewhere either way, since this discussion (the one between you and me) is done. Flyer22 (talk) 19:01, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—why should Ethnicity, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, and Disability be discussed together on one page, under one umbrella term? Your only argument thus far has been that "these categories are clearly the more controversial categories, which is clearly why they've all been lumped together."[3]. I consider that a weak argument and here is why: we are perfectly capable of being mindful of any such "controversy" concerning Categorizing by those attributes even if policy language is spread over separate pages. These are unrelated attributes. They have nothing to do with one another. Any commonality between those 5 entities is being artificially created. There is no independent basis for the linking of these qualities, and in countless instances there is no "controversy" whatsoever. The present lumping together is a quirk and a blemish on our attempt to provide policy guidance especially to new editors. Bus stop (talk) 20:46, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It should be clear to you by now that I don't care that you consider my argument weak, or that you misinterpret my argument (such as by stating that "[my] only argument thus far has been"), just as it should have long been clear to you by now that the discussion between the two of us is over. But go ahead and get WP:The Last Word; I actually don't want it, but I felt that I should respond to you this last time. And, for the record, covering these categories on one page (similar to how they are covered on the one page Wikipedia:Categorization of people) has not proved "a blemish on our attempt to provide policy guidance especially to new editors," except in your own opinion. If it did prove a blemish, then perhaps I would consider your proposal for splitting...but I don't. And none of these matters, except for WP:BLPCAT, are policies anyway. Furthermore, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality (notice that I didn't include "disability") aren't as unrelated as you are making them out to be, but I don't have the patience to explain that to you; something tells me you wouldn't listen anyway. Flyer22 (talk) 21:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Flyer22—you are saying “Furthermore, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality (notice that I didn't include 'disability') aren't as unrelated as you are making them out to be”. Can you please tell me how these aspects of identity are related? If you are simply going to say that they are all aspects of identity, I am going to find that only partially convincing. If there is more to it, I am interested in hearing your perspective. Bus stop (talk) 12:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
As disability has been added to the content of the page, it only makes sense to add it to the title as well. Support "Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability".
If any explanation is necessary for why these five categories are associated, it can be added to the content of the page without superseding and ambiguating the title.
I don't think it's necessary to rearrange the categories; GREDS may be easier to pronounce but there isn't much of an argument to be made about memorability. The current EGRSD order is by commonality: Everyone has an ethnicity, almost everyone has a gender, about 80-90% of the word is religious depending on whom you ask, sexuality usually refers only to those under the LGBTQ umbrella thus matches disability at an approximate 10%. Muffinator (talk) 23:56, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The expansion with disability drives home that just tacking on more words is not a sufficient way forward. To add to disability, we should also include political and social stances on this page – for example, "feminist", "environmentalist", "liberal" etc. If we categorised by social class, or physical features such as height or eye colour, then the same concept we are developing here would apply in those circumstances. The new naming of identities would allow us to better conceptualise the issue at heart here. SFB 18:02, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • I also note a key misunderstanding of identity in the discussion above – an identity is not the same as "what a person self-identifies as". It also includes how people are defined by society. In terms of disability and conditions, it is largely society that defines who is disabled and who has a condition. The same is true of race, gender, religion and sexuality. If society (and/or the relevant identity group) does not accept that the person has that identity, then they do not have it. SFB 19:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I would support Wikipedia:Categorization/Social identities. "Identities" alone is vague. Muffinator (talk) 19:30, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Social identities would be fine with me too.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:36, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll also back that variation. It defines the scope as personal and naturally expands into all the given areas we are addressing here. SFB 22:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Propose Wikipedia:Aspects of identity. If consensus is not to unbundle the five characteristics (Ethnicity, Gender, Religion, Sexuality, and Disability) then my choice would be for an “umbrella” term of WP:Aspects of identity. “Aspects” is a more general term in this usage than “personal” and “social”, and is thus more encompassing of the variety of issues to be addressed. But my preference, as I’ve argued above, is to separate each of these aspects from one another by giving each one a separate page. I think doing so would encourage an expansion of dialogue. Bus stop (talk) 12:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
What is the word "aspects" adding to this formation? I think we are addressing identity itself, not aspects (specific features) of it. For me, aspects of identity is more like the implications of identity. Also, do you think "social" excludes any forms of identity we're discussing? SFB 20:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi SFB—yes, we are “addressing identity itself”. Ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and disability are aspects of one’s total identity, aren’t they? I object to “social” because these attributes can be applicable even in the absence of other people. Bus stop (talk) 23:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Identity is comparative. Without the social aspect (other people to differentiate from) it doesn't really exist beyond identifying as human (or another form perhaps, as Romulus and Remus). SFB 20:16, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
If this is so obvious then it doesn't need to be stated. You are arguing for Wikipedia:Categorization/Social identities, are you not? I am arguing for Wikipedia:Categorization/Aspects of identity. You just stated that "Without the social aspect (other people to differentiate from) it doesn't really exist beyond identifying as human (or another form perhaps, as Romulus and Remus)." If we already know that identity does not exist except insofar as we can differentiate some people from other people, then why elevate the term "social" into the title? When we speak of "aspects of identity" it is understood that these "aspects" only exist insofar as they serve to differentiate some people from other people. I think I am proposing a simpler title because I am leaving out the obvious. Bus stop (talk) 00:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)


Francis has attempted to add language suggesting that articles should only be added to intersection categories if they pass the defining test. I disagree, this is not how such categories are used now. Instead, we should state, provided each individual characteristic is defining, then articles can be placed in any intersection category. For example, American women novelists is not solely populated with novelists for whom it is defining that they are women. Rather, it is all those who are women, and for whom being a novelist is defining. If we start to require defining for each intersection, then these categories will need to be purged massively. The only exception I'm aware of is for religion - someone who is known to be catholic and happens to write is not necessarily put in catholic writers unless that intersection is defining. The same does not apply for intersections of LGBT, gender, ethnicity + job - for all of these, as long as the characteristic in question is defining, we don't require the intersection itself to pass the defining test. Otherwise we would be purging thousands of biographies from various ethnicity categories, as well as gender ones. I'd also suggest to Bobo that you should not re-add material to a guideline that was contested without seeking consensus.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:31, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Gender is defining. "Man", "Woman", "Trans-man" etc is typically opening sentence of lead. Your argument makes no sense. Obi, I'd also suggest you stop removing content you have no consensus to remove. You've already reverted two different editors.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:09, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
guidelines should be changed by consensus. If you are bold and change a guideline and someone reverts, the path is discussion. Francis knows this, and you should too. Please read WP:BRD for details. I agree gender itself is usually defining, but the intersection of gender + job may not be - in other words , if we were to look at the bulk of reliable sources about Ernest Hemingway they wouldn't introduce him as a 'male novelist.' Thus my argument is that we should apply the defining test to jobs, but not to the intersection of job + ethnicity or gender or sexuality, since otherwise it would require us to demonstrate that 'gay' + 'job A' and 'gay' + 'job b' are both independently defining for an individual, rather than simply demonstrating that 'gay', job A, and job B are defining individually. The defining test is too stringent to attempt to apply to such intersection categories, which should instead be filled up with all examples that meet the criteria. If we did apply the defining test to such intersections many thousands of women would be immediately removed from women-categories. Many of these categories are populated en-masse - for example, groups of women are added en-masse to women + (job) categories - if we had to demonstrate and decide that "well, in the case of writer X, she is known as a woman novelist, but she's not known as a woman poet (yet is known as a poet tout court) - therefore she should be removed from the women poets category" - it's nonsensical and does not in any way reflect the way these categories are used today.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:22, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
...and off he went forum shopping: 15:37, 13 July 2014 --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
thanks for providing that link, which I should have done. Your edit here reminded me of an edit I'd been planning to make to the defining guideline for a while to clear up actual use. It's a separate conversation than this one (the scope of my proposed change is much broader than EGRS), but it's related so I should have linked it.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 11:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


  • There is clear desire in the community to (a) categorise by these characteristics and (b) have inter-section categories which (in most cases) are fully populated with people that meet the given combination of those individual defining aspects (regardless of whether that combination itself is defining for the given person). I propose we make all such categories non-diffusing to resolve this issue.
That's already the guidance; see #5. I agree with inter-section categories which (in most cases) are fully populated with people that meet the given combination of those individual defining aspects with the exception of religion or other political views. Not all actresses who happen to be feminist should be added to Category:Feminist artists as one example.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Hence my qualification that the person must meet those definitive characteristics individually (i.e. if you wouldn't put in "Feminists", don't put in "feminist artists" because being a feminist is not a defining attribute). SFB 19:05, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough. In any case, do you agree that the non-diffusing is already in the guideline? or does that language need to be stronger. You should perhaps start a separate discussion on that, actually (re: non-diffusing).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:09, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I should have read this fully before contributing! Lesson learnt. Apologies for drawing this thread off-topic. New section added. SFB 19:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


This is the proposed addition, containing

Articles should only be included in such categories when the categorization is defining for the subject of the article.

Afaik WP:DEFINING applies to all categories, by consensus. Especially for EGRS categories, for obvious reasons. For the recently added D categories it is stated explicitly in the guideline addition. There should be no need to repeat the obvious for all five of the EGRSD categories individually. One general remark should suffise. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Changing the wikilink to WP:CATDEF:

Articles should only be included in such categories when the categorization is defining for the subject of the article.

Makes more sense imho. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Any more objections? --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:39, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the first of Obi-Wan's comments, this guideline is unnecessary and also confusing. The current categorization system is working just fine. I agree with what Obi-Wan said, "Instead, we should state, provided each individual characteristic is defining, then articles can be placed in any intersection category. For example, American women novelists is not solely populated with novelists for whom it is defining that they are women. Rather, it is all those who are women, and for whom being a novelist is defining", as well as "The defining test is too stringent to attempt to apply to such intersection categories, which should instead be filled up with all examples that meet the criteria". All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 09:36, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Re. "The current categorization system is working just fine": I admire the optimism, but that's not what is really going on I suppose, e.g. m:Grants:IEG/Understanding the English Wikipedia Category System#Number of categories per page (etc.)
There are issues w.r.t. categories/categorization that need to be handled somewhat more efficiently. The question is how. Going in denial is not part of an answer and even less of a solution imho. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:04, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
The quality of the arguments for Francis's version seem superior. The argument that gender is not defining is false. Gender is defining. --BoboMeowCat (talk) 15:02, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
You can't just personally say something "seem[s] superior" and reach consensus by yourself as one person. That's not how consensus works. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 18:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the addition is helpful as currently framed; it just restates a general principle without providing any additional guidance on how to apply it in the difficult case of EGRSD intersections.
The Tacitus example doesn't really work. Christian writers contains both people who wrote on the subject of Christianity and Christians who are writers. It's the latter sense in which it would fall under EGRS, but the former sense in which Tacitus would be considered for candidacy. Is there an example of someone for whom it is defining that they are a writer and defining that they are a Christian but not defining that they are a Christian writer? I think most categories are going to work along the lines of what Obi-Wan states above, that if they meet the tests for definingness individually, they qualify for the intersection. Wording along that line would be more helpful.--Trystan (talk) 19:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I think it a good idea to make clear in the WP:EGRS guideline that the general WP:CATDEF principle applies.
Re. "...difficult case of EGRSD intersections" — I don't think EGRSD intersections generate particular issues for the application of the WP:CATDEF principle. That is: if not making a vague and complicated exception that it somehow should apply less to these categories. In other words, restating the principle in this guideline without example should suffise imho. --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:41, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
"WP:CATDEF" is confusing, too. We need less of that there and not more of it here. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 05:01, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what could be perceived as confusing regarding the WP:CATDEF principle,

A central concept used in categorising articles is that of the defining characteristics of a subject of the article. A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having—such as nationality or notable profession (in the case of people), type of location or region (in the case of places), etc. For example, here: "Caravaggio, an Italian artist of the Baroque movement ...", Italian, artist, and Baroque may all be considered to be defining characteristics of the subject Caravaggio.

? --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:11, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Why was his being Italian defining? Baroque artists spanned Europe. Too many needless arguments would stem from this very ambiguous word "defining" that someone snuck in to the other guideline page. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 18:23, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It all revolves around "reliable sources ... " imho. So, "Why"-questions (like "Why was his being Italian defining?") are not for Wikipedia editors, send the question to the publishers of those reliable sources.
That being said & clarified, "...A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having..." appears a useful approach to categorization. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
And the debate over whether reliable sources say something is a defining characteristic or not would be an unnecessary and often unresolvable one. What qualifies for "commonly" and "consistently"? How often? That's my problem with it (and btw, something being stated consistently doesn't necessarily make it "defining", but I'll leave it there with the explanation). All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 21:19, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There's no mathematical formula, is there? If you think there is, I'd be glad to see your proposal on how to differentiate between categories that should be applied to articles, and those that shouldn't. It seems like your main objection is that some level of editor discretion is needed to apply the rules. I'm fine with the idea that editor discretion is needed anyhow. Of course concepts like "commonly and consistently" would need to interpreted (that's true for about every word that is written down). The question is, would another expression be clearer, lead to less interpretation issues? Then I think "commonly and consistently" a fair choice of words, I don't see less ambiguous and/or more effective words that could replace this expression (feel free to propose if you think otherwise). Regarding "reliable sources": since the content of the entire Wikipedia encyclopedia is to be built on reliable sources, no surprise that e.g. Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources has many active debates. That doesn't diminish the practical value for the application of this key concept of Wikipedia's content in categorization surroundings. On "...define the subject as having...", similar: it's not because it needs interpretation and editor discretion on how to apply that it would be useless (again, by all means, if you'd have a clearer way to handle this, I'd be happy to consider your proposal). --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The issue isn't finding reliable sources or deciding which source is reliable, the issue is terms like "commonly" and "consistently", which aren't usually debated by Wikipedia editors. "A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources define the subject as having" sounds much better. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 19:05, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
To me, seems like "commonly and consistently" is just not as problematic as you'd like to portray it. Can you indicate instances or examples where the interpretation of these terms has led to ambiguity in categorization issues?
Re. "A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources define the subject as having" — doesn't specify the difference between article content, and the qualifications picked from a whole article for categorization. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:39, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Regardless, you should have included the "A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having" part in your addition. At least that's a start to a definition, whereas otherwise "defining" is just totally vague. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 21:11, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I linked to WP:CATDEF (containing exactly that) in my last proposal above (which I repeat here):

Articles should only be included in such categories when the categorization is defining for the subject of the article.

...being understood that there is no use in repeating here the exact same formulation that is in another guideline. --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:35, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, if you're going to re-insert it, you should definitely include the "A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define the subject as having" part. Otherwise it's completely vague. Just linking is too vague. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 00:24, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I used selective transclusion in order to realize that ([4]). I had bad experience with quoting one guideline in another (without transclusion) which may lead to the quote starting to live its own life, when separated from a possible update of the main guideline page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:15, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to clearly mark all categories as non-diffusing[edit]

The current guideline states that these types of categories are Non-diffusing by default with the parent category that lacks the ERGS-type attribute (e.g. Category:American historians non-diffuse parent of Category:American women historians, or Category:African-American female track and field athletes non-diffusive subcategory of Category:African-American track and field athletes and Category:American female track and field athletes, but not Category:African-American sportswomen).

In the sports area (and perhaps others) this is definitively not the case. For example, Category:German tennis players contains none of the people in the male and female categories, which it should do.

I propose we make mandatory the labelling of all categories of this type with {{Non-diffusing subcategory}} (and recommend to tag the parent with {{Non-diffusing parent category}}). This means the ghetto situation cannot develop by accident as the standardised non-diffuse arrangement will be openly publicised. SFB 19:34, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

I have suggested this in the past (e.g. emphasizing labeling the categories accordingly), you can see a long discussion above where it was pointed out that most people categorize without looking at those labels, so while they are useful, they don't solve the problem. Also, parent categories are NOT necessarily non-diffusing parent categories. There is also another problem here - when you talk about sports categories, like actor/actress categories, these are fully split by gender, meaning the rules are somewhat different - in those cases, things are not bubbled up to the parent. Ah, I just saw you created {{Non-diffusing parent category}} - I think that's more trouble than it's worth - e.g. labeling the parent category. ugh. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:11, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I created that because non-diffusion is a relationship – it's as much a property of the parent as it is the child. Only noting that relationship on one of the pair doesn't really make much sense, and often leads people to the conclusion that non-diffusion is an attribute of a category, rather than a quality of a relationship that category has with another. I appreciate some might find that hard work.
Turning back to sports – what would be the negative for readers in also listing both male and female sportspeople in their parent national category? From the positives, I can see it making our many, many small sports intersections more navigable (e.g. Category:Jamaican tennis players. SFB 22:36, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The thing is that most of the parent categories in question are fully diffused on other points of distinction independent of the gender; for example, Category:Canadian writers is fully diffused by the type of writing that a person did (novelists, poets, essayists, etc.) and by the province or territory that the writer came from. So it can't be marked as non-diffusing just because the gendered writer categories are non-diffusing of the parent — because there are other categories that are diffusing of the same parent.
In most cases, in fact, deeming a subcategory to be non-diffusing of its parent completely vitiates the value of even having the subcategory in the first place. That was the original idea behind the "ghettoization" rule, in fact — a gendered subcategory could only be implemented if the parent category was fully diffusable on other grounds independently of gender, precisely so that the gendered category wasn't taking anybody out of the other categories they would actually be sitting in and thus strictly speaking it would technically be irrelevant whether the gendered category was "diffusing" the parent or not.
In reality, if you have to deem a category "non-diffusing" of its parent in order to justify it, then 99 times out of 100 what you really have is a category that we don't need in the first place (or which needs to be structured differently.) In reality, we never had this problem of having to deem gendered categories non-diffusing until the Category:American women novelists brouhaha last year — because the rule used to be that a gendered category could only exist if the category tree was structured in such a way that the gendered category wasn't even causing the problem that necessitates deeming it "non-diffusing" in the first place. You could have Category:American women writers sitting alongside the ungendered Category:American novelists or Category:American poets or whatever — but Category:American writers was supposed to be fully diffused by type of writing, and thus empty of individual writers (not that it ever actually is, but all of the articles that are sitting directly in the parent can be diffused by state or type of writing iffen somebody would actually do it). So the subcategory for women writers didn't have to be "non-diffusing", because it wasn't causing a diffusion-related problem. The problem only started to arise when somebody decided to intersect the gendered category with the type-of-writing categories — which is exactly what the gendered-category rules used to militate against, precisely so that gendered categories couldn't even cause the problems that started flowing from that project. Bearcat (talk) 17:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Bearcat: The above culture for gendered categories that you describe (the "final rung rule") means categorisation in that respect is driven purely by the desire not to exclude or ghettoise. This basis is fundamentally flawed as it is contrary to the central purpose of categorisation (that is, to group items by similar characteristics for navigational benefit). I don't think the presence of other subcategories is relevant when deciding whether gender is appropriate for navigation. I understand the reasons why that culture has arisen, but I believe non-diffusion as the solution is not only more logical, but it is more in tune with the purpose of categorisation, and still mitigates all the issues of ghettoisation. SFB 17:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think this whole proposal is built around a flawed understanding of how sports work. In many sports, to talk about a non-gendered expression of the sport is to disconnect from reality. The same applies to dance, acting and singing. In singing we have sub-categories within the by gender categories such as Category:American altos. On the other hand, scrapping the last-rung rule ignores its other usefulness. It helps mitigate against overly small categories. Category:American women judges is an inherently more useful category than if we broke the judges down between federal and state and in various other ways that judges are categorized. Having seen articles on singers that are already in over 50 categories, any proposal that would increase the number of articles these people could be put in needs to be considered with some caution.John Pack Lambert (talk) 21:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The idea and logic of WP:SMALLCAT would still apply in any case. I don't think the last rung rule has any relevance in that respect. SFB 20:12, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm all for whatever will produce fewer cases of "Category:Women [whatevers]" and "Category:African American [whatevers]" in isolation and also reduce the urge to go there. Either don't divvy up subjects (especially people) to that level at all, or do it universally (i.e. divide "actors" into male and female categories), but favor simplicity over forking. I'm generally strongly opposed to redundant categorization, period, wherein (relevant to this discussion) someone might be listed in Botswanan actors and Botswanan male actors, or whatever. We have subcategories for a reason. Divided categories should carry their articles with them, as it were, not "copy" them over, conceptually speaking, except where multiple subcategories both apply. The problem of doing it the other way (most often motivated by in-page searching in a category) is that there's no clear rationale for ever stopping, really. Mark Twain may as well be listed under Category:Mammals, and every intervening category up to the human writer ones he's in, if we're going to take that approach. Thankfully, we generally don't even try this. So, don't do more of that, and get rid of what of it we're stuck with now.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


I'm currently involved in an AfD about a female Malaysian actor and was investigating how many other articles we had about Malaysian actors. I noticed that Category:Malaysian actors had a sub-category, Category:Malaysian actresses, where female actors were listed. It seems to be quite offensive to treat actresses as a sub-category of actors, don't you think? Many women in the acting business describe themselves (and are described) as "actors".

So I wondered whether this was simply an isolated anomaly of a patriarchal country. I looked at Category:British actors and exactly the same situation occurs - largely male actors listed as "actors", while women are subcategorised.

Has this situation been discussed before? Is it simply a case of moving all the people listed in "Actors" to either "Male actors" or "Actresses"? Sionk (talk) 10:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

In both cases you cite there are also subcategories for male actors. Anyone in the top level categoy should be moved down where their gender is known.
The issue has come up a few times in CFDs but annoyingly for finding them they tend to be about national categories instead of the global one - broadly the view has been that there is no consensus within the industry itself about whether "actress" should or shouldn't be used (in part most of the relevant industry awards use the term) and so the term has been used with the curious exception of porn. This in turn has resulted in categories called "male actors" which some consider pointlessly excessive because they see "actor" as still implying male and possibly because of this they are not using or are unaware of the subcategories. It would have helped immensely if acting had found a new catch-all term like "fire-fighter" or "flight attendant" and so forth. Instead we have a term that some see as a catch-all and others as implying male.
There's the more general problem of whether or not the acting categories should be gender divided which has been quite fierce at times. It's gone back and forth a few times but the current consensus seems to be for division. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll move a few to the 'correct' sub-category when I have a chance. Sionk (talk) 13:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
In the section directly above I question why we don't place men and women in both their gendered category and also the parent non-gendered cat. I think all gendered categories should be non-diffusive and would prevent such issues. SFB 17:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem being that the parent categories have other categories which are diffusing of the parent. Bearcat (talk) 17:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Sionk, I just checked the British category, since you mentioned it — and, of course, it's also worth remembering that in the British context, people should almost always be diffused out of "British X" categories on the English vs. Scottish vs. Welsh vs. Northern Irish consideration. And, in fact, some of the people in Category:British actors were already in one or more of those more specific categories anyway — meaning that even independently of the gender issue, their presence in that category was still duplicate categorization. Bearcat (talk) 17:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's a questionable task, considering not every Brit identifies themselves (or is identified as) English, Scottish or Welsh. But I'll leave that for another time and place! Sionk (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


Also in regards to the "ghettoization" issue, an ethnicity/gender/religion/sexuality/disability subcategory should never be implemented as the final rung in a category tree.

Replace with

Also in regards to the "ghettoization" issue, an ethnicity/gender/religion/sexuality/disability subcategory should never be implemented as the final rung in a category tree, unless the parent is (or will become) purely a container category.

Thus it would be perfectly permissible to split Olympic skiers into Female Olympic skiers and Male Olympic skiers, but not to ghettoize one or the other gender.

Just a thought. All the best: Rich Farmbrough19:20, 3 September 2014 (UTC).

  • @Rich Farmbrough: I find this solution tends to ghettoise trans people, who often do not fit the binary well. Sounding like a broken record here, but this is why retaining a non-diffusing approach to these categories is by far the most useful solution (point 5 of the General section). That way we get the best of both worlds. The only thing lost by this method is an empty parent category which would otherwise serve less purpose. You could even build a bot which ensured contents of categories labelled with {{Non-diffusing subcategory}} were present in the relevant parent to prevent ghettoisation and semi-automate categorisation to the parent. SFB 21:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Trans people should not be ghettoized, since according to WP:IDENT (?) they would be categorized primarily as they self-identify.
    • Certainly I could build such a bot… I just couldn't run it!Face-smile.svg
    • "Remember, it was diffusing Category:American women novelists that caused the uproar a year ago." The net result was that male American novelists were, according to the strange standards of those who caused the stir "also ghettoised", and apparently we no longer have and "American novelists" on Wikipedia. Anyone left in the root category, in this case, no-one, but let us consider someone who denies that they are gendered in a binary way, maybe Genesis P-Orridge, would be the "non-ghettoized" people according to the original definition. You may argue that the being called an "American novelist" without a gender assignment is ghettoizing. Well one solution is to create "American novelists of other genders or none", but regardless the form of words I used would not allow someone to be "left behind" since it specifically says unless the parent is (or will become) purely a container category.
    • To sum, up, I can hypothesise a few things that you might imagine would happen to articles about trans people, but not necessarily which ones you thing would be "ghettoizing".
All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC).
  • @Rich Farmbrough: I was thinking more in terms of sport specifically. Trans sportspeople are largely unable to compete in their self-identified section of the sport. Andreas Krieger never competed as a male shot putter – moreover though he self-identifies as male, he doesn't necessarily identify as a male who does shot put. Keelin Godsey drives home this distinction, as he identifies as male yet competes in the women's division. I suppose the question is: is it OK to categorise trans-sportspeople by the gender division in which they compete? If not, they will be ghettoised in the way I mention above. SFB 07:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I would think that it absolutely OK to include them in the gender division in which they compete (Krieger is categorised in "Female shot putters"). If they change division I would think that it absolutely OK to include them in both. All the best: Rich Farmbrough12:35, 13 September 2014 (UTC).

Yes check.svg Done All the best: Rich Farmbrough12:06, 20 September 2014 (UTC).

Requested move 16 September 2014[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus not to move the page to the suggested title, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 19:55, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexualityWikipedia:Categorization/non-discrimination – See WT:EGRS#Possibilities for the next RM. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:34, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Nominator support per the reasons I gave above --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:50, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per my and others' reasons noted in the #Requested move 09 June 2014 and #Possibilities for the next RM sections above for opposing such a broad categorization. Flyer22 (talk) 21:01, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as unhelpful. WP:categorization says: "The central goal of the category system is to provide navigational links to all Wikipedia pages in a hierarchy of categories which readers, knowing essential—defining—characteristics of a topic, can browse and quickly find sets of pages on topics that are defined by those characteristics." The proposed name does not help. The current title is more helpful in contexts such as Category:Wikipedia categorization. Gregkaye 14:23, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Discrimination is the basis of categorisation, so this is unclear. Furthermore, the scope of the page is not simply issues of prejudice within the category structure. I'm willing to support a move with practically any of the other above suggestions around "identity" (which is clearly the topic at hand here). SFB 23:40, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - while the inclusive nature of the name is good, compared to a list, it is the wrong term. Also the issue that sparked this whole thing off, has been more or less quietly resolved, without revoking the allegedly heinous crime of categorising American women novelists as American women novelists suggesting that, while the issue is worth keeping an eye on (and indeed historically we have not allowed gendered subcategories) it is not a significant problem, except in PR terms. So to suggest that good faith acts of categorization are "discrimination" in a pejorative sense does not seem helpful. All the best: Rich Farmbrough12:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC).
  • Oppose per above, the discussion seems centered around "Idenity" stemming from the Chelsea/Bradley naming dispute. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:24, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • Comment, the current title seems to me to be more descriptive of content. Gregkaye 10:48, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I made mistakes by forum shopping; I hope you realize what you're doing. --George Ho (talk) 16:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Stable examples[edit]

Re. "I agree about having stable examples, but I'm sure that the vast majority of scholars would agree that Sappho was romantically/sexually interested in women, even if not exclusively" [5] — May seem so from where we're standing now: as it happens Sappho was also very popular before the 19th/20th turn of the century. Hard to find any scholar who would think Sappho a Sapphist in those days. See e.g. introduction p. 6 of this book --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:20, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

WP:Due weight applies here. And, again, I'm certain that the vast majority of scholars would agree that Sappho was romantically/sexually interested in women, even if not exclusively. I would not even qualify that with "modern scholars," in the same way that I would not when talking about the vast majority of scholars concerning the Flat Earth belief. As many at this site know, human sexuality is one of my areas of expertise. And the topic of Sappho is not excluded from that, despite my not having done much for the Sappho Wikipedia article. I'm not interested in debating this Sappho matter, however; if I were, I would have brought the matter to the talk page. Flyer22 (talk) 08:35, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Added Radclyffe Hall now, less complex history. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:50, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

American farmers vs. American women farmers[edit]

In January, I began sorting Category:American farmers by state. I've also created Category:American women farmers and Category:African-American farmers and have begun sorting and filling each category. However, User:Montanabw has insisted that all members of both of the categories mentioned previously must belong to Category:American farmers, even though they are all members of Category:American farmers by state or territory already, while I contend that it is sufficient that those who fall into women farmers and African-American farmers do not need to be placed in the parent category. Rather than continuing to edit war, I would appreciate into put from editors here.--TM 13:41, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

There is no parallel category for American men/male farmers, so removing women from the main list to a "women's category is "ghettoization". The regulars here know this was an issue for the women writers category and has been applied to others as well. Frankly, I see no reason to forcably diffuse all the farmers into the "by state" categories; particularly where most have fewer than 5 listings. I see no reason that the "American farmers" category cannot remain non-diffusing and have people sorted by state - if I am looking for an American farmer named Foo, but can't get it to come up in a search because I cannot remember the spelling or the precise name (i.e. was it Foo, Fu, Foobar or Fubar?) , I find it absurd to have to open and skim 48 separate categories to find Farmer foo. I'm a fan of non-diffusing categories. I think that this is a case where it is appropriate and easier than creating a "male farmers" category. Montanabw(talk) 18:33, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Follow up: I believe WP:Cat gender explains all of this. Montanabw(talk) 04:31, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Question on tagging a category without citing it[edit]

This is a policy question and this the the best place that I could figure to put this. If you might indulge me, is anyone able to explain when a person can have a category tag without reference? I've seen this in various places, but as an example, the article on Ira Levin has him tagged as a Jewish-American author and an American Jew, however there is no mention nor citation to this. I am not challenging the late Mr. Levin's background, but is this just a matter that people did not think it was necessary? Kurtto (talk) 02:35, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Category tagging can't really be referenced, it is generally drawn from information in the article itself. That said, if someone adds or removes the category, it can be challenged and discussed at talk, with citations requested and appropriate verification added to the article itself. Generally though, per WP:POPE one does reasonably guess someone named "Ira Levin" is Jewish. Montanabw(talk) 03:24, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Montanabw, WP:POPE is precisely the guideline that I was looking for. Kurtto (talk) 14:39, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox of individuals that have no religion.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:19, 22 April 2015 (UTC)