Talk:Melissa Farley/Archive 3

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Background clarification[edit]

Added information on clinical psychology background. This article still contains incorrect and misleading information and is incomplete in many respects, but not to worry, I'm back from vacation and ready to work on it. Due to the contentious nature of this article in the past, I will make each edit individually so we can discuss them in a clear and organized fashion.--Axiomatica 21:28, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Moved Guardian article to News Articles section[edit]

Moved this article to News since it is a news article. --Axiomatica 21:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Additions and changes[edit]

1) Have taken several background items (academic background, etc) out of the lead paragraph and moved into an infobox.

2) Have expanded the descriptors in the first sentence. These are all based on cited descriptions of Farley from published sources, including an article written by Farley herself. Specifically:

  • "Melissa Farley is a fiminist (sp.) psychologist and antipornography activist" ("Prostitution: The oldest use and abuse of women" by Melissa Farley, off our backs, May 1994. ) – note that this is from an article written by Farley herself.
  • "a San Francisco clinical and research psychologist" ("Slick S.F. posters advocate decriminalizing prostitution" by Kevin Foley, San Francisco Examiner, August 14, 1995.)
  • "a San Francisco psychologist and anti-prostitution activist." ("Sober forum, street theater on prostitution ballot issue" by Patrick Hoge, San Francisco Chronicle, August 31, 2004.)
  • Melissa Farley's 2005 CV also refers to her as a "clinical psychologist".

3) Added citation of newspaper article concerning her opposition to sex-worker rights groups, added specifically COYOTE, since this is a notable group and specifically mentioned in the newspaper article. ("Ex-prostitutes' quilt honors slain women" by Associated Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 13, 1994, p 14.)

4) In the last week, I have also added several sentences concerning her report on Nevada brothels. ("Outlaw industry, ex-prostitutes say" by Lynnette Curtis, Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 6, 2007; "Panel: Brothels aid sex trafficking" by Mark Waite, Pahrump Valley Times, September 7, 2007.)

5) Also, linked a number of articles by or about Farley to "external links". At least some of this should eventually be incorporated into the article at some point. Iamcuriousblue 03:46, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit to intro paragraph.[edit]

The following sentence in the intro paragraph did not make sense, trafficking is not an "industry" people "engage" in. It is also lacking the fact that Farley is also well known for her research on sexual violence.

Farley is best known for her studies of the effects of prostitution and trafficking on those engaged in those industries.

I changed it to

Farley is best known for her studies of the effects of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual violence.--Axiomatica 20:23, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

No problems with this – good change. I do, however, have big problems with the blatantly POV edit by User:Ninorc (a wholesale removal of ALL perspectives critical of Farley, in total violation of WP:NPOV) that proceeded yours and have reverted that edit. Iamcuriousblue 21:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Statement by User:[edit]

  • As one familiar with the work of Melissa Farley, I find the indefatigable efforts of Peter G. Werner to convert an accurate description of the work of Dr. Farley, supported by references to her publications and published reports on her public activities, into an opportunity to attack and misrepresent her work even to the extent of substituting the attacker's vocabulary for her own, to be a total abuse of Wikipedia standards for presenting reliable information for public use. Moreover, Mr. Werner's intemperate attacks on those who politely disagree with his radical and intrusive editorial changes to the Farley page and his use of vulgar language in doing so are so abusive of the Wikipedia process as to justify barring him from participating in any editing of this page. If Mr. Werner wishes to use Wikipedia to advance his own ideas on the subject of prostitution, including using his own vocabulary to do so, he should utilize pages appropriate to his subject, such as the "Sex Work" page. It should be noted that even readers who strongly disagree with the content of that page allow it to make its own case to the Wikipedia audience without stooping to engage the kind of guerilla intrusions, exclusions, and abuse of process in which Mr. Werner indulges.

    As an experiment, I recently did a thorough revision of the Farley page to trim it back to a basic factual presentation of the work and public positions of Dr. Farley. I allowed the section presenting criticism of Dr. Farley's work to remain untouched, letting readers judge its merits for themselves. I explained my edit as just what it was - done to preserve the integrity of a straightforward presentation of this researcher's work and stated positions on a subject of importance. Within a very short time, the former vandalized version, with its blatant display of the editor's POV, had been restored intact. Since I do not engage in mud-wrestling, I will not participate in the farce of trying to hold a reasoned discussion with Mr. Werner. It is time for Wikipedia's arbiters to step in to halt his exploitation of the process that they provide to safeguard the value of this democratic encyclopedia. 23:14, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
According to User:, a version with any statements critical of the subject is a "vandalized" version. This is utterly incorrect – WP:NPOV demands that articles on controversial topics (and Melissa Farley is nothing if not controversial) present all points of view in an evenhanded manner, and that such statements be cited and referenced. This is precisely what I have attempted to do. User:Ninorc, who I'm assuming is the user in question here, removed all critical statements and added some biased statements of their own, in blatant violation of WP:NPOV. I'd be happy to bring this article back to mediation cabal, if you wish. Its clear that I am at least attempting to edit toward WP:NPOV, something I cannot say about the edits of User:Ninorc. Iamcuriousblue 02:09, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
And as for this statement "I allowed the section presenting criticism of Dr. Farley's work to remain untouched, letting readers judge its merits for themselves." You most certainly did not – you removed all references to criticisms of Farley. Here is a "before" and "after" view of your edits showing this to be the case. Iamcuriousblue 17:49, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
On rereading the statement by User:, it strikes me that this user has a basic misunderstanding about Wikipedia and the concept of NPOV. Apparently, this user thinks that pages are suppose to be written from some kind of "sympathetic point of view", hence an article about Melissa Farley should be written from a point of view supportive of Melissa Farley and that the "other side" should present its point of on a page like Sex worker. This is, of course, not the way Wikipedia works at all. I would advise User: to read up on the basics of Wikipedia, here at Wikipedia:Wikipedia in brief. I would also advise them to read over WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP as I think that might help dispel some confusion this user might have as to the nature of Wikipedia. Iamcuriousblue 03:01, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
One more note – If you note the edits I made immediately following my reversion of User:Ninorc's edits, one will note that I reincorporated the material that this user added to the article, but restated it in more neutral language, and took the statements more or less directly from a cited source by Farley herself. I also reorganized the article somewhat based on the reorganization that User:Ninorc attempted. What I have categorically reverted was the dumping of cited and referenced material that was only dropped because User:Ninorc happen to disagree with it. Iamcuriousblue 17:01, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I have taken the serious step of reverting back to the User:Ninorc version. It seems Peter Werner (iamcuriousblue) is determined to relentlessly carry out his crusade against Dr. Farley in her Wikipedia entry. His personal animosity toward Farley already has a home on Werner's web page at and his participation in the smear campaign website at It is not appropriate to bring your personal campaign against Dr. Farley to Wikipedia. The edits made by Ninorc substantially removed the bias you had inserted and have rabidly defended. I will ask you once again if perhaps you might want to abstain from editing this particular entry since you are so determined that it reflect your point of view rather than the history and work of the subject of this Wikipedia entry.--Axiomatica 08:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I have reverted your last edit and will continue to work on this article. Yes, I have a particular point of view about Melissa Farley and fully acknowledge my particiption in both of these blogs, HOWEVER, I have endeavored in good faith to work toward an NPOV version of this article. It is also clear to me that both yourself and User:Ninorc are also coming from you own POV toward Melissa Farley and that neither of you are making any effort to comply with WP:NPOV in this matter, which the full removal of all critical statements, even when cited and referenced, clearly constitutes. I would be happy to reopen the Mediation Cabal case in this regard, which was never really settled, but you seem to have sat out until it expired. I flat-out refuse to concede to the blatant POV-pushing that you and User:Ninorc are engaged in. Iamcuriousblue 20:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
As usual, you revert each and every attempt by anyone else besides you to edit this entry. For some reason you seem to believe that only you, Mr. Werner, know the rightness and wrongness of Dr. Farley's work, and that you simply must point out everywhere that she has "got it wrong." But as you well know, that is not what WP:NPOV means. Your point of view and my point of view do not belong in this entry. This is an entry about Melissa Farley and her point of view. Every single person that has tried to remove your blatent smears on Farley has conceded to you that Weitzer's litle articles could go in a criticism section. But that is not enough for you. You seem to think that Farley's work should be defined by her critics, rather than by what she has studied, reported on, published, and said for herself. Patient people have tried to work with you, but you are clearly determined to turn a simple bio entry into your own political platform for attacking Farley. This is tiresome and inappropriate and I will request for the 10th time that you consider abstaining from editing this entry because of your extremely passionate views about the subject of this biography entry. --Axiomatica 07:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Do you think that continually repeating yourself changes anything? I have said that I am not going to refrain from editing this article. I simply do not see your demands (and these are very much demands) as being in any way legitimate – the way I see it, it is you who are on a crusade to bias the article toward one biased in favor of Melissa Farley's views. Go repeat yourself 100 times for all I care – you have my answer: No, I will not stop editing this article. What I am asking is that you re-enter the mediation process and re-open Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-06-25_Melissa_Farley. I have nothing more to say to you in the meantime, and I'll note that you have no power whatsoever to demand or request anything of me without going through the dispute resolution process, of which Mediation is the first step. Continue with your temper tantrum if you wish, Axiomatica, I will simply keep editing and without responding to you. Iamcuriousblue 07:18, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Charming. This article should not reflect ANY bias, your or mine. It is an encyclopedic biography entry! It should tell us something about the work of the subject of the entry. As it stands now it has multiple factual errors and each time someone tries to correct them, you reverse their work. You have no ownership of this entry and this entry is not your personal platform for attacking Farley. Can we not just let it be a simple recitation of the facts? --Axiomatica 08:49, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
It is a simple recitation of facts, in spite of your assertions to the contrary. I agree that "this article should not reflect ANY bias, your or mine." I don't think the article as it stands IS a reflection of my POV (my views of Farley are much harsher), however, I think the version you are pushing is very much a reflection of your personal POV around the issue. In fact, the whole idea that I am uniquely "biased" while you are somehow unbiased is been the Big Lie you've been pushing now for the last 4 months. Iamcuriousblue 08:57, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way, why do you continually skirt the issue of mediation? You damn well know that if you are really interested in getting rid of bias, the quickest way would be to have an outside party intervene. What's your problem with mediation – afraid things aren't going to go 100% your way and you can't settle for less? This is what this whole argument is really about, isn't it? Iamcuriousblue 09:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

User:Ninorc's recent edits and why I changed them.[edit]

1) Removed the adjective "wholesale" in the phrase "wholesale decriminalization", viewing the word as "editorializing". How this word is "editorializing" is simply beyond me – the adjective is there to clarify and accurately represent Melissa Farley's views on the subject. She has stated that she wants prostitution decriminalized for prostitutes, but not decriminalized for pimps and buyers. This distinguishes her views both from advocates of full decriminalization and from proponents of full criminalization. In any event, I have changed the adjective from "wholesale" to "across-the-board" in the interest of clarity.

2) Clearer description of Weitzer's views are a good idea (and actually were in an earlier version of the article before another editor removed it, probably viewing the statement as prejudicial). However a parenthetical statement that reads "most notably by sociologist Ronald Weitzer whose "two track" approach favors decriminalizing or tolerating indoor prostitution which he sees as imposing no harm on the community and who terms efforts to end prostitution a 'moral crusade'" is no only overly verbose, but is more than a little POV and rather petulant in tone, not to mention very poor writing when used as a parenthetical remark. Have changed it to "a proponent of the full decriminalization of indoor prostitution", a succinct representation of his views. There is a direct link to the article on Weitzer that gives a more detailed exposition of his views, in any event.

Weitzer's views about prostitution go on Weitzer's page. This page is not a debate about prostitution, it is a bio entry for Farley, a simple fact that Peter Werner keeps forgetting. --Axiomatica 06:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

3) For purposes of citing sources: "Articles and posts on Wikipedia or other open wikis should never be used as third-party sources."

4) Reference to Farley as a "radical feminist" by critics. Weitzer specifically refers to Farley's "radical feminist" in his critique "Flawed Theory and Method in Studies of Prostitution" and Tracy Quan has also been critical of Farley's "extreme form of feminism". These are the published words of her critics and this article simply reports them. (Which is not to say they are inaccurate – that Farley falls into the radical feminist camp of Andrea Dworkin, Nikki Craft, etc, is abundantly clear from her writings, even if she does not use the term as a self-descriptor.) The addition "but do not define this term" simply represents an unreferenced and probably novel counter-critique by User:Ninorc, and therefore violates Wikipedia rules against original research and using Wikipedia as a soapbox.

I'm open to discussion of these edits and other changes to this article. However, I would suggest to User:Ninorc that he or she perhaps familiarize themselves a bit more with Wikipedia's rules and guidelines, especially concerning referencing, verifiable sources, and what constitutes original research. Iamcuriousblue 06:09, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Please keep your condescending tone out of this discussion. Wikipedia guidelines are quite clear that a bio should be about the subject of the bio, not about every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has an opinion about the subject. Farley has published 25 peer-reviewed articles on the subject. She has done extensive original research for over a decade around the world and is considered an expert in many countries including the U.S. Weitzer is a sociologist who has only recently gotten into this field by critiquing people's work, but he has done no original research in the field. Obviously there are many people who agree with Dr. Farley's conclusions. There are also people who do not agree with her conclusions. It is telling that you cannot find actual research psychologists who disagree with her work, however, and have to try to pump up a few off handed articles by a person not even in the field.--Axiomatica 06:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Again, I will point out, the purpose of this entry is not to debate legal and illegal prostitution. The purpose of this entry is a bio of Farley, not a career booster for Weitzer. You can describe his own views in his own Wikipedia entry. Similarly, this is not an entry for Nikki Craft or Andrea Dworkin. Please, let us just make this a simple factual encyclopedia bio entry and leave the debate and your advocacy out of it.--Axiomatica 06:46, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
This is not advocacy, this is simply a description of controversies around Melissa Farley, something that is to be included in any biography of a figure how happens to have been involved in controversies. That you have seemingly no understanding of WP:NPOV is not my problem, nor is the fact that you find my tone "condescending". Also, your idea that Wietzer cannot be considered a valid critic of Farley is utterly nonsensical – Weitzer engaged in a debate with Farley in a peer-reviewed journal. That very much constitutes a notable criticism of Farley that very much needs to be in the article. Iamcuriousblue 07:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Everyone agrees Weitzer's criticism can remain. However the reader might also want an accurate reflection what Farley has actually researched and written. --Axiomatica 08:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I am all for expanding the section on Farley's research. In fact, my plan with where to go next with this article was to do exactly that, even if nobody else does it first. I think her prostitution research should be described (including her "nine countries" prostitution study, her Nevada study, and her literature reviews on the topic) as well as another section describing her research on the after-effects of physical abuse. The way to go about this is to read the articles (or at least the abstracts), then put together a summary in ones own words. (The way not do it is to do what you did several months ago, which was to cut-and-paste abstracts from Farley's articles, which is outright plagiarism and copyright violation, and very much in violation of Wikipedia's rules on those subjects.) And "everyone agrees Weitzer's criticism can remain"? You certainly had one hell of an issue with that only a few minutes ago, and in your last edit removed all references to it. Nice to see you're open to changing your mind on this, though. Iamcuriousblue 09:23, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
The version Ninorc wrote that I reverted to a few minutes ago kept all of Weitzer's debate with Farley - right there in the section called Debates. To repeat, no one has said there shouldn't be links to the Weitzer/Farley debate. No one. We're all fine with it. This is a straw man argument at best. And by the way, citing a sentence from an abstract is not plagiarism, it is accuracy. In such a contentious article as this, accuracyis far better than waiting for you to interpret the results of psychological field research. The bottom line is that we need to knock this article back to something we can achieve consensus on and stop this crazy revision war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Axiomatica (talkcontribs) 11:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
The "debates" section you are referring to is a series of external links. External links are not a substitute for inclusion of relevant material summarized in the article itself. As for your defense of cutting and pasting abstracts into the article, this is, once again, an example of you making policy up off the top of your head whenever it suits you. Iamcuriousblue 18:43, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It is time for Peter Werner to stop vandalizing this bio[edit]

As the extraordinarily long discussion on this page shows, multiple people have come into this bio to try to remove Mr. Werner's bias from this page. Each time this happens, Mr. Werner thoroughly obliterates the person's work, adopts a weirdly superior tone, sends threatening messages, and eventually gets openly hostile in the discussion.

The time has come for your to realize Mr. Werner (iamcuriousblue) that the purpose of a bio entry in an encyclopedia is to describe the life and work of the subject. You seem to think the purpose of this bio is to elevate some obscure sociologist who doesn't like Farley's work, in an attempt to help him in building a career promoting porn and prostitution.

Weitzer and Werner's opinions about Farley's work are not the subject of this bio. They certainly do belong in a criticism section. But Mr. Werner has spent hours trying to frame each and every sentence of this bio in his and Mr. Weitzer's terminology.

It took literally months of debate to get the word "radical" dropped from the subject's description. Mr. Werner has fought tooth and nail to keep things in here that simply don't belong. He purports to know Farley's opinion about "sex work", but she doesn't even use the term and clearly states why she doesn't use the term, so how does Mr. Werner psychically know her professional opinion about the term? He has written she is against sex worker rights when she has a long history of working WITH the people Werner would call sex workers.

The source of Mr. Werner's animosity toward Farley remains a mystery to me, but it is clear that he sees this bio entry as his own little kingdom for spinning decades of work by a researcher to fit his own political agenda.

Please stop vandalizing this entry, Mr. Werner. We should be able to make this a simple, factual, bio entry. You are free to create other bio entries for Weitzer and yourself to go on at length about your views on the subject of prostitution. But this entry is not the appropriate place to carry out your crusade.--Axiomatica 06:35, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not on a "crusade" with this article, but am simply trying to make sure that all points of view concerning this controversial figure are represented. This is clearly what is called for under the terms of WP:NPOV and WP:CONTROVERSY. What part of this central Wikipedia guideline User:Axiomatica and User:Ninorc either don't understand or simply fail to recognize is simply beyond me. The seeming lack of respect for WP:NPOV by these editors indicates to me that they are on a "crusade" of their own, as their quite visible animus toward any views critical of Melissa Farley clearly indicate. Furthermore, I'll point out that referring to every single one of my edits as "vandalism" flies in the face of the Wikipedia tenet to assume good faith, and that it is not Axiomatica's place to demand that I, or any other editor, cease editing an article. I expressly refuse to accede to this wholly illegitimate demand, so stop making this demand. Furthermore, I have repeatedly asked User:Axiomatica to participate in mediation with me over this article, a process that this user backed out of when things weren't going their way and is seemingly refusing to re-enter into now. Iamcuriousblue 06:50, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Please be honest about the history here. I did participate fully in the mediation, my edits on things like removal of the word 'radical" were upheld. If you remember, you were also warned about your incivility at the time. We were asked to abstain from editing for a few weeks and then I went on vacation. Now I am back and I see that you are hassling yet another person who has sincerely tried to edit the obvious bias out of this article only to have everything constantly reversed by you. THAT is the actual history of this discussion which is readable by anyone who so chooses to review it. Furthermore, I have never said that every single one of your edits is vandalism, nor have I demanded that you stop editing this entry. I have only asked that you consider doing so since you seem to have lost any objectivity on the subject of this entry. --Axiomatica 08:15, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
You never said a thing about your "going away on vacation" or asking for any kind of moratorium until you got back. You simply stopped participating in the process. Since I had no idea whether you were even active on Wikipedia and since the mediation case closed as a result, I simply went back to editing.
I didn't realize I needed to check in with you about my vacation plans. --Axiomatica 11:18, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
That's a rather snotty remark, and unfortunately typical of the reason why trying to deal with you in any kind of collaborative manner is basically doomed for failure. You typically take a very snotty combative tone and actions, continuously try to "escalate", and then if somebody looses their cool, you make a big to-do about "incivility" toward you. In response to your remark, no you don't need to check your vacation plans with me, but if you were going to suddenly leave the mediation process, you should have said so. Not just disappear, wait for the process to expire, than magically pop up later and declare that earlier mediation had been a failure. Iamcuriousblue 11:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
And let's be quite clear on things like the term "radical feminist", etc. This was dropped as a descriptor for Melissa Farley because there was no reference to her self-identifying as such. It was never agreed that it could not be mentioned that her critics said this about her, since this is quite specifically mentioned in Weitzer's critique. Also, I have specifically added back mention of her as a "feminist" in the lead of the article, because I found a specific self-description of herself as a "feminist psychologist" in an article she wrote for on our backs in 1994. If you go back and read the debates we were having in mediation, the points that were at issue were ones that were not properly referenced. You are now demanding that points that are very clearly referenced nevertheless be dropped. Simply because they don't happen to agree with your views on Melissa Farley. (And I'll also point out that in some of your edits earlier this evening, you were quite quick to want to keep some unreferenced statements against Farley's critics.) Iamcuriousblue 10:04, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not demanding anything at the moment except an end to this reversion nonsense. Let's EDIT intead of REVERT. I'm willing to knock this thing back to something neutral and discuss these points one by one until we can achieve some kind of agreement on what is accurate and appropriate. I don't think that is too much to ask. Let's take this colling off period to do that, what do you say? --Axiomatica 11:18, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
The problem is, we don't even agree on what is "something neutral". I simply don't agree that the version that you want to revert to is a neutral one. I think that this is the fundamental problem with your whole approach, and one that I think is fundamentally dishonest – your ongoing claim that my views are biased and yours are neutral. I'm sorry, Axiomatica, you have a point of view too, and some rather extreme biases. That you continue to delude yourself and anybody who will listen that your point of view happens to be a neutral one is more than a little self-serving. As for knocking back the article, I'm open to my stub suggestion. Iamcuriousblue 11:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I certainly DID assume good faith way back in June when I first stumbled upon this entry as the above discussion shows. Since then I have witnessed Iamcuriousblue reverse almost every edit made by anyone else and push your extremely biased view of the subject while accusing others of POV pushing. I and others have tried to point out to you that not just the overall tone of this piece is biased, but there are factual errors here. Yet you blithely go on reversing everything and putting the incorrect material back in place. You are pushing your anti-Farley bias into almost ever sentence of this entry while others are trying to create a simple fact-based entry here. Yes Dr. Farley's work is controversial. But the purpose of this article is to lay out what her work IS and then link to critics. If you want a debate on whether prostitution is bad for women or not, that goes on a different entry. I again implore you to let this bio be a bio and not a platform for Peter Werner's personal campaign for prostitution and against Dr. Farley. --Axiomatica 07:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Reversion to most neutral recent version[edit]

The version of this article posted by User:Ninorc at 19 September 2007 is the most simple and neutral version of this article and so I have reverted to it. It deletes the factually incorrect statements and more accurately reflects the subject of this entry, Melissa Farley.

I would suggest that Peter Werner consider using another entry, possibly something like "Prostitution research" or "Prostitution research controversies" to lay out the arguments about prostitution research in general. However, this is a bio entry and not a debate on prostitution, so let's just stick to the facts about the subject here with links to other entries about the topics and issues.--Axiomatica 08:05, 27 September 2007 (UTC)--Axiomatica 08:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

What you are suggesting is a Point of View Fork, something expressly disallowed by Wikipedia rules. Again, there is no good reason to do this, since WP:NPOV and WP:CONTROVERSY clearly state that articles about controversial topics (including biographies of controversial individuals) discuss the controversy in an even-handed manner, which is exactly what the version I have edited does. You assertions that coverage of such controversies does not belong in an individuals biography is simply a "rule" that you have made up out of whole cloth (which is not the first time you've done something like that) and in fact is utterly the opposite of what Wikipedia rules and guidelines call for. Iamcuriousblue 08:51, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. I wonder if your confusion about this is as a result of not distinguishing between a bio and an issue entry. There is a very clear official policy on Biographies of living persons at WP:BLP. To quote: "Wikipedia articles can affect real people's lives. This gives us an ethical and legal responsibility. Biographical material must be written with the greatest care and attention to verifiability, neutrality and avoiding original research, particularly if it is contentious." There is also specific guidance on criticism "The views of critics should be represented if they are relevant to the subject's notability and can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, and so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to side with the critics. Be careful not to give a disproportionate amount of space to critics, to avoid the effect of representing a minority view as if it were the majority one. If the criticism represents the views of a tiny minority, it has no place in the article." This is all we are trying to do with this entry. Please Iamcuriousblue stop reversing the honest attempts of others to clean up the factual errors here and try to describe the work of the subject of this bio entry. Thank you. --Axiomatica 09:05, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
- sigh- WP:BLP does not in any way represent an exception to WP:NPOV, and you really need to stop interpreting it as such. WP:BLP does demand that critical statements be clearly referenced to reliable secondary sources and this article, every such critical statement is referenced to such sources – mainly academic journal articles and newspaper articles. Nor do they take up a disproportionate amount of the article. The conditions of WP:BLP have been fulfilled, your baseless assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. Iamcuriousblue 09:32, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Page Protection[edit]

Per a request filed at requests for page protection, this page has been protected from editing until unsolved issues are resolved. Please try and keep the conversation civil, and let's find a clear solution everyone can agree one. Jmlk17 09:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, its unfortunate that it had to come to this, but there it is. Basically, I don't see myself and User:Axiomatica coming to any kind of agreement at all, much less consensus, so long as the conversation is only between me and User:Axiomatica, since we can't even agree on the basic idea of what an NPOV article on a controversial individual even looks like. I'll once again extend the invitation to User:Axiomatica to reopen Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-06-25_Melissa_Farley. Frankly, I think Axiomatica's views on how to deal with bios of controversial individuals are absolutely in error, but if I'm wrong on this, I want to hear it from a neutral third party. (And if Axiomatica is wrong on this, I really hope that user prepared to listen as well.) I think reopening the mediation case is the only way forward, because, basically, my response to Axiomatica's "my way or the highway" line is not going to change. Iamcuriousblue 09:49, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
It is indeed unfortunate it came to this. This really isn't a matter of who is right and wrong, Peter. This entry isn't about you or me. It is supposed to be about the subject of the bio. Try this...take a look at the Wikipedia bio of someone who is wildly controversial like Bill O'Reilly. You will notice the bio is about him, not about what his critics think of him. Yes, there are links to critics, and no one has ever argued that there should not be links to Farley's critics. But the point of the bio is that it is about the subject and it is accurate. That is what we should strive to achieve in this entry. --Axiomatica 10:28, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Its clear to me from my interactions with you over the last several months that you basically demand everything your way 100% and that anybody who disagrees with you can simply bugger off. Well, I'm not buggering off. I'm sorry you can't work with other people in an adult manner, but that's simply not my problem. That you have a fundamental misunderstanding of WP:NPOV and that it entails a fair telling of all sides of a controversial topic, and that biographical entries are not somehow a magic exception to this is a point that's simply lost on you. You are quite simply one of the most obstinate, biased (and fundamentally dishonest about their biases at that!) editors I've ever had the displeasure of working with on Wikipedia and I simply will not deal with your fundamental unwillingness to compromise any longer. If you want to deal with me, you deal with me through third party mediation, who maybe can put some check on your out-of-control self-righteousness. Otherwise, I suspect page protection will be up for quite a while. Iamcuriousblue 10:50, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Wow. I think I have been seriously patient with your extreme sense of ownership about this article. In fact everyone who has come in to work on this article has tried very hard to reason with you point by point, and eventually you just start reverting all of our edits and calling us names. Perhaps that tactic works to drive people away, but it's not what a collaborative enterprise like Wikipedia is about. I believe it is possible to word this entry in a way that we can all accept. It doesn't have to be your way or my way. We can find a solution. --Axiomatica 11:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
First, who is "everyone"? You and Ninorc? As far as I know, you may be the same people, but at the very least, you're just two people arguing from the same set of biases. As for the rest of it, this is very much about YOUR demands for article ownership, too, Axiomatica. I haven't seen a single thing you've accused me of so far that you yourself haven't been guilty of in spades. I really suggest that we take it back to mediation, a process that you did not even try to go through in good faith. Otherwise, I don't even see the purpose of having this conversation. If you don't like that, well, tough. Iamcuriousblue 11:47, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Again you accuse me of being someone else? No, I am not Ninorc. Nor am I Nicki Craft. We happen to be 3 people who see some problems with the article and have the nerve to think that we have as much of a right to edit it as you do. Which is the whole point of Wikipedia, of course. About mediation. I think we are beyond peer mediation here. I have put in a request at the Biography noticeboard to see if we can get someone in here with some expertise on bio entries. I'm open to other suggestions. --Axiomatica 12:13, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit Protected Article Request[edit]

Thank you administrators for your rapid response to my request to protect this page until we can workout some kind of solution. Would it be possible to roll it back past Werners last revision of a few minutes ago to this version which is the most simple and neutral version without all the contentious material in it.

Please roll back to version of 07:58, 27 September 2007,

Thank you. --Axiomatica 10:16, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Please note that the version of 07:58, 27 September 2007 is only neutral in the opinion of Axiomatica – I dispute the neutrality of that version. If WP administrators want to go back to a truly neutral (if very limited) version, I suggest knocking the whole thing back to the lead (that is, the first two sentences) and the infobox. Iamcuriousblue 10:58, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that version (07:58, 27 September 2007) is also neutral in the opinion of Ninorc who carefully very carefully and thoughtfully edited it. --Axiomatica 11:55, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, you leave out that both you and Ninorc are on the same "side" in this dispute, so that really doesn't mean anything. Now exactly why every single thing I've added since September 19th (down to the the ISBN number for "Prostitution and trafficking in Nevada"!) represents some horrible biased thing that must be purged from the article shows just how much this has become a personal thing for you. (On the other hand, most of the September 19th version is, ironically enough, also material I've written, which kind of doesn't exactly fit the case that "every sentence" I've contributed represents bias against Farley.) Iamcuriousblue 11:11, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
This really isn't the world against you, Peter. We're not on "sides." All we need to do is edit out some of the contentious material, or possibly reword it. And we need to deal with the "sex work" question. But really, all of this is doable if we can just discuss it and if you will let some other people edit this entry without reverting everything. If I said every sentence was biased, that is definitely not the case. I recommended rolling back to the September 19 version because that is something we can all agree with and then we can add things back in from there. Since you DID write much of it, I would hope it would be acceptable to you also to roll back to that version as a starting point to get us unstuck. --Axiomatica 11:54, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
In a word, no, I don't agree with it. And this is all very typical of the way you continuously frae things in terms of the version you favor as the obvious, "neutral" version. If you would simply concede that you have a point of view, just like I have a point of view, and maybe neutrality represents some compromise between our points of view, I'd be able to work with you. But when "neutrality" and "compromise" always seems to translate to "do things my way", then there really is no working with you. Basically, until you show some willingness to compromise, I'm done with discussion. This article will stay as it is until protection is lifted. Once it is lifted, we will probably go back to reverting each other. Since you haven't shown any sign that you're going to move an inch from the completely uncompromising stance you've been taking for the last 4 months, what alternative do I have?

Now if you'd like to negotiate in the presence of a third party, as I said, I'm totally open to that. Somebody with enough knowledge to make some judgments as to whether your rather unique (to put it kindly) views about neutrality in biographical articles have any basis at all in Wikipedia policy. If I'm wrong, I'm willing to accept that, but that judgment is going to have to come from a third party, not from you. Iamcuriousblue 12:13, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I have put in a request at the Biography noticeboard for assistance here. How about if we look at a neutral version as being one that we all agree is accurate but incomplete. Then we can discuss what to add and find a way to word it so we can all live with it. --Axiomatica 12:16, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
If there are third parties involved, sure. I'm kind of tired of dealing with just you and your rather unique views on neutrality. I want to see what others have to say about the inclusion of critical material in biographies. However, I still don't agree that the Ninorc version was particularly "neutral". Iamcuriousblue 12:34, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


Whenever a page is protected, someone thinks it is the wrong version. For that reason, we generally do not roll back protected pages to previous versions as is requested here. A better use of the time that the page is protected is to discuss the disagreements without having to worry about your edits being reverted. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:28, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

In these cases in which two editors are unable to find common ground, the best course of action is to pursue our dispute resolution process. Otherwise, protecting the article will be followed by editor's losing their editing privileges for edit-warring. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jossi (talkcontribs) 15:40, 27 September 2007

We already tried peer mediation. Iamcuriousblue was told he was wrong about something that should have been obvious and was told to cool it on the incivility. Unfortunately, he is back to his practice of reverting everyone's entry and getting hostile about the fact that other people have the nerve to edit this entry. His bias would not be a problem, if he could collaborate and find ways to agree on the wording of contentious points. But he simply blocks any edits with rash reversions. It's not just tiresome, reporters from major newspapers are finding incorrect information on this entry which makes Wikipedia look stupid, something none of us want. The user Iamcuriousblue needs to learn to work with others. --Axiomatica 06:25, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Please note that restarting the dispute resolution process is exactly what I am trying to do here. Mediation, of course, is a step in the dispute resolution process. This is why I am trying to re-open Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-06-25_Melissa_Farley, a process Axiomatica simply dropped out of and is refusing to re-enter. Unfortunately, a mediation case cannot even be started unless both parties agree to engage in that process. I am hereby not just agreeing to it, I'm offering it. I'm not positive what my next step is when we still cannot agree and the other party refuses mediation. I am presuming Arbitration Committee, especially since our disagreement goes to fundamental points of Wikipedia policy. Iamcuriousblue 17:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Iamcuriousblue continues to distort a history which is clearly on display for anyone to read on this talk page. The mediators told you to let go of your obsession with calling Farley a "radical" and to back off on the incivility and they requested a 2 week moratorium on editing. The moratorium was easy for me, I was going on vacation. I got back and saw user Iamcuriousblue harassing and censoring yet another user, Ninorc who was, as others have, trying to get the inflamatory and inaccurate language out of here and just make this a simple bio page. So, I jumped into the fray yet again. It is outrageous that a person has to spend over 10,000 words to get something simple like the term "sex work" removed from this phrase "Farley is a leading proponent of the abolitionist view of sex work." See the discussion below. About mediation, I am very open to a mediation by administrators, but am not interested in a peer mediation. Iamcuriousblue has been actively recruiting his political cohorts to come and join this fray and I'm not intersted in a scrum here, just a clean, simple, accurate bio entry per the guidelines of WP:BLP--Axiomatica 06:25, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Once again, Axiomatica GROSSLY distorts the events. I had asked for a moritorium on editing, while we were in mediation, something Axiomatica refused. Hence both of us continued editing, culminating in Axiomatica's posting "Research" section consisting of a series of cut and paste postings of abstracts from Farley's journal articles. I reverted this as copyright violation and plagiarism. Axiomatica simply disappeared at this point, without announcing that they were leaving for a time. I actually did leave the article alone for a while. However, over a month had passed, Axiomatica was nowhere to be found, and no one else was working on the article, so I continued to work on it. Eventually, an admin closed the mediation case because both Axiomatica and the editor who was acting as peer mediator were no longer active on Wikipedia.

Axiomatica falsely states that mediation was settled, that I was "chastised", and that somehow the mediators gave their stamp of approval to Axiomatica's action. I apologized for my earlier incivility, but there was no suggestion that there were to be any sanctions for this. The use of the term "radical feminist" could not be used where it wasn't cited and referenced. Its usage (as a criticism from others) in the present version of the article is cited and referenced, from one of Weitzer's articles among other sources. That clearly is in keeping with WP:BLP, but Axiomatica continues to flog the issue nevertheless. While this is a harsh characterization, I can only characterize Axiomatica's continued effort to remove the words of critics from the article as POV pushing. Iamcuriousblue 15:34, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
And as for incivility, I think the rather extreme incivility and utter contempt is rather evident in Axiomatica's tone, both now and throughout this debate. While this user hasn't actually risen to the level of profanity, as I unfortunately have when dealing with Axiomatica's ongoing provocative behavior and rudeness, the tone is evident nevertheless. It is designed to provoke a reaction which this user will then exploit to their advantage. Since Axiomatica is making this an issue, I'm calling Axiomatica on their ongoing incivility and combative tone. I apologize for my earlier incivility and use of profanity, however, I'm not sorry that I called this user on the behavior that led to the incivility. If this user wants the tone of this debate to be more civil, I suggest they change their own. Iamcuriousblue 15:34, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I am pleased to see that the Wikipedia page providing a professional biography of Melissa Farley has been placed under protection from further editing and will, I presume, be examined for evidence of prejudicial editing. It seems to me regrettable but more than fair to the author of such editing that his version is allowed to prevail until this process is completed.

I would like to suggest that Wikipedia arbiters of this dispute can find an acceptable model of unbiased and orderly presentation of the views and publications of a person whose views are highly controversial by looking at the Wikipedia profile of Ronald Weitzer. Despite the fact that many people disagree strongly with Weitzer's POV toward prostitution, no one has edited Weitzer's page to dispute his views or revise his language to suit their own opinions. Instead, the reader can consult this biography for a straightforward presentation of Weitzer's work. As shown in the following summary example, the page includes a "Debates" section which at present is devoted to a published exchange between Weitzer and Melissa Farley. The only "External link" is to Farley's Wikipedia page, presumably to direct the reader to quotations from Weitzer that criticize Farley's work.

Wikipedia entry for Ronald Weitzer: "Ronald Weitzer is a sociologist specializing in criminology and a professor at George Washington University, known for his publications on police-minority relations and on the sex industry. Contents [hide]

1 Research and views

2 Major publications

2.1 Books

2.2 Journal and anthology articles

3 References

4 See also

5 External links

5.1 By Weitzer

5.2 Debates between Ronald Weitzer and others"

Notice, for example, that no one has altered the term "sex industry" to "commercial sexual exploitation," a term that Weitzer does not use. If Weitzer's work is allowed to speak to the public on its own terms, why should anything less than the same rigorous standard be applied to Farley's work? 20:27, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, I think the lack of information on criticisms of Ronald Weitzer is an oversight that I have had every intention of correcting, and have been meaning to get to, though much of my energy has been taken up by the rancorous debates that come up on this page. Insofar as Farley has presented a clear criticism of Weitzer's views or his research methods in the series of articles, I intend to add that material. (And anything else I can find from verifiable published sources.) Please also pay attention to WP:CITE and WP:VERIFY, especially as this relates to WP:BLP. If by "many people's" criticisms of Weitzer, you mean your own pet criticisms, or even the criticisms that might come up in online discussions among prostitution abolitionists – these criticisms need to be those published in citable, verifiable sources. If you have such information, then by all means add it! I'll point out that the criticisms of Farley that are presented in the present draft of this article are from multiple cited and verifiable sources, an important point that some people here are overlooking.

I think your view reflects an unfortunate view of Wikipedia articles, namely, that they're private little fifedoms that are suppose to present an uncritical view of the subject. That is not the case, and I suggest that you read over WP:NPOV and WP:CONTROVERSY and keep in mind that biographical articles are not some kind of magical exception to these rules. In the articles on Ronald Reagan and Bjørn Lomborg, are only the views of Reagan or Lomborg supporters allowed? Of course not! The Farley and Weitzer articles simply need to be held to the same standard as the biography of any other controversial figure. Iamcuriousblue 21:22, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Linkfarm tag[edit]

I think that most of these links are useful and directly relevant to the subject of the article. However, I agree that the list of links has grown to be quite long and the linkfarm tag is there with some justification.

My perspective is that a lot of this material simply needs to be incorporated into the article itself, which is often what is treated as the solution to what to do with a relevant but excessive number of external links. Unfortunately, with such an absolute dispute over whether critical perspectives are allowed and what aspects of Farley's biography are admissible, it is very difficult to proceed with this. Iamcuriousblue 17:13, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

THERE IS NOT DISPUTE ABOUT WHETHER CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ARE ALLOWED. By continuing to say something that is not true, Iamcuriousblue simply discredits himself. No one is disputing that criticisms belong here. They just need to meet the policy of WP:BLP. What we are asking is that you stop your wholesale reversions so that consensus can be reached on how to word the criticisms. Is that really such a bizarre request? Wikipedia is a COLLABORATIVE effort, let's collaborate. --Axiomatica 06:29, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
If this is the case, then when the article opens again to editing STOP REVERTING OUT ALL CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES. That's exactly what you and Ninorc have been doing. Iamcuriousblue 15:06, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually Ninroc's version was a very careful edit, not a revision. Which is how I suggest we proceed. You chose to revert Ninroc's edits wholesale and I kept trying to get back to them so we would have some starting ground here that we all can agree with. I repeat my request to go back to Ninroc's edit and add things from there in a collaborative fashion. --Axiomatica 18:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC) (wasn't signed in, edited to add signature.)
Is this Axiomatica? Ninorc's version is not a "careful edit", but a wholesale dropping of any and all critical perspectives on Farley's work. In any event, no I don't agree to the dropping of these sections as a way to proceed. That you seem hell-bent on censoring this perspective speaks volumes about the perspective that you and Ninorc are coming from. In any event, the offer of mediation is open and I really suggest you take up the offer. Its the only way we are going to move forward. Iamcuriousblue 18:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I have responded to the mediation cabal already. I also requested help from the Biography noticeboard. If there are other options available, I am open to hearing about them. --Axiomatica 18:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Which sections are in dispute[edit]

I want to outline the dispute here. This is the version I last edited and is the version I think should be built on further. This is the version User:Ninorc and User:Axiomatica wish to use as the basis. While there are quite a few differences, the edit war basically boils down to the three sections that are in question, sections that Axiomatica and Ninorc continue to erase entirely:

1) "Her prostitution studies, however, have been criticized (most notably by sociologist Ronald Weitzer, a proponent of the full decriminalization of indoor prostitution) for alleged problems with their methodology and sampling bias toward highly marginalized groups of prostitutes (such as street prostitutes), and for the way the findings of these studies have been more generally applied to demonstrate the harm of sex work of all kinds. Farley's critics also claim that her findings largely reflect her radical feminist ideology."
2) "She is also largely opposed to sex workers' rights activists and groups, such as COYOTE, which advocate legalizing or decriminalizing both prostitution and the purchase of sexual services. Many of these activists are likewise strongly opposed to Farley's perspective, holding that Farley's research discredits and misrepresents women working in the sex industry and lacks accountability toward them."
3) "Farley is also anti-pornography activist. In 1985, she led a National Rampage Against Penthouse alongside Nikki Craft. The "Rampage" was a civil disobedience campaign of public destruction of bookstore-owned copies of Penthouse and Hustler (which they denounced as violent pornography) and resulting arrest for their actions. Farley was arrested 13 different times in 9 different states for these actions."

(Note that all three of these sections are thoroughly cited and referenced – please check the article itself for citations.)

Also at issue is whether the term "sex work" is allowed to be used at all in the article. Iamcuriousblue 18:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

The phrase "her prostitution studies" is far too vague. She has conducted many studies in many countries around the world. She has published 25 peer-reviewed articles. What I have read of Weitzer's criticism seems to be him complaining that she cites feminist researchers in her work and the fact that an early study focused on "street prostitution." Weitzer has never done psychological field research and has in fact done no original research in the field. His "criticisms" of 2005 deny he has a values agenda of his own, but he has since come out as a proponent of legalizing what he calls "indoor prostitution." He is hardly without bias.

The bottom line here is the same as the bottom line for every discussion in this talk area. It is probably possible to reword this so that it is acceptable to everyone. No one denies that Farley has critics! But for this to happen, you must collaborate with others and let them edit the entry. What you have written in inadequate.
Farley actually works closely with working prostitutes. To say she is opposed to "sex worker's rights activists" is inaccurate.
Do you have any cite more recent than protests 22-years ago? She has spent the last decade doing serious field research on the issue of prostitution, which should probably be featured more prominentaly than something that happened over 20 years ago (although you can certainly mention it.) This is another example of something that simply needs to be rewritten. --Axiomatica 19:44, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Wow! I bet if I were to state that the sky is blue as one of my arguments, you'd quickly assert that the sky is, in fact, orange. As for the substance of your arguments, once again, the debates between Weitzer and Farley were seen as relevant enough to be published in a series of articles in an academic journal (Violence Against Women). This is quite relevant, in spite of your arguments to the contrary. That she is opposed to many sex workers rights activists is something that's clearly cited in the article, something your assertions about her "working closely with working prostitutes" does not change. And newspaper and book references to early activism are suddenly not admissible because they are from articles that old? In a biographical article which is supposed to discuss the notable events of any individuals life, yet. This is, once again, an example of Axiomatica simply inventing Wikipedia policy out of whole cloth. Good grief! Iamcuriousblue 19:57, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
And so what if Weitzer is not without bias. His views are simply stated as those of a critic, which readers can evaluate accordingly. The idea that an academic must be "unbiased" to evaluate the work of another academic is utter nonsense. Iamcuriousblue 20:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Case for inclusion of views critical of Farley[edit]

Axiomatica continues to mischaracterize my edits as amounting to "Farley's work should be defined by her critics". In fact, we seem to agree on keeping much of the same core content that simply explains Farley's research and views. (With the exception of disputed section 3, above, which is core biographical material Axiomatica and Ninorc don't seem to want included either, for whatever reason.) My position is simply that, as per WP:NPOV and WP:CONTROVERSY, when a subject holds controversial views or has taken controversial research or actions, the views of critics of those views or that research be included. Axiomatica seems to take the novel view that WP:BLP somehow carves out a broad exception to WP:NPOV and that critical views are not to be included at all in biographical articles, even where such articles state the subjects controversial views. That this is clearly not the case, as a simple perusal of articles on George Galloway, Ronald Reagan, or Bjørn Lomborg will quickly show. (It has also been suggested by Axiomatica that if there are to be criticisms at all, they must go in a separate "Criticisms" section. This is clearly not the best practices of Wikipedia, as Wikipedia:Criticism clearly states. I have kept criticism of her research in her section on "Research" and criticism of her views in the section on "Activism and views", as per these best practices. Check the article on Ronald Reagan for an example of an article where such best practices concerning criticism have been implemented.)

Apparently, the fact that there are differences of opinion and interpretation between Farley and other academic experts on prostitution and the sex industry, among them Ronald Weitzer, Barbara Brents, and Kate Hausbeck, is information Axiomatica and Ninorc simply want stifled wholesale and not mentioned in any way. Ditto with the fact that there's a large sex workers' rights movement that also does not agree with Farley's views.

My answer to the contention that airing of such views may give undue weight to the voice of her critics, is first, these views are not the views of some tiny insignificant minority, but substantial enough criticisms to be aired in news sources and academic journal debates involving Farley. And second, if points of criticism are proportionately taking up too much of the article in its present form, to simply expand the sections describing the views, and particularly, the research of Melissa Farley, something I have always advocated.

As per the wording on "sex work", this seems to be a political dispute. Farley has stated that she supports the abolition of stripping and pornography modeling, which she sees as simply different phases of prostitution. The generally accepted term for prostitution, stripping, porn work, etc in general is "sex work". Farley, however, is strongly opposed to the term "sex work" itself, a view apparently shared by Axiomatica and Nonorc, making this point contentious as well.

I have been going around and around about this for 4 months with Axiomatica, and have been hearing that editor make the same tendentious arguments over and over, and basically sticking to the same wrong-headed argument that biographical articles should not at all include the views of critics. I would like to hear some other views on how the above-mentioned criticisms should be fairly addressed in the context of a Wikipedia biographical article. Iamcuriousblue 18:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

This is a straw man argument. No one is arguing that critics views should not be included in this article. However, any reading of WP:BLP requires that the critics views not overwhelm the article. Is it not possible that these criticisms can be worded in a way that is acceptable to others? Is iamcuriousblue the only person on the planet capable of writing about these criticisms or is it possible that other people have something to add to this article? We are just asking for an opportunity to edit without endless reversions. Work with us here.
I strongly urge iamcuriousblue to create WP entries for the people he mentions. Their views deserve to be represented in Wikipedia. However, the purpose of this entry is that it is a bio, not a debate on the issues around legal and illegal prostitution. Certainly their critical views should be mentioned. I don't think Brents and Hausebeck are in the same boat as Weitzer, however since they actually are researchers, and there are many points of agreement in their work and Farley's.
We all agree that information about Farley's work should be expanded. Unfortunately, no one has a chance to edit this article because of iamcuriousblue's constant and capricious reversions.
The term "sex work" is not "generally accepted" and in fact there are a variety of conflicting definitions for this term. It is not a scientific term. Farley does not use it. To describe her statements on prostitution as statements about "sex work" is to be deliberately misleading as well as inaccurate. Again, this is not an topical article about the term "sex work", it is a bio article where the emphasis should be on accurately reflecting the work of the subject as well as mentioning and linking to critics.
Again with the straw man argument. And again I point out to you that I have no problem including the views of critics. This is boring. I have trouble with the way you have written about the criticisms and I believe there is a way to include the criticism that can be agreeable to all. It is called collaboration. Let's do it. --Axiomatica 18:59, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I ask that you not insert your arguments between paragraphs in other people's arguments. It rapidly becomes very difficult to tell who is arguing what when you do this.
If you have no problems with the views of critics being aired in the article, then why do you continue to revert to a version in which the three passages outline in the prior section are wholly excised?
As for your assertion that the term "sex work" is not generally accepted and that the term is not "scientific", that is simply your assertion. A Lexis/Nexis or Web of Science search would reveal otherwise. The term is, in fact, in wide use in social science and social policy publications. Just because you assert otherwise doesn't make it so.
Your calls to "work with us" are kind of laughable – basically, you are the only other major editor (with Ninorc making occasional contributions) and you have shown an ongoing and resolute unwillingness to work with me, as your ongoing demands that I stop editing this article altogether and your requests elsewhere looking for a way to have me blocked from editing attest to. And the fact is, I have been working with other editors – when Ninorc came up with the September 19th version, I reverted it (since it dropped entire passages wholesale), however, I then proceeded reincorporate the vast majority of Ninorc's additions to the article, with the additional step that I did so based on citation of an actual published source by Farley. You have continued to label every single edit I've made to this article as vandalism, even places where I've added references, reworded the article to be improve balance (such as editing to present Farley's views and her critics views in the same tone), adding citations and ISBN numbers, etc and have accordingly reverted to versions that drop these changes entirely. I'd like to work with you, but your actions and rhetoric always seem to come down to "my way or the highway" – either your demands are complied with 100% or I'm "vandalizing" the article.
And once again, Axiomatica, I'm extending the invitation to you to reopen the unsettled Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-06-25_Melissa_Farley case and I'm asking for a "yes" or "no" answer out of you about this. I'll take your once again simply ignoring the issue as a "no". If you are refusing mediation, I'll simply take the dispute resolution process to the next level, that is, Arbitration Committee, who's decisions are binding and who have the power to block either or both of us.
Iamcuriousblue 19:41, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I have already posted on the Cabal page, so I am hardly ignoring it. --Axiomatica 19:01, 28 September 2007 (UTC) (wasn't logged in when posting, edited to add signature.)

I have now also added my agreement to Mediation Committee page. I look forward to resolution so we can move forward toward collaboration on a factual bio article. --Axiomatica 19:13, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

The term "sex work"[edit]

User Iamcuriousblue has written this in the Farley bio article and refuses to let anyone edit it.

"Farley is a leading proponent of the abolitionist view of sex work"

This is simply not true. Farley very specifically does not use the term "sex work" and has written about why. It is a misleading and unscientific term that is defined very differently by different people. But Iamcuriousblue DOES use the term and seems to insist that everyone else use it too. This bio entry is not the place for a debate about the word "sex work". The fact is that Farley is a proponent of the abolitionist view of prostitution. The sentence should simply say that. This is an example of something that should be quite easy to reach agreement on, but apparently no one but Mr. Werner is allowed to edit this article. --Axiomatica 19:14, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Farley is also for the abolition of stripping and pornography, in other words, other versions of sex work. I have pointed out many times that "sex work" is a term that's widespread in social science and social policy literature, a fact that Axiomatica continues to ignore. Iamcuriousblue 19:45, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Iamcuriousblue's opinion about what the term "sex work" means is irrelevant. The term "sex work" is an unscientific term that means different things to different people. Some people think it means all strippers. Other people think it only refers to those strippers who have sex with patrons. Some people think the term "sex work" means anyone who does sexual titillation for a living which could mean Britney Spears and the Victoria's Secret lingerie models. Do you have a cite somewhere that Farley is calling for the abolition of Britney Spears and Victoria's Secret models? Do you possess the one true meaning of the term "sex work"? If not, don't put words in Farley's mouth assuming you know how she feels about all forms of "sex work." She is clearly "a leading proponent of the abolitionist view of prostitution. That is documented. Why not just say that? Let's just stick to the facts here. --Axiomatica 07:57, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you ask for a third opinion? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:02, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I did, and somebody removed it from the request que based on the erroneous notion that this article was still in Mediation Cabal, though that case was closed about a month ago. In any event, I have requested that the case go to Mediation Committee. If that falls through, I'll try to get a third opinion once again. Iamcuriousblue 04:31, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

As a note, we cannot say ""Farley is a leading proponent of xxxx" unless that claim is made in a published third party source. See WP:NOR. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:04, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I have been thinking about that. The source article says "prostitution abolitionist", so that's probably what should go there. What I do continue to dispute is any wholesale ban on use of the word "sex work" anywhere in the article, particularly in reference to the sex workers' rights movement, who explicitly do self designate as such. Iamcuriousblue 04:25, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
COULD THIS BE CONSENSUS? HALLELUJA. So we are in agreement that the phrase should be "Farley is a leading proponent of the abolition of prostitution." Yes? --Axiomatica 06:45, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, unless there a reference turns up stating that Farley is for sex work abolition. Iamcuriousblue 15:04, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I came over from the Gender studies notice board, this issue seems to be resolved. I'm going to delist it. --Phyesalis (talk) 19:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Description of Weitzer's views[edit]

This keeps going back and forth. Weitzer is mentioned as a notable critic of Farley, something I feel belongs in the article based on a noteworthy debate between the two in the journal Violence Against Women. User:Ninorc adds the following language:

"(most notably by sociologist Ronald Weitzer whose "two track" approach favors decriminalizing or tolerating indoor prostitution which he sees as imposing no harm on the community and who terms efforts to end prostitution a "moral crusade.")"

For brevity and NPOV reasons, I (User:Iamcuriousblue) shortened this to:

"(most notably by sociologist Ronald Weitzer, a proponent of the full decriminalization of indoor prostitution)"

Now User:, an editor who has made a number of edits to the articles Ronald Weitzer, Melissa Farley, and Prostitution in Nevada articles, removed this information so it reads as follows:

"most notably by sociologist Ronald Weitzer"

For the time being, I'm going to stay out of the debate as to whether they exposition of Weitzer's POV should be there or whether it is unduly prejudicial, though I think this is one of several issues that will need to be settled in the Mediation Committee case (linked to at the top of this page). I invite User: to add themselves as an additional party to the Mediation Committee case if they wish to participate.

My view is simply that Weitzer and his criticisms need to be mentioned in the section where Farley's research is discussed, and that if Weitzer's views are to be introduced, then long-winded and prejudicial text (like the version introduced by Ninorc, above) should be avoided. Otherwise, I leave it open how Weitzer is to be introduced and/or contextualized. Iamcuriousblue 02:39, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


I notice that her most recent book on Nevada seems to keep disappearing and reappearing. Whatever one thinks about the merits of this work (and it has been heavily criticised - most notably by the Sociology Department at U Nevada Las Vegas) - it is a major work in the sense that it has a large influence on the debate over legal prostitution in Nevada. Mgoodyear 03:23, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Link farm?[edit]

This article currently have a lot of links. I would like to see some of them plowed back into the article text as refs, even if this requires new assertions be made in the text.--Keepthestub 22:40, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

The intention is to put some of these back into the article. Progress on this article has been slow due to the contentious nature of this article, but I hope to start on it again soon, since there no appear to be no challenges to going forward with the article. Iamcuriousblue 15:54, 14 November 2007 (UTC)