Wikipedia:WikiProject Gender Studies/Countering Systemic Gender Bias
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This department is the temporary home for the Countering Systemic Gender Bias department of Project Gender studies.
In correcting gender bias on Wikipedia, take particular consideration of the following examples of perceived sexism:
- Usage of the terms "Miss" or "Mrs." should be changed to "Ms." or, preferably, removed entirely. Even calling an individual "Ms. Gallagher" is deferential in that it highlights gender and is more gentle than simply referring to her as "Gallagher", as is most often done with men.
- If you do remove the term "Mrs.", it is advisable to add a sentence to the article about who the woman is married to, if that is a relevant thing to note.
- Avoid referring to spouses in terms of ownership. For instance, instead of "Anderson was the wife of", "Anderson's husband", or "Anderson's wife was", be neutral and say "Anderson was married to".
- Take note of details limiting people to their physical characteristics. A person's height and weight are generally considered irrelevant except in the cases of models, athletes, and those to whom an attribute is seen as a dominating characteristic by the larger public. Similarly, remove infatuated comments related to appearance.
- Note that pictures can be POV representations as well. Often, the images selected to represent women are among the most sexualized, and least humanizing. If possible, attempt to locate suitable alternatives.
- There are times, though, when this consideration should be reconsidered. 'Sexualized' and 'humanizing' are not necessarily mutually exclusive categories, and this is an area that should be treated with care. Further, some in the public eye may have elected to present themselves as a sexualized image. Not respecting that choice may amount to showing a lack of respect for their rational capacities, and therefore be dehumanizing as well.
- Excluding a group of people by gender. Be sure that an article includes all genders (gender inclusive). If your article includes only men or women, be sure this reflects reality by citing sources or the reason that the article must only represent one gender. If you discover that it's not accurate, include new content that corrects the bias. For instance, if your article is titled "Professional Sports teams in the United States and Canada," be sure that it covers both women's and men's teams.
General things you can do to correct gender bias and improve any article:
Correct article content that displays a gender bias, or where the work of relevant Gender Studies researchers is not discussed (yet should be).
Change usage of the terms "Miss" or "Mrs." to "Ms." or, preferably, remove the terms entirely.
Description by Physical Characteristics
Be sure that references to a person's height and/or weight are in line with the subject's notability. Generally height/weight are considered irrelevant except in the cases of athletes and models. References to such information should often be removed.
Biased Photos or Images
If possible, locate or contribute positive images of women. Sometimes the images selected to represent women can be among the most sexualized.
Possessive Terminology & Notability
Change possessive terminology. Referring to someone as the "wife of" (or "husband of") someone else may imply possession by that other person but it also erodes their notability as a subject. Terminology such as "is married to" maintains the person's notability, and keeps the focus on the person being described.
To participate in Countering Systemic Gender Bias please add your name to the membership list for our parent project Countering Systemic Bias here.
Additionally you may wish to add the Countering Systemic Bias user box to your user page (see templates section below).
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