Wikipedia talk:Categorization

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Please come and help...[edit]

Should MoS shortcut redirects be sorted to certain specific maintenance categories? An Rfc has been opened on this talk page to answer that question. Your sentiments would be appreciated!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  16:37, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Category:Kvng RTH[edit]

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout#Conflict with Category:Kvng RTH --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 09:47, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Category:Alternative medicine[edit]

I am attempting to improve the categorisation in this area and my attempts are being resisted by people from the WP:FTN group who will not let me, for example, put articles about acupuncture into that category. As far as I can see they fundamentally disagree with the heirarchical nature of the category system. They want to use categories as labels. I would like some help and advice please. Rathfelder (talk) 23:28, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Are you referring specifically to Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard#Categories of alt-med articles? Mitch Ames (talk) 01:06, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes I am. Rathfelder (talk) 15:39, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

That's redundant over-categorization; Category:Acupuncture's parent already is Category:Alternative medicine. I'm not sure your idea of what "hierarchical" means matches the usual definition. By way of comparison, if something is already categorized asa US Air Force plane, it does not also get categorized redundantly as a military plane and as a plane.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:42, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

I know that, but when I do it I get repeatedly reverted. I don't want to get involved in an edit war on my own. Rathfelder (talk) 15:39, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Revisiting gendered categories: Let's have a clear criterion of "has or can have a proper article"[edit]

I'm not at all a fan of these Fooian female/women barbazzes categories in most cases because they have a "ghettoizing" effect, especially a psycho-social one. Every time we use a category like "Category:British female artists", etc. without a well-sourced reason for having it, it's like describing someone as "my Jewish friend Jimmy" instead of "my friend Jimmy".

Previous RfCs and other discussion about such categories have been sharply critical, yet we still keep having the categories. Why? As far as I can tell it's just for the convenience of some individuals. By this reasoning, WP:OVERCAT should simply be marked {{Historical}} and ignored, since every intersection of topics turned into a category is convenient for someone. The more obvious ghettoizing effect, of women not being found in general categories but only in "women" or "female" subcategories, is partially resolved by making them non-diffusing categories; however, this still depends on editors actually listing these subjects in the specific and the general category, and them remaining categorized that way, which is often not the case. And this doesn't nothing about the perception problem. [PS: All of this applies to other such "socially charged demographics" categories like "gay", "Catholic", "Hispanic", etc., though we're mostly rid of those that are not well-justified.]

We need to come up with a compromise that draws an easy-to-understand line. The one I suggest is this: Such a category is created/kept only if we're certain that a properly encyclopedic article can and should be written about it (or already has been), at least at the top of the category tree.

Here's a detailed example: I wanted to delete Category:Female pool players as ghettoizing, when it was first created, but I would !vote to keep it now, because it would be both possible and desirable to have a comprehensive Women in billards (or whatever) article that covered this history:

  1. Billiards started as a unisex game of the European nobility, and remaining that way through centuries of diffusion to lower classes.
  2. It changed to an almost exclusively male activity (outside the home) for over a century (pool was associated with gambling and other ne'er-do-well activities, carom billiards and English billiards as sports were regulated by all-male sports organizations, and public recreational tables were found almost only in pubs (where women were generally not welcome yet) and men's private clubs.
  3. Pool in turn became an almost exclusively male competitive sport, until the 1960s saw women players demanding to be permitted in pro tournaments and meeting player and organizational resistance (to the present day).
  4. All this culminating in the founding of the Women's Professional Billiard Association in 1976 and its continued success, with women actually now dominating the public face of pool and making more stable incomes at it than the male pros (because WPBA got its shizzit together on many levels, from savvy marketing to guaranteed prize money held in escrow to exclusive long-term TV deals, and so on.
  5. Similar story with snooker, except that the female pros are actually ghettoized within their sub-industry (they don't have a successful WPBA equivalent), and many of them consequently have switched to pool; until recently, women's pro pool was dominated mostly by former pro snooker players.
  6. At top-level pro play, the games remain almost entirely segregated, with the World Pool-Billiard Association and similar sport governing bodies maintaining separate men's and women's divisions, though many events are divided now into "open" and women's, with women allowed in the former.

It's fair to say that our coverage of pool is sorely incomplete until this article is written. (Some basics can be found in select bios like Jean Balukas). The same is not true of most occupations; the typical arc is that they were virtually all male-dominated in a simply de facto way, until women entered the non-domestic workforce in massive numbers.

Counter-example: There's nothing like the women-and-cue-sports story when it comes to women playing particular musical instruments. Women drummers (to use an example from a thread at Wikipedia talk:Categorizing redirects) are actually quite common, they're just not very common among touring pros probably simply because drum kits seem to appeal more to males on average (whether that's a factor of marketing or what is off-topic for now). It's exactly the same as the relative lack of women construction contractors; it's not a line of work that seems to attract many women. It is not like the lack of women fighter pilots or female players of American football, which are in fact due mostly to institutionalized discrimination, exactly as with pool: we have clear proof of long-term, organized efforts to bar women's entry. We do not when it comes to drumming or working with power tools.

Our coverage of drumming in popular music isn't incomplete without an article on players who are female, and writing one would be an exercise in original research and PoV editorializing, due to lack of secondary sources for "women as drummers" being a subject of coverage of its own. There's lots and lots of material about women as billiardists and the industry response to them (though much of it is in speciality publications like Billiards Digest and not available online, so doing the article will require library work).

What's current practice? We seem to keep keeping stuff like Category:Actresses and its zillion subcats (despite decreasing support for even using this term at all in female actor bios), on the sole basis that there are some separate awards (Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.) for actresses and male actors, despite there being no particular difference between an actor and an actress in what they do and how they do it. This doesn't really seem good enough to me. It's really quite flimsy.

The reason we have these separate categories has nothing to do with the people receiving them but with the nature of human fiction, which usually involves a love interest which in turn is usually heterosexual; it violates average public expectations that the two main stars in a movie that is at least partially about their relationship are directly competing with each other for a single award. So, they have separate awards to make people happy – and it also lets them give out more awards per film, which makes the awards show go on much longer, which means more sponsor advertising dollars, and so on. It's a business decision.

What's the problem? The actor/actress sort of thing is a very poor rationale to differently label and categorize bios in an encyclopedia. The problem with this weak "sometimes some separate treatment, like for awards" standard is it could be used to "women-fork" any occupational category of any kind as long as someone can find, somewhere, a case of women and men receiving recognition in a sex-divided way. We can do better than this, by tying it to there being a sourceable distinction on many levels, about which a proper article can be written. Important: Actress redirects to Actor, and any attempt to fork it would fail. And "sometimes separate treatment" doesn't cut it anyway. We don't have separate articles on driving cars and teenage driving cars, despite there in fact being separate laws about the latter.

What about other categories? When it comes to bios, the craptastical ghettoizing effect can be mitigated a little by other categories; e.g., Georgia O'Keefe is in the arguably pointless Category:American women painters, but also in Category:20th-century American painters which is not divided by sex. This should be probably be done in all cases in which we have a gendered category split and the members of it span more than a century and there are enough in the categories for a split. But this only works when the main category (here, Category:American painters) is a container category and stuff is all supposed to be in subcats [that category badly needs work in this regard].

It doesn't work for, e.g. Category:Women eSports players; the number of notable pro gamers is too small for such a split, and it's an occupation almost entirely confined to the 21st century (some 1990s, but not enough for a century split). And Category:Women eSports players is perhaps the worst example of all time, since there are not reliably sourceable differences between male and female gamers, other than that some of the former have been total asshats to some of the latter; half the time no one's even going to know what their sex or gender identity is unless they disclose it or they show up for an in-person, live-action competition, and even then people can "pass" if they try hard. It's not sufficient (yet) that we have articles at Women and video games and Sexism in video gaming, almost entirely about video game marketing and amateur player experience, respectively. They're not focused on women as pro gamers, game developers, or other professionals, and it's unlikely that a proper encyclopedia article can be written about that; there simply isn't enough history there, and what there is isn't sufficiently distinct from men doing the same work.

What about wikiprojects' tracking needs? The argument is offered that we need these categories, and lots more of them, to help wikiprojects keep track of the level of article development in particular topic areas. But this is not what user-facing article categories are for. This can done by creating lists at the wikiprojects, by applying hidden categories with talk page wikiproject banners (e.g. {{WikiProject Women|sports=yes|...}}), or both.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  07:30, 1 January 2018 (UTC); addendum: 04:50, 4 January 2018 (UTC) substantially revised to address some issues raised below: 06:38, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

  • In general, I support the idea and agree with your reasoning. If it were a proposal I'd !vote for it. Because it's not, I'll offer some thoughts.
    It should apply equally to male fooians (which is implied by the section heading, but doesn't get a mention thereafter), and any formal proposal should say so explicitly. A specific example is Category:American male painters.
    they have a ghettoizing effect (of women not being found in general categories but only in "women" or "female" subcategories) — It's quite common for such categories to be non-diffusing, e.g. Category:American women painters, so they are in the general category as well. That's not a justification for keeping the gendered category though.
    Gendered categories introduce a new source of inconsistencies - e.g. American male painters vs American women painters. (We should probably try to fix these, if we can't get rid for them.)
    Such a category is created/kept only if ... a[n] ... article can and should be written about it ... — Corollary: such categories should include a {{Cat main}}, and if no such article exists a stub should be created.
    In competitive sports, the existence of a separate organisation for females might be a justification for the existence of a separate category, because that organisation might be notable enough for an article, e.g. Women's Professional Billiard Association, AFL Women's.
    Women drummers... — I don't think it invalidates your argument, because it's about a specific organisation rather than women drummers in general, but we do have Women Drummers International, which some might claim is a justification for Category:Female drummers.
    We seem to keep keeping stuff like Category:Actresses and its zillion subcats — Some of those subcats may be justified by the existence of an article, e.g. Category:Best Actress Academy Award winners and Academy Award for Best Actress.
    In some cases it might help your argument if you had references for some of the statements, e.g.
    "Women drummers ... are actually quite common, ... not very common among touring pros because of the physical demands of the job, and probably simply because drum kits appeal more to males on average"
    "actresses and male actors ... The reason we have these separate categories ... the nature of human fiction ... violates average public expectations that the two main stars ... are directly competing with each other for a single award ... more awards per film ... more sponsor advertising dollars ..."
    "...driving cars and teenage driving cars, despite there in fact being separate laws about the latter."
    It's not an article so, external sources aren't required - Wikipedia articles would suffice - but any proposal would be stronger if its statements are backed up by something.
    Category:Women eSports players is perhaps the worst example of all time, since there is really, really, really no difference at all between male and female gamers — "eSports" and "gaming" are not synonymous, but we do have an article Women and video games, which could give some justification for the existence of the category.
    Mitch Ames (talk) 10:22, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks for the extra-detailed response.
Some detailed reply material:
Agreed on male categories; there may be some defensible ones, but some clearly are not, including Category:Male models and Category:Male nurses; male models have existed as long as there have been models, they're just in lower demand; male nurses have not been unusual for generations now. I'll address the "non-diffusing is the solution" idea below, since two others raised it. Agreed on the inconsistencies point; though fixable it's widespread and annoying and causes cleanup to be needed (either duplicate categories, or categories not being applied because the editor thinks the cat. doesn't exist). Should probably stick to "female" and "male" since so many of these do not have adulthood as a criterion. Corollary: agreed, though it shouldn't be implied that creating the stub is required to create the category if the category is genuinely justified.

Orgs: I wasn't meaning to imply at all that the existence of a professional association is sufficient; I could create right now an organization called the Men's Political Consulting Association, with full 501(c)(3) status, but that would not justify a "Category:Male political consultants", regardless of any diffusing question, even if we had 20× more articles on people in that line of work. The pool example was about the entire history of the billiards–women relationship, so I would have to clarify that in a real proposal.

Yes, we would keep Category:Best Actress Academy Award winners, etc., but there's no reason for them not to be in non-gendered Category:Actors container cats. like Category:Film actors by award, with the pointless Category:Film actresses by award simply going away. Sourcing: This isn't an article, as you say, and the point isn't to mire people in citations for the obvious (even WP:CIRCULAR ones. I would remove rather than source. Given comments below challenging the obvious; it's a political distraction.

Women and video games could potentially be justified, in combination with Sexism in video gaming (see below), but only if there's focused, sourced material clearly established noteworthy distinctions between men and women as pro gamers, which is not presently the case. Experiencing some (sometimes a lot of) prejudice isn't enough; that would be true at one point or another for women in every non-domestic occusation, often within living memory of many of us. And changing demographics aren't enough by themselves (and may even mitigate against such categories, as the statistical differences recede). Could write on article Women and tool ownership about increased tool purchases by women, cheesy pink-tool marketing, gender gap in picking up tool skills from an early age and consequent safety/injury issues, etc., etc., but it wouldn't justify categories of women contractors, women set constructors, etc., if the article didn't strongly show gender differences in tool-related occupations.

Proposal would have to be written tighter to account for some of that stuff (e.g. existence of an organization isn't sufficient, nor is an award, but a pattern of separate orgs and awards is) if a real one were to be drafted.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  02:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
I've since revised a bit to reflect the above comments.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • The solution to categories being ghettoizing is non-diffusing categories. So since the problem you describe has a solution, what useful thing would removing these categories accomplish? —David Eppstein (talk) 23:35, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
    I agree with David Eppstein; this is a complicated solution to a problem with a very simple solution in the form of non-diffusing categories. And even aside from that, there's a bigger problem with this suggestion; it requires us to determine whether practically every activity and occupation has some form of bias against women or not. For many activities, that's a pretty controversial question, and if we're forced to make an official decision on the matter it could look like we have a house POV. (The original suggestion has already made some fairly bold assumptions: why are men more likely to be interested in drum kits or power tools? Are male and female eSports players really on equal footing when we have a whole article on sexism in video gaming?) This suggestion seems like an unnecessary can of worms at best. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 02:59, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    The existence of a "female" category without an article to justify it is an unsourced POV, that women are different. In the interests of gender-neutrality, we ought have a male category everywhere we have a female category - unless we can demonstrate that it's not necessary, eg by the existence of a corresponding female article but no male article, in which case we're back to the original suggestion. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:21, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    Strongly agreed on the first point, and that's a great way of putting it. Don't agree with the latter idea; we souldn't mutiply the maintenance problem by having thousands and thousands of new "Fooian male bazquuxes" categories. Half the point of this proposal is to get rid of pointless categories (the other half being, obviously, a WP:Systemic bias sociological one).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  02:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    As far as I'm aware the vast majority of Women X categories are already non-diffusing, so I'm quite baffled as to why SMc bothered to write all this out. – Joe (talk) 13:25, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    In reponse to David Eppstein, TheCatalyst31 and Joe Roe at once: I may have drafted this poorly in leading with an article ghettoization point. However, non-diffusing parent categories only partially address that problem (see reply below, to Montanabw), because that "solution" depends on all the articles being properly categorized in both the gendered and the parent, ungendered category, and this often does not happen. The bigger point – which I seem to have lost and would address in a rewrite – is that these categories are psycho-socially (and politically) ghettoizing for readers and editors. It's a lesson I learned around age 8, from a PSA aired frequently between cartoons. Boy: "My Jewish friend Jimmy says I'm prejudiced." Father: "Well, you are, because you think of him as your Jewish friend not simply your friend." Every gendered category that doesn't have a thoroughly sourced reason to exist, based on marked differences between the male and female role, experience, public reaction, etc., is something very much like calling someone your Jewish friend.

    I can't accept the "it's hard" argument. It's part of WP's job as an encyclopedia to "determine whether [the subject] activity and occupation has some form of bias against women" and cover it adequately if so. (And yes, that can be politically tense, as is much of what we do in writing proper articles.) Until that's been done, the article is incomplete, and an insufficient basis on which to create a gendered category. Yes, this means way fewer gendered categories, and I would hope that was obvious, being the central idea of the draft proposal.

Cavils about statistics are a distraction:

I'm not going to get into distracting side arguments about demographics. I've just trimmed the material instead. But go to any Home Depot and note the M:F ratio (and after registering the low number of women, also note how many of them are there with their men and buying non-tool household items while the men are getting tools). Go to 50 rock, pop, jazz, etc., shows over several years and count the number of female drummers; depending on where you live, should be in the 5–15% range at most. I'll just drop such material from any actual proposal rather than invite pointless side disputes about it.

There isn't anything non-"simple" about having a gendered category only when RS tell us we really should have one, for a confluence of still-relevant reasons, which a proper article would already provide (or demonstrate to be not relevant).
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  02:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC); revised: 05:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
I've since revised a bit to reflect the above comments.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Question - are these categories useful for editors taking part in Women in Red editathons (i have left a message on their talkpage notifying them of this discussion)? Coolabahapple (talk) 06:55, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    Good question, though it seems dubious. Redlinks aren't going to be be in the categories. Maybe WP:WikiProject Women has more use for them? The one  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  02:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    PS: I notifide additionae relevant projects.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    As one of the more active contributors to Women in Red, I must say I find the non-diffusing women categories extremely useful for several reasons. First of all, they give a clear overview of how women's biographies for a given occupation are developing and, when compared to the parent categories, give a general impression of how well their coverage has been progressing. They also provide a set of examples which article creators can use to improve their own articles. In addition, they list many names from Asian, African and other non English-speaking countries which would not normally be recognized as women's names. Furthermore, they can be used as a straightforward basis for creating lists of women in a given occupation, often on the basis of nationality and/or period. But in my opinion, the most useful reason for such categories is that they provide support for the many specific editathons we launch (over 30 a year) as they can be used by our editors as they develop new articles or improve existing articles. Finally, just as we use similar categories from other language versions of Wikipedia to create coverage in English, our Women in Red associates working in other languages can draw on the articles listed in these women categories to enhance the coverage of women in the language in which they work.--Ipigott (talk) 10:06, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    They also provide a set of examples which article creators can use to improve their own articles. — Why are the "female fooian" articles any better than or different to the "fooian" articles as examples? Is there any reason to believe that articles about females are generally better than articles about males? (If there is, perhaps we need "male fooians" to help find the articles that need improving.) Are there specific characteristics of articles about women that are missing from articles about men? The only one I can think of (from my Western male perspective) is handling name changes due to marriage. (recent example)
    ... they list many names from ... non English-speaking countries which would not normally be recognized as women's names. — That could apply equally to male categories. But in either case it's a circular argument, since presumably the only reason you'd need to recognise the names as female (or male) is because you're explicitly looking for people of a specific gender - in which case the advantage of the category is simply that you can find people of a specific gender.
    Furthermore, they can be used as a straightforward basis for creating lists of women in a given occupation, — Isn't that simply perpetuating the status quo, rather than justifying it? I.e. the reason for categorising by gender is to make it easier to create lists by gender - but why do need/want lists by gender? (in the absence of a specific article about that gendered list criterion)
    Our friends at Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikidata would probably just tell us to search for all of the people in Wikidata with the appropriate value for gender.
    Mitch Ames (talk) 11:40, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    And this all sounds like stuff that can be handled with list non-articles at the wikiproject; I do this kind of stuff all the time and in great detail for other topics (list examples: WP:CUEBIOS, WP:CUEORGS, WP:CUEMISC, and lists of good, featured, etc., articles at the main WP:CUE project page, plus its to-do box template). If they don't like lists, they can use WikiProject Women in Red maintenance categories added by talk page project tags, e.g. {{WikiProject Women in Red|sports=yes|...}}. The entire idea "we should keep these categories because it helps my wikiproject work" is completely wrongheaded when it comes to categories that exist for readers. Integrated this into the draft material.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC); revised 06:38, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • The concept that a category can only exist if there can be an article about it is comparing apples and oranges. A similar issue comes up with whether something should be a category or a list article. In both cases, the WP servers aren't going to crash if there are a few more of either and the REAL purpose of categories is as an assist to the user looking for related articles. In that sense, non-diffusing gendered categories are extremely useful and important, just as are categories breaking down articles by geography, race, language or whatever. This topic was also discussed a couple years back in the wake of some very negative mainstream publicity for WP, and the consensus to have people placed both a main category and, if there was a need, in non-diffusing gendered categories for BOTH men and women. Let's drop this stick and not stir up this pot again. Montanabw(talk) 18:05, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    I have no "stick to drop", as I have never proposed anything like this before, and am substantially revising to take comments into consideration as we go. Also, WP:CCC is policy; there is not and never will be a principle that something discussed years ago cannot be revisited; please note the title of this section. I don't need to be told it's been discussed before when the entire point is that it's been discussed before and the interim solution has not been working. Consensus does not change if the pot is not stirred. Pot stirring is a good thing, or stuff sticks to the bottom, burns, and ruins the entire stew. The fact of the matter is that conflicts over gendered terminology remain very frequent, and the main impediment to their resolution is the presence of questionably appropriate gendered categories, which are used as an excuse to keep "genderizing" in the prose. Our stew is already burning. This isn't similar in any way to the choice between categories and list articles (and a "choice between" generally doesn't exist; while some things suited to listification make poor categories, most topics of lists have a category or at least a parent category if the list has been split into multiple lists due to length).

    I agree that categories exist to aid navigation for readers "looking for related articles". But two articles on artists that happen to be women (or lesbian, or black, or Hindu) aren't "related" in any meaningful way. It's just another WP:OVERCAT, an intersection that is convenient for someone but doesn't indicate a connection or sensible comparison.

    In some cases, like Category:Female players of American football, there clearly is a meaningful relationship (which I needn't belabour here). That's the kind of gendered, non-diffusing category we should retain. However, as I predicted elsewhere in this thread, some of the entries are still completely diffused, and do not appear in the appropriate non-gendered equivalent category (which might be quite a bit more specific, like Category:American football quarterbacks or whatever). I fixed a couple of these, but gave up after a while, since it's not one of my topics of interest and my to-do list is already huge. If we're not even doing this right with gendered categories that make good sense, "non-diffusing is the solution" is very obviously not the solution when we're contemplating thousands of way less justifiable categories. They will in fact ghettoize subjects and are already doing so right now.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

    You said "but two articles on artists that happen to be women (or lesbian, or black, or Hindu) aren't 'related' in any meaningful way." This is nonsense: they're minorities in their field, which makes it a common subject of inquiry. There are books and theses about all four of the subjects you raised. But you want to actively prevent readers looking for that material from finding it. Why? The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:56, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    The point is, there don't seem to be any books or theses which treat them together. There are all sorts of books about starfish, basketball, an rockets, but we don't put all of those in the same category (even if an intersection could be found by which to lump them together).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  13:51, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • As Montanabw said, the purpose of categories is to assist our readers in looking for related articles. In areas where "women in X" is any kind of numerical minority (which is most things), it is extremely useful to have categories by which one might find articles of interest. Conversely, there are areas where the reverse is true: "women netball players" would not be a sensible category because it would be nearly all of them, but "men netball players" would be. They're only ghettoizing if they're diffusing - which they should never be, and which there should be an absolute rule against if there already isn't. There is no need for tedious process about justifying whether we should have a non-diffusing category that will be helpful to many people: in the very rare case where to do so wouldn't make sense (such as in the example I gave), CfD is more than capable of taking care of it. The Drover's Wife (talk) 19:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    Addressed most this in the response to Montanabw. Why should there be a genuinely tedious and easily broken process of non-diffusing (of cross-categorizing) – a process which people are ignoring or breaking ("removing redundant category") even when it's really, really obvious to not ignore it? We can have a much less tedious un-process of "don't create pointless categories for which an article doesn't and probably never will exist". And if "the purpose of categories is to assist our readers", then why is the primary rationale offered in their defense "it makes doing some kinds of wikiproject work easier" (= "the purpose of categories is to assist some of our editors")?  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:21, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    The solution to the problem you raise is to have an explicit guideline that these categories are non-diffusing and for editors to enforce that. The categories are very far from pointless - as several people have noted, they're really useful for readers looking to find relevant content. Making out like these are used for internal purposes instead of as a very obvious means of readers finding what they're looking for is nonsense. I don't get the obsession with whether an article exists: an article doesn't need to ever exist for a category to be helpful. Having an article may be a useful addition in providing a more comprehensive coverage of the subject, but it's totally unnecessary for the category's existence. The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:50, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • We're nowhere close to getting rid of "gay" categories. Anyway, I alerted Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality to this discussion. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:16, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    And nor should we be. "Gay people who have broken into X field" is a specific area of interest for very obvious reasons. The Drover's Wife (talk) 21:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
    Yeah, as the discussion I linked to shows, I don't agree with getting rid of the LGBT categories. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:36, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    Which isn't in any way incompatible with this draft proposal: they're things about which real articles could and probably should be written, at least at the "top level" of the category branch. LGBT's intersection with political office is a good example; something like the Thorpe affair scandal of the 1960 would not be a scandal today because being gay (in the West) isn't exactly scandalous now. Why that's true is article-worthy (especially given the well-populated Category:LGBT heads of government), and not terribly difficult to research. It's actually pretty strange that we don't have the article already, given the size of Category:LGBT politicians and the amount of RS material written about various of them. Category:Lists of the first LGBT holders of political offices even provides convenient timelines to use as a starting place.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:46, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
    The whole article issue is a red-herring: categories for minority people in fields should absolutely not ever need an article to justify the category. It could be a useful adjunct, but there is no logical reason why it must have one, and it would be wildly counterproductive to do so in the mass loss of useful categories. The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:50, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Yet more sprawling by-centuries categs[edit]

A discussion has been started by @Ser Amantio di Nicolao at WT:WikiProject Women_in_Red#Categories about his creation and population of yet more huge people-by-century categories, including some of which have already been deleted at WP:CfD.

These categories potentially contain many thousands of articles, and are being populated with stealthy edit summaries which give no clue as to what is being done. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:32, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Interlanguage links[edit]

I note that there has been some editing recently to the one sentence paragraph saying "Interlanguage links work on category pages just as they do for articles, and can be used to link to corresponding categories on other language Wikipedias".... While this is true (the links do work on category pages), I don’t think we have ever discussed the more fundamental question... do we WANT interlanguage links on our category pages (and if so, HOW)?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what this sentence is trying to convey, but it appears to be telling us to place articles at (say) the French or German WPs within the categories here on the English WP... if so, I have to question whether this is something we want to allow. I question whether linking to articles at our sister projects fits with the purpose of our categorization system. I have always thought of our category system as being for internal navigation - helping readers find related articles located here on WP.en.

I do think it helpful to point readers to articles at our sister projects ... but I am not at all sure whether linking to them in categories is the right WAY to do this. Please discuss. Blueboar (talk) 13:40, 20 January 2018 (UTC) Blueboar (talk) 13:40, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Reading that one sentence paragraph, I think it is simply intended to say that a category page can have interlanguage links to corresponding category pages in other languages, in the left sidebar (which is common practice), just like articles have links to corresponding articles. So I agree with the reverted edit which said this should now be handled at Wikidata. --Pipetricker (talk) 15:54, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Ah... then I was misinterpreting what the sentence is trying to say. Thanks. Blueboar (talk) 16:05, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I might add that I think inline interlanguage links should almost never be used on category pages, just like they should almost never be used in article text. @Paucabot, Trivialist. --Pipetricker (talk) 17:10, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I suggest changing it from "Category pages can have ..." to "Like other kinds of page, category pages can have ..." since the present wording implies that interlanguage linking of cats is different in some way. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:55, 20 January 2018 (UTC)