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

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Are "African American" categories supported by sources and policy?[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Mariah Carey#RfC: Are "African American" categories supported by sources and policy?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Commons Category[edit]

A perannular brooch, being worn as part of reconstructed historical Norse men's clothing; see also these museum waxsworks.

Could someone please sort out Commons:Category:Penannular_brooches, specifically the subcategory "Females with penannualar brooches"? Apart from the silliness of categorizing objects by the gender of the user, men also wear them, for instance in highland dress. HLHJ (talk) 14:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

You'd have to list that for discussion on Commons, through the process that pertains to discussion or deletion of image categories on Commons. This policy document only pertains to categorization of biographical articles about people on en:, and has no bearing on the validity or invalidity of Commons categories for images. Bearcat (talk) 20:33, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

"Haitian" versus "African-American" ?[edit]

There is a BLP article (stub) that currently has the following two categories:

  • Category:African-American male rappers
  • Category:American rappers of Haitian descent

While there is no dispute on the 2nd category (his mother moved here from Haiti) my question is about the 1st category which was recently changed by another editor from American male rappers. While the person is black in appearance I am not sure if it is appropriate to say black people of "Haitian descent" are automatically "African-American".

Help? Koala Tea Of Mercy (KTOM's Articulations & Invigilations) 07:39, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

This is a tricky one, which I'll preface with the caveat that I'm a Canadian. In the Canadian context, where our "black" population is very predominantly Caribbean, it is considered objectively incorrect to describe a person of Caribbean heritage as "African-Canadian" — the distinction between "African-Canadian" and "Caribbean-Canadian" carries a lot of weight in Canadian culture, such that Black Canadian is still the standard umbrella term up here even while "Black American" has been deprecated as not standard anymore south of the 49th parallel. In the United States, however, I don't believe anything like the same distinction is observed — "African American" seems, as far as I can tell, to be accepted as the standard term for all "black" Americans regardless of the African vs. Caribbean distinction. So I agree that the "African-American" category isn't ideal — but it is appropriate and necesssary to keep the rapper in question filed in a "black" category context, and per US cultural terminology I'm not sure what other alternative is available. Bearcat (talk) 15:58, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Mention of bipolar disorder in biography articles[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#Bipolar disorder. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:02, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


The article states: "sportsperson categories should be split by gender, except in such cases where men and women participate primarily in mixed-gender competition. Example: Category:Male golfers and Category:Female golfers should both be subcategories of Category:Golfers, but Category:Ice dancers should not have gendered subcategories." But when you click on Category:Ice dancers it is sub-categorized by both gender and nationality. Should these categories be deleted or should we change the policy? Timmyshin (talk) 18:22, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm of the opinion that ice dancers were always a bad example of the rule — men and women don't compete in it as standalone competitors directly against each other, but in pairs which have to contain one male and one female member each. (There might exist non-competitive examples of two men or two women ice dancing together, but that would never fly in any of the competitions that ice dancers can actually attain notability from.) So gender is not actually irrelevant to ice dancing, because it has a direct impact on the formation of the teams. Better examples would be things like snooker or poker, where AFAIK there aren't separate gendered competition circuits and both men and women just compete on their own directly against each other. So yes, ice dancers should be removed from this document as an example, rather than the categories being deleted as violating it. Bearcat (talk) 18:31, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I completely agree with you on ice dancers. The reason I'm checking this article is I'm creating a bunch of subcategories under Category:Women short story writers by nationality, but now I'm thinking I may be creating too many WP:SMALLCAT especially since story-writing has very little to do with gender (and there are probably more women writers than men so under-representation isn't an issue). This article confirms that subcategorization by gender isn't encouraged except "where gender has a specific relation to the topic", but I'm discovering gender-specific categories have been created for many things under Category:Women by occupation and nationality. It's obvious the guideline isn't being followed, and I think it's time to either delete a huge chunk of subcategories, or completely get rid of the guideline. Timmyshin (talk) 18:45, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
In the case of writers, those nationality subcats have already been taken to CFD and debated, but consensus ended up on the keep side and actually forced us to revise this document — the policy used to be that we could have Category:American women writers undifferentiated by type of writing, sitting alongside Category:Women novelists and Category:Women short story writers categories undifferentiated by nationality — but we weren't supposed to intersect them to create Category:American women novelists, specifically so that we weren't ghettoizing women and leaving Category:American novelists as a male-only grouping. But consensus forced us to significantly revise how those are structured, in part because it was resulting in the high-level categories becoming too large to be navigable or useful anymore. So those are allowed to exist per the use of nationality as a way to keep a very large category diffused. Gender does have an impact on writing in general; while it's true that it doesn't have unique impacts on short story writing or novel writing separately from the impact it has on writing in general, those categories are still allowed to exist because general writers categories almost always need diffusion on size grounds for type of writing and/or nationality. Bearcat (talk) 18:58, 15 September 2016 (UTC)


I hope that I'm posting this in the right place. Why do we categorize LGBT people but not straight people? Wiki stance is that "inclusion should be made when a person's sexuality is part of their public life". Why doesn't this then apply to heterosexual people who use their sexuality in public ways (a womanizer category for example)? As things currently stand, Wikipedia contributes to the idea that LGBT isn't default or norm and that is, both, not particularly scholarly and actually quite damaging to many people. How would I propose that we do away with categorization by sexuality? (talk) 23:30, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

For the same reason that we have, for example, a category for Category:African-American people, but not a corresponding one for Category:White American people — it's not useful or maintainable to categorize people by membership in the majority group, if that category would have to contain 75 or 80 or 90 per cent of all the articles that exist at all. People are, fairly or unfairly, defined by being a member of a racial or sexual minority group in a different way than the majoritarian equivalent — "LGBT literature", for example, is a real thing that real sources actually analyze and real readers actually look for, so there is value and use to having an Category:LGBT writers tree to help our readers identify writers involved in it. We do still, unfortunately, live in a society where all people are officially equal under law, but in actual practice less privileged groups (LGBTs, racial minorities and even women) do still have to deal with being significantly less than fully equal in actual social practice — LGBTs and African Americans (and women) do, as a rule, generally still have to work quite a lot harder in their chosen fields to reach the same level of achievement as a straight white man who's doing the same things.
And for that reason, it is "scholarly" to include categories for minority groupings: these are groupings that actually have context for them. "LGBT literature" is the subject of critical and scholarly analysis as a distinct genre of literature, while "heterosexual literature" is not. Academic studies do exist about LGBTness in relation to careers in politics, in sports, in entertainment; similar studies do not exist about the impact of heterosexuality on those same careers. And on, and so forth.
And as well, it's not "damaging" to categorize people as LGBT if they themselves are out as such. It would certainly be damaging for us to categorize people as LGBT on the basis of rumours, or to directly engage in outing people who are in the closet — but if a person is themselves already out as LGBT, then there's nothing inherently "damaging" about us simply reflecting their own self-identification.
And for those reasons, entirely doing away with all categorization by sexuality simply isn't going to happen. LGBT people ourselves were directly involved in creating Wikipedia's rules about where categorization as LGBT is warranted and where it isn't, we were directly involved in creating the rule that Wikipedia cannot be used to out closeted figures, and on and so forth. Trust me, you have exactly zero chance of coming up with some magical new insight that wasn't already taken into account during the process of developing the policy as it stands. Bearcat (talk) 17:07, 9 October 2016 (UTC)