Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Archive 3

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Where's the bar for inclusion in this project?

I came here while looking into the actions of User:Dimadick who has been tagging articles such as Lisa Kudrow, Julie Brown, and Kelly Gallagher with this project's banner. While these BLPs are about women and they're obviously notable, I don't see how they're notable for their influence on the perception of women, women's history, or the influence of women in their career fields. They just 'happen to be women' for lack of a better description and seem to be the subjects of project creep. If this is the way things are supposed to be, okay, I'll try to accept it but it seems rather arbitrary and tenuous. So, could someone better explain where the bar for inclusion in this project is? Is this user on the right track with these edits? Dismas|(talk) 09:27, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

This was discussed early in the project's recent formation. My personal view is that the examples you give aren't appropriate subjects, but that other BLPs certainly are because their subjects are of historic notability (Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hillary Clinton). On the other hand, it could be argued that Madonna and Demi Moore make interesting subjects from the perspective of Women's History. So I don't know how you draw the line. I've also seen the project banner placed on articles about female figures from classical mythology; not too sure about that, either, though there's a case if the deity was primarily cultivated by women. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:08, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd agree that the examples above aren't appropriate. - PKM (talk) 21:35, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Mythological figures tend to indicate the depiction of women within any given culture. Are they depicted in a positive way, negative way, are they worshipped or cursed? Compare for example figures such as Lucretia, a rape victim depicted as an honorable woman ... because of committing suicide, and Tarpeia, Rome's own symbol of traitors.

Lisa Kudrow and Julie Brown ate irrelevant on the perception of women? Have you tried reading the articles? Both have consistently depicted negative stereotypes such as "valley girl" and "ditz".

As for career fields, would you say the pioneers in any field are influential or not? Kelly Gallagher (alpine skier) is the first female athlete from Northern Ireland to appear in the Winter Paralympic Games. Dimadick (talk) 07:59, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict) I also agree that they (and similar articles) aren't appropriate. Ditto, articles on mythological figures and fictional characters unless they have a clear importance to women's history. The project creep is getting out of hand as far as I'm concerned and have argued this elsewhere here. Our project has now bannered nearly 9000 articles—many times on the flimsiest of criteria, i.e. the word "woman" or a woman (any woman) is mentioned in the article. Well over 5000 of them are unassessed. As far as I know, no one is making a serious effort to clear the unassessed articles backlog, and the proposal to use inherited assessment was rejected. There seems to be a serious misconception as what a project banner is for. It is not an alternative method of categorizing an article [1]. Bannering a talk page should indicate that the project in question is interested in the maintenance of the article and/or is a resource for editors with queries about the article. This is an extremely small project and its founder hasn't edited Wikipedia at all for nearly two months. In my view it will be doomed to failure unless we limit the scope of articles under the banner and actually do something with the articles already bannered. I also think a much clearer statement as to the project's scope should appear on the main project page. Voceditenore (talk) 08:48, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Further note re Lisa Kudrow and Julie Brown, the negative stereotypes of women refer not to the articles' subject, but to the characters they portray. If anything tag Valley girl but not actresses who happened to have played valley girls (or similar) on television or film. Voceditenore (talk) 09:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Due to the discussion here, it seems as though consensus is that Kudrow and Brown do not warrant inclusion and I have therefore removed the banners from their respective articles. At least that's two articles that you guys (Amer. Midwest slang there :-) don't have to worry about untagging. I'll leave Gallagher for now since others haven't mentioned her inclusion specifically. I still disagree with Dimadick on that article as well. Just saying "Such and such is the first woman to..." can get really pedantic. Here are a few questions for you to consider... Where would it stop? Would the "first female Olympic ping pong player from Fiji" get tagged? If so, what about the "first left handed female Olympic ping pong player from Fiji"? Now that I've brought this up here, I'll bow out of the discussion and remove this page from my watchlist. I don't have a specific interest in Women's History. I just noticed what was happening and thought I'd bring it to the group's attention. Best wishes with the project, Dismas|(talk) 10:28, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The article on Julie Brown had already been assessed when you removed the tag. Voceditenore, you don't seem to be paying attention. Tbennert is making a serious effort of assessment. And the tagging also helps keep track of the various efforts to delete articles or edit wars concerning the content. And 9,000 is hardly a large number of articles. Compare it to other wikiprojects. Wikiproject Middle Ages covers 12,285 articles, Wikiproject Greece currently covers 25, 219 articles, Wikiproject United States covers 75,787. In each case only a hand-full of users are particularly active. But patroling for vandalisms and sudden changes is almost constant. Dimadick (talk) 10:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Hold on. It may be the case that something escaped Voceditenore's attention, given the existence of 9000 pages tagged by this project, but that isn't quite the same thing as V. not paying attention. I fail to see the point of rhetoric that frames this as a personal failing. On the contrary, V.'s thinking is careful and thorough, and I want to agree with the following statement: Bannering a talk page should indicate that the project in question is interested in the maintenance of the article and/or is a resource for editors with queries about the article. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:03, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
He/She has not just missed Tbennert's assessment efforts. Aciram has been translating articles from other Wikipedia, Tbhotch has helped assess music-related articles, and Kumioko has been helping with assessments concerning American women in politics. Which is all relatively easy to see once you go to "Category:WikiProject Women's History articles" and check for "related changes". One of the features the tagging helps with. When someone states "As far as I know, no one is making a serious effort to clear the unassessed articles backlog", you expect said someone to have checked first.
Cynwolfe, I fail to see how the statement you repeated is particularly relevant. Regardless of their numbers, the articles are being maintained and any queries on their talk pages have a chance to be answered. Dimadick (talk) 13:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm a "she" ;-) and I didn't remove the tag from Julie Brown. I stand corrected about the amount of assessment work being done. I was basing my estimate on the fact that there are now more unassessed articles than there were in March, the product of many more articles being bannered without being unassessed, I guess. It might be a good idea for members to take a a few extra minutes to assess a page when adding a banner to avoid the Sisyphus effect. It seems to me if there is consensus to make this a huge umbrella project like Wikiproject United States with a scope of basically every article remotely related to women, then that should be made explicit in the Scope section of the Project page. Right now, that section gives a very different impression, both to project members and to visitors to the project. Voceditenore (talk) 14:23, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Me she too. Voceditenore's reply is gracious, and I would like us to follow suit in not impugning each other's efforts while debating the purpose and scope of this project. Articles exist independently of any project; as Dimadick notes, each article is watched and maintained against vandalism (one hopes) by any number of people, and has its own talk page for issues specific to it. The presence of a project banner, however, indicates what V. said: that active maintenance and development of the article is a worthwhile way to further the overall purpose of this project, and that the project can be a resource for editors (who perhaps don't participate in this project) in addressing certain issues that may arise with an article. Our project's name is not "Women," but "Women's History," a recognized academic field of study. "History" is not synonymous with "the past," as I indicated above with examples of women who are historically notable but still living, but the question of where to draw the line on which BLPs to include led to an earlier discussion. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:51, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Past discussions on this issue can be found here and here. Voceditenore (talk) 10:00, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

To be honest, I have never had a good grasp on what and who should be included, even given the past discussions. If using the "women who made history" parameter we would miss out on organizations. Is it women who have impacted history in general? or events, people, organizations who have impacted our cultural view of women?
As far as the bannering goes, I do not believe we have come close to identifying all the articles that should be included. Just today I ran across 5 women in a Biography article "Top 50 women who have changed history" that had not been tagged (Thank heavens they all at least had articles!). I agree that we should be assessing so we can better understand the articles that have been included. Perhaps people do not feel comfortable "judging" an article, and other editors in a way. I know I did not feel qualified to assess when I tagged a massive portion of the initial big list. Guilt from tagging without assessing made me start working on the list. Then I realized it wasn't too bad and not nearly as difficult as I had thought, and many of the pages hadn't been assessed in years and needed a bannershell. Now I am working through them on my netbook while I watch TV in the evenings. Not being an expert on history, I may be off a little in my importance rating, but I figure it's better to at least have an idea than leave so many blank. Just my 2 cents (and a little plea to others to assess a few when you have time) --Tbennert (talk) 18:45, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the fuzzy criteria for inclusion. My understanding from the current way the scope is outlined on the project page is that it isn't just about or even primarily about the women who made history, in the sense of "the first woman to do X" (sometimes the "X" be very trivial), but also women who have impacted history in general as well as the historical events, people (both men and women), organizations, and even artistic works which have impacted our cultural view of women and their history. Voceditenore (talk) 19:24, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I just had a look at the "Related Projects" section of the project page which lists:
  • "WikiProject Feminism — specific to articles about feminist thought and politics, isn't historical in focus" [my bolding]
  • "WikiProject Gender Studiesdoes not have a history focus, includes articles on general concepts, living people" [my bolding]
This seems to imply that what sets our project apart is its historical focus, and that's what most of us signed on to. While there may be some overlap with other projects on some articles, in general living people, and general concepts related to feminism and gender studies are not really what this project is about. I know I keep rabbiting Flickr - Furryscaly - Bun-Bun.jpg on about this, but WikiProjects are for organizing editors' work, not for highlighting all articles that might conceivably be interesting to someone who is also interested in the project's focus. There is also something to be said for letting related projects carry the weight on the articles which they are specifically interested in maintaining and expanding. For example, once WikiProject Women's Sport goes ahead, we should leave those articles to them and not banner every article about a female athlete or female sport with our banner too. We've got enough on our plate with the thousands of articles already bannered. Voceditenore (talk) 20:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Discussion to reach consensus

Note: I have added the above subheading for ease of editing. Voceditenore (talk) 15:49, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Dimadick is at it again. Can we please work out whether every BLP of a woman should be tagged or not? Anderson, Carrere, Ricci, and Smith have not had a significant role in the history of women. They simply are/were women. That's it. None of them did any work to further the rights or well being of women as a group with the possible exception of Ricci if you count the unsourced claims of her work with RAINN. This is a clear case of scope creep. Dismas|(talk) 06:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

The criteria Dimadick is using appears way too broad. Almost every article on a woman that I have ever worked on is popping up on my watchlist as the Women's History project tag is added. As an example, I'm not sure what Martha Wentworth contributed in particular to the history of women to be included? Perhaps Dimadick could consider holding off on further tagging until there is consensus reached here as to the scope of the project with regard to criteria for inclusion? --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 13:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm only one voice, but I say: No, no, no, most BLPs of women don't belong under the aegis of this project, except for living women who are clearly of historic significance in the usual sense of the word "history". This would be like the Military History project templating the biography of every person who ever fought in a war briefly as a draftee. It trivializes the project in the WP sense of "trivia". I strongly agree with Voceditenore's statement that WikiProjects are for organizing editors' work, not for highlighting all articles that might conceivably be interesting to someone who is also interested in the project's focus. Delete rogue templates at will, I say. Someone who wants to place the template on a page where it isn't wanted can come here for support. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:04, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, here's a second voice. I fully concur with everything Cynwolfe has said. Voceditenore (talk) 16:41, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Could I also make a plea that while this discussion is going on to please stop tagging BLPs, and to please tag very judiciously in general? In the last 5 days, tagged articles are still increasing at a rate of 35 per day, of which scores are TV actresses and others equally "out there" e.g. Kaycee Nicole. And why is this girl band even tagged for the project, let alone rated "High importance"? There are now over 10,000 articles tagged for this project, of which 66% are of unknown importance and 56% have no quality assessment. Voceditenore (talk) 18:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree. The sheer volume makes the task of assessing articles unduly daunting. And I was puzzled to see that, for instance, Gloria Estefan and Cher rank as of high importance to the Women's History project, on a par with Eleanor Roosevelt, Catherine the Great, and various Nobel laureates. There are projects better set up to handle various aspects of contemporary popular culture. I changed some of what I perceived as inflated importance rankings on C-class articles; C-articles rated of high-importance numbered fewer than a hundred, and it was still time-consuming. Can't imagine tackling the thousands and thousands of unassessed articles. Strangely, History of women in the United States was rated merely "high" by our project, but "top" by the History WikiProject, which might flummox an outside observer seeking to understand the goals of this project. I'd think that all articles on "History of women" in whatever country would be of top importance. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:01, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I was going to make a similar statement a few days ago but have been busy with RL. Is there a way of running a report that would show anyone in Category:Living people and that has the Women's History banner? This would give us a list to review and determine which people to include. I am completely in agreement with no more tagging of any BLP. The rare includes have already been found. Would it be appropriate given the misconception that we redefine the project to never include a BLP? Or is this a one editor issue? --Tbennert (talk) 19:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
(As an additional note, if anyone is able to make the list and point me to it, or tell me how to do it, I will switch from assessing to de-bannering) Thanks!

Hello, I'm here because I just noticed Dimadick's tagging of Patty Duke and reverted it. I tried contributing here but got clobbered by another edit, so I'm trying again from what I put in the Patty Duke talk page:

Overbroadening any definition trivializes it, and makes it useless. If we're having a problem deciding what women's history means, here's an idea: why don't we try using the definition that we've created in Women's history?

  • ...the study of the role that women have played in history
  • ...includes the study of the history of:
  • the growth (and decline) of woman's[sic] rights throughout recorded history [should be women's rights]
  • ...individual women of historical significance
  • ...the effect that historical events have had on women."

Duke clearly doesn't qualify on any account, so simply applied WP:BOLD and deleted it. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:16, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. I was just looking at Women's History and wondering whether we weren't perhaps missing the obvious. In reply to Tbennert, I left a note for the editor who's been placing most of the templates with an invitation to join us here for discussion. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:07, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
To User:Tbennert, you may be able to use WP:CATSCAN but I'm not sure if the banner for this project adds a category to articles, so that might not work. Dismas|(talk) 00:06, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
You can might be able to use CATSCAN. The WH banner adds the talk pages to Category:WikiProject Women's History articles and the intersection of this cat with Category:Living people (and all its subcats) as well as intersections with various cleanup and assessment categories can might be done with the tool. DASHBot uses intersections to notify projects when "their" articles have been tagged as unreferenced BLPs. See for example Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa/Unreferenced BLPs. It's also how Article alerts works. All of which reminds me, perhaps I should sign the project up for the unreferenced BLP alerts. Voceditenore (talk) 08:57, 19 May 2011 (UTC) Update: I just had a bash with CatScan and it's quite complicated. I'm not clear on if/how it looks for interesects between talk and article categories. But it must be possible to find cross space intersections given the unreferenced BLP and Article Alert bots. I'll see if someone knows how to do it. Voceditenore (talk) 09:47, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

BLPs aside, do you think the arts (literature, theater, cinema, music) have had a significance in increasing the visibility of women in public fields or not? Because that is the only interest I have in tagging those articles. The articles above have a tendency to include more discussions than those of most politicians. Meanwhile, the project members have yet to respond to requests for discussion on Margaret Thatcher, Karen Armstrong, and Margaret Mead where debates about improvements continue. Dimadick (talk) 06:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

The talk pages of BLPs (and especially "celebrities" and entertainers) may have more discussions, but more often than not, they are not related to the specific interests or expertise of this project's members. The fact that the entertainment industry has made more women visible does not mean that these articles or the indivdual figures should be tagged. It's made a lot more people visible, period. This is exacerbated by a WP tendency to equate being "in the news" with being a significant figure. Re Karen Armstrong, in my view the WH banner is inappropriate there. Nor do the discussions in the other two articles have anything to do with a historical perspective. The discussions at Margaret Mead are primarily over issues about her anthropology theories and referencing. However, the article is appropriately tagged as she was a pioneer (albeit controversial one) in the field. Likewise Margaret Thatcher is appropriately bannered with this project. But the current discussion is re the use of her official site for referencing purposes. The alert page is of help for formal discussions like AfDs, RfCs, GAs, FAs etc. One of the problems with mass tagging is that it dilutes the focus of the project and its members. No one is going to keep 10,000 talk pages on their watch list (or even a tenth of that) or constantly monitor RecentChanges on 10,000 talk pages on the off-chance that some discussion (no matter how trivial) might turn up. The reason to particpate in discussions ought to be that a useful contribution can be made to the issue at hand, not simply because a woman is the subject of or has been mentioned in the article. This isn't WikiProject Women. Voceditenore (talk) 08:23, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I feel that the project has become somewhat stalled because of this lack of focus: it's pointless to banner such a great number of articles if we can't reasonably keep track of them as a group. It's also pointless to banner them without pausing to assess. "Women's History" is not the same thing as "Women's Studies." It seems to me that Dimadick is thinking of these famous women in terms of general notability and thus raw material for scholarship, present or future, on women's history. But I think BLPs belong under the aegis of this project only if the person already has notability as a topic of WH; that is, the biographical article in theory should be able to support a section that summarizes in a substantial paragraph or two how the person has been written about in terms of WH as a field of study, with sources that include books or articles that meet the RS criteria. (In theory: I'm not proposing that the article actually have such a thing.) If not, then the BLP lacks notability as a topic of Women's History. I'm fine with thoughtful bannering of BLPs for women who are pioneers in their fields, including entertainment, for which mainstream media can count as RS, but look: Kathryn Bigelow lacks a banner, and as the first woman to win an Oscar for directing, you'd think that if this bannering of A&E figures were being done with any informed deliberation about who's actually making women's history in cinema right now, her name would've been among the first to come to mind, not Lisa Kudrow. At any rate, there is a clear consensus for a moratorium on bannering BLPs until we arrive at some clearer guidelines, and I hope Dimadick will honor that. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:46, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I likewise agree that some BLPs, including pioneers in sports and entertainment, are suitable, but their pioneer status needs to be clear and non-trivial. It's the same thing with living women politicians. Not all of them are historically significant, and frankly some of them are not significant, period (in common with a large proportion of male politicians who have articles here). I think you're right about this mass-tagging and absence of guidelines potentially stalling the project. Unfortunately, the project was only at the proposal stage for three days before it went live and started tagging articles with virtually no discussion and without a well defined scope or "mission". The scope section on the main page definitely needs re-drafting, probably in a separate section here. Voceditenore (talk) 13:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I left a note on the talk page of Cliotropic, who originally proposed this project and took it live, asking for some input here. It would be really helpful, but they haven't edited Wikipedia in over two months, and may not even have seen it. Voceditenore (talk) 14:19, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's an example of a subject in the area of what I'd consider Women's History where "history" is not synonymous with the past. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:01, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Continued plastering of banner

After multiple people have asked Dimadick to stop placing the project banner hither and yon until we arrive at a consensus on scope, the bannering continues on articles such as this (not a BLP, but a possible issue of scope). What happens after we've asked nicely? Cynwolfe (talk) 14:19, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't know if there's anything you can do. I mean, how would you punish someone for trying to promote your project too much? I have a mild version of this problem in another project I work on, where one editor slaps the (unassessed) banner on too many articles. You have the power to revert, but I think that's about it. Boneyard90 (talk) 16:36, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
To knowingly continue to edit in a manner that is against consensus is disruptive and can lead to a block. --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 16:44, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The banner on the example you listed was added on 10th May. Instead of additions, I turned my attention to assessments of what was already included. You find that disruptive? Dimadick (talk) 15:02, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Late entry

(New sub-heading, as per the reason stated above) I know I'm getting in on this discussion kind of late, but I thought I would throw in my two cents. I think inclusion into the project should depend greatly on how the subject of the article has contributed to achievements of women, the changing image of feminine traits, and the perception of women with regard to their role in a given society, whether such contributions are viewed as agreeable or disagreeable, but impartially viewing the effect on cultures through time. As such, I think some articles in dispute should be included:

  • Celebrity BLPs: Some, like Pamela Anderson, should be included. Whether one likes her or not, she has contributed to or reinforced the American ideal of feminine beauty, and has come to embody many traits, agreeable and disagreeable, that modern women can emulate or avoid: motherhood, erotic beauty, plastic surgery, STDs, tattoos, outspoken opinion, sexual awareness, and I'm sure other traits. This does NOT mean ALL celebrity BLPs, but some are notable. We all have the power to tag a banner, we all have the ability to veto. When in dispute, bring it to this forum for a consenus.
  • Fictional women: Some characters, like celebrities, have contributed to women's history by embodying a certain image at their time, and has sometimes persisted. Lady Macbeth and Pandora represented ambition and unrestrained discipline.Antigone embodied compassion. Captain Janeway (Star Trek: Voyager) represents leadership and discipline under duress. Barbie represents... well, that's a long list, but she has contributed.
  • Men: Certain men have contributed to Women's History, such as Hugh Hefner. Like him or not, his publication Playboy had a huge effect on the image of women. On the negative side, one can say it objectified women and gave men a high ideal of beauty. On the other hand, it is credited with being part of the sexual revolution of the 60s and discussing things like women's libido and encouraging women to seek sexual satisfaction from their partners, subjects that were not really considered in the past.

Boneyard90 (talk) 17:22, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the inclusion of Hugh Hefner, whose article could easily have a section on how RS deal with his contributions to, er, Women's History. I still think BLPs still lead to the obvious problem of how a project with limited personnel should manage assessment and maintenance. I'd go so far as to say that if you banner an article you should be willing to (A) take time to assess it and in questionable cases even leave an explanation as to why (so other editors don't keep coming here and saying "What the –?"), and (B) put it on your watchlist. Otherwise, all you're doing is racking up your edit count while leaving the more time-consuming work to other project members. I don't know how to encourage editors to do this, but I'd hope that anyone who wants to develop a collaborative environment for the project would not choose to act in a manner contrary to project consensus.
On Boneyard90's other examples, these are chosen with thought, but again, I would suggest not placing the banner on such an article just because you could make a case for them; rather, take some time to determine whether there are reliable sources that could be used to add content to the article on the person as a subject of women's history. The question is not "Could RS conceivably offer an intelligent analysis of this person's notability in terms of women's history?" but "Do RS exist that deal with this person as a topic of women's history in a manner that would support a paragraph in the article?" Cynwolfe (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
For the assessment, I agree wholly with (A):
  • In most cases, I think, if you tag it, go ahead and assess it, unless of course there's a conflict of interest, or a few other reasons. A huge number of unassessed articles is a problem for many projects.
  • I have tagged articles with project banners though I wasn't a member of the project. In my experience, this happens alot with stub-articles of cemeteries which are tagged with WikiProject Death but not with the relevant geographical WP banner.
  • As for (B), I assess too many articles to watch them all. In some cases, I will leave a comment on the discussion page, or sometimes an editor will write me and ask why I tagged an article, and I will reply. So far as I know, none of my "questionable" tags have been deleted.
  • A huge volume of unassessed articles is a problem in many projects, but alot depends on the participants.
  • WP:Military History has a devoted corps of editors that usually keeps theirs down to less than a hundred.
  • WP:Japan had over 4,000 unassessed articles until recently, many of which are stubs on very non-notable people.
  • For reliable sources describing the individual's contribution to Women's History: I may have to (reluctantly) curtail my participation in the project if that becomes a mandate. While inserting a relevant paragraph in each article should be an admirable goal; finding sources, or having such sources on hand is problematic. I'm sure sources could be found for someone like Princess Diana, or literary/mythological figures like Pandora, but what about lesser known figures like Deborah Sampson or Lydia Litvyak? Their names are rarely mentioned in history books, much less an in-depth analysis of their effect on a broader topic.
Some food for thought. Boneyard90 (talk) 19:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree with what you say about (A). You can put the banner on one of your own articles, but you shouldn't rate its quality; importance is OK, especially if you think it's low importance. With (B) I was going for shock value: if you're tagging thousands of articles and you aren't willing to watch them, why should anybody else in the project? And if no other project member is watching them, then why should they be under the aegis of the project? My point is that if we're concerned about the sheer volume of articles, this is one way to test your impulse to place a banner on it: am I willing to watch it? If not, why not? This is also the reason I said what I did about RS: I'm not suggesting that you have to add content in actuality, or provide sources: only that RS be available. If you doubt the existence of RS dealing with the subject in the context of women's history, then why should that article get a banner? Either the subject has demonstrable notability as a topic of women's history, or it doesn't. I've seen a lot of your bannering work lately, Boneyard90, and it seems good to me, so I hope you're not mistaking what I'm saying. This is specifically about defining the project's scope, and adding to the overwhelming volume of unassessed articles, the vast majority of them biographies. It just seems better to slow down and banner with more thought, including assessment. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Understood and agreed. And thank you :) Unfortunately, you just can't force people to think more judiciously in their banner-tagging, though there may be a Wiki-policy to censure un-cooperative editors. But tell you what, when I'm done with my current assessment projects, I'll use some of my Wiki-time to start assessing the unassessed in this project (no promises on when, though, there's alot of tagged and unassessed articles out there.) Boneyard90 (talk) 20:31, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The problem with assessing while you add an article, is that this probably prevents any other user from actually reviewing. If nobody else shows interest, its time to return and do the assessment yourself. The conflict of interest is why I don't assess articles such as Antonina (wife of Belisarius), Helena (wife of Julian), Sophia (empress). I created them myself in attempting to improve coverage of Roman and Byzantine women. I see some editors reviewing their own work, but this always leaves me in doubt of the assesments. Dimadick (talk) 15:14, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

First an aside: Thank you Dimadick for switching your efforts to assessing. I've noticed the help :) I would also like to mention that I was able to figure out the Cat:Scan and cross checked Living people with Unassessed articles. The chunk I've worked through had several editors tagging what I would consider not in scope - going back to our issue of a somewhat fuzzy definition. Given the large number Dimadick tagged her name comes up more frequently, but there were others who now appear not to be actively involved with the project.
Back on topic: Given this discussion, and the varying views, I thought it might be important to let you all know the definitions I am working under to de-banner and to assess, since I have already done a large portion, and will continue. If anyone feels my criteria are out of whack with the project intentions, please let me know so I can correct going forward.
  • Untagging BLPs If they are still actively doing whatever they are notable for doing, I'm untagging. If their contributions were well in the past, I'm assessing. For those involved in feminism or women's rights I am changing the project to Gender Studies and still assessing so I don't cause animosity from that project. My opinion is that when these women die we can reassess their historical significance and include at that time.
  • Top articles Things like Women in History
  • High articles Overarching articles like Women in Turkey, Nobel Laureates, Saints, and any name that would be a normal history subject like Joan of Arc or Helen Keller
  • Mid articles Any woman famous in her own region, or in her own subject. Followed the assessment guidelines definition. I sometimes read too quick and may mark some of these articles low.
  • Low articles Most BLPs are automatically getting a low, most fictional characters and goddesses, and definition type articles
My personal view on the pages we should be bannering is:
  1. no BLPs, not even Margaret Thatcher. Why? because we have so many other articles that do fall into the historical view
  2. fictional and mythical are a-ok. These offer much insight into how women in general are viewed during that time period
  3. keep just about any other article on a woman. My understanding is this project was started because of the significant lack of coverage for women's articles compared to men. We should take a broad sweep because coverage of women in every area of interest is less.
  4. articles on men should be kept to a minimum. Back to the reason for creation of the project and that these articles are generally already better developed.

Thanks for reading the long post! --Tbennert (talk) 01:38, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

No, thank you for posting it. The recent discussion is persuading me that you may be right to draw a firm line at no BLPs. I really didn't join this project to talk about Katy Perry. You raise other good points, but could we try to achieve a consensus on the BLPs? One thing at a time. Would it be worth starting fresh with a new section at the bottom of the page on "Looking for a consensus on BLPs"? In the agree/disagree format. Cynwolfe (talk) 04:30, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think a new section is in order. We come back to that topic under about four different section headings. Boneyard90 (talk) 05:03, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


Probably the best thing to do is to re-draft the Scope and Goals section on the main page of the project to be as clear as possible to reflect current consensus.. When tagging newly-created articles, I invariably go a WikiProject's scope section to make sure that what I'm doing is correct. See for example WikiProject Freemasonry, WikiProject Film, and WikiProject Musical Theatre for examples of how some projects limit and describe their scope. The current one here is very vague. This has led to the many idiosyncratic overbroad interpretations which got us in this mess. To free-up this talk page, I suggest we start a workshop page specifically to draft this and reach consensus: Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Scope workshop. I also suggest that we call a halt to concerted bannering and unbannering of all articles, but definitely BLPs. The sky isn't going to fall in if some hidden gem is left unbannered or some pop singer is left bannered for a week or so. Ditto concerted assessment (which is also producing some very odd results). Otherwise, depending on the workshop outcome, there could be an awful lot of wasted work. Voceditenore (talk) 06:21, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Good idea. Also, I like the idea of providing not only example article of what falls within the project, but example topics and articles that are excluded, as in the WP:Musical Theatre (above) or WikiProject:Death, which excludes certain topics mostly because they're already covered by another project (like battles, which are covered by WP:Military history, or serial killers, which are covered by WP:Serial Killers). Boneyard90 (talk) 12:06, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Voceditenore doesn't point out how well organized WikiProject Opera is, although she's mentioned her participation (one should say leadership) there before. I've been very impressed with their work, and when I look up something pertaining to opera, I always feel that sense of calm and relief I have when I go to an article and feel I'm in good hands. I typically shovel content on WP, and don't have that much experience with the organizational side, so I would be very grateful if V. could spare some time to get this sorted out. Below, it struck me that we don't all mean the same thing by "women's history," or perhaps are unaware of what our RS are. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:20, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
The Opera Project had a couple of advantages. It started seven years ago when the opera coverage on Wikipedia was abysmal. Thus it was able to grow slowly and gradually evolve to what it is today. (I joined it four years ago, when it was already pretty well established.) The scope is perhaps easier to define than for this project, yet provides enough variety of things to write about to keep members interested. Having said that, we have made a conscious effort to avoid "scope creep" and to devolve the work on some subjects to our "daughter" and "sister" projects. Our members, particularly the active ones, are pretty passionate about the subject, but also realistic about what we can handle. Otherwise, we'd never have time to go to the opera (hee hee). Anyhow, I'm hopeful, we can work something out for Women's History too, and I hope as many members as possible will participate in the workshop below. Voceditenore (talk) 18:35, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Males in the project?

Does the project really include men, like Talk:Robert Dudley (explorer)? Buchraeumer (talk) 10:18, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd say no, and (assuming it was added by mistake) I've removed the template on that particular page. But do revert me if there's a rationale I haven't understood! Dsp13 (talk) 10:40, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't rule out men entirely--there were men with important roles in the women's suffrage movement, for example. I'd say, read the entry, see if it seems like a mistake, and delete if it does, of course; but I wouldn't automatically assume an entry about a man is irrelevant to women's history.Penny Richards (talk) 03:18, 10 May 2011 (UTC)Penny Richards
I'd say emphatically yes, the project banner might be appropriate for some biographies of men, though I fail to see the relevance of the one Buchraeumer's inquiring about. Penny points out that there were men who played important roles in the women's suffrage movement. There may also be male physicians (at a time when physicians were almost always men) or researchers who are known primarily for contributions to women's health, or promoting contraception for use by women. This is a really interesting question, though. If an important aspect of a male writer is that he wrote about women (including from a misogynistic POV), he might qualify (D.H. Lawrence?), though it might be better to banner the work itself (Lady Chatterley's Lover). By "writing about women," I don't mean "has women characters that are important to the story," but rather works that contribute significantly to understanding historical attitudes toward women, or the place of women in society: The Bacchae, The Trojan Women, The Taming of the Shrew, Madame Bovary, Ovid's Art of Love, courtly love in general, none of which are bannered at present (though the Feminism project appears on a couple). Thoughts? Cynwolfe (talk) 13:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Have to ask what about people who have had gender-altering surgery that also may have had an impact on women's history?--Paul McDonald (talk) 16:41, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion you've answered your own question: the impact on women's history is the question, not issues of gender identification, which would be of interest to other projects such as Gender Studies. The project is "Women's History," not "Women" or "Women's Biographies." To me, the article I pointed out below (The Women's March on Versailles) is a prime example of what this project's about. In the early stages of the project, the role of women in World War I was a topic some members were excited about exploring. But I didn't get any response to my questions about literature above, so my views may not be representative. Cynwolfe (talk) 11:46, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

To be honest the only males I tagged so far, were those whose article indicates that (a) they were male rulers/leaders who were actually figureheads for a female figure (mother, sister, wife, mistress, etc), b) they were the male part of a duo, but they are the only ones with an article. For example Robert Dudley above: His article is the only one which describes his wife and partner Elizabeth Southwell. Concerning literary works about women, such as De mulieribus claris ("Famous Women") by Giovanni Boccaccio, I think the work is more relevant than the author. Who has written work on other subjects as well. Dimadick (talk) 05:43, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree that it's better to banner the work (The Taming of the Shrew) than the author (not Shakespeare). There may be male authors who fit the bill, but none immediately come to my mind. That's an interesting point about Robert Dudley. I'd say that when bannering a page that isn't self-evident, you might want to leave your explanation. I think I did end up bannering courtly love, but haven't done the individual literary works I've mentioned yet. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I wasn't sure if you listed them as examples which do merit inclusion or simply mentioning works where female characters are key. Would Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, and Assemblywomen by Aristophanes count? They turn up in most discussions on Ancient Greek women. Dimadick (talk) 04:49, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

To me these would be examples of literary works that merit inclusion, because there's scholarship that examines them to see what light they can shed on women's history. But I think my point is the same as with BLPs: do sufficient sources exist to support a section written on the work's importance to women's history, without giving undue weight to such a section in the overall article? Cynwolfe (talk) 11:53, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Why would "importance to women's history" need to be an different section, instead of adding paragraphs on "critical views", for example? Dimadick (talk) 15:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

You miss my point. This is just a way to ask "Do RS exist to support this kind of material?" Can an editor imagine writing a source-based paragraph explaining how the subject, particularly a BLP, has figured in discussions of women's history? With bibliography? Such material could be integrated in various ways throughout the article. I actually don't like to "ghettoize" the perspective of women in a separate section. It's one of the things I want to work on in future in the article Religion in ancient Rome, for instance; I'd like to see the participation and roles of half the human race not corralled in a separate section, but incorporated throughout where appropriate (though in this case a separate section would need to remain as well). That's the point of women's history as a form of scholarly inquiry, in my view: to make sure the experiences and perspectives of women historically are integrated into the larger narrative of what we call "history." The point of my verbose floundering about throughout the last couple of days, I now see, has been to articulate something that finally seems more straightforward and simple to me: if an article is bannered for this project, there should be RS we can point to that discuss the topic in terms of women's history. It's a matter of verifiable notability. This in turn addresses the problem of project scope. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:50, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Not really. It creates more problems. Lets see an example. "Women's history: Britain 1850-1945 : an introduction" by June Purvis. The book lists chapters which cover:

  • "Women and Industrialization". Which specifically covers women in the workforce. "By 1851 there were over 900,000 female domestic servants recorded in the census which compares with only 250,000 women in the cotton sector and half of that number in the wool textile industry". Less focus on individuals, more on demographics and labor relations.
  • "Women and the family".
  • "Women and paid work"
  • "Women and education"
  • "Women and popular literature". Which covers not only women as authors, but their part in the production of magazines and women and girls as part of the reading public.
  • "Women and health"
  • "Women and sexuality"
  • "Women and politics".

The subject is women as a whole. The introduction even covers arguments against putting too much attention on a few "worthies": This doesn't rise the bar to famous subjects. It lowers it to little-known subjects which have attracted the attention of historians. Dimadick (talk) 17:52, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Nobody's saying that little-known women should be excluded, if they figure in RS that deal with them in the context of women's history. Our WikiProject, as has been said before, and not just by me, is "Women's History," not "Women's Studies" or "Women." Therefore, for an article to carry the project banner, there have to be RS that discuss the subject in the context of women's history. The importance ratings should reflect our priorities: even if I agreed that Madonna was as important as Elizabeth I in women's history (and I assuredly don't), it's my impression that most editors joined this project because they're interested in history, not pop stars. There are other projects who can service pop stars. Now, it's quite true that books qualifying as reliable sources for women's history include women in entertainment and popular literature and so on. But it's OR to extrapolate from that and say that any woman who's a famous living entertainer should be under the banner of Women's History Project; she should be included only if sufficient RS already exist that discuss her in the context of women's history. Tbennert elsewhere on this page is proposing that we exclude BLPs altogether. Because I'm not seeing any other way to clarify the scope of the project, at the moment I'm inclined to agree. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:58, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

I'll have to disagree on that for two basic reasons:

  • It could leave key figures of previous decades, such as the 1950s, not covered because the subjects are still alive. While a person who died ten days ago is fair game. I'm uncomfortable with letting death decide on importance and/or inclusion. And it gives a rather warped perspective on history.
  • It could leave out of scope current historical developments and new pioneering efforts on various fields. Dimadick (talk) 10:49, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Top-list Review

I just checked out the Top-importance articles for this project and found White bikini of Ursula Andress and Mariah Carey. Are the subjects really of Top importance to Women's History? Depending on the answer, I request the following:

Boneyard90 (talk) 21:57, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Above I observed that Cher and Gloria Estefan both rated a "high," along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Catherine the Great. But you've topped that: Ursula's bikini is rated higher than Women's rights in Iran. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:12, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Sooo, I can downgrade them? It's ok with everyone if I take them down a couple notches? Boneyard90 (talk) 03:42, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I mighta beat ya to it. The pattern of selection for BLPs to include or exclude puzzles me, as do the ratings of importance. Among the thousands of articles that are bannered, too many are BLPs, and too many of those pop entertainers. And yet Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters, all of whom are significant in establishing women's voices as authoritative in delivering the news, have not been given a banner. (Dare I check Christiane Amanpour?) Gail Collins's NYT column today has a paragraph I wanted to share with the project because it was so apt:

Rummage through American history and you will find all sorts of exceptional women who had amazing achievements that never created any echo. We generally celebrate Margaret Brent, a colonist in 17th-century Maryland, as the first woman lawyer in America. She not only brought cases to court, she virtually ran the colony during one period of exceptional crisis, when the place was filled with unpaid soldiers ready to run amok and Brent was the only thing standing between the settlers and chaos. She saved the day, but she didn’t inspire any Maryland women of the next generation to follow her into court. Also, when things calmed down the Maryland Assembly refused to give her the right to vote.[2]

According to the Women's History project banner, Margaret Brent is of low importance, while Janet Jackson is rated high (though not her wardrobe malfunction). Cynwolfe (talk) 05:40, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
People too often confuse importance with popularity. Boneyard90 (talk) 13:55, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Popularity tends to fade away. How many 18th century authors still have devoted readers? But influence on a certain field, being followed and imitated, is what makes for a "high importance" subject. The assessment to "low" was done by Tbennert, but I'd have to agree. How many people outside of the United States have actually heard of her? Laskarina Bouboulina is a national heroine in Greece. How many non-Greeks are even aware of her existence? Dimadick (talk) 15:23, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

True. But I think we must also consider how the effect sometimes outlasts the name. Like the lady that invented kabuki in Japan... I forget her name. Boneyard90 (talk) 16:20, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
The question "how many people have heard of her?" is a test of fame, not notability in terms of women's history. I don't recall ever hearing of Laskarina Bouboulina, but when I look at her article, I see that she is of considerable notability for this project, because of the number of RS that discuss her in the context of women's history. Just because Katy Perry is being "followed and imitated" by the friends of my 14-year-old daughter at this moment doesn't make her of higher importance to women's history than Joan of Arc. My daughter, who at this moment is watching CNN as she does every Sunday, and who chose Eleanor Roosevelt when assigned to write a biographical essay to practice for a standardized exam, didn't know who Joan of Arc was till a few weeks ago. The criteria of notability for this project shouldn't be our personal perceptions of fame or importance, but whether RS have examined the subject in the context of women's history. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:02, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

If Katy Perry is followed and imitated by other artists, I would considerer her notable. Not so much if only her fans care about her work. I don't suppose the fanbase of every artist receive much attention from serious sources. Boneyard, compare with the European gothic novel. Ann Radcliffe may not be a household name any more, but she is often counted as a major influence on other writers. That would be of "high" importance in my eyes. Dimadick (talk) 17:30, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Some good points. Dimadick - I agree with your Katy Perry example. On Radcliffe, the article says she was a pioneer; if she had written the first gothic novel, I would say High-importance, but as a "pioneer", I would say Mid-importance. Unless she had a lasting, major, profound effect-> For example, Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile, but we all learned how he implemented the assembly line that made cars more affordable, etc. and thus spurred the automobile-industry. I would say he was High-importance (to automobiles, not Women's History). Cynwolfe - I understand your points about Reliable sources and Women's History, but at the same time, I don't think I've read many sources that were solely on the subject. Perhaps never. Call me a novice on the topic. But then, I can say the same thing about another WikiProject in which I participate: Military History. While I've read a few books that were little more than timelines, I've never read a book that comprehesively covered Military History; such a work would surely rival Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire! Nor have I read many books that put a single topic in the context of all Military History (I can think of only one, it was about the AK-47). Alot of this is going to depend on editors' discriminating yet, in the end, subjective opinions. However, a second editor has the right to remove the WP banner. Who carries the impetus for explanation? Tough call; I think it lies on the initial editor if the banner is re-placed, at which time, there should definitely be an explanation on the article Talk page of how the subject is relevant to Women's History. Boneyard90 (talk) 04:47, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I think we may have identified a source for our lack of communication about "women's history," then. Women's history is a recognized academic discipline, though it has always been difficult to define because it provokes the question "And what then is 'men's history'?" (There is a feminist response to that, but since this is not WikiProject Feminism, I'll withhold that particular retort.) If you do a Google Books title search on the exact phrase "women's history," you'll get these results. The issues of project scope may have to do with our not having fully come to a mutual understanding of what women's history is (like any other form of historical study, however, it isn't just one thing). This doesn't seem to be a problem in the other project I'm active in, which is Classical Greece and Rome: the participants there seem to have a communal understanding of what classical studies is as an intellectual discipline. Women's history has a shorter history as a field of academic inquiry. But even as a girl I had an interest in women's history in the American West, and collected a few books that focused on women's role in the westward movement, for instance — "decentering" the traditional narrative that had been from a male perspective. The article Women's history also isn't up to speed, and could be one of the things we look at collectively in the workshop V. proposed above. Academically, "women's history" is not synonymous with "women's studies," because the former focuses on history, the latter more on contemporary culture. I'm puzzled about your comparison to Military History; there are thousands of books on military history, some of them comprehensive surveys of just the kind you seem to think don't exist, and some just on a particular historical period or aspect of warfare. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:12, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I would point out, for instance, this 1992 volume, which is nothing but hundreds of pages of bibliography on women's history from academic journals. Obviously a decade out of date now, but just an example of what our RS are. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:26, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, not that I think such books on military history don't exist, I just haven't read any, and can't remember being exposed to any. Or maybe I'm not good at recognizing them. Anyway, here's how I have been thinking of "women's history": persons or events that have, in the past, shaped the status of women afterward. This then is relevant whether one is considering that the event/individual was positive or detrimental to the later status of women, and it covers topics whether we're considering the world-wide net-effect, the status in a particular field, or the status of women in a micro-region (Mother Theresa, Amelia Earhart, and Boudica, respectively). Boneyard90 (talk) 12:40, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable. Please don't take this the wrong way, but how do you participate in the Military History project without having been exposed to any books on the subject? Don't you need sources when you contribute content? Sorry to ask, but I guess I just want to know how my colleagues go about their work if we're to collaborate here. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:16, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
On an unrelated subject, "Classical Greece and Rome" has always been a very puzzling project for me. There are many subjects on ancient Roman topics including biographies, which have never been tagged with any banner. While Wikiproject Greece seems to cover most subjects on ancient Greece. I have often wondered if this Wikiproject is inactive or has a very curious definition of its scope. Dimadick (talk) 11:01, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
This is a question that's been raised before. G&R operates mainly on its talk page, and is almost entirely content-focused. The project page isn't maintained much. Since I too am content-oriented, I only recently began to make a concerted effort to banner articles when I noticed how many were lacking (including the dozens I created, which I go through once in a while to remedy). However, the active project members are mostly long-time editors on the 4,000 list who are very vigilant about watching pages for vandalism and maintaining content, and when a question is brought to the project someone is almost always ready and able to help. Collegiality developed over time through demonstrating competence in handling the subject matter, and so many content development discussions occur on user or article talk pages. Although the 1600 articles I watch are mostly in the G&R subject area, I don't see new editors making many contributions of substance, perhaps because many of the major articles are well-sourced at this point, or because contributing effectively requires some background knowledge. The Greek and Latin literature articles, however, are mostly outdated and incomplete, and this was discussed recently on my talk page. That kind of patient development of content based on extensive reading of high-quality sources doesn't boost edit counts very fast, and not all editors are interested in it. So I think the project is very active as a community committed to the quality of the articles it maintains for the consumption of WP readers who aren't editors, but not so much interested in internal self-presentation as a bureaucratic entity. Not long ago an enthusiastic editor with no prior record of contributing to the subject area thought to reform us and performed some needed maintenance tasks on the project page. But that editor seems to have gone away, since we're not much fun unless you're interested in talking about content and how to present it. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:05, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
CYNWOLFE - I've read plenty of books on military history; mostly on a particular battle, or a specific unit, and I especially enjoy first-hand narratives, which are like raw ethnography. And while a book might mention something like "D-Day 1944 was the largest amphibious invasion in all history", or some other superlative, not many others put their subject in the larger context. Usually it's more like, "this unit held the vital right flank, which helped secure the battle", and elsewhere, "this battle was instrumental in the war", and elsewhere, "this war established..." The authors usually analyze the significance of the subject on the next larger scale. For example, I read about the 18th Infantry Regiment (Imperial Japanese Army) before I wrote about it. I don't recall anything written about how that regiment compared to others in the Japanese army, or to a US Army regiment, or how it rated as a footnote in the military history of the world. I just read about it and concluded, these guys fought pretty hard at this and that battle. Then I decided that others might also find it to be good reading and a worthy addition to Wikipedia and the project. I think other editors agreed. Boneyard90 (talk) 11:21, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, you don't have to shout at me. Above you said "I've never read a book that comprehensively covered Military History" and that you hadn't been exposed to any such books. Apologies if I misunderstood. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:05, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Shout? Oh, because of the CAPITALS?!? Just kidding, there was no shouting. My reply got nixed once, so I had to re-write, and I posted it at the end of the thread but with caps as an attention getter so it wouldn't look like a reply to Dimadick's reply to you. 'Sall good. Boneyard90 (talk) 13:50, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Calafia? 15th century fictional character

Would the article about Calafia fall under this project's purview? Calafia was a 15th-century fictional character who had a real-life influence: her fictional nation's name, based on her own name, was given to newly discovered California by Spanish explorers. The article about Calafia covers some earlier and contemporary representations of warrior women, fictional or not. A border-line call... Binksternet (talk) 13:22, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

I actually don't see this one as borderline at all: I'm going to be bold and place the banner myself. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:00, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Binksternet (talk) 16:11, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Scope draft

The workshop has produced a draft outlining our project's scope and criteria for article inclusion. Please join us at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Scope workshop#Scope draft to discuss and edit this document. With good participation, we should be able to revise our project page soon, clearing up the issues we've been dealing with and preparing us to go on to the fun stuff. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:47, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Nearly a week since the draft was posted - can we make it official soon? --Tbennert (talk) 14:16, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I was wondering about two things in regard to this.
  • Should we post a notice on the talk page of each member with a deadline for commenting?
  • Looking back over the membership list, I'm wondering whether we'd be more welcoming if we changed the cutoff date (especially in the top statement) to 1970 to accommodate those with a historical interest in mid-century women's history, such as the 50s cult of domesticity, or such things that were an immediate prelude to 70s feminism. The criteria for biographies would remain the same (someone born between 1900 and 1950 has come to adulthood or beyond by 1970). This would still distinguish us from WikiProject Feminism, while being more inviting to younger editors but maintaining a historical perspective. In other words, it still addresses Lisa Kudrow project creep (or should that be "Lisa Kudzu"?). I guess I just don't want to discourage participation, as long as it's not a mere accumulation of banners on pop culture articles, or doesn't shift focus to current events. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:08, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
  • How about making the cut-off date on the opening statement "the mid-20th century" (and perhaps for the Culture criteria), which leaves a fair amount of latitude. One could make a case that the 60s were still mid 20th century. Personally though, I'd keep to 1950 (apart from the exceptional cases) for the bios and elsewhere. There are plenty of get-out clauses. I also agree with Tbennert re collapsing the more detailed criteria so as not to overwhelm visitors and prospective members.

    I'd be happy to do a final run of messages to members tomorrow re the draft. Just let me know. Voceditenore (talk) 16:43, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I'd be pretty resolute about defending the biographical criteria. And collapsing the criteria is good because that allows editors to find their particular questions more easily: it's a bit like FAQs, then. I like the "mid-20th century" language to cover everything but bios. Should I amend the language of the draft first to reflect this discussion, before you notify the membership? Cynwolfe (talk) 17:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd suggest you make all the tweaks before I notify, which I couldn't get 'round to until tomorrow sometime anyway. Just drop me note on my talk page (or here) when it's good to go. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 17:58, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Will do. Tbennert, are you OK with the "mid-20th century" modification? (I'll go ahead and do it, for the sake of discussion.) Cynwolfe (talk) 20:12, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Yep. I think that satisfies what we were looking for without sounding too strict. And let me know if there is anything I can help with. I should have some time tomorrow. --Tbennert (talk) 00:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Two questions... 1. Where should I direct the members to express their view on the draft when I send 'round the messages? (Here? Or at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Scope workshop?) 2. Is it now fully tweaked? Best, Voceditenore (talk) 11:15, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    • We could move the Scope draft here to a new section, and maybe highlight it in a box with discussion below. Whatever you think best. "Fully tweaked" is probably not an achievable condition on Wikipedia, but I did attempt to incorporate what we said about the date cutoff. At some points I was uncertain. I hope that other members are bold about shaping it, and that we can post it to the project page within a few days. Of course it can still be modified after that, but then we can get on with actually improving content. "Collaborative ideas" got lost in the bannering deluge. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:36, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
      • I think it's better to keep the discussion to that page. Putting the whole draft here would overwhelm this page. I'll maker a separate comments section there and then start notifying the members. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 12:21, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Update: I've now notified all the editors on the Active participants list about the discussion (except Cynwolfe and Tbennert, who already know). I also mentioned in the message that the "Final comments" section would remain open through next Tuesday. That should be plenty of time for anyone who has an opinion and wants to express it. From a glance at the talk pages of the members, some of them appear to be pretty inactive on Wikipedia in general, let alone this project. Best, Voceditenore (talk)
        • At least two if not all three of the not-so-active project members are very active Wikipedians, so I wonder whether you should notify them as well. Given their experience, their views would be valuable. Cynwolfe (talk) 04:15, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
          • I wondered about that. I wasn't really sure what "Supporters of the project who may not quite be active enough to list above" meant.;-) I'll go ahead and notify them on the basis that they haven't taken their names completely off the page. As for people who do have not signed up for either of those two categories, outside opinions are of course welcome, but their "supports" or "opposes" won't carry any weight in the actual decision. Only a project's members can and will decide what the scope of their work will be. Voceditenore (talk) 06:08, 11 June 2011 (UTC)