Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Archive 5

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Categorization by gender

People here might be interested in the new discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Reforming_the_WP:Cat.2Fgender_policy. Please comment there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:13, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

This discussion is ongoing, and could use more perspectives. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:57, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Selena discussion

Please join in the discussion on the talk page to help expand the article to its fullest potential. AJona1992 (talk) 19:48, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Selena would appear not to meet our criteria for including biographies, as she was born in 1971 and I don't immediately see reasons for an exception. I'm going to delete the banner for now, but if others would like to make the argument for inclusion, please feel free to put it back. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:44, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
And why not? She was trail blazing for other female artists in the music industry. It was noted in Billboard magazine. She was also a fashion trend for females and was told she will never be anything because she was a female. Sounds notable to me, AJona1992 (talk) 21:45, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Of course she's notable. That's why she has an article. But please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History#Criteria for inclusion under "Biographies." In order to organize the work of the project, and to carry out our emphasis on "history", we tried to craft a focus on articles that aren't already receiving a lot of support from other projects, and to de-emphasize women whose lives are centered in the last three decades. In no way is this a comment on Selena's significance, only on project scope, which is "women's history," not women in general. But other members may see an exception in her; see discussions above on Christine Lagarde and Mamata Banerjee. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:03, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand, just wanted to prove a point on the talk page of Selena. If you had read it you'll understand where I'm coming from with this. Thanks, AJona1992 (talk) 22:06, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
And let me add that I think it's fine to come here with questions like that. Project members might want to weigh in on discussions even when the project doesn't formally adopt a page, when the issues are relevant. Hope I didn't sound unwelcoming; just wanted to explain why I had de-bannered, because we have an overload of articles outside scope and have been trying to get through them. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:19, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Its ok, I completely understand :) maybe once the article is at its full potential, it can be included back in the project. However, I don't know about a deceased singer who broken barriers in the music world would qualify back in, just saying. Take care, AJona1992 (talk) 22:23, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

WikiProjects Biography and History

I was taking a break from WP when the criteria for inclusion were moved to the actual project page. Did we post a notice to WikiProject Biography and WikiProject History alerting them? If not, would it be OK if I did? I was trying to de-banner/assess articles the other night (while trying to stay awake so I could pick up my daughter after the midnight screening of Harry Potter; as you might imagine, this did not have the desired effect), and there are soooooo many biographies. I was thinking that if those project members were aware of the criteria, they might help with a little de-bannering as they encountered questionable articles. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:22, 17 July 2011 (UTC)


An important part of women's history is how legal protection is extended to women over time. A lot of WP articles that deal with the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments, and probably lots of other legal issues do not address women at all. The articles are written from the perspective of Civil Rights, and don't mention women. If anyone has an interest in legal issues, this is a good area to focus on and to create an organized effort to include women's history.

For example, the United States Bill of Rights in 1791 included white men only [1] excluding most Americans and all women. [2] In 1918 women got to vote, but in many instances, women had very little legal protection under the US Constitution until they challenged existing laws in the Supreme Court (and continue to this day). In some cases, African Americans had legal rights many years before women, especially married women in the US. One example is the 14th amendment where African Americans were included in 1954, and women were included in 1971. I added this information in the article, but it reads as an afterthought because there is no other mention of women anywhere in the article.

In 1971, US Supreme Court ruled in Reed v. Reed [3] that the 14th amendment applies to women, [4]. Until then, women were not considered as "people" according to the US Constitution. I'm not kidding and I'm not exaggerating, see Timeline of Personhood. [5]

Even today, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia claims that women do not have equal protection under the 14th amendment [6] because men's rights are guaranteed by specific language in the Constitution, but women's rights are not mentioned. [7]

So if we are serious about women's history, this area of WP needs serious attention. Maybe we can team up with Wikipedia:WikiProject Law. USchick (talk) 15:10, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

This is exactly the kind of thing I think we should be doing. Agree wholeheartedly. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:22, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Evolving the women by occupation category.

Currently someone has nominated Category:Women by occupation to be deleted.... I have been discussing with this person possibly evolving this category rather than deleting it, so that women are not classified and presented as an exception to the rule in these categories. That we "evolve" the subcategories, perhaps rename them to reflect women's history. IE, Category:Women in engineering, or Category:History of women in engineering. That way we're presenting the contributions of women in these areas without saying to everyone that they are different than men. It would be interesting to hear other peoples' input on this. --Henriettapussycat (talk) 17:21, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I would love to hear some other people weigh in on this categorization thing. It seems to me that such categories are a useful tool for women's history. But there are a great many objections to them also as hallowing an antiquated notion that men are the "norm." It's a more difficult matter than it seems at first, and one that may lie at the heart of our aims as a project. It's very hard to discern when these are justified as a topic of women's history, and when they "ghettoize" women. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:28, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, Category:Women engineers is an existing category, and has been subsumed as a subcategory under Category:Women in technology. Having said that, I also have reservations about Category:Women by occupation. 1. Some of the "occupations" (e.g. concubine, skateboarder, duchess), are not, IMHO, really occupations. 2. This categorization seems to suggest that there is something unusual about the presence of women in certain occupations, and creates a sort of gender-based exceptionalism. Women's history should be more about what sort of civil engineering a given woman did, rather than the mere fact that she did it. I think we as 21st century people should be beyond the point where we might be astonished that women entered these fields. Tjepsen (talk) 03:20, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand, there are some women in history who made meaningful contributions despite the restrictions placed on them by their occupations. Some of the notable concubines, for example. Yes, some "occupations" do not sound glamorous, but were primarily the domain of women, just as some non-glamorous "occupations" have been the domain of men, such as eunuchs, many of whom were quite influential in history. Notable figures are those who adapted or overcame circumstances they were forced into to leave a remarkable legacies. Boneyard90 (talk) 04:32, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't feel I know enough about concubines to comment on it as an occupation--but I do agree with you. I think special care should be taken in deciding what to do with the occupation categories if we do decide to make changes.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 04:48, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
That is the point of the discussion that is happening. Category:Women engineers is different from Category:Women in engineering. I haven't done the research on the topic of engineering and women's presence in it, but I have been talking with the user who proposed Category:Women by occupation to be deleted. We seem to agree on a few things: that we can recognize women's achievements without labeling women as "women doctors," "women lawyers," and such, and that we could possibly rename Category:Women by occupation to Category:Women in the workforce as a container category and rather have articles about women in these occupations. I think we should expand articles to actually name notable women, much like a history book. Or we could create articles like Notable Women In (whatever area). Also skateboarder is an occupation, it's a recognized competitive sport.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 04:40, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Is it perhaps that these kinds of gender categories are of historical interest, because they reflect a time when women weren't admitted to certain professions? Now it's utterly unexceptional for a woman to be a physician; however, in the 19th century it's certainly of historic interest when a notable woman was a physician. So for BLPs, there's no reason to have gender categories by occupation. But historically, there is, because it's a way of tracing "women's history". I mainly agree with Tjepsen here. I can't quite work through my reasoning, but here goes: I have no interest in seeing living writers, for instance, categorized by gender. However, I would be very interested in Category:17th-century women writers. Can anyone make sense of this? Cynwolfe (talk) 05:02, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea of having categories like Category:17th-century women writers. It works. But then there are categories like, for example, Category:21st-century women writers. Now I understand the benefit of categorizing women for research. I get it, but at the same time people have a problem being labeled as "woman (whatever)," and we need to figure out a way to address that.... I just am not sure how to do that. --Henriettapussycat (talk) 18:29, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Category:African American Women and Category:African American women in politics

This is a notice to tell you that Category:African American women and Category:African American women in politics have been nominated for deletion. The discussions are found at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2011_July_15#Category:African_American_women_in_politics and Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2011_July_16#Category:African_American_women. --LauraHale (talk) 12:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Mary Simpson

This person might be of interest to this project.4meter4 (talk) 01:58, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I bannered this and added a little info. She was also the first ordained women to preach at Westminster Abbey. She would make a nice DYK if we could get more info. If I developed the article, it would be based almost entirely on the NYT obit, since most of the sources I turn up through Google Books offer only snippets. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:38, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

New Article

New article African American women in politics has been created by LauraHale and me. --Henriettapussycat (talk) 17:13, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. The lede of the article says "African-American women have been involved in American political issues and advocating for the community since the American Civil War era through organizations, clubs, community-based social services, and advocacy." The section of the article pre-1960s could probably be developed more, and that might be one of the ways members of this project could contribute. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:48, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Anyone feel free to edit and develop.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 16:43, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Women in accounting?

I've started gathering material for a new article at User:Dsp13/drafts/Women_in_accounting. Help of any sort welcome, e.g. with redlinks like Mary Harris Smith (the first UK chartered accountant), R. Sivabhogam (India's first public accountant), Jennie M. Palen (a pioneering US accountant) and Michal Abadi-Boyanjo (Israel's current Accountant-General). Dsp13 (talk) 01:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Stub template

Unless I've overlooked it, we lack a stub template for Women's History. Would it be OK if I proposed one? I might go ahead, and then if there are objections from project members I'll cheerfully withdraw it. I was about to throw together a stub for Mary Harris Smith above and thought a WH stub template would be useful. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:03, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

It's already been proposed at WikiProject Stub sorting (where all new stub template/categories have to get "approval" first). It's in this section and the proposal discussion is still open. It might be a useful to pursue. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 16:08, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see as always we're shipwrecked on the reef of biography. Looking at the remarks, I think I'd like to insist that it be called "women's history" and forget the tangents. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:11, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Hispanic and Latino American women in journalism

I've just created this article. It mostly contains history about some well-known names. Unfortunately older history is very scant--Not because it doesn't exist, but people seem to neglect a lot of women's Hispanic and Latino history. I've noticed this myself and read it in commentary as I've been doing research. It was also incredibly hard for me to get the number for women in journalism currently, so if anyone has any, be my guest. Hispanic and Latino American women in journalism

--Henriettapussycat (talk) 21:00, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Find-A-Grave articles filtered by gender

I've gone through the Wikipedia Find-A-Grave lists and filtered them by gender to select only entries which appear to be about women, about 16% of the total of roughly 10,000 remaining entries. Since these lists have already been pre-filtered by notability criteria, and already-created articles removed, these should hopefully be of some help in in-filling missing articles about notable women in history. See User:The Anome/Find-A-Grave famous people filtered by gender for the list. -- The Anome (talk) 14:01, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Do you mind if people add women to this list? --Henriettapussycat (talk) 18:56, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
And to all, please do review the project's Criteria for inclusion. Inclusion within the scope of the project is different from categorization. Just wanted to be clear, since this has been an issue in the past. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:03, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Women and governance

I want to bring to attention the article Women and governance because I think it needs expertise and editing. I've added minor things but it needs a lot of work. --Turn685 (talk) 19:10, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Female genital mutilation - RfC

People here may be interested to know about a RfC which is currently active :-

Female genital mutilation - RfC

I came across this by chance today. There is a discussion going on around whether or not it is appropriate for Wikipedia to use the term "female genital mutilation" (FGM). Some people think it would be preferable to use the term "female genital cutting" (FGC) on the grounds that this would be more neutral. They say that "mutilation" is POV. They acknowledge that the vast majority of academics use the term FGM, but they argue that the lack of neutrality in the term FGM outweighs this consideration.

I may be wrong, but I acquired the impression that the entire group of people taking part in the discussion were men. Rubywine . talk 06:45, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

I would like to point out to users that cutting is a form of mutilation. So the term FGC is disingenuous. Cutting can also refer to consenual cutting, such as self harm, body modification (which is not mutilation), or accidental cuts while shaving, etc.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 22:01, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Elizabeth Rauscher

Hi, there's an AfD people here might be interested in. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Elizabeth Rauscher (2nd nomination). SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:44, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

This is ongoing and could probably use some additional perspectives, particularly from someone familiar with the history of women in the sciences. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:55, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Need some perspective please

On this article Talk:United States Bill of Rights#misrepresentation of source USchick (talk) 21:01, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Ewelina Hańska

Ewelina Hańska has been having problems getting to FA (and the writer of the article is a great writer who has many FA's), and now it's just going for GA status. Would be great to have folks keep an eye on this article and lend a hand, so we can get it to FA! Thanks! SarahStierch (talk) 14:28, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

NARA on-wiki ExtravaSCANza participation

Please see User:The ed17/NARA to brainstorm ideas and a structure on how we can help make the National Archives ExtravaSCANza a success, in the hope that such events will continue in the future. Day two is devoted to women's suffrage, so this will directly affect y'all! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Featured article review for Rosa Parks

I have nominated Rosa Parks for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Brad (talk) 03:36, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

reassessed stubs

Am trying here and there to assess articles. When I looked at the new project stats today, I saw that we've made great progress on assessing articles in general; there are still about 1,800 articles that haven't been assessed for either quality or importance. But I find using the project stats tool so much more rewarding now that we've weeded out all the contemporary pop stars and sit com actresses! Today, for instance, I looked at the articles that are only stubs, but assessed as of high importance. Seemed like a way to look for something to develop. I found that most of these didn't in fact meet our criteria for "high" importance, but I always encounter so many things that are new and interesting to me when I look through one of these ratings categories that I want to encourage other members, especially the new ones I've seen sign up recently, to do the same. Or just start pulling up some of those 1,800 unassessed articles to rate, and enjoy the thrill of the random.

I see too that we have three "top" importance articles that are still only start-class: women's history, women in the Victorian Era, and women in the military. Now that assessments have advanced enough to get a clearer picture of our priorities, I hope someone will propose an article or two we might all work on together. Looking forward to it! Cynwolfe (talk) 13:58, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Prioritizing is a great idea. I had every intention of adding material to the 'Women in the Victorian Era' article this past weekend, but a nasty headcold sidetracked me. I will add stuff over the next few days, but mostly working-class history, so if anyone can add info too so that the article is more comprehensive, jump in.
I had a couple of military women projects in mind, and went looking for sources, and didn't come up with much: Women in the Vietnam War, and Women in the Korean War. Pretty significant parts of American history (not to mention Vietnamese and Korean history), they deserve some decent articles, but I can't find anything in Ottawa, not at the library, not at the bookstores. So American women, please find some material. Is there someplace that I can offer a bounty for anyone who wants to get articles written on those two topics? I'll offer $50 per article that I'll donate to the fundraiser for those two articles...OttawaAC (talk) 22:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Wow, I'm really surprised we lack Women in the Vietnam War (there's a section of some substance at Vietnam War#Women in Vietnam) and Women in the Korean War. Both of these would be excellent articles. Maybe you can view enough in books available online to make at least a start: I get so many results when I search women + "vietnam war" that it's pretty staggering we don't have an article. The role of women in the Korean War seems less well represented. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:00, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

I'll give it a try, but as a non-American, I know very little about the Vietnam War in general, let alone anything about women who served there; I wish I had just one decent book that I could go through from cover to cover as a starting point. The online book 'previews' help a lot, but they're just limited portions of the books. Korean War, Canada was part of the UN presence and I can get some information on Canadian troops, but there were far more U.S. troops there, and I can't get info on them up here. What's really sad is that when I went to the bookstore -- large downtown one, with a good four aisles of military history books -- there wasn't one book that was on devoted to women in the military. Not even a Florence Nightingale biography. I guess the bookstore's stock is merely a reflection of readers' interests, though. ......Regarding unassessed stubs/articles, are the stats updating daily? I see the same numbers there everyday, and certain articles aren't showing up. OttawaAC (talk) 23:11, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't know anything about auto-generation. Perhaps if Voceditenore is watching? I somehow doubt that it's daily. Military history is usually thought of as a guy thing, so I guess publishers outside academic presses and especially booksellers would cater accordingly, as you say. I've noticed a number of female scholars writing about ancient military history in the last decade. So that's interesting. And of course you're right about getting an overview; for a big article like that, you'd need some kind of framework to get started. I have several projects underway at the moment, or I'd be keen to do something different and work on women in the Korean War. Keep us posted, and hopefully there will be help and ideas. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:58, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi all. Yep I do watch this page, but I've been really busy in other areas of Wikipedia at the moment, so haven't been commenting much here. OK, if you're talking about updates to the category pages themselves, e.g. Category:Unassessed Women's History articles, there can sometimes be delays in adding/removing articles in the category, but it's usually very temporary. You may also need to purge the page to see the difference. It can also happen if you don't fill out the parameters on the talk page banner correctly. For example if you put |Class (upper case C)= instead of |class (lower case c)=, it will remain as unassessed. Ditto, leaving out or accidentally removing the "|" (parameter separator)) or the "=". Likewise, if you make a typo like "strat" instead of "start".
If you're talking about delays to the assessment rating given on Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Popular pages, those depend on when the bot runs (monthly, but often on a database that has a lag from the current one). Depending on the date you changed the assessment there can be delays of up to six weeks for the changes to appear there. You'll notice that today I've spruced up the WH assessment category pages with templates that make navigation between assessment categories much easier and also put them in the administrative "super category" , e.g. Category:C-Class articles.
Hope that helps. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 09:13, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History#Project statistics was the particular table OttawaAC meant, since it says it updates daily. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:34, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Hmmmm. I just looked at that table (Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Women's History articles by quality statistics) and it's showing 1,867 unassessed quality articles while Category:Unassessed Women's History articles is showing 1,605. Quite a difference! The Importance assessment numbers are also off. It must have something to do with it being generated by a bot. I don't know of any way to get an intersecting table except by that bot. But it is possible to display accurate numbers separately:

Women's History articles by quality
Featured article FA  A-Class article A   GA  B-Class article B  C-Class article C  Start-Class article Start  Stub-Class article Stub  Featured list FL   List  Category page Category  Disambiguation page Disambig   Draft   File   Portal   Project   Template   NA   ???  Total
146 2 300 1,337 4,101 12,873 7,485 5 426 1,923 17 6 7 3 177 109 166 7,672 36,749
Women's History articles by importance
 Top   High   Mid   Low   NA   ???  Total
64 907 4,487 15,102 2,413 13,777 36,750

I guess it's a matter of deciding whether it's more important to have accurate numbers, or to display everything in one table. Voceditenore (talk) 07:07, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

I like the compact table we have on the project page, but maybe we just need to delete the "daily" with a more accurate description of how it generates? When you go into individual assessment categories, then the exactitude of the introductory table doesn't really matter, in terms of finding some work to do. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:21, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, the compact able is really useful for finding what work to do/prioritise. The others aren't at all. I'd say just make the description of the compact table more accurate and also on Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Assessment where the compact table is also used. It might be an idea to also have the separate and always up to date counters on that latter page as well. Voceditenore (talk) 15:30, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate your patience with my cluelessness. Should we just vaguely say on the project main page "This list is bot-generated; recent changes may not appear"? Cynwolfe (talk) 17:42, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

New article: assistance appreciated

I've nominated the new article History of the birth control movement in the United States for good article status. Any help would be appreciated: either as the GA reviewer, or just scanning the article and making any improvements you see fit. --Noleander (talk) 14:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Galeria Copiola

I just created a little article on the ancient Roman dancer Galeria Copiola, under our project banner as well as that of the Classical Greece & Rome project. I nominated it as a DYK (Template:Did you know nominations/Galeria Copiola). Critical eyes appreciated. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:32, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

We got a DYK for this little article today. Thanks to all who looked at it. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:49, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


I assume that at least some of you have noticed the RFC at Talk:Pregnancy about whether the lead image ought to be a fully clothed multi-racial woman in the third trimester or an art nude of a white woman in the second trimester (with multiple recommendations that the nude be moved to the ==Second trimester== section).

There have been claims in the discussion recently about a significant gender split in the !votes, namely that no women editors support what some are calling "pregnancy cheesecake" in the lead. (It's my impression that no editor who identifies as a medical professional supports the art nude, either, and I suspect that no editor who identifies as a parent of small children supports it in the lead, although we have very few such editors.)

The talk page is well over 400K at this point, so I don't necessarily recommend wading into the enormous wall of text (although the door's open, everyone's welcome, all views wanted, etc.), but I know that several people here are interested in how the dramatic gender skew among editors affects Wikipedia, and the comments there made me think that you might like to look it over as an case study when it's all done. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:42, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Importance ratings

As I try to do some assessing, I find that my thinking is falling into certain hierarchical patterns, and I wondered whether this was in keeping with the way other members of the project thought about importance ratings, since I want to reflect our general thinking together, not just some notion I have. Let me give some examples.

Organizations that meet the criteria for inclusion, but seem to have had fairly localized or narrowly focused impact, I tend to rate as low. Organizations that do global work (like an international women's health initiative) I rate as mid. Although I happen not to have an example at hand, there would also be international organizations that were very well-known and of great longevity that would merit a "high."

To me, "Women in [name of country]" are all of high importance. For example, Women in Uganda isn't a very effective article right now, and lacks historical structuring, though it has a historical perspective.

"Top" importance articles would be mainly issues that affect women globally. But an argument could be made that articles of the Women in Uganda ilk are of top importance.

I mostly haven't been looking at biographies, but I've demoted a certain number of these from mid to low because the women were royal consorts but don't seem to have done anything in their own right—didn't act as regent, or aren't credited with any special achievements. Of course, it's possible that I'm mistaken in some cases; their articles may simply not reflect their achievements at present, and if so someone who knows better can raise the importance rating. But because of the number of potential biographies covered (all women born before 1900!) the importance ratings seem to be crucial in prioritizing our work.

Thanks for any guidance anyone offers. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:54, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like you're on a fair and balanced path. When it comes to Importance, my thinking is usually along the lines of:
  • Top - Core topic. No encyclopedia on the subject would be complete without the article. The project-subject would definitely not be the same without the article-subject.
  • High - Undoubtedly influenced the project subject. Of interest to most readers of the subject. When related to countries and culture, the article-subject heavily influenced its own, or is significant across multiple countries/cultures.
  • Mid - Influenced some area(s) of the project-subject. The project-subject would be mostly the same without it, but some area might be different. In cultures/countries, the article-subject had some visible impact in the one, or is lightly significant between two cultures/countries (possibly up to a "few" cultures/countries, though with diminishing degree of significance).
  • Low - Of interest to the most dedicated readers, or fills in smallest details of project subject. It may be a very rare or obscure event, a place known only to the local populace, or an individual known in one specialized corner of a sub-field of scientific discipline, artistic genre, or historic period. The project-subject is not directly affected by a Low-importance topic-item. In cultures/countries, the article-subject is present but not significant within one culture or country. Many people within that culture/country may be unaware of its existence.
These are some of the guidelines I've picked up as I've evaluated "importance" in the articles of other projects. Boneyard90 (talk) 00:32, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It's a "foreign area" to me as we don't use importance ratings for opera articles, but Boneyard90's suggestions seem rather more helpful than the ones we currently have. Perhaps you all could work out the final wording and clear example articles for each class. Once you've decided I'll be happy to do the mechanics of updating the importance table at Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Assessment to reflect that, or someone else can. Voceditenore (talk) 13:51, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I can start thinking how I can streamline the above "generalized" descriptions into more project-specific wording. Boneyard90 (talk) 14:49, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I like Boneyard90's guidelines very much. Below I propose some rewording, streamlining, and specifying for our project below. Based on the process of drafting the scope criteria, I might suggest for clarity of wording (at least for working out a draft) a separate set of importance guidelines for biographies. Boneyard90, would you be willing to spin out another set tailored to bios? That's where I'm having the most trouble, and these guidelines don't fully address the problem. I very much like acknowledging "of interest to readers," and even though there may be a degree of subjectivity to this, page hits are one fair indication; for instance, I upped the importance rating of Lucrezia Borgia from low to mid, because she showed up on the Popular pages list. She's a perennial subject of historical fiction, and her recent page hits were probably boosted by the Showtime series. To me, informing interest piqued by fictional portrayals is one of the most useful things we can do. (I confess I checked the WP articles after watching The Borgias, and was disappointed that they didn't address some of the questions I had.)Cynwolfe (talk) 16:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Alternative wording for importance guidelines

  • Top - Core topic for the understanding or study of women's history. No encyclopedia would be complete without the article.
  • High - Of interest to most readers of the subject. Of global significance, or of fundamental importance within a particular culture or country. Encyclopedic coverage of women's history would be incomplete without the article.
  • Mid - Of interest to many readers. Complements or provides expanded coverage of core and global topics. Material contained in the article is needed for an intermediate understanding of women's history.
  • Low - Of interest to the most dedicated readers. Provides detailed or peripheral coverage of a narrowly defined topic within women's history, such as an event, organization, or issue of limited or localized impact, or a work of art discussed primarily by scholars working in particular fields of study. Omission of the article would not substantially detract from an understanding of women's history as a whole, but the article adds to specialized or advanced knowledge of a topic within this project's scope.

Biography Importance

I've been mulling this over. I'm kinda not big on the idea of relying on page views for "importance". I mean, I'm sure sometimes a popular person's article will get more hits than person of significant contribution. Maybe not, since we're culling all the celebrity BLPs. Also, if an article is new, then it wouldn't have so many hits. Anyway, it may be a valid method to gauge "importance", I've just never used it. So when it comes to biographies, here are my thoughts. For the sake of brevity, I will use the umbrella term Sphere to include the person's culture, country, scholastic discipline, or vocational field, but it does not need to be used in the final form.

  • Top importance: Woman whose contribution is significant in human history.
  • High: Woman whose contribution has affected multiple spheres, or significantly and recognizably altered the history of her sphere. A woman who is recognized as a true pioneer in her field or discipline. Person who has had a direct and lasting impact on the status of women.
  • Mid: Woman whose contribution is notable within her sphere, or is mildly notable across several spheres. Person who has had some impact on the status of women within a sphere.
  • Low: Woman who has mildly, though recognizably influenced the history of one sphere. Person who has affected the status of women in one portion of a sphere.

I've tried to keep these brief, so I omitted what level of academic interest these pertain to. They're all works in progress, so feel free to edit and modify as need be. I separated out "woman" versus "person" because, as I understand it, we may include biographies of men whose efforts may have affected the status of women. Here are some current examples:

  • Biography of Top importance: Murasaki Shikibu, credited as writing the world's first novel. I believe this is currently the only biography of Top importance, though I think Madame Curie deserves the same recognition.
  • High importance: Joan of Arc, significantly affected the history of France; recognized across multiple cultures. Also, Jane Goodall, who has had notable impact in the fields of anthropology, zoology, environmentalism, the promotion of peace in Africa, and brought awareness to the suffering of both the animals and the people.
  • Mid importance: Geraldine Doyle, model for the Rosie the Riveter poster of World War II, and had a notable impact with the U.S. and whose image affected the status of women in the U.S. Alternately, there is Beatrix Potter, who contributed to mycology and literature, and whose book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, has been published in multiple languages since its publication in 1902.
  • Low importance: Suzanne Aubert, a nun who established an orphanage and a religious order in New Zealand.

Basically, when it comes to someone's Wiki-importance, I figure impact and sphere are inversely proportionate. An impact in one sphere may be equivalent to more a moderate impact spread out over several spheres. I'll keep thinking on this, maybe "spheres" isn't the way to go. Boneyard90 (talk) 02:40, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you completely about page hits not equaling importance—my point was more narrowly that if a lot of people are seeking information from an article that's within our scope, that's a prompt to make sure the article gives them what they need. So while I would say that "demand" is a prompt for "supply," your guidelines are both in keeping with the scope criteria for including biographies and a useful parallel to the general guidelines for rating the importance of articles covered by this project. You could change "woman" to "subject" to account for the men whose biographies may be included. I would rethink the adverb "mildly"; I wouldn't know what that meant, and from a legalistic perspective it leaves too much room for debate. Something like "limited" or "localized" might be more precise. For example, the "low" criterion could read "Subject has had localized or limited influence."
I don't agree, however, that Murasaki Shikibu is of top importance. Although she may have written the first novel, its influence is not global, and has nothing to do, for instance, with spawning the work of Jane Austen; the Western tradition of the novel is unrelated, because Murasaki Shikibu's work was unknown in the West when the novel as a form developed in Hellenistic Greece. While acknowledging my Western biases, I would say Elizabeth I and Cleopatra are of top importance in English discourse, this being the English-language Wikipedia; this is a case where page hits do matter, because the frequency with which they are accessed indicates how culturally pervasive the two figures are. In other words, there are two aspects to the cultural influence a figure wields: what the person actually did, and the frequency with which they appear in public or academic discourse. Queen Victoria is probably of top or high importance; she gave her name to an era, and ruled during a time when the British Empire was global.
But more to the point, importance ratings probably only matter in relation to quality ratings in terms of prioritizing the work of the project as a whole. For instance, if we rated an article of "high" importance, but it was only "stub," "start" or "C" class, that would alert us that it's an article we should probably be attending to. This is one reason I objected to auto assessment: from the perspective of women's history, American Old West might only be "start" class. So I'd say importance ratings are less rigid categories than they're "food for thought", and I appreciate your thinking through this. Very useful. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:25, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I didn't think the language of the Wikipedia was really relevant. I though this project was aimed at a very inclusive view of women's history, the role of women in all history, not just the effects of women on the West. If it is the former, I think we should attempt to rate articles objectively, not by how "well-known" one subject is in Western cultures. I find this quite objectionable; even a little appalling that in a project where the "primary purpose" is "improving Wikipedia's coverage of women from a historical perspective", someone would discriminate between subjects' achievements based on region and/or familiarity. On the other hand, if that is the direction other project members want to go, so be it, I will not be the one constant dissenting voice.
I agree with several points. For example, I detest bot-generated auto-assessments. As for your examples of subjects, I can see Elizabeth I being elevated to Top, but definitely not Cleopatra VII. As for Queen Victoria, sure she gave her name to a British era, which affected American culture (I would argue mostly the Anglo upper-class families), but as for her role in ruling the British Empire... that has merit. I would also include Queen Isabella I of Castile, in a High/Top level if she's not already. The question is, does "discourse" of subject equate with a certain level of accomplishment? We may once again be looking at popularity versus achievement, Princess Diana versus Mother Theresa. Boneyard90 (talk) 15:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
But we're talking about historical figures, and how they leave a mark: not fame or popularity for BLPs. Continuing to be talked about is one measure of impact/influence for someone who's been dead for a thousand or two thousand years. Becoming emblematic of women in one's own time is also significant to women's history: Hildegard of Bingen's importance to the study of the medieval period in general has increased over the last 30 years because of the impact of "women's history." As the article notes, "Attention in recent decades to women of the medieval Church has led to a great deal of popular interest in Hildegard, particularly her music." Importance is always about perception. Cleopatra is important as the last ruler of an independent Egypt in antiquity, but also because even soon after her death she became emblematic of the question of whether women are "fit" to rule, and has occupied the imaginations of both historians and creative/popular artists (Shakespeare to Hollywood) to the present. I did not assert Eurocentrism as a principle; I said that because this is English Wikipedia, some figures are going to be more often accessed here than they would be on other language wikis. You miss my primary point, which is that if an article is important but has a poor quality rating, that's where we need to direct our attention. A GA that's of top or high importance may not need our attention, but we don't know that until we assess it. Besides, the claim made for Murasaki Shikibu is incorrect, and I see no grounds for rating her as of higher importance than Jane Austen, and certainly not of "top" importance as fundamental to an understanding of women's history; her article may be a higher priority for the attention of this project, however, because Austen's article is already well tended, and Murasaki Shikibu's is not, as evidenced by the rather outsized factual error in the introductory paragraph which has now been corrected. She missed writing "the earliest novel in human history" by at least a thousand years. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I think we mostly agree, but unfortunately the devil's in the details. As for Lady Murasaki, I'm sure by the time you've read this, you probably will have read my reply on the Talk page. In my view, it's precisely because she (and others) are not well known that we should evaluate their importance objectively so that hopefully readers will access the page and learn about them. It's like Rosalind Franklin, who has been denied much of the credit and recognition due since her death, mostly because she was unknown, even though her contribution was no less important than that of Watson & Crick. Boneyard90 (talk) 16:48, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, agree absolutely that this is one of if not the core goal of the project. In many cases, articles on lesser-known figures who haven't gotten their due may also have a quality rating of C or below, or if the article has already been well tended, then it will have a B rating or above, and we don't have to worry about it. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:56, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Assessment ratings

Starting a fresh section on the Assessment ratings so it is clean. Would it be a good idea to pull the discussion over to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women's History/Assessment? or is it better on this page?

Here is a combination of the old assessment scale, the general one from above and the biography one from above. I've chopped a bit of the language in an attempt to make it more new-user-friendly. This version also does not have Top rated biographical articles. Low is pretty sparse because I feel the types of articles to include have already been covered in scope. Essentially anything not in another rating, and within scope, is automatically in low. --Tbennert (talk) 21:54, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Draft assessment scale

Top: The most significant topics in women's history. No encyclopedia would be complete without the article.
High: Of global significance, or of fundamental importance within a particular culture, country or timeperiod. Woman whose contribution has affected multiple spheres, or significantly and recognizably altered the history of her sphere. A woman who is recognized as a true pioneer in her field or discipline. Person who has had a direct and lasting impact on the status of women. Encyclopedic coverage of women's history would be incomplete without the article.
Mid: Individual women, events, organizations, etc. that are important within one sphere, or are mildly notable across several spheres. Person who has had some impact on the status of women within a sphere.
Low: Other women, events, organizations, topics, etc. Person who has affected the status of women in one portion of a sphere.

I like it. It looks like you combed through the earlier exchange and distilled the essentials. Thank you. Boneyard90 (talk) 01:21, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg

Support – Love it! USchick (talk) 17:04, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Home ec

I added our banner to Home economics because of the interesting points raised by this New York Times article, which pointed out the role of home ec classes in "sneaking" women into higher education in the early 20th century. The WP article is currently missing this element of women's history. Not something that had occurred to me; I had always thought of home ec as something girls had to study and boys didn't (up to the 1970s). The writer is a guest contributor who's an academic about to publish a crossover book. Just thought I'd mention it, since it isn't a topic I'd be able to get to soon. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:41, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Lily Parr

I'm looking for another pespective on this notable early footballer. She seems to have been made into an LGBT poster girl, because she apparently lived with a woman. The article was expanded on that basis and got a peer review from the LGBT task force. But an angry IP then expunged a lot of the lesbian stuff. Because I only write football articles I don't know how to approach the subject when I expand the article. I think if Parr was borderline notable I'd be inclined to leave it out altogether, but she is in the English football Hall of Fame. Any advice/assistance appreciated, thanks. Clavdia chauchat (talk) 20:07, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't appear to be an easy topic to address quickly. Many of the sources I'm finding say something like "gee, this woman deserves a biography, she's so interesting." I haven't found any books that identify her as a lesbian. A regular Google search, however, makes it clear that she is indeed considered a lesbian icon, as does this source already used in the article. I don't see a problem with stating the obvious (that she's become a lesbian sports icon), but if someone is dead set against such a statement, there are exhausting ways to wiki-lawyer against it. I can't even determine where the oft-repeated statement "she lived openly with her female partner" comes from, since the only biographical entries I can find focus on her youth/family/class background and her sports career. Newspapers of the time, if they even mentioned her partner, would've been too discreet to use as definitive evidence. Are there interviews when she was older, diaries, letters? Newspaper archives? But if you ever wanted to write a sports bio, this would be a great one to pitch to an agent or publisher, if you could get the primary sources. Sorry I don't know how to be of help. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Katharine Hepburn

Hi, the article on Katharine Hepburn has had a recent overhaul and has been raised by the Biography project to a B rating. Firstly, I wonder if Kate belongs in the Womens' history project (I think not) or was put in as part of the mass tagging of articles about women earlier this year. Secondly, if she does, could one of the project please swing by and re-evaulate the article? Cheers. Span (talk) 15:36, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Hepburn would be considered under the criterion The biography of a woman born between 1900 and 1950 is within the scope of this project if reliable sources discuss her life or career in the context of women's history or as contributing to significant societal or cultural change. So the question would be whether there are histories of Hollywood and the movies that look at her career in terms of opportunities available to women, dealing with gender obstacles, that sort of thing. The whole "wearing trousers" thing may not be completely trivial; it has to do with how women were "packaged," which in turn could mean what kind of work was available for actresses. It would come down to whether there are sources asserting things like "after Hepburn, women were less likely to be confined to", something like that. The question can only really be answered by someone who knows the sources. What I'm going to do for now is change the importance rating (definitely not of high importance to this project even if she's within scope) and leave a note on the talk page about the criterion. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:33, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
There are some elements in the article already that suggest she's within scope: Her mother, an active feminist and the head of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, instilled in the young Katharine the virtues of perseverance, independence and fortitude, teaching that that women were equal to men. As a child, Hepburn joined her mother on several 'Votes For Women' demonstrations. Almost any Bryn Mawr grad of that era who has general WP notability is to my mind of interest to women's history, but in particular there's the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center, dedicated to both the actress and her mother. The center challenges women to lead publicly engaged lives and to take on important and timely issues affecting women. Thoughts from anyone else on whether this alone is enough to satisfy the scope criteria? Cynwolfe (talk) 17:38, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

I just noticed that Hepburn's mother, Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn, is currently not listed under this project. I imagine you may want to add her? --Lobo512 (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Will do. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:44, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Just thought I'd let you guys know that I've opened this article up for a peer review as I think it may not be far off GA status, and it would be nice to get it there. Hepburn is a part of this project so if anyone wants to help improve the article that would be great. Review is here: Wikipedia:Peer review/Katharine Hepburn/archive2 Thanks. --Lobo512 (talk) 19:45, 25 September 2011 (UTC)