On 7 April 2017 at 06:39, Anders Wennersten <m...@anderswennersten.se> wrote:
...
> So when it comes to how we use them in documents related to WIkipedia, is to
> not use any of them. It is a little bit more complicated but it is quite
> possible. "The person who takes a photo should" etc
>
> And our standpoint is that we as Wikipedians should not be first in
> introducing new use of language but wait until it has become mainstream (if
> it ever will be)
>
> Anders

Thanks for the 'hen' example. The new policy on Wikimedia Commons[1]
for gender neutral language has precisely the Swedish Wikipedia
working solution as the best solution, i.e. to avoid unnecessary
gendered pronouns where /reasonable/. For policies in English at
least, that actually turns out to be almost all the time.

It sounds like capturing what you currently do, can easily become your
local gender neutral policy. It may not be perfect, but it would be a
focus for discussion and by having these visible steps to attempt to
address the issue, those most affected will feel acknowledged rather
than dismissed.

Many of us have been contributing to the Wikimedia Foundation's
strategy consultation, thinking of what our projects might become in
15 years. When you look that far ahead, it seems possible to plan for
these changes happening, including seeing a few "leftist/feminist"
possibilities like the Swedish 'hen' becoming mainstream.

When I was a teenager, the word "gay" for a homosexual went from a gay
community word to mainstream on the television, something I remember
my Mother being critical about, "it used to be such a nice happy word
before this", not a good environment to come out as gay! A decade
later the more acceptable and correct word "transgender" gradually
replaced our usage of "transexual" and right now "genderqueer" is
becoming a popular word to apply, it's even on Wikidata :-). However,
in a more connected world, neologisms appear and become accepted
faster, and 15 years feels like a long view for these changes.

Seeing /some/ of our mainstream projects taking action to adopt gender
neutral terms, even if only at policy level, will encourage other
websites to do the same. Rather than a political act, I see continuing
to talk about it, and not giving up on trying to adapt and improve our
approach where reasonable to do so, simply a way of striving to our
goal of feeling like a welcome environment for everyone to read and
everyone to edit. I cannot accept the status quo where some minorities
feel excluded by our systems and policies, but I don't have to, as we
are not standing still. :-)

Links:
1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_neutral_language

Thanks
Fae

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