Thanks for the French experience. :-) You may not have picked up on
the specific comment about the French Wikipedia a few days ago in the
general Wikimedia Commons Village Pump discussion:[1]

"* Total Support. This is not only useful to the trans community, but
in the case of French, it is more inclusive for women also, as the
French (I'm writing French and this does not mean francophone) have
the disastrous tendency to masculinize everything pretending this is
the way the french grammar addresses "gender neutrality in French". I
would really like us to reflect on writing a best practice manual for
all those who want to have an inclusive language (coupled with a non
violent communication guide for online practices). Actually on the
French wikipedia, most pronouns are in the masculine form even on talk
/ user / help pages, and when one raises the issue, one gets insults
and very silly remarks. --Nattes à chat"

It is sad to see that the local community has difficulty staying
respectful or even civil when these gender related discussions arise,
and should be a welcoming and open debate about the facts for modern
language usage. There are no easy solutions, apart from persisting,
keeping the topic on our agenda, and gradually educating where we can,
even though this gets very tiring for our best volunteers!

The French Wikipedia is not alone, and I have been told over the last
week of exactly the same problem of "silly comments" on the German
Wikipedia, and my experience with raising a Request for Comment
yesterday on the English Wikipedia[2] is that discussions on this do
include critical views being expressed, which is okay, in a
disrespectful way, which is definitely not okay! It's a shame that
even some administrators will defend intentionally disrespectful
comments as so-called "free speech", rather than a breach of our
civility policies or the basic WMF terms of use for our websites.[3]

P.S. Florence, your email gets automatically put in spam when using
Google's email system. I'm not even sure how to stop that happening
for yahoo addresses to this list.



On 7 April 2017 at 20:58, Florence Devouard <> wrote:
> A couple of weeks ago, I was asked - in my capacity of meta admin - to
> change the phrasing of a site notice on meta, meant to call for
> participation to the month of Francophonie.
> The sentence of the call in the site notice was in language neutral
> terminology.
> "les Wikimédien.nes" instead of the more traditionnal but non neutral "les
> Wikimédiens".
> That phrasing raised an uproar on the French pump. So I replaced the term by
> "nous" (we). Seems to settle things.
> Clearly the French speaking community is not ready to adopt the gender
> neutral specific language accross the francophones projects. Alternatives
> (such as the "we") are possible but not always.
> Florence
> Le 06/04/2017 14:58, Fæ a écrit :
>> Thanks for the examples from French and I'm sure that our experienced
>> translators will have in mind specific best practice guides to turn
>> to. I like your illustration of "un/une adminstra-teur-trice" to show
>> the challenges. The use of "singular they" remains uncomfortable for
>> many English readers, but it has become a recommended standard for
>> journalists writing in English.[1]
>> Once the principle of gender neutrality is agreed, I just don't know
>> what our next steps will turn out to be for non-English versions.
>> However I am much encouraged by the positive views on Commons, and I'm
>> hopeful we can, and should, find a way to set a better example for our
>> fellow projects in our aim to feel welcoming for all contributors. :-)
>> Links
>> 1.
>> Thanks
>> Fae
>> Wikimedia LGBT+
>> On 6 April 2017 at 12:30, Antoine Musso <> wrote:
>>> Le 05/04/2017 à 12:52, Fæ a écrit :
>>>>   I'm taking that further by
>>>> proposing that we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and
>>>> help pages. In practice this means that policies avoid using "he or
>>>> she" and stick to "they" or avoid using a pronoun at all.
>>> As a non native English speaker the use of a plural form definitely
>>> confuses me or at best.  The example takes a sentence from Commons:FAQ
>>> which roughly looks like:
>>> A photographer has to be given credit when his or her picture is used.
>>> With the proposal to instead:
>>> A photographer has to be given credit when their picture is used.
>>> Why isn't "picture" plural as well?  If using masculine as a neutral
>>> pronoum is the issue, just stop using the pronoum entirely. Eg one can
>>> instead write:
>>> A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
>>> That is going to be quite a challenge when ported to other languages.
>>> For 'A photographer', the english indefinite article is gender less.
>>> In french that would be either 'un' (masculine) or 'une' (feminine).
>>> What some are advocating is using:
>>>    Un/une photographe
>>> If the noun varies as well, that becomes messy. Here for
>>> 'administrateur':
>>>   Un/une adminstra-teur-trice
>>> That is not solvable in french and all other latin based languages most
>>> probably have the same issue (blame Rome!).
>>> --
>>> Antoine "hashar" Musso
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> and
> New messages to:
> Unsubscribe:,
> <>

Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: and
New messages to:

Reply via email to