[Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

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[Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Fæ
* https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace

Hi,

One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin,
was that the various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our
language presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about
taking some practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that
having a standard policy language of English makes it easier to use
neutral gender in policy statements. 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. I'm hoping
that the outcome will feel like a much more natural space for people
like me that prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly
safer feeling to the project by the very act of making the effort, as
well as avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty
easy to simply avoid it.

Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
for example getting a Wikimedia based consensus to adopt terms like
"Latinx".[1]

Links:
1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159

Thanks,
Fae
Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal
--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Amir E. Aharoni
Writing should, indeed, be gender-neutral when the gender is not known. But
when the gender is known, it is possible in MediaWiki software to write
messaging according to the indicated gender.

Note that in the English grammar it is needed relatively rarely in the
first place. It is relevant for few things other than "he" and "she".
Latina/Latino has a gender, but it is the exception rather than the norm.
In many, many other languages, it is needed far more frequently: for "you"
("Are you sure?"), for imperative verbs ("Upload a media file"), for all
past tense verbs ("Jenny thanked you for your edit"), and in other cases.
MediaWiki and Facebook are the only pieces of software I know (there may be
others) that support adding masculine, feminine, and unknown-gender forms.
(In case you wondered, the default is "unknown".)

There are some cases when this software feature cannot be used, but very
frequently it can, and should be used.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-04-05 13:52 GMT+03:00 Fæ <[hidden email]>:

> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>
> Hi,
>
> One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin,
> was that the various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our
> language presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about
> taking some practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that
> having a standard policy language of English makes it easier to use
> neutral gender in policy statements. 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. I'm hoping
> that the outcome will feel like a much more natural space for people
> like me that prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly
> safer feeling to the project by the very act of making the effort, as
> well as avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty
> easy to simply avoid it.
>
> Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
> ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
> this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
> German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
> their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
> non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
> is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
> for example getting a Wikimedia based consensus to adopt terms like
> "Latinx".[1]
>
> Links:
> 1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
> Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
> accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-
> the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
> Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
I definitely support using gender-neutral language wherever possible,
especially since I'm agender and prefer being addressed with "singular
they" pronouns. I'll support your proposal on Commons.

- Pax aka Funcrunch


On 4/5/17 5:54 AM, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:

> Writing should, indeed, be gender-neutral when the gender is not known. But
> when the gender is known, it is possible in MediaWiki software to write
> messaging according to the indicated gender.
>
> Note that in the English grammar it is needed relatively rarely in the
> first place. It is relevant for few things other than "he" and "she".
> Latina/Latino has a gender, but it is the exception rather than the norm.
> In many, many other languages, it is needed far more frequently: for "you"
> ("Are you sure?"), for imperative verbs ("Upload a media file"), for all
> past tense verbs ("Jenny thanked you for your edit"), and in other cases.
> MediaWiki and Facebook are the only pieces of software I know (there may be
> others) that support adding masculine, feminine, and unknown-gender forms.
> (In case you wondered, the default is "unknown".)
>
> There are some cases when this software feature cannot be used, but very
> frequently it can, and should be used.
>
>
> --
> Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> ‪“We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
>
> 2017-04-05 13:52 GMT+03:00 Fæ <[hidden email]>:
>
>> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
>> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin,
>> was that the various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our
>> language presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about
>> taking some practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that
>> having a standard policy language of English makes it easier to use
>> neutral gender in policy statements. 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. I'm hoping
>> that the outcome will feel like a much more natural space for people
>> like me that prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly
>> safer feeling to the project by the very act of making the effort, as
>> well as avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty
>> easy to simply avoid it.
>>
>> Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
>> ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
>> this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
>> German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
>> their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
>> non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
>> is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
>> for example getting a Wikimedia based consensus to adopt terms like
>> "Latinx".[1]
>>
>> Links:
>> 1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
>> Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
>> accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
>> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-
>> the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Fae
>> Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal
>> --
>> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

--
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | [hidden email] | http://funcrunch.org


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Fæ
On 05/04/17 11:52, Fæ wrote:
> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>


Should have been common practice years ago.

IMHO,

El Gordo



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Laura Hale
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hi Fae,



On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>
> 1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
> Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
> accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-
> the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159
>
>
I don't know how familiar you are with language politics, but you're 100%
factually incorrect here when saying that Spanish has no gender neutral.
It does have gender neutral, and I can have full conversations about my
spouse in Spanish without giving away the gender of the spouse.  Your
comment appears to be based on a lack of understanding of how gender works
in Spanish, and it is not helpful as a result as comments like this
suppress the voices of linguistic minorities and already marginalized
groups.

Beyond that, how people gender neutral certain gendered words in Spanish
can be very culture specific. The link to the Huffington Post is clearly an
American Spanish perspective, and there is a huge debate in various Spanish
language communities about US Spanish.  It is not a standard form of
Spanish, and there are discussions about if American Spanish will become
its own linguistically distinct language in the next decade or so, as a
sort of English/Spanish combination.  Trying to impose American Spanish on
other Spanish speakers would be grossly offensive given these linguistic
issues.  I don't think you'd appreciate Jamaican English being imposed on
you, and your handling of gendered language issues in English.  I also
don't think you'd appreciate having Germans with little to no grasp of
English trying to impose on you standards of use of English.  I'd suggest
reading some of the materials published by LGBT organizations in Spanish
speaking countries.
http://www.felgtb.org/rs/1232/d112d6ad-54ec-438b-9358-4483f9e98868/05d/fd/1/filename/guia-diversidad-ccoo.pdf
is one of them.
http://www.uab.cat/Document/964/953/Guia_uso_no_sexista_lenguaje2,0.pdf is
a guide by a university in Barcelona in how to use gender neutral language
in Spain.

Rather than have a group of non-Spanish speaking men with little knowledge
of the Spanish language and less knowledge of the cultural issues facing
the LGBT community in the countries where Spanish is the dominant language
try to justify their interference into linguistic debates for which they
are ill equipped to participate and where they are not the discriminated
against group (because my understanding is that and most of the other men
involved in this discussion are CIS gendered men), why don't you reach out
to WikiMujeres? This is a Wikimedia user group of Spanish speaking women
found at http://wikimujeres.wiki/ .  This group actively discusses these
issues in Spanish and on Wikimedia projects. They have good working
relationships with chapters and can push towards more inclusive Spanish
language usage on Wikimedia Commons much more effectively than you can
given their contacts and fluency in the language.

I am on their mailing list.  If you're actually invested in this issue,
beyond linking to an linguistically dubious article that doesn't reflect
the broader picture of Spanish and making factually incorrect statements,
I'd be happy to reach out to the women I know in WikiMujeres to see what
opportunities there are for Wikimedia LGBT to work with WikiMujeres to
address this issue.  WikiMujeres also has regular edit-a-thons on Mondays
in Madrid when MediaLab Prado is open.  If you're keen to take this
further, I can see about getting you (or any other member of this group) an
invitation to one of these sessions to discuss this issue and how to
resolve it.  (I know they were present in Berlin.  Did you have a chance to
speak with them?)


And as WorldPride is taking place in Madrid this year, doing Spanish
language activities here with the local Spanish groups might be something
seriously worth considering to take advantage.


Sincerely,
Laura Hale




--
twitter: purplepopple
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Fæ
Hi Laura,

Thanks for the correction and the information. As you spotted I am
clueless in other languages, I just happened to pick up the Huffington
article but I did not think about perspectives such as the potential
for bias to American Spanish; it seems obvious now you have pointed it
out. Consider the example dropped. :-)

100% agree that the discussion and choices of how to handle gender
neutral guidelines in different languages is for /those language
communities/, with all of their lovely variety and complexity, not the
English speaking/writing community on our projects applying a solution
by majority blunt force.

In the example of Commons, the project is multilingual, however our
policy pages have an agreed default of being written and maintained in
English, with versions in other languages based upon that English
baseline. The proposal I put forward on the Commons Village pump
recognizes this critical limitation, and I wrote a clarification in
the discussion there:

"The question of non-English translation is a separate issue. I did
have some discussions with German and Spanish speakers over the
weekend about precisely the issue of handling gendered languages and
their default bias to male forms. These questions are for those
language communities to reach a consensus on and is a technical
translation and cultural issue. This proposal is focused on our
default policy language of English, I recognize that moving to a more
gender neutral form for other languages is much harder, but that is
not a reason for our community to avoid showing leadership within our
Wikimedia projects, and we should forge ahead where it is possible and
reasonable to do so. I'd even say this is worth a little 'discomfort'
in order to adopt modern best practices and take positive steps to
feel more welcoming for women, trans and genderqueer future
contributors."

By the way, if the Commons proposal succeeds, which appears likely, it
would be great if specific community discussions about how, or
whether, it can be implemented in various language versions. It should
not be turned into a big deal, as the number of policy or help pages
affected is small and the changes will be modest. However I don't know
the best way of going about this, and I hope that those with a passion
for having sensible discussions about gender neutral prose in their
favorite languages will take a lead. It's a knotty complex area, but
I'm hoping we can foster a pattern respectful discussions so everyone
feels their voice is heard and they are welcome to participate,
especially those with a trans or genderqueer experience for whom this
may feel like a highly personal discussion.

Thanks,
Fae


On 6 April 2017 at 08:59, Laura Hale <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Fae,
>
>
>
> On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
>> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>>
>> 1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
>> Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
>> accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
>> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-
>> the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159
>>
>>
> I don't know how familiar you are with language politics, but you're 100%
> factually incorrect here when saying that Spanish has no gender neutral.
> It does have gender neutral, and I can have full conversations about my
> spouse in Spanish without giving away the gender of the spouse.  Your
> comment appears to be based on a lack of understanding of how gender works
> in Spanish, and it is not helpful as a result as comments like this
> suppress the voices of linguistic minorities and already marginalized
> groups.
>
> Beyond that, how people gender neutral certain gendered words in Spanish
> can be very culture specific. The link to the Huffington Post is clearly an
> American Spanish perspective, and there is a huge debate in various Spanish
> language communities about US Spanish.  It is not a standard form of
> Spanish, and there are discussions about if American Spanish will become
> its own linguistically distinct language in the next decade or so, as a
> sort of English/Spanish combination.  Trying to impose American Spanish on
> other Spanish speakers would be grossly offensive given these linguistic
> issues.  I don't think you'd appreciate Jamaican English being imposed on
> you, and your handling of gendered language issues in English.  I also
> don't think you'd appreciate having Germans with little to no grasp of
> English trying to impose on you standards of use of English.  I'd suggest
> reading some of the materials published by LGBT organizations in Spanish
> speaking countries.
> http://www.felgtb.org/rs/1232/d112d6ad-54ec-438b-9358-4483f9e98868/05d/fd/1/filename/guia-diversidad-ccoo.pdf
> is one of them.
> http://www.uab.cat/Document/964/953/Guia_uso_no_sexista_lenguaje2,0.pdf is
> a guide by a university in Barcelona in how to use gender neutral language
> in Spain.
>
> Rather than have a group of non-Spanish speaking men with little knowledge
> of the Spanish language and less knowledge of the cultural issues facing
> the LGBT community in the countries where Spanish is the dominant language
> try to justify their interference into linguistic debates for which they
> are ill equipped to participate and where they are not the discriminated
> against group (because my understanding is that and most of the other men
> involved in this discussion are CIS gendered men), why don't you reach out
> to WikiMujeres? This is a Wikimedia user group of Spanish speaking women
> found at http://wikimujeres.wiki/ .  This group actively discusses these
> issues in Spanish and on Wikimedia projects. They have good working
> relationships with chapters and can push towards more inclusive Spanish
> language usage on Wikimedia Commons much more effectively than you can
> given their contacts and fluency in the language.
>
> I am on their mailing list.  If you're actually invested in this issue,
> beyond linking to an linguistically dubious article that doesn't reflect
> the broader picture of Spanish and making factually incorrect statements,
> I'd be happy to reach out to the women I know in WikiMujeres to see what
> opportunities there are for Wikimedia LGBT to work with WikiMujeres to
> address this issue.  WikiMujeres also has regular edit-a-thons on Mondays
> in Madrid when MediaLab Prado is open.  If you're keen to take this
> further, I can see about getting you (or any other member of this group) an
> invitation to one of these sessions to discuss this issue and how to
> resolve it.  (I know they were present in Berlin.  Did you have a chance to
> speak with them?)
>
>
> And as WorldPride is taking place in Madrid this year, doing Spanish
> language activities here with the local Spanish groups might be something
> seriously worth considering to take advantage.
>
>
> Sincerely,
> Laura Hale
> --
> twitter: purplepopple

--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Antoine Musso-3
In reply to this post by Fæ
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


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Fæ
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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

Thanks
Fae
Wikimedia LGBT+

On 6 April 2017 at 12:30, Antoine Musso <[hidden email]> 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

--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Antoine Musso-3
Hoi,
As a non native English speaker, I positively hate this. When you want to
say that a picture of a photographer whatever, you do not have to say "his
or her", it suffices to say "when a picture of a photographer is to be
used, prior permission has to be asked" or whatever.

Yes, it may please you but this practise is not taught in schools and given
the size of the non-native community ... don't do this
Thanks,
        GerardM

On 6 April 2017 at 13:30, Antoine Musso <[hidden email]> 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
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Marco Chiesa
I kinda second this, as a non native speaker the singular they sounds
awkward/confusing/wrong/whatever. Maybe something like "the person's"
(I hope everyone would self-recognize in this), "one's own", no
adjective at all. It's a bit hard for me to understand that some
person does not self recognize in either "he" or "she", but in the end
it's always good to learn something new, and if something can be done
to make everyone feel welcome, let's try it.
By the way, I guess a few centuries ago the "singular you" would have
sounded strange as well...

Marco

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 6:04 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> As a non native English speaker, I positively hate this. When you want to
> say that a picture of a photographer whatever, you do not have to say "his
> or her", it suffices to say "when a picture of a photographer is to be
> used, prior permission has to be asked" or whatever.
>
> Yes, it may please you but this practise is not taught in schools and given
> the size of the non-native community ... don't do this
> Thanks,
>         GerardM
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
I support rewriting sentences rather than using "singular they" if it's
straightforward enough to do so, as in Gerard's example. But yes, there
are people, including myself, who are neither men nor women, and using
gendered language like "he or she" leaves us out.

And yes, in English "you" is used to address both an individual and a
group, though in the latter case often a clarification such as "you all"
is added. We no longer use "thee" and "thou", so language usage does adapt.

- Pax aka Funcrunch


On 4/6/17 9:51 AM, Marco Chiesa wrote:

> I kinda second this, as a non native speaker the singular they sounds
> awkward/confusing/wrong/whatever. Maybe something like "the person's"
> (I hope everyone would self-recognize in this), "one's own", no
> adjective at all. It's a bit hard for me to understand that some
> person does not self recognize in either "he" or "she", but in the end
> it's always good to learn something new, and if something can be done
> to make everyone feel welcome, let's try it.
> By the way, I guess a few centuries ago the "singular you" would have
> sounded strange as well...
>
> Marco
>
> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 6:04 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> As a non native English speaker, I positively hate this. When you want to
>> say that a picture of a photographer whatever, you do not have to say "his
>> or her", it suffices to say "when a picture of a photographer is to be
>> used, prior permission has to be asked" or whatever.
>>
>> Yes, it may please you but this practise is not taught in schools and given
>> the size of the non-native community ... don't do this
>> Thanks,
>>          GerardM
>>

--
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | [hidden email] | http://funcrunch.org


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

J.
Instead of:
* A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
How about:
* The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.

Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Raymond Leonard
One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
grammar.

Peaceray

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Instead of:
> * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
> How about:
> * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
>
> Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

John Erling Blad
There are a lot of languages where there are no neutral gender, or where
there are a single male gender, or it can even be that the only neutral
gender is used for things and animals.

In German there is an expectation of gender-correct form. In Norwegian
there is an expectation of a neutral form. In Danish there is only
masculine forms.

Sorry but this idea is not generally usable.

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Raymond Leonard <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
> singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
> grammar.
>
> Peaceray
>
> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Instead of:
> > * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
> > How about:
> > * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
> >
> > Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

John Erling Blad
Sorry to people from Bergen, girls from Bergen is masculine - "jenten". I
wonder if we can blame that on the Germans, "mädchen" is neutrum, perhaps
they messed up the local language during the Hansa-period.

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:49 PM, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There are a lot of languages where there are no neutral gender, or where
> there are a single male gender, or it can even be that the only neutral
> gender is used for things and animals.
>
> In German there is an expectation of gender-correct form. In Norwegian
> there is an expectation of a neutral form. In Danish there is only
> masculine forms.
>
> Sorry but this idea is not generally usable.
>
> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Raymond Leonard <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
>> singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
>> grammar.
>>
>> Peaceray
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > Instead of:
>> > * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
>> > How about:
>> > * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
>> >
>> > Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Fæ
In reply to this post by John Erling Blad
Thanks for raising the different language problems. I'm aware of it,
though I only edit in English.

Last weekend I was much enlightened by sitting down with a German
trans contributor, who was showing me the system language problems on
the German Wikipedia, and together we started having fun comparing
trans related policies and trans related article numbers. I was amazed
at the difference. No, that's not enough, I was really shocked that
the second largest Wikipedia that I deeply respect, is a community
that apparently has little appetite or any active discussion on these
LGBT+ issues. In comparison the English Wikipedia feels like a vibrant
and creative garden of Eden to me as an LGBT+ contributor.

By forging ahead, at least on Wikimedia Commons[1] and attempting the
same on the English Wikipedia[2], we hope to set a healthy example for
what is possible, and lay down the challenge to other projects to be
truly welcoming and feel encouraging for trans and genderqueer readers
and editors, rather than just saying that we are.

Language may be very limiting, sure, let's accept that fact of life.
It's both interesting and difficult. But it's not unimaginable that
our Wikimedia movement could end up adopting leading edge new
non-gendered terms in multiple languages for simple words like "user"
and "administrator" that currently are unnecessarily gendered. We
could even show willing by taking baby steps like just empowering our
users to set their own preferred pronoun style, like Ve or Mx, which
is entirely possible right now, today, in the MediaWiki software.
Ignoring these options, or even joking about them, is to pretend that
genderqueer people don't exist.

Yes, please flag up the issues, let's discuss the challenges. No, I
simply do not accept that by we are asking for the impossible on any
of our projects, I never shall accept it.

Links:
1. Wikimedia Commons, new draft policy created today, because of these
discussions: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_neutral_language
2. Drafting a new English Wikipedia RFC, because of these discussions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_LGBT_studies#Research_for_proposing_a_gender_neutral_principle_for_Wikipedia_policies_and_guidelines

Thanks,
Fae

On 6 April 2017 at 21:49, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There are a lot of languages where there are no neutral gender, or where
> there are a single male gender, or it can even be that the only neutral
> gender is used for things and animals.
>
> In German there is an expectation of gender-correct form. In Norwegian
> there is an expectation of a neutral form. In Danish there is only
> masculine forms.
>
> Sorry but this idea is not generally usable.
>
> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Raymond Leonard <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
>> singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
>> grammar.
>>
>> Peaceray
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > Instead of:
>> > * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
>> > How about:
>> > * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
>> >
>> > Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
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>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
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--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Risker
Thanks, Fae, for opening this thread - and thank you everyone for
responding so eloquently and knowledgeably.  This was a topic where I knew
I didn't have sufficient knowledge to comment, and I have learned a lot
from this discussion.  It's a solid example of the best traits of the
Wikimedia family - proposal for a new idea, well-informed discussion, good
faith assumed on everyone's part.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

John Erling Blad
I believe the best way to describe people is as accurately, and neutral as
possible, following the grammatical and cultural rules within the
community, and especially to address them as they chose themselves. Note
that we use grammatical gender, we do not address people with sexual
gender.

On Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 12:47 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks, Fae, for opening this thread - and thank you everyone for
> responding so eloquently and knowledgeably.  This was a topic where I knew
> I didn't have sufficient knowledge to comment, and I have learned a lot
> from this discussion.  It's a solid example of the best traits of the
> Wikimedia family - proposal for a new idea, well-informed discussion, good
> faith assumed on everyone's part.
>
> Risker/Anne
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hoi,
I quote: " I simply do not accept that by we are asking for the impossible
on any of our projects, I never shall accept it." That is indeed your
prerogative. The problem is that with such a point of view, there is not
much of a discussion possible. If you want to be single issue Fae, then
fine but it translates in how people perceive you including your other
points of view. That is not something that would make me happy and I know
it is not how you achieve things.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 7 April 2017 at 00:24, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks for raising the different language problems. I'm aware of it,
> though I only edit in English.
>
> Last weekend I was much enlightened by sitting down with a German
> trans contributor, who was showing me the system language problems on
> the German Wikipedia, and together we started having fun comparing
> trans related policies and trans related article numbers. I was amazed
> at the difference. No, that's not enough, I was really shocked that
> the second largest Wikipedia that I deeply respect, is a community
> that apparently has little appetite or any active discussion on these
> LGBT+ issues. In comparison the English Wikipedia feels like a vibrant
> and creative garden of Eden to me as an LGBT+ contributor.
>
> By forging ahead, at least on Wikimedia Commons[1] and attempting the
> same on the English Wikipedia[2], we hope to set a healthy example for
> what is possible, and lay down the challenge to other projects to be
> truly welcoming and feel encouraging for trans and genderqueer readers
> and editors, rather than just saying that we are.
>
> Language may be very limiting, sure, let's accept that fact of life.
> It's both interesting and difficult. But it's not unimaginable that
> our Wikimedia movement could end up adopting leading edge new
> non-gendered terms in multiple languages for simple words like "user"
> and "administrator" that currently are unnecessarily gendered. We
> could even show willing by taking baby steps like just empowering our
> users to set their own preferred pronoun style, like Ve or Mx, which
> is entirely possible right now, today, in the MediaWiki software.
> Ignoring these options, or even joking about them, is to pretend that
> genderqueer people don't exist.
>
> Yes, please flag up the issues, let's discuss the challenges. No, I
> simply do not accept that by we are asking for the impossible on any
> of our projects, I never shall accept it.
>
> Links:
> 1. Wikimedia Commons, new draft policy created today, because of these
> discussions: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_
> neutral_language
> 2. Drafting a new English Wikipedia RFC, because of these discussions:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_
> LGBT_studies#Research_for_proposing_a_gender_neutral_
> principle_for_Wikipedia_policies_and_guidelines
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> On 6 April 2017 at 21:49, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > There are a lot of languages where there are no neutral gender, or where
> > there are a single male gender, or it can even be that the only neutral
> > gender is used for things and animals.
> >
> > In German there is an expectation of gender-correct form. In Norwegian
> > there is an expectation of a neutral form. In Danish there is only
> > masculine forms.
> >
> > Sorry but this idea is not generally usable.
> >
> > On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Raymond Leonard <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
> >> singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
> >> grammar.
> >>
> >> Peaceray
> >>
> >> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Instead of:
> >> > * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
> >> > How about:
> >> > * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
> >> >
> >> > Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
> >> >
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> >
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
> Personal and confidential, please do not circulate or re-quote.
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

Anders Wennersten-2
In reply to this post by Fæ
This basic issue has for many years been a "hot" issue in Sweden.

And the use of the words "han" (he/his) and "hon" (she/her) has become a
minefield.  And to use "him and her" to mean all type of persons is just
not acceptable (what about all who want to use other attributes to
define themselves).

And a new word has been created "hen", meant to be a more neutral word.  
But then this word has become very controversial as it is seen as a
leftist/feminist thing by conservative/populists

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



Den 2017-04-07 kl. 00:24, skrev Fæ:

> Thanks for raising the different language problems. I'm aware of it,
> though I only edit in English.
>
> Last weekend I was much enlightened by sitting down with a German
> trans contributor, who was showing me the system language problems on
> the German Wikipedia, and together we started having fun comparing
> trans related policies and trans related article numbers. I was amazed
> at the difference. No, that's not enough, I was really shocked that
> the second largest Wikipedia that I deeply respect, is a community
> that apparently has little appetite or any active discussion on these
> LGBT+ issues. In comparison the English Wikipedia feels like a vibrant
> and creative garden of Eden to me as an LGBT+ contributor.
>
> By forging ahead, at least on Wikimedia Commons[1] and attempting the
> same on the English Wikipedia[2], we hope to set a healthy example for
> what is possible, and lay down the challenge to other projects to be
> truly welcoming and feel encouraging for trans and genderqueer readers
> and editors, rather than just saying that we are.
>
> Language may be very limiting, sure, let's accept that fact of life.
> It's both interesting and difficult. But it's not unimaginable that
> our Wikimedia movement could end up adopting leading edge new
> non-gendered terms in multiple languages for simple words like "user"
> and "administrator" that currently are unnecessarily gendered. We
> could even show willing by taking baby steps like just empowering our
> users to set their own preferred pronoun style, like Ve or Mx, which
> is entirely possible right now, today, in the MediaWiki software.
> Ignoring these options, or even joking about them, is to pretend that
> genderqueer people don't exist.
>
> Yes, please flag up the issues, let's discuss the challenges. No, I
> simply do not accept that by we are asking for the impossible on any
> of our projects, I never shall accept it.
>
> Links:
> 1. Wikimedia Commons, new draft policy created today, because of these
> discussions: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_neutral_language
> 2. Drafting a new English Wikipedia RFC, because of these discussions:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_LGBT_studies#Research_for_proposing_a_gender_neutral_principle_for_Wikipedia_policies_and_guidelines
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> On 6 April 2017 at 21:49, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> There are a lot of languages where there are no neutral gender, or where
>> there are a single male gender, or it can even be that the only neutral
>> gender is used for things and animals.
>>
>> In German there is an expectation of gender-correct form. In Norwegian
>> there is an expectation of a neutral form. In Danish there is only
>> masculine forms.
>>
>> Sorry but this idea is not generally usable.
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM, Raymond Leonard <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> One can use "one" or "one's" to substitute in many places for 3rd person
>>> singular pronouns. Not everywhere, but it is in keeping with English
>>> grammar.
>>>
>>> Peaceray
>>>
>>> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:35 AM, J. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Instead of:
>>>> * A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.
>>>> How about:
>>>> * The artist must be given attribution when an image is reused.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers! Wayne Calhoon (AKA Checkingfax)
>>>>
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