Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
The presentation will focus on reasons for and possible cures against the gender bias, based on a female wikipedian's (my own) reading of Virginia Woolf's essay "A room of one's own" - which, to my believe, quite adequately outlines the very limitations which today's female wikipedia editors also experience. I will, however, also discuss further aspects of femal editing beyond Virginia Woolf, and seek to suggest ways to overcome any limitations which female editors might perceive for themselves. Not least I hope to enter a fruitful debate with the audience.
The presentation will follow these topics:
Virgina Woolf: "A room of one's own" - short outline of the essay's contents and central findings, its lasting influence as well as the critical reviews it received
Comparison of the situation of female fiction authors as described by Woolf (obviously also considering the historicity of the essay) with the situation, in which female wikipedia editors find themselves in today
Reflection on the situation of female wikipedia editors, considering different obstacles dependent on age, social and educational status, financial means, individual grade of independence, spare time etc. Having in mind that other social networks attract large numbers of female participants, I will take a look at other online-projects with a larger female usership and try to track down reasons for these differences. (Questions that might be useful in assessing different online behaviour: Do you have a computer of your own? Who is looking after the kids while you edit? Where are you sitting when editing? Do you have a home office or other dedicated space for editing wikipedia? Why could it be easier or more rewarding to update your facebook timeline or stick pictures to your pinterest pinboard than to edit wikipedia?)
Taking a look at the situation of male wikipedia editors (Questions that might be useful in assessing differences in male/female online behaviour: When and where do men actually edit? Allocation of spare time, allocation of space; Ownership of computer, foto and other technical equipment; Are computers / wikipedia modern men's garden sheds? Working hypothesis: The situation, in which men edit wikipedia, is a setting of retirement or seclusion from family business and working life.)
Creating the room - what needs to be done to enable female editors to contribute more widely to wikipedia?
Track WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
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