Women Community/Women is a page about womens presence in the Davis Wiki community. See also 2005 Wiki Demographics to compare with previous data and Wiki Project Gender Studies to see what another community has found.

Questions raised about women's presence on the wiki

1) Is there an issue with the Davis Wiki in regards to how incorporated women are in this community? If yes, why? If no, why not?

  • No. Everybody with internet access has equal opportunity to access and edit daviswiki. However, access and actually editing are two very different matters. Choosing to edit daviswiki is exactly that - a choice. There is absolutely no reason that women do not, by the below demographics, have more edits beyond the volition of the women in question. ~SarahHillard
  • gasp ... there are more male geeks than female geeks? It's good someone created a page to point this out. Obviously, we need to take action. I support requiring mandatory sex change operations for ... <trying to figure out the percentage but I suck at math, help me out geeks> ... percent of the male wiki population. —KaiTing
  • My initial thoughts border on something like Kai's, but I know lots of women who use the wiki as a information resource but aren't actively engaged in the editing and communityness. I play I really old HL mod that isn't CS, 1 out of every 250 players is female, or female sounding. At least you can start to quantify gender because DW covers a (on the grand scheme) limited geographical area, whereas the internet is usually so big and vast that gender becomes an option —StevenDaubert
  • Wow. Why is there such strident opposition toward simple demographic information? If you don't find it useful, don't use it. Personally, I find it tiresome that tech-focused efforts are almost always dominated by males — often misogynistic males with poor social skills at that — and I'd welcome an improvement to the gender ratio. At the very least, this kind of information is clearly useful and the original page author shouldn't feel the need to defend herself. —GrahamFreeman
  • Prior to this discussion, I would not have thought that the Davis wiki itself was inhospitable to women — and I didn't think that that was Jessica's point initially (although maybe it was). On the other hand, the strong reactions here are making me rethink that, especially the apparent hostility to even asking the questions, together with the lampooning of this page. I didn't hear anyone suggest that male editors be restricted in any way, and I don't see why trying to recruit female editors somehow hinders the idea of "anyone being able to freely edit what they want."—CovertProfessor

2) Do any women feel that the fact that the majority of the wiki edits are by men has dissuaded them from editing more?

  • I, for one, as a woman do not feel dissuaded from editing the wiki. SarahHillard
    • i would imagine this question would get answers from certain types of people, specifically women who haven't been dissuaded from editing.

3) Do any people feel that the majority of the wiki edits, as they are made by users identifying as men, have an effect on the topics and content of the wiki?

  • Regardless of the reasons why there might be fewer women editing the wiki, the fact that there are fewer women editing is bound to have an impact on the content of the wiki, which is something we might be concerned about. I take it that that is part of the motivation for this page. Of course it is true that males can, and often do, add content that is relevant to female concerns. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that women are more likely (though not guaranteed) to add content related to issues such as: child care, women in politics on campus and in town, treatment of women faculty and women students, equal pay for women employees in Davis, etc. (not to mention more mundane topics like where to find women's clothing and other items that only women would buy). I'm new around here, though, so maybe I'm missing something. —CovertProfessor
  • I don't think that the wiki content is particularly male influenced in any way. I do remember some squabble about someone thinking the "pregnancy" page was not Daviscentric enough to exist, but they were quickly out ruled. Maybe many women just have less time to edit or are just not passionate enough about a topic to take the time to edit. I know my editing dropped dramatically just due to changes in my work and home life. —JanelleAlvstadMattson
  • Also, it's even more intimidating to add brand new content as it is to edit, and if someone feels their area of interest is under/unrepresented, they may decide that the wiki as a whole isn't interested rather than adding it themselves. I don't know how it could be made more abundantly clear that any Davis-related contribution is welcome, but making sure people are aware of this might help attract more underrepresented populations. —JessicaLuedtke

4) How can we get more women to join and contribute to the wiki? (What is the Davis Wiki doing to integrate/not integrate women? What can be done to integrate women more?)

  • The daviswiki is a community website focused on the amenities and attractions of Davis, Ca and the University located therein. The daviswiki forms an aggregate point of view of all editors, regardless of gender identity. Anybody with internet access has the privilege of both reading and editing daviswiki, regardless of gender identity. In terms of what can be done, someone can either access the daviswiki and tap into its wealth of knowledge or add their own insights by editing existing pages and creating new ones, regardless of gender identity. There are no genetic or genital prerequisites for either function. Nothing can be done to integrate women more because there is nothing preventing them from accessing or actually editing daviswiki beyond the volition of the women in question~SarahHillard
  • The problem is not with the wiki, it is with the people that use it (or not). It's not like women as a group are actively being excluded. Anyone who wants to edit CAN edit. Anyone who wants to go to public gatherings CAN go. It is not immediately clear who wrote what on many pages without digging through the history so it's not like the large percentage of men editing is going to scare most womenfolk away. Many women are simply choosing not to edit. —MarieHuynh
  • We need gender quotas! —SteveOstrowski
  • At minimum, encourage current women users to take more photos. If you want more diverse social events, do something other than BBQs. Newbies and people who don't want to be "the only ..." are more likely to come if there's an alternative to conversation (a band, talent show, shepherding competition, etc.). —CraigBrozinsky
  • I think there should be better outreach to everyone with one saturday of the month dedicated to helpinp/teaching people how to edit. similar to LUGOD, a room would be reserved where people can get help and learn how to edit. someone would actually sit down with them and edit! also, there could be a group formed similar to the Society of Women Engineers. —JessicaRockwell
  • LUGOD and SWE-like ventures sound like good ideas, and the former sounds like it could be accomplished at the Farmer's market with a laptop. How about a wiki new-membership drive as the featured page. One that emphasizes joining rather than perusing. Now would be a good time to get non-students, and there could be another one when school begins. On that note, to my knowledge, only men have tabled at the Farmer's market. In addition to the regular male tablers, are there women who'd be willing to table? I'm not around on Wednesdays, but I'd be willing to chip in a few bucks for supplies. —CraigBrozinsky

Possible indicators that there is a need for discussion to take place

Note: sex/gender was based on same method used in 2005 study. In cases where pronoun was not used, JessicaRockwell almost always assumed female, so these numbers are conflated in favor of there being a larger presence of women than there may truly be. JessicaRockwell encourages more people to analyze the data to control for stereotypes/prejudices/inaccuracies she may have.

  • Were considered female? What are your criteria? ~SarahHillard
    • sarah, this is an excellent point that i had hoped people would have mentioned this sooner. at the bbq i told some people that the way i presented the information, based off the way the 2005 information had been gathered, completely left out transgender, transsexual, intersex, hermaphrodites, and other categories, such as neutral, queer, other, etc. so i completely acknowledge there are errors. it is my intention to gather the information in such a way where it will be based only on pronouns and/or self-identification. also, i think you point should be made to other wiki editors. There are many usernames where you just don't know the person's sex/gender, so when they leave comments they should pay attention to inaccurately giving them a pronoun. —JessicaRockwell
  • Is it really helpful to assume all unknowns are female? Especially in cases like TheTallman, where both the name itself and comments on other pages identify him as male. I'd think X% probably female, Y% probably male, Z% undeclared would provide a more accurate picture. —JessicaLuedtke

Number of edits by women

  • There is almost a constant one third contribution from women to daviswiki, regardless of number of edits.
  • Of the 132 people with edits numbering between 50 and 99, 36% are women. (approximately 47 are women).
  • Of the 194 people with 100 edits or more, 34.5% are women. (approximately 67 are women. Names such as TheTallman were considered female).
  • Of the 326 people with 50 edits or more, 35% are women. (approximately 114 are women).
  • Of the top 10 editors, there is possibly one that is a woman (10%).
    • Possible because AlphaDog's sex is not publicized.
    • MichelleAccurso was in the top 10 for quite a while (usually around #8-9) until she quit working in Davis.
  • Of the top 20 editors, there are possibly two that are women (10%).

Davis Wiki pages

  • The Demographics page does not include a breakdown by sex. While the source for the ethnic stats includes data on males and females, this indicator, along with others dealing with age and class, went either unnoticed or ignored. While it is possible that the 2005 source did not include information based on gender, it is unlikely seeing as how census data from the 1800's includes information on whether people were male or female.
  • For over two years the fact that there had only been one female ASUCD President out of the last eleven elected Presidents went unnoticed. While some have argued and defended that it was not mentioned because it was not surprising and did not stand out, if one were to compare the data with those of the ASUCD Vice President, one would find it to be quite shocking.
    • Only if a reader was looking for that information. I take issue with the words "went unnoticed". The page had a list of 11(?) names on it at the time. It was a list, not a statistical analysis. "went unnoticed" is not the same as it not being explicitly said that 'only 1 person on this list is a female'. As to comparing the pages and the lists: they were standalone pages. It's an interesting point to make, but I think that due to the list nature of those pages, and so many other pages on the wiki (like all the lists of people who won awards, this honor, that honor), such analysis that "went unnoticed" isn't really fair. It implies that something that should be there isn't. The Davis Wiki is only as good as the information people add to it. Someone looked at both lists and realized there was a difference, and so, edited the page to explicitly reflect that. That is exactly how the wiki is supposed to work. Has it also gone unnoticed how many James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award winners (chosen among 'exeptional career achievement among members of the Academic Federation) are female, compared to the number of female instructors/researchers? I'm sure in time, someone can add more to the page than a list of of names. -ES
  • Aggie Editors in Chief has no comment on how there has been a lack of women in this position.
    • This assumes that a gender breakdown should be available on all sorts of lists. There is also no comment that every Police Chief from 1927 has been male (assuming B.D. is a male and not female). Should there be a comment on such things? I disagree with the notion to explicitly state such things...on where the information is presented in a list of names. When you've got only a bunch of names in a row, adding a sentence or two about a breakdown seems silly to me. To assume things are going 'unnoticed' or are being edited in a lacking manner - well, different people look for different things on pages for information. Obviously, not all editors have the same priorities or concerns, or even look for the same information. If people feel a way about a page, they could add this information to the page. Again, that's how the wiki works, and that's whats so great about it. -ES

Number of women in the wiki's IRC

The IRC is shown to have an effect on the involvement of members in the wiki community. The mentioning of this page in the chatroom has gotten people to discuss this page, both on here and in the chatroom.

Number of women attending the Wiki BBQ Summer 2007

  • Data needs to be analyzed.

Reaction(s) towards this page


  • Face to face accusation of "hating men".

    • Sorry, just to ask about this one directly, who is being accused of such a thing? and how is it related to the page. ~Dave
  • Editors misrepresenting the page creator's views by saying she is making a call for gender quotas and restriction on male edits.

    • That person was joking.
      • How about people telling them not to joke around. fortunately, some people called them out on it. did you? i believe most of us here want to make the daviswiki a better place, and while the user mentioned may have been saying this in jest, it seems rather common that people use the copout of "oh, i wasn't being serious" when certain topics are brought up.—JessicaRockwell
  • Claim(s) of male editors not wanting to participate as a result of this page because they felt attacked.

    • Seriously? I guess I cannot ask to confirm but whoever feels attacked please e-mail, I want to help make this a better place. ~Dave
  • Accusation of "crying sexism". When it was mentioned that this felt like a sexist statement, it was defended as being equivalent to "speak, say, bring up".

  • Attitudes that show discussion of sex, race, ethnicity, and gender are unwelcomed.

    • What qualifies this? I only see real discussion here regarding this issue, I doubt people are this anti-minded~Dave
  • A general apathy towards the subject matter and a feeling that nothing should be changed on the wiki.

    • I did reword this to be a bit better of a flow (sorry), however is this really a "negative" reaction? I would say it is more neutral. ~Dave


  • Editors showing support for this page.

  • Editors discussing/talking about this topic.

    • Both these points are contradictory to those mentioned above, please rectify. ~Dave
  • An increase in people on the IRC chatroom, including at least one woman.

  • Women making reservations for the Wiki BBQ Summer 2007.

  • An increased awareness of the role of women in the Daviswiki Community.

  • Fresh statistics

    Allow me to add some fresh statistics. I just coded the gender of 874 wiki editors who've contributed more than 25 edits. From this group, I subtracted 87 people whose genders aren't obvious from their name, some people who's allegiance is primarily on other wikis, spammers, and the top wiki 15 gnomes because they skew the results dramatically. From the resulting 771 people, I removed those with edit counts more than 4 standard deviations from the mean, leaving 757 total people (235 women=31%)). I then ran a regression analysis to see how #of edits was affected by (1) gender, (2) pages created, (3) files contributed, (4) time between joining and one's last edit, (5) and how gender interacts with each of these variables. According to the analysis (R2 = .60), women and men do not make a different number of edits (p=.35). However women do tend to submit fewer files than men do (p=.03). Gender did not relate to time spent on the wiki or to the frequency of creating pages. These results seem to match intuition, and suggest that, while there are fewer women on the wiki, they do the same things here that men do. Wiki gnomes, as mentioned above, are an exception and I do often wonder if gnomage affects intimidates new users, and women more than men. Oh, an addendum: I looked at the gender of the top 30 users (>340 edits) from Nov. 1st 2005. There was one unknown and 7 females (23%). In the past two years, 38 other people have crossed 340 edit border. 11 are female (29%), 1 is unknown, 26 are male. For gnomes, that's a 6 percent increase in people who have female names or call themselves "she." Especially given the arbitrary 30 edit threshold chosen, a statistical analysis will likely, as Karl notes below, attribute that increase to chance. —CraigBrozinsky

    Use of Gender Neutral Language

    As a result of this being a large discussion, it has been moved to Wiki Community/Pronouns.

    Additional Thoughts


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    I want to mention that I, being a male editor, doubled the content for the President Sara Henry article. While I see the statistics listed as interesting I also find it irrelevant. It is seemingly implied that the Davis Wiki must go out of its way to recruit female editors, which I believe is contrary to the idea of anyone being able to freely edit what they want. I also think that any restriction on male editors in favor of advancing female editors is unproductive. This page also implies that there is a male bias in the Davis Wiki which may be true, but one cannot generalize the content of the Wiki, it must be done so in a case by case basis. Even if there is a bias, female editors always have the freedom to add their own biases. I also wouldn't consider the edit numbers to be valuable indicators of how the Davis Wiki is shaped. For example I am the 9th highest editor. —SteveOstrowski

    • Freedom can be misleading, my friend. If women have different temperments in terms of editing, they might not be as willing as men are to carry on the "edit wars" that arise when trolls do not desire a constructive diologue about content. In line with what C. Brozinsky said, intimidation could be a factor in scewing content away from a more gender balanced format. —JoseBleckman
    • How does telling more women to contribute in any way restrict male editors? It's not like, ahem, quotas where there are a fixed number of slots, and one persons success is at the expense of someone else's. The great thing about the wiki is that the number of pages and pool of editors is not capped. And thank goodness it isn't— I wouldn't have been able to make any restaurant reviews during student election time :-) —CraigBrozinsky

    This is a very interesting page, and I find the reactions to this page very instructive. Let me add a few thoughts on this subject. There are multiple factors involved, obviously, from social factors affecting the interests (career and otherwise) of men and women, to the demographics of the population and the users, to the social environment in the Davis Wiki community.

    It sounds like the people using the wiki to look up information are evenly split between the genders - so this doesn't appear to be a significant factor. Also, it seems that Craig has offered up some statistics that the number of edits does not vary significantly between the genders on a per-person basis. (In case not everyone is fluent in Statistics, the p=.35 value means that the difference between the number of edits for each gender has a 35% probability of being due to chance alone - not very significant. The p=0.03 means that the difference between the number of files uploaded has a 3% probability of being due to chance - very significant difference!) So we have a difference in the number of people in each gender, and not the amount that they each contribute on the whole.

    The wiki format is incredibly easy to learn. That is one of the really great things about it. It could be that some women are intimidated by the concept of web editing, something that they are pushed away from socially, but the ease of wiki editing argues against that. I've had Ariela looking over my shoulder and correcting my wiki formatting code - and she's not very technically inclined to start with!

    Instead, I think there are a few things that the Davis Wiki community may be doing that is discouraging women from participating in editing.

    Editing/Flame wars have been brought up. Check out which editors are contributing the most to these types of conflicts over content? Are they primarily men? Are these back-and-forth conflicts giving the wrong impression of what the wiki is supposed to be?

    Perhaps the content of some of the pages may also be a factor. Let me bring up a page, post-mortem, the ["Abortion Debate"] page. I would like to note that on a page devoted to debating the issues surrounding a procedure performed on women, there were almost always just men commenting on it, myself included. I have heard in reference to that page, very harsh criticisms of the social fact that men feel they have something to say about something they will never directly experience. This was followed sometimes by me being thanked for wading into the muck on that page to defend them.

    Another point to consider, is how the wiki was put together. Several of the top editors are close friends, who recruited others, on down until the wiki was well-publicized. Or, perhaps other factors led to an early mostly-men ratio. This could have led to a "frozen accident" - a gender ratio that self-perpetuates. If it seems like it is male-dominated, perhaps that continues to discourage?

    No one is arguing that there are physical barriers of any kind to editing the wiki, nor that physical barriers should be imposed in the reverse - comments suggesting either of those are missing the mark. The point is, that social factors are in play, and what can we do about them? Finally, there may also be social factors outside our control, which we may never know about unless someone conducts a study of the population and tries to pin down those factors from that side.

    But the question really is, what can be done to make the Davis Wiki community more socially appealing toward women who might be inclined to edit but who are not currently?

    I seem to remember some years ago, a big discussion on the wiki about how to get more older folks to contribute to the wiki - to keep it from being student/young adult dominated. I remember that when discussing this issue of appealing to a wider age demographic, people approached it calmly, sanely, and with enthusiasm for making the wiki more inclusive. No one childly accused anyone of trying to institute "age quotas" or "restriction on young editors in favor of advancing old editors" or called anyone a "youth-hater". These kinds of responses further suggest that there is a problem. - KarlMogel

    In response to Karl's comment about me not being a tech-savvy person, I'd like for it to go on the record that I am not tech-savvy, not because I am a Woman, no, it is because I am Mexican! Dammnit, get the two right. Hahaha. Anyways, I would like to point out, as someone who has a degree in Sociology, that as people like Covert Professor have pointed out, just the fact that Jessica even asked a friggin' question makes her a "man-hater," and that she is calling for gender quotas (what the f**k?) really elucidates the fact that a lot of people, especially male people, will get very angry, defensive, and downright illogical when you ask a question about certain social phenomenon. It is interesting to note that any effort to equalize a playing field is seen as "affirmative action." Too bad equalizing something makes people so defensive and angry, it just shows how bigoted a lot of us really are. —ArielaHaro

    2007-07-09 15:16:35   Interesting thoughts. In my general anecdotal internet expierence the Daviswiki has way more self identified women involved in a high-ish profile way than nearly any other site trying to have a community. I'm surprized that some people seem to have taken this discussion so negatively. —RocksandDirt

    2007-07-10 09:41:42   Just as another random note, many edits made are simply comments or minor corrections that are not always major content contributions to the wiki (revert wars and the like as well included). I don't get why there is all this mention of gender quotas, maybe I missed something somewhere but it seems merely a comment made by steve (likely as humor). I would like to think that people are beyond measuring contribution by simple metrics, there shouldn't be some sort of initiative to balance the number of edits based on gender (age, race, or any other factor by which we divide ourselves) but an initiative to increase general community involvement by all the people in davis (sure we can target specific groups, but what benefit does that give?). ~DP —DavidPoole

    Can someone explain the crying sexism bit? ~Dave

    • We've had various initiatives to increase general community involvement in the past (tabling, applying for community awards, stickers, concerts, and BBQs). These have tended to recruit two men for every one woman. Also, I realize social events and the wiki are totally different, but I've spoken with women wiki contributors who didn't want to go the first wiki BBQ because they didn't want to be the token female. Where did they get the idea that it would primarily be men? Lets look at some stats, and start with the stereotype that geeky websites are mostly men, with the exception of social networking sites and blogs. On the wiki, there have been a total of 12914 edits made by people who have contributed fewer than 15 edits. Lets ignore them for the moment, but assume they have the same distribution of names as I'll list below. Of people who have made 15 or more edits, 3352 have gender neutral ids and have submitted 564 comments, 22087 are made by female sounding ids and have contributed 4866 comments, and there are 108982 edits made by male ids who made 11557 comments. What's my point? Eighty-one percent of the names on RecentChanges are male. If you're perusing the wiki, 68% of the name-attributed comments come from men. People are more likely to contribute to a community if there are at least some people "like them" in that community. "Like them" is not based on what people are, but what they value— some people value gender, age, religion, what bands they like, what movies they like, height of one's mohawk, etc. It's fine if you are unconcerned about women's representation on the wiki, but it seems that others are. If people want to spend their time actively recruiting, why not let them to do that? —CraigBrozinsky
      • The question then becomes (and this ought to become a section on the page): How can female participation be increased? If it is the case of "like them," how do we approach that?
        • the question has always been there. it was formally question 2. now those answers have been combined with craig's question and answers to become number 4. also, feel free to add questions you come up with to the main page or any solutions you find. —JessicaRockwell

    2007-07-11 13:29:09   I have failed to see callous male chauvinism on this site. I think that trying to split everyone into a binary where none really exists in order to ostensibly remove the gender gap (ie, destroy the binary) is complete nonsense. Note that this is quite different from say slavery, where laws were constructed to apply towards different races. This is simply not the case. There was no issue, in my mind, of any male dominance until I saw this page. Then, thinking it over, there really isn't any overt here. —ChristopherMckenzie

    • Right, this discussion aside, I too can't think of a specific instance, trolls aside, where there was antagonism to someone because of their gender. The issue is why, when women are 50% of the population, their wiki presence is only 30%. For all we know, its because women don't like blue on white print. Or maybe men and women equally contribute to the wiki, but that extra boost from men is because men are more likely to create sockpuppet accounts, revert, or do quick edits and women are more likely to use male names as handles. The things we should be thinking about are (1) is the wiki discouraging women (the vast majority say "no"), and (2) is the wiki simply more attractive to men. For example, if the wiki is mainly attracting geeks, poof there's an imbalance. Or if male narcissists seek attention online while female narcissists prefer the real world, poof there's an imbalance. These problems are certainly not simple, but its worth our time to think about how to make the wiki more attractive to people other than males 18-34. Given the substantial number of women who regularly contribute already, it seems like the easiest population to target if we want to broaden the community, no pun intended, Senor@ Troll :-) —CraigBrozinsky
      • Totally. If you really want to go into crazy statistics land you might as well look at total characters committed and total characters removed along with the duration of a character committed not being overwritten by another character, then ammortize those results in some single scalar quantity to symbolize some level of commitment and dedic...no this is all nonsense. —ChristopherMckenzie
      • This page proposes that men and women are not equally represented in the wiki community. I have backed up this proposal with various lines of evidence. If you think my analyses are misguided, or that there's equal representation of women on the wiki, I encourage you to back up your position with data rather than opinion. Your first source of evidence should probably not be that, on a page called "Women on the Davis Wiki," only 28% (7/26) of the contributors are obviously women. I have to take a wiki sabbatical for a couple of days, but I'll be excited to see your, or any other taker's, results when I return. —CraigBrozinsky

    2007-07-11 16:39:00   Perhaps this is related to the economic gap between men and women, and women are less able to afford computers, or have less free time to use on the wiki? In that case, it really wouldn't be Davis Wiki's fault, it would be the fault of our social structures which keep women down. I see the wiki as helping to empower women, as it is a place where every editor is really equal, and we allow everyone to express themselves. —BrentLaabs

    • You can't be serious. Throwing some kind of marxism in this? Using your logic, you might as well talk about the income gap between say, lesbian and gay couples ( being a household of two women versus two men ) and the proportion of lesbian versus gay households, with deference to their total combined income, reflecting in some way indirectly their contribution to the wiki. Then you can bring up ethnicity and try to call correlations there. Come on people, really - get a hobby or something. —ChristopherMckenzie

    2007-07-15 03:06:46   when's the next time the wiki'll be at farmer's market? i'd be down to table. —JessicaRockwell

    2007-08-02 13:43:00   Not surprised - women tend to consensus build while men try to shout the loudest. Bet the difference is that women know the wiki is a shouting match more than a consensus build! —phillipnylander

    • I think it's vested interestes that really kill consensus. For instance, if you were gifted a few dozen slaves in 1820 Alabama, you probaly would not be a strong abolitionist - although some principled people would. As women are granted more and more equality and liberty to own land and create vested interests for themselves, I fully expect the bitterness and argumentativeness in their discourse to rise accordingly. —ChristopherMckenzie (please note - annotated below - left here for context)
    • [CP's sarcastic and inflammatory comment deleted by CP]

    2007-12-07 20:56:21   I don't think you fully "got" Chris' comment. Then again, I'm not sure I did, either. —PhilipNeustrom

    If you can give me some sort of explanation for it, I'll delete mine. —CovertProfessor

    I'm really not sure, but I think he was being sarcastic and implying that when women and men are equal they too will be argumentative and snippy?

    Ok... I guess I can see that. And if you're right, all I've done is respond to sarcasm with sarcasm, which doesn't make sense. I'll keep my end of the bargain and delete the comment. —CovertProfessor

    No sarcasm there. I usually have views that require lots of explaining (look at my KDVS page). Suffice to say that I have been donating money to, and rallying on behalf of feminism and feminist causes for many years. Given that, look at some powerful women in society and media and by power I mean those with control, that aren't simply figureheads for a group of men behind the scenes. I don't want to cherry pick names so I won't. But I'm trying to be honest and true to analysis when I say that the gender is probably the only dividing line I can find. That is to say that the women that I think of partake the same amount of rash discourse that their male counterparts do. I believe that the common wisdom that women split their differences more readily then men simply comes from the dominant paradigms of the roles that women played in Western society and that this common wisdom will eventually change as the distinction between what a man is supposed to do but a woman is not (and visa versa) continually diminishes. You can argue with me on this, but I don't have a vested interest in an outcome here - I just think what I said is the most likely. —ChristopherMckenzie

    Okay.. that seems rather convoluted, apologies to CP that this is happening on your personal page, but it seems that Chris is stated that the current societal trends diminish the cultural definitions of gender? ~Dave

    Chris, if your point is that there is no biological basis for the idea that women produce consensus and men are argumentative, then I agree with that. And if you are saying that given more equal circumstances (i.e., different cultural influences) women will be just as likely as men to be argumentative, I agree with that, too. (More precisely, I think some *people* are argumentative and some are not, some people are consensus builders and some are not, and that you will found both types among men and women — and if today there are more of the former among men and more of the latter among women, that is only because of societal pressures for men to be one way and women to be the other way). But what bothered me about your comment above was that it *sounded* as though you were saying that women were creating special interest groups (you used the phrase "vested interests") that allowed them to gain power (like a slave owner — your analogy, not mine) and were becoming increasingly shrill in defending those special interests. (I don't consider "equality of treatment" to be a "special" or a "vested" interest). I am glad to hear that that was not what you meant. —CovertProfessor

    Sure, let me fix this below: I think it's vested interestes (of an individual, such as private property) that really kill consensus. For instance, if you were gifted a few dozen slaves in 1820 Alabama (acquisition of private property), you probaly would not be a strong abolitionist (because it violates a personal investment) - although some principled people would (crazies like me who look out for the public good). As women are granted more and more equality and liberty to own land (investments) and create vested interests for themselves (have more at stake for the claims they take), I fully expect the bitterness and argumentativeness in their discourse to rise accordingly (as there will be much more to lose). (sorry it wasn't clear the first time)

    2011-07-22 03:16:31   I think it makes sense to mention in various places with lists of names, if there is a gender imbalance. We really should be more aware of how our society encourages it and perpetuates sexism so we can act against that. So its certainly remarkable if the police chiefs are all men or such. —NickSchmalenberger

    First, a disclaimer: sexism absolutely exists and is a problem. But in the case of the police chiefs, I'd question whether there are any explanatory variables. For example, what proportion of police officers in Davis have been women at the various times when police chiefs were chosen? More relevant still, what proportion of senior officers (both years of service and rank) were women? I'm not saying sexism wasn't a factor, or even the factor; I'm just saying there's nowhere near enough data on the Wiki to conclude that sexism is the reason. —TomGarberson

    • So, are you saying we should push for more women to be prison guards, construction workers, bouncers, and commercial fishermen? Should we push more men to get into nursing and animal science? Just because there's correlation between gender and a certain occupation does not mean that sexism is the problem. —hankim
    • I agree with Tom and Han on this one. Given the DPD's fairly rocky civil rights record (which I tried to highlight somewhat in the recent changes today), I wouldn't be surprised if sexism exists, but I think it's nearly impossible to use numbers to prove it because there is so little data, and women have only gradually started working as police in very significant numbers within the last few decades. Also, isn't it the City Council who hires the police chiefs? If so, Davis has had a lot of women serve on the council, and so sexism in this case would again seem unlikely, at least in recent times. —ScottMeehleib