85% men 15% women

It won’t do, you see. The Wikipedia gender imbalance thing – when taken with all the other gender imbalance things – won’t do.

Jane Margolis, co-author of a book on sexism in computer science, “Unlocking the Clubhouse,” argues that Wikipedia is experiencing the same problems of the offline world, where women are less willing to assert their opinions in public. “In almost every space, who are the authorities, the politicians, writers for op-ed pages?”…

According to the OpEd Project, an organization based in New York that monitors the gender breakdown of contributors to “public thought-leadership forums,” a participation rate of roughly 85-to-15 percent, men to women, is common — whether members of Congress, or writers on The New York Times and Washington Post Op-Ed pages.

Or atheists talking at atheist or secularist or skeptical conferences. That won’t do, because it perpetuates itself. As Clay Shirky points out, if most “authorities” are men, then the voice of authority sounds male. That’s no good.

It would seem to be an irony that Wikipedia, where the amateur contributor is celebrated, is experiencing the same problem as forums that require expertise. But Catherine Orenstein, the founder and director of the OpEd Project, said many women lacked the confidence to put forth their views. “When you are a minority voice, you begin to doubt your own competencies,” she said.

What I just said. The voice of authority sounds male; you’re a minority voice so that must be for a reason and the reason must be that you’re not competent so…you’d better just be quiet.

That’s no good.

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