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Art+Feminism Is Empowering Queer Women One Wikipedia Article at a Time

Some activist movements happen on the streets. And some happen on Wikipedia.
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History is written by cis, straight white men. Wikipedia is too.

Unfortunately, although Wikipedia seems like a universal, unbiased information resource that brings information to people all over the world, it faces the same problem that traditional academia does: It’s run by straight men.

According to the official Wikimedia survey, 91 percent of Wikipedia editors identify as men, which means that, yes, only 9% of editors identify as women. Of the 135,000 people who edit Wikipedia every month, 122,850 identify as men, and only 12,150 as women. Of these numbers, only 1 percent of editors identify as transgender. Like race, the statistics for lesbian, gay and bisexual members were so small that Wikipedia did not list the results.

So clearly there’s a severe lack of representation for women and LGBT people. No big deal, right? After all, Wikipedia says that articles “must be written from a neutral point of view,” so no matter what demographic someone belongs to, they are going to give accurate information. Right?

That’s great. In theory. But in reality, this means that Wikipedia articles related to women and things pertaining to women are much less developed, and much shorter, than articles about men. Many articles are stubs that are a few sentences long and out of date. And the pages of female artists do not get the same degree of research as those of their male contemporaries.

Art+Feminism is going to change that. This organization is increasing the visibility of female, queer, and transgender people by gathering together large groups of women to write these articles. They host fun Edit-a-Thons in order to encourage underrepresented people to come out and share their knowledge on Wikipedia.

Over the last three years alone, Art+Feminism has thrown more than 280 Edit-a-Thons, resulting in the creation of tens of thousands of articles about feminism, queer figures, and other topics that are overlooked by mainstream academia. At the most recent, and largest, Edit-a-Thon, 2,500 participants created or edited more than 6,000 articles.

If you’re interested in including your very important queer, female voice, then head to the official website to learn more about the organization.

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J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer--dreams she's now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She's passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment's notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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