What do Yale, Brown, and Penn State have in common? If you said, “All are universities,” you are warm. If you said all, “All are bastions of liberal mind control,” you are getting hot. If you answered, “All are giving college credit to students who ‘write feminist thinking’ into Wikipedia articles,” you are — sadly — on fire.
Campus Reform notes that those schools and a dozen others — including Bowling Green, California Polytechnic State University, and the City University of New York Graduate Center — have added a new program to their curricula. Called “Storming Wikipedia,” the initiative will consist of an online course developed by FemTechNet, an organization of feminist educators and scholars.
According to Alexandra Juhasz, professor of media studies at California’s Pitzer College and one of the course facilitators, approximately 300 students have signed up for the course, which falls under the FemTechNet rubric “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology.” Juhasz added:
A woman’s point of view or feminist point of view is not yet expressed in relationship to women in technology in Wikipedia. We hope that people engage in this project in respect to other themes as well.
FemTechNet alleges that many Wikipedia pages are “skewed now toward male participation,” citing a 2011 survey that found that fewer than 15% of Wikipedia contributors were female. An article on the trend by the Huffington Post indicates that the Wikipedia Foundation itself has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25% by 2015.
Campus Reform writes that there is currently no main entry in Wikipedia for “feminist thinking,” but it seems that CR didn’t look hard enough. If they had, they would have found this.