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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

I’m crushed…

…to discover that I’ve been deleted from Wikipedia.

The editors’ objections would also seem to apply to James Berardinelli and The Filthy Critic. I wonder why they get to stay and I get the boot…

Oh, I get it: I’ve never been mentioned by Roger Ebert. And I don’t rate movies by extending my middle finger. Makes sense now.



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  • and you don’t have a penis — the most important factor. bastards… and i love how, wikipedia, which set itself up as a go-to info website is so critical because someone actually managed to set themselves up on a website!

  • JoshDM

    Well, they could have listed you on a page of non-notable film critics of the 20th century or something. I’m just saying that’s what they’d delegate you to, not where I’d put ya.

  • MaryAnn

    I also have lots of print credits, which I don’t think Berardinelli, who is an engineer by trade, can say. I’m not “just” a blogger: I *am* paid by many different outlets for my criticism.

    I don’t want this to turn into “let’s pick on Berardinelli,” because I respect immensely what he’s done. But I am continually astonished at the respect he’s given that is not accorded to other critics who’ve made their name online.

    I do have to wonder whether sexism is part of it. I’m sure there are other factors at work as well.

  • LaSargenta

    How bizzarre!

    Not like I ever looked into Wikipaedia for a description of you; but, how weird.

    Interesting, too, that the comment to the Keep Or Rename entry (Smeazel?) was by someone who — if the name is clicked on — apparently has been identified as a sock puppet of a sock puppet of a banned user.

    I’m not a Wikipaedia person; but, I think I might forward this to someone I know who is and who might start the discussion again.

    Hmmmmmm……….

  • Kenny

    What the FUCK?? I want you back on there right now. I’ll bloody write the page myself if I need to. You’ve been on tv! You’re mentioned in publications all over the place. What criteria do they actually use to determine who should get a page and who shouldn’t anyway?

  • Brian

    Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . I thought the whole point of a wiki was to be universally accessible. I fully support the idea of reviewing the style, citations, and content of an individual page. It is idiotic, though, that there is some kind of central authority with power to remove an entire page, unless it’s somehow offensive, completely untrue/undocumented, or otherwise just plainly inappropriate.

    Who is qualified to decide which persons on the Internet are “notable” or not? Is there a cutoff number of references, links, or documented followers of the person’s online content? Is it not an act of complete hypocrisy for a Web-based reference to be biased against an individual for publishing content predominantly online?

    This makes no sense whatsoever.

  • MaryAnn

    Who is qualified to decide which persons on the Internet are “notable” or not? Is there a cutoff number of references, links, or documented followers of the person’s online content? Is it not an act of complete hypocrisy for a Web-based reference to be biased against an individual for publishing content predominantly online?

    See the “I’ve been deleted” link above for the reasons for the deletion, and then compare it to the links for Berardinelli and Filthy.

    You know, I half just wanted to laugh at this, because, you know, who the fuck cares. And I’m half pissed, because it doesn’t seem like a reasonable deletion and yet I know that to complain about it — and especially to suggest or even imply that there could be sexist reasons for it — will just open *me* up to criticism, that I’m just a whiny complaining woman blah blah blah.

    Basically, either way, I can’t win.

  • Lenina

    Wikipedia has become pretty sanitised in the last few years. It used to be a good read, full of useless trivia and interesting theories (especially about shows I was interested in). But now … it has useful ‘look-up’ information (when you’re having a fight with your BF about some mundane trivia and you look it up online, Wikipedia is the place to go) but hardly the definitive place to go. Plus it’s full of jobsworth editors. See this article which explains about how articles are selected for deletion. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/10/wikipedia.internet).

    Anyway, regardless, I’ll still check out your site twice a week and I often recommend it to my friends if they’re looking for reviews. ;)

  • Jester

    Errr… you can’t be too crushed, if you didn’t even notice that you’d been deleted for six months…

    21:32, 29 October 2009 Kevin (talk | contribs) deleted “MaryAnn Johanson” ‎ (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/MaryAnn Johanson)

  • Brian

    Oh, I have read the links, and I don’t think the justifications for deletion hold any water, in comparison to the other referenced bloggers or by themselves. Are they referring to any externally set criteria for deletion? Even if they are, do the criteria make sense?

    They all seem to be making judgments on whether or not you are “notable,” and the bias of those judgments seems to rest on the question of whether you have any recognition or notable activity outside of your own site on the Internet. That doesn’t make a great deal of sense to begin with, and even by that criterion, your appearances in print, radio and television, as well as your contribution to other Web sites, would seem to qualify you as “notable.”

    This seems to be an entirely arbitrary judgment made by people without significant accountability. Just another reason not to rely on Wikipedia, I guess.

  • Brian

    Oh, and what if it is not you, but your readership, who submits a complaint? We can’t all be whiny, complaining women, right? I, for one, am not even a woman. :-)

  • MaryAnn

    Errr… you can’t be too crushed, if you didn’t even notice that you’d been deleted for six months…

    Yeah, well, take that “I’m crushed” comment with a grain of salt.

    I only just discovered the deletion this afternoon, and I can’t remember an hour later how I accidentally stumbled across it.

  • AJP

    I have always maintained that Wikipedia’s “notability” element is simply stupid. In a print version of an encyclopedia this sort of this has to be done bacause page counts are restricted. Wikipedia’s advantage, such as it has one, over traditional encyclopedias is that it has enormously more avaliable space (restricted only by the sizxe of the server it sits on, which means that it is for all intents and purposes, unlimited). The notability guidelines simply throw this away for stupid non-reasons.

    Your deletion does nothing to change my mind on this subject.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, and what if it is not you, but your readership, who submits a complaint? We can’t all be whiny, complaining women, right? I, for one, am not even a woman. :-)

    I’m not advocating complaining to Wikipedia, but I don’t mind if you do, either.

  • Jurgan

    “Likely a vanity page”

    What the hell? How condescending can you get? Maybe I’m not clear what “vanity page” means, but I don’t see Flick Filosopher as qualifying as such.

  • A Guy

    “I wonder why they get to stay and I get the boot…”

    I don’t know why you even have to ask that question!! I mean, isn’t it completely obvious!?!?

    Has Wikipedia ever removed a page about a MALE movie reviewer before? Not a chance (as far as I know)!!!

  • Jurgan

    “Has Wikipedia ever removed a page about a MALE movie reviewer before? Not a chance (as far as I know)!!!”

    Really, you think that never in Wiki’s history have they ever removed a page about a male movie critic? Considering how many people write reviews on the internet, and how many likely tried to make pages about themselves, it’s insane to think none have ever been removed. Not that Maryann should have been removed, but there could be other reasons. This attitude of taking something that happens to a woman and automatically insisting the ONLY possible reason is because she’s a woman is grating, and discredits intelligent feminism.

  • MaryAnn

    I don’t know why you even have to ask that question!! I mean, isn’t it completely obvious!?!?

    Has Wikipedia ever removed a page about a MALE movie reviewer before? Not a chance (as far as I know)!!!

    This is what I’m talking about: I can’t tell whether A Guy is being saracastic or not. With that moniker — “A Guy” — I suspect that he is.

    Maybe I’m not clear what “vanity page” means, but I don’t see Flick Filosopher as qualifying as such.

    I think they meant that the Wikipedia page about me felt like a vanity page.

    I didn’t set it up, though. Someone else did, and I have no idea who that person is.

  • A Guy

    Jurgan: I agree. Seeing discrimination against women around every corner is grating and discredits intelligent feminism.

    Sound like anybody you know? (Hint: http://awfj.org/?s=week+in+women )

  • Jester

    And before that comes off as negative, let me say that I used to be an editor for Wikipedia. Vanity pages are the scourge of the site. You have to refer people, again and again, to the notability criteria:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability

    Read it. Then read it again.

    I used to sum it up this way: notability is primarily established through reference. It sounds obvious and maybe even a little inane, but you become notable by other people taking note of you. Self-publishing a website, book, or press release is not enough.

    You have to have people reference you, and those references have to be independent of you. After that, those references have to be published and reliable.

    Most critics become referenceable via the references they make to their subjects: movies, in your case. Ideally, you have some unique opinion about a given movie. Someone other than you notes that opinion and updates the movie’s Wikipedia entry with that opinion. If that opinion was noted by a published entity, again, other than you, then that entity is listed as a source. Over time and such entries in dozens of movie entries on the site, you yourself become referenceable. Again, if sources other than you take note of you outside that sphere, that speeds up the process.

    JB is notable and you are not because JB’s name is noted in the reviews of dozens of movies on Wikipedia. Those entries were presumably made by a number of other people across a number of IP addresses. He has external references pointing to those reviews, including references in reliable published sources. He further has other references to him outside of published reviews. He’s notable.

    Right now, the few references you have in movie Wikipedia entries are to your website, not to you. That (ironically enough) makes flickfilosopher.com more notable than you personally. As one of the editors mentions in your deletion entry, you could easily make a case for a Wikipedia article on that. If you’re that concerned about it (and given the six month lag, I have to question that, and did), and you have published articles out there, in reliable sources, use them! Start updating film Wikipedia entries or other Wikipedia entries and start establishing a reference chain. It would be much better still if other people did it independently for you. That’s what being referenceable is all about.

    Not the answer that you want to hear, I’m sure, but those are the facts of the case. Your lack of a penis is irrelevant.

  • AJP

    And I will repeat myself: the notability guidelines for Wikipedia are pure bullshit.

  • Jester

    Without the Notability requirements, the majority of the people on Earth with an Internet connection would have a Wikipedia page, 98% of them self-written.

    a) Wikipedia is not Facebook.

    b) Despite your beliefs to the contrary, server storage, Internet bandwidth, and database table and index sizes are not infinite.

  • LaSargenta

    Most critics become referenceable via the references they make to their subjects: movies, in your case. Ideally, you have some unique opinion about a given movie. Someone other than you notes that opinion and updates the movie’s Wikipedia entry with that opinion. If that opinion was noted by a published entity, again, other than you, then that entity is listed as a source. Over time and such entries in dozens of movie entries on the site, you yourself become referenceable. Again, if sources other than you take note of you outside that sphere, that speeds up the process.

    This reads like a description of a wikipedia-based circle-jerk. She is referenced in several other places (including on the goofy spider that Google has for its news) because that’s how I stumbled across MAJ years ago. But, this seems like she needs to specifically be referenced in Wikipaedia? So, the ‘editors’ of Wikipaedia get to create the references and only those are taken into account?

    Doesn’t make sense.

  • MaryAnn

    Seeing discrimination against women around every corner is grating and discredits intelligent feminism.

    So, A Guy was being sarcastic. Thanks, A Guy.

  • Jester

    @LaSargenta: Nope. A reference in any published source is acceptable. But most critics become referenceable via the references they themselves make. That’s unavoidable when your primary work is commenting on the work of others.

    Most writers first become notable because a newspaper or TV show does a feature on them (or they appear on Oprah, grin).

    MAJ kind of straddles the line. If Good Morning America did a piece on her Princess Bride book, for instance, then that would make her more notable.

  • zepto

    A lot of what Wikipedia does doesn’t really make sense from an outside perspective. Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh at it because it’s either that or become an obsessive wiki editor.

    Also, something like 85% of Wikipedia editors are men, so there’s bound to be a little bit of bias towards more traditionally male interests and men when deciding notability.

  • but i thought the whole point of the internet and of writing on the net was to make yourself independent of big media… it used to be making something of yourself was a good thing. it’s like having a small business that is quite good at what it does, then being told it really isn’t worthwhile because Wal-Mart doesn’t want to acquire it. i think the Wikipedia bunch are a circle jerk in and of themselves, although at least the one guy did give a reasoned and intelligent reason for “flick filosopher” to have its wiki page. the others were like, “she’s too independent; too self-made. she’s out.”

  • Jurgan

    Let me quickly distance myself from A Guy’s whiny dismissal of feminism. To my mind, Maryann occasionally sees sexism where it doesn’t exist, but that’s mostly a matter of opinion. Her criticisms are always well thought out and supported, even when I disagree with them.

    “but i thought the whole point of the internet and of writing on the net was to make yourself independent of big media”

    I worry that self-publication and other cheap ways of getting noticed will lead to the dilution of quality standards. It’s all well and good to talk about an end to “big media,” but without some sort of independent quality control or rating system to point us to the worthwhile things, we’ll find ourselves wading through mountains of shit to find the rare gem. If there is no controlling authority of experts determining what deserves to be published, then the only way is democratically: how many people think this is valuable? Remember, Sturgeon said 90% of everything is crap before self-publication was possible- just look that number has skyrocketed.

  • JoshDM

    If everyone that commented on this comment thread went to Wikipedia over the next 24 hours and manually referenced 5 wildly different movies to flickfilosopher.com reviews of said moviews, and then did so again one week from now, the notoriety would rise.

    This is also a technique referred to as forum-raiding.

  • JoshDM

    To my mind, Maryann occasionally sees sexism where it doesn’t exist, but that’s mostly a matter of opinion. Her criticisms are always well thought out and supported, even when I disagree with them.

    Quoted for truthiness.

  • LaSargenta

    jester, thanks for the clarification. It seems to me that most film critics would potentially have this problem, except for the ‘traditional’ ones like Pauline Kael and Vincent Canby who were in the print media to begin with.

    Actually, that could be the case for all critical writers, except those in academia who engage in the mutual appreciation society games common in english lit. departments (a genre of work that loves to quote other critics more than the writers who are supposedly the subject of said critics!). Critics of mainstream work would logically then be S.O.L. at Wikipaedia…except not all are. So, the editors and arbiters of those entries must be fans, too, and work at ‘protecting’ their postings.

  • LaSargenta

    If everyone that commented on this comment thread went to Wikipedia over the next 24 hours and manually referenced 5 wildly different movies to flickfilosopher.com reviews of said moviews, and then did so again one week from now, the notoriety would rise.

    That would mean that all of us would have to register as editors.

    *sigh*

    Another internet blackhole to get sucked into.

    MAJ, I love you, but I don’t know that I’m willing to do that. I get on here on very short breaks from my work, and I don’t spend tons of time on the internetz.

    Still that deletion pisses me off.

  • CB

    Interesting.

    I love Wikipedia. I also love both Filthy Critic and Flick Filosopher; they’re the two most relevant review sites to me. Filthy less consistently reviews films I’m considering seeing, so you’re not only a great reviewer, you’re also very useful to me practically, MAJ. :)

    Yet I can’t find myself caring that one of them hasn’t kept the honor of a WP page. Indeed, it seems contradictory to delete FF yet keep Filthy. Maybe Filthy will be deleted in the future too? There are reasons other than rampant hypocrisy and sexism for inconsistent application of standards (not that they weren’t the first things that occurred to me). Whoever has a bug up their ass about “vanity pages” not having gotten around to Filthy’s yet is a plausible one. The anal retentive only have so much time in the day, just like the rest of us. :)

  • @jurgan

    but without some sort of independent quality control or rating system to point us to the worthwhile things, we’ll find ourselves wading through mountains of shit to find the rare gem.

    oh, you mean like, American Idol, or Jackie Collins novels, or any sort of crappy religious-based end times novels that get thrown at us? or do you mean critics like Gene Shallit, or Pia Lindstrom? really? you think Big Media has made reasoned, intelligent and excellent choices for us?

    guess what? before BM, there were plenty of authors who were self published. Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Thoreau, Emerson, among others…

  • Jester

    @JB: Yep, I’ve seen that phenomenon. There are many obscure Wikipedia pages that never rise to the level of being noticed sufficiently to consider deleting them.

  • Jurgan

    And how did those people become well-known? And how many others did not? Somehow, the cream has to rise to the top. It can take time, granted, but no one can sort through all the information out there personally. The best example I have is a fanfiction website I used to visit, which originally required fans to e-mail submissions to the webmaster. He applied a bare minimum quality filter, but at least the stories were readable. Later, he made it automatic to upload stories, and the quality dropped. I’m not talking about stories being deep and meaningful, I’m talking about basic readability.

    Also, “BM?” “Big Media” is a pretty silly term, anyway- it implies a monolithic entity, which is overly reductive.

  • A lot of professors and other experts have had their contributions deleted, because only references on the INTERNET count. Books do not. So if you’ve published ten books on a subject and have three Phds, but they don’t talk about you on the Net, you don’t exist for these editors. Or if your idea is universally accepted by your academic peers but no one has written an internet article on the subject, again, it doesn’t matter. The editors want to streamline the process of fack checking and can’t be bothered to drag themselves down to the library to do it.

    So keep in mind, that’s the kind of people you’re dealing with, and when I use Wiki, it’s for finding out the dates when someone was alive and reading the backstory of superheroes before going to see their movies. That sort of thing.

  • Well, it’ll be pretty simple to get together some notable sources for MaryAnn’s wiki page. I bet whoever wrote it the first time simply didn’t know how to get a wiki page securely created and protected. MAJ is clearly notable, judging simply by how many news sites reference her reviews. But she also has several recurring columns such as the one at AWFJ and all her features at Film.com.

    It’s just a matter of pulling them all together in a coherent way.

    If I have some spare time I’ll see what I can do.

  • LaSargenta

    More power to you Newbs! Not to mention her recent Grit TV and Sas. CA radio appearences (to name a couple….she’s been on things before, too).

    I’ll cheerlead.

  • Rob

    Seriously though – while I agree with you that the deletion is dodgy – do you have to return to the ‘it’s because I’m a woman’ reason yet again? These are not rabid misogynists at work. The discussion the wiki editors are having seems to be quite reasonable (even though I do disagree with them and think your site is notable enough for sure). I doubt it has anything at all to do with you being a woman. This will probably open me up to ‘Oh, another sucky guy trolling the site’ accusations but that is not it. MaryAnn, as much as I like her writing, has a very definite tendency to return to the ‘misogynist!’ watering hole every time something goes wrong. Sometimes, it’s warranted but other times (like this one) it’s a little bit ridiculous.

  • MaryAnn

    do you have to return to the ‘it’s because I’m a woman’ reason yet again?

    Actually, I didn’t *quite* do that. And I don’t think you’re a sucky troll, but just as nonwhites are constantly coming up against perfectly good excuses for what they see as racism but others mightn’t, women constantly come up against perfectly reasonably excuses for what looks like sexism to us. It’s never just one thing: it’s the looong accumulation of perfectly reasonable reasons why we’re just not good enough, or don’t warrant the same kind of respect as a man.

    Some bigotry is obvious and blatant. Some is more subtle. And sure, some of it may be in our imaginations. But perhaps you can understand the frustration of a lifetime of small, subtle slights that may be perfectly reasonable on their own but which pile up to a point at which you can’t help but see a pattern. And then try to understand that, on top of all that, you can’t complain about it, because if you do, you will be accused of being unreasonable.

    But you know what: Fuck Wikipedia. If they don’t find me “notable,” fine. It really doesn’t matter. I’ll make up my own definition of “notability.” I’m not here to please anyone but myself anyway.

  • AJP

    Without the Notability requirements, the majority of the people on Earth with an Internet connection would have a Wikipedia page, 98% of them self-written.

    So? Exactly what would be the harm in having self-written pages about a variety of topics that would not otherwise be generally referencable elsewhere? Who is better to edit and maintain such pages than people who are passionate about the obscure subject? Failing to allow for these simply ignores the poetntial of the internet.

    Wikipedia could be something that traditional encyclopedias are not – a source for obscure, odd, and extraordinarily hard to find information. Instead, it just wants to be another bland copycat of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And that attitude will condemn Wikipedia to oblivion once someone puts out a competing model that does what Wikipedia (and no other source) does.

    Plus, Wikipedia’s “noatbility determinations” are bizarre, incomprehensible, and subject to such an inbred circle jerk system as to make them completely useless.

    b) Despite your beliefs to the contrary, server storage, Internet bandwidth, and database table and index sizes are not infinite.

    In terms of text usage, and compared to the general size of Wikipedia to begin with? Yeah, they pretty much are. It certainly wouldn’t cost anything substantial to allow for the various pages that are typically marked for deletion on notability grounds.

    In the end, the “notability guidelines” serve no useful function other than to provide puffed up internet dorks with imaginary authority.

  • Rob

    AJP, those ‘internet dorks’ you are referring to volunteer a lot of time to ensure that Wikipedia doesn’t turn into the subliterate warzone that it would become without editing. At this point I should mention that I have never edited any wikis but have actually done some research on the subject.

    AJP, the danger (among many others) is that people will make articles about THEMSELVES. You have entirely misunderstood what the previous poster meant by ‘self written’. There are millions of ACTUAL internet dorks with blogs of reviews or whatever else who imagine themselves critics and will then slap up a wiki about themselves acting as if they’re a critic on par with MaryAnn or Roger Ebert cos ‘hey, I have a website and so do they’. Or can you imagine what the topics on controversial subjects like abortion or gun rights or leftwing/rightwing politicians would look like? And throughout, it is a COMMUNITY-BASED editing process. It is not one or two or three power hungry internet geeks stuffed away in a basement somewhere (and really, especially on this proudly geeky website, shouldn’t you be getting over the whole 80s clueless geek stereotype by now). I understand you feel the need to defend MaryAnn but you have not done your research here. I agree that the notability parameters are often unfortunate but they are a) always evolving (and if you hate it so damn much, get the hell involved. That’s the magic of wikipedia) and b) a set of rules governing the standards of what is possibly the largest public repository of knowledge there is. There is no way in hell that the greatest administrators could come up with a set of rules that would be fair to every topic.

    You cannot imagine the sort of mess Wikipedia would turn into if the editors hung up their hats for even 24 hours.

    Anyway, it’s clear I’m swimming against the tide here – I just believe that (while unfair for other reasons) the deletion has absolutely nothing to do with sexism. And as a member of a racial minority I do absolutely understand the concept of subtle slights and how they pile up to break down inner barriers. Regardless, being a regular reader of the site, I witness how every obstacle you encounter seems to get attributed to sexism and while I agree sometimes, I find it a little misguided other times. And all out ridiculous on occasion (like this one).

    I realize you disagree. C’est la vie

  • MaryAnn

    Okay: it’s not about sexism. But it’s also quite obviously not about a self-written vanity page or a letting Wikipedia turn into a subliterate warzone, either.

  • A Chick

    Boy, I’m so glad to have intelligent posters like A Guy mansplaining everything for us silly little girls here! I mean, when I read MaryAnn’s the Week in Women columns, I always thought she was expressing a legitimate grievance about – say – women getting poor roles in Hollywood films.

    This is what happens when you let the womens decide what they do and don’t find offensive, rather than let men decide it for us, like in the good old days! Thankfully, “A Guy” is here to tell us that this is diminishing feminism by seeing sexism where it doesn’t exist, and there’s no doubt a completely fair and non-sexist reason why people don’t want us on their film sets, like they’re worried we would have periods all over the props or something.

    Thanks again, A Guy! It would be terrible if you were fucked to death by a rhinoceros or something.

  • MaSch

    Was “A Guy” a reaction to “A Chick”? Was it the other way round? Is it only one poster with two nicknames?

    On topic: Those deleters were fuckwits. And what’s this wikipedia site, anyway? Never heard of it, can’t be that “notable” …

  • MaryAnn

    It would be terrible if you were fucked to death by a rhinoceros or something.

    Okay, *that* was totally uncalled for. We can disagree with each other — even disagree angrily — without resorting to this kind of insult.

    But thank you, A Chick, for mentioning “mansplaining.” It’s one of my favorite words at the moment…

  • AJP

    AJP, those ‘internet dorks’ you are referring to volunteer a lot of time to ensure that Wikipedia doesn’t turn into the subliterate warzone that it would become without editing. At this point I should mention that I have never edited any wikis but have actually done some research on the subject.

    I’ve done research on the topic as well, and come to radically different conclusions than you. I have seen a number of other projects use community based contributions without having things like “notability guidelines” and guess what? They didn’t turn into subliterate warzones.

    The question that lurks behind your argument is this: how is it that others who contribute to wikipedia would turn the site into a “subliterate warzone” but those guys who volunteer lots of time to make themselves self-important editors with imaginary authority do not? You are stuck arguing that the same people who systematically zealously guard the “integrity” of wikipedia would turn around and make it into a wasteland of uselessness if they weren’t around to prevent that.

    As an example of the silliness that is wikipedia editing. A while back Orson Scott Card looked at the wikipedia page that references him. He noted that there were a number of things that were factually innaccurate – dates were wrong, the locations of events were wrong, and so on. He attempted to correct these. The changes he made were changed back. He changed them again, explaining that he was, in fact, Orson Scott Card and should know things like the dates of the events in his life. This was not good enough for the wikipedia editors, and excluded as a source of information on the grounds that doing so would turn the page into a “vanity” piece. So now the wikipedia page for Orson Scott Card remains incorrect, the editors having chosen to protect the “integrity” of the site over, umm, actually having accurate information.

    And the thing is that we are not talking about people making pages about themselves. We are talking about the notability guiedlines being used to eliminate pages that deal with obscure topics that are written by people other than the subject being described. And all of this to preserve some myopic vision that ties wikipedia to the past, rather than trying to make it something that is not merely a pale copy of printed encyclopedias.

    We also aren’t talking about editing pages dealing with controversial topics. You surely are not trying to argue that topics like abortion, gun control and right/left political divisions are not “notable” are you? Unless you are, raising them in this context is simply a red herring. The issue is that wikipedia has gotten itself spun up into a tizzy about a nonproblem and set up a method to address it that is inane.

  • JoshDM

    I joined Wikipedia as an editor under a nom-de-plume a long time ago, edited several pages properly and then my user page got a huge dump of welcome text on it from another editor.

    Very coincidentally, I went to check out that editor credentials and it turned out to be this guy who I used to hang out with at college. He had no idea I was me.

  • A Guy

    MaryAnn: “I’m crushed… I do have to wonder whether sexism is part of it”, because that’s what I do.

    A Guy: It’s not sexism. (to paraphrase)

    Jurgan: “This attitude of taking something that happens to a woman and automatically insisting the ONLY possible reason is because she’s a woman is grating, and discredits intelligent feminism.” (Many thanks for stepping into that trap with both feet.)

    Rob (self identified racial minority): “MaryAnn…has a very definite tendency to return to the ‘misogynist!’ watering hole every time something goes wrong. Sometimes, it’s warranted but other times (like this one) it’s a little bit ridiculous.”

    A Chick (who routinely loses control of her rationality and emotions): “Boy, I’m so glad to have intelligent posters like A Guy mansplaining everything for us silly little girls here! [Telling] us that this is diminishing feminism by seeing sexism where it doesn’t exist…It would be terrible if you were fucked to death by a rhinoceros or something.”

    MaryAnn: “Okay: it’s not about sexism.”

  • LaSargenta

    I hit that google search link in the wikipaedia deletion page and on the first search page got linked to this at Rotten Tomatoes:

    Biography: “One of online’s finest” film critics, or so says trade mag Variety, MaryAnn Johanson is a New York City-based freelance writer who loves movies but hates what Hollywood sometimes does to them. She is the webmaster and sole critic on FlickFilosopher.com, founded in 1997 and now one of the most popular movie-related sites on the Internet. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, and she is a founding member of Cinemarati: The Web Alliance for Film Commentary.
    Isn’t Variety a non-subject source?

    Those ‘editors’ didn’t even do basic research.

  • Well, the variety article is a little far-fetched, it’s really just a passing mention. But you add up all those passing mentions and you start to get a good idea of MaryAnn’s influence.

    My semester ends in a few weeks, and I plan on putting a few hours into getting this page up and running. You’re all welcome to help, of course. Or one of you can start it now, if you like.

    Just remember one thing: Wikipedia Editors are not your friends. They’re trying to police the entire internet, and they don’t always play nice. It doesn’t mean they’re not good people though. It’s just their interests don’t always include an overabundance of patience… hundreds of “vanity” pages (this is what they call it when you make a page about yourself, your website, or your ugly friend) get created every day. And if you don’t get it just right the first time it’ll get deleted.

    Nothing is stopping us from trying again. :)

  • Jurgan

    (Many thanks for stepping into that trap with both feet.)

    So you admit you’re trolling? Thanks, that makes this a lot easier. *ignore*

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    A Guy: It’s not sexism. (to paraphrase)

    Yeah, to really, really inaccurately paraphrase.

    Just to jog your memory, A Guy, you didn’t just say “this particular incident isn’t sexism” – many commenters here have said that and not gotten anything like the response you’re getting. You specifically insulted Mary-Ann by citing all of her writing at the AWFJ site as “seeing sexism where it doesn’t exist”. That bit slip your mind, did it? Is that why everyone else in this thread was accurately quoted, where your posts were merely “paraphrased” to make you sound less obnoxious?

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    You know what? They’re not even accurately quoted even when they’re direct quotes. Look at this:

    “Boy, I’m so glad to have intelligent posters like A Guy mansplaining everything for us silly little girls here! [Telling] us that this is diminishing feminism by seeing sexism where it doesn’t exist…

    That’s A Guy’s version of A Chick’s post. In the context of a post about MaryAnn’s original complaint, it would be sensible to assume the “this” which is diminishing feminism is accusing Wikipedia editors of sexism. But here’s the first two paragraphs of the original A Chick post:

    Boy, I’m so glad to have intelligent posters like A Guy mansplaining everything for us silly little girls here! I mean, when I read MaryAnn’s the Week in Women columns, I always thought she was expressing a legitimate grievance about – say – women getting poor roles in Hollywood films.

    This is what happens when you let the womens decide what they do and don’t find offensive, rather than let men decide it for us, like in the good old days! Thankfully, “A Guy” is here to tell us that this is diminishing feminism by seeing sexism where it doesn’t exist, and there’s no doubt a completely fair and non-sexist reason why people don’t want us on their film sets, like they’re worried we would have periods all over the props or something.

    …where “this” clearly means A Guy’s smearing of MaryAnn’s Week in Women column, which he’s trying to handwave away in an attempt to paint himself as the rational, level-headed one who’s stuck to the original topic and hasn’t just blasted a shower of shit onto the site owner.

    Helpful tip, A Guy: this is the internet. You’re not the site moderator. You can’t just precis the discussion in a really misleading and self-serving way when it’s all still up there for everyone to see.

  • A Guy

    Der Bruno Stroszek: What would you say is the theme of MaryAnn’s essays at AWFJ? How about: “women as relentless victims in the film industry”?

    The problem with writing to that theme 90% of the time is it lacks credibility. Just like every wingnut post about Obama is guaranteed to be negative, every Week in Women post is guaranteed to take the “it’s sexism” angle. Both are only interesting as an insight into the mind of an extremist, not for their content (which one begins to believe is accurate in the same way a broken clock is right twice a day).

  • MaryAnn

    A Guy, you’re clearly missing the point of the Week in Women column, which isn’t to find sexism everywhere but to point out sexism where it does exist. The column is supposed to be pointing out sexism: that’s why it exists. It doesn’t point out things that aren’t sexist.

  • Victor Plenty

    Is there much chance of reasoning with the sort of mind that can reach into the vast library of English vocabulary and come back with “relentless victims?” As if all the age old problems of gender discrimination would be solved readily and easily if only those women would just become more willing to relent… from being victims.

    It’s a variant on the same mentality that can look down at a battered child or spouse, crumpled and broken on the floor, and say: “Now look what you’ve made me do.”

    Of course, “A Guy” surely did not consciously intend to steer the discussion into such disturbing territory. This goes to show that gender discrimination harms men too. Clearly it hinders male mental development if it leaves A Guy prone to commit such embarrassing blunders of self-contradiction as the phrase “relentless victims.”

  • A Guy

    MaryAnn: If the stated goal of the Week in Women articles is to “point out sexism where it does exist”, I stand corrected and sincerely apologize.

    But I’ve never seen any indication that that’s the goal of the series. First, not all of the articles take that theme. Second, nothing about the name of the series (perhaps “Week in Sexism” might be clearer) or the goals of the AWFJ suggest it. And even if it is, as the Wikipedia episode reveals, your writing might be more appealing (to me, I guess) if it approached the process with a little more doubt and opened the door to a few success stories (surely they exist too).

    In any event, I’ll quit reading the articles and bitching about them on your blog. I’m clearly not the target audience. I’m repelled by the “poor us” and “I could have been a lot happier if it wasn’t for them”. (Everybody can slip into that kind of thinking; even white guys. It’s just not constructive when it’s dominant.)

    There’s something about your perspective that both brings out the worst in me and keeps me coming back thinking “this time I’m going to find a real gem of an insight”. But I’ve said my piece; I’ll give it a rest.

  • MaryAnn

    A Guy, if you really think that the dominant theme of my writing is “poor me,” then you really don’t understand my work at all.

    Sorry I’m not providing you any real gems of insight. Poor me.

  • JoshB

    I’m clearly not the target audience. I’m repelled by the “poor us” and “I could have been a lot happier if it wasn’t for them”. (Everybody can slip into that kind of thinking; even white guys.

    I believe this is that “privilege” thing I keep hearing so much about.

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