Wikipedia Equality won’t be silenced by Trivialization and Ad-Hominem Attacks. We’ve seen it all before, after all.
Since I launched Wikipedia Equality last month, I have received plenty of interest and positive feedback. You know, it’s an idea that people are interested in, and it’s an idea that people actually like. That’s a good start.
Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. Any equality movement that seeks to change the status quo will be challenged by those who want to keep things the same. And trivialization and ad-hominem attacks are just part of that strategy, almost every single time. Let’s start with trivialization.
Some people simply pointed to the fact that I am a singer-songwriter who doesn’t currently have a Wikipedia profile. So what are they implying? Are they implying that I’m non-notable? If that’s the case, I don’t care if they decide to subscribe to the same unfair standards that Wikipedia currently has, because I for one clearly do not believe in them, and I assume most of the people interested in our movement don’t either. Besides, my fans clearly don’t think of me as non-notable, and that’s very enough for me. Are they saying that because Wikipedia doesn’t consider me notable, I shouldn’t have a say in anything? That just shows Wikipedia’s privilege entrenching policies actually do harm by excluding voices and preventing change.
Are they implying that, as an independent musician without a Wikipedia profile, I do not deserve respect? If that’s the case, it only serves to reinforce the problems with Wikipedia’s current policies, which have caused a particularly disrespectful attitude to independent musicians. I have heard plenty of times that the notability criteria is especially strongly enforced against profiles of independent artists, including musicians, authors and podcasters alike, compared to other potentially non-notable people, like professional journalists. I have heard that independent artists are treated no better than spammers by some Wikipedians. This kind of bias only helps us make our case for change, you know. The truth is that, we shouldn’t be surprised by trivialization and ad-hominem attacks.
We’ve seen it all before. In every movement for change throughout history. There’s even this saying: “first they laugh at us….. (you know the rest)”. I have seen this very phenomenon for myself, in fact. When I was a kid people laughed at the idea of marriage equality. When I was a teenager there were scare campaigns about marriage equality everywhere. And now? Most people in the West support it. It’s simply the way things have always worked.
Our opponents may wish to dismiss us, and put the genie back into the bottle. But guess what? Once the genie is out of the bottle, it cannot be forced back in. Wikipedia Equality is a movement whose time has come. How do I know that? People are interested wherever I bring the idea. My recent article on a Medium publication received a substantial amount of recommendations, and most of the readers probably weren’t Wikipedians either. I have had people tell me that they were genuinely interested in the movement. The genie is truly out of the bottle.