Fixing Wikipedia on cohousing and related entries
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2019 12:04:19 -0700 (PDT)
On Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM Sharon Villines wrote in the thread
"Subject: July 4 and cohousing":

> And another note from Wikipedia — While Katie is mentioned as Chuck’s
wife everywhere he is mentioned, "Chuck Durrett" has his own page but
"Kathryn McCamant" does not.

This is something we can fix. Who edits Wikipedia? We all do.

There are ways to do it working together and respecting Wikipedia's
protocols, bringing together respected citations to establish the
"notability" of a figure and relevance for inclusion. Remember: original
research isn't enough to put something in there, but together we can
catalog a pool of published articles to make it easy to point to known
authorities who have said what we want the entry to say on the topic.

I'll work with Coho/US' Karen Gimnig to schedule a WebChat on this topic so
we can be collaborative rather than competitive in creating and updating
entries on the movement and its key figures. In the meantime, anyone here
can feel free to drop me a note off-list for some tips on how to do this
effectively and appropriately.

Thank you, as well, Sharon, for bringing up something that's been bothering
me for a while -- as part of a husband-wife business partnership/community
venture in the cohousing world, it's part of my consciousness that some
people, even progressive experienced cohousers, and yes, even women, listen
differently to me vs. my wife (Betsy Morris, the one with the Urban
Planning PhD) saying the very same things. It has prompted me to look for
the same behavior in myself.

In my closing remarks at a panel for a forming community at Cambridge
[Mass.] Cohousing last week, I reminded participants that cohousing started
as a feminist movement, community design that made many domestic tasks more
egalitarian, communal, and gender-balanced, and noted that we may have lost
track of that along the way.

As we look back to the early years of the movement, and history as it is
translated to and interpreted with the wisdom and fresh perspectives of the
modern day, we can't forget to factor in that even as late as the
1980s-1990s, women's work and contributions were undervalued by society and
the media, and the role of women in news stories on the movement, or even
something seemingly insignificant as the order of listing authors on a
book, may not be as balanced as we would hope for today, with effects that
linger and echo through time.

This is something that we can start to correct as we go forward by making
sure that our acknowledgements and appreciations aren't filtered through
dated blinders, taking the time to appreciate and celebrate the
contributions of many who may have been overshadowed.

That's how I'd like to celebrate what I call _INTERdependence_ day, in
acknowledgement of our web of connections and lovely ways we can step up
and take care of ourselves, our neighbors, our cities and the whole world
through what we do, building and living in sustainable communities.

Raines Cohen, Coho/US Volunteer, Husband, and Cohousing Coach
   Cohousing California co-organizer, living at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing
    currently visiting Boston-area communities and planning visits to some
established and forming groups around New England, along with the "brains"
of the ongoing partnership that some refer to as "Braines."

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