Wookieepedia makes a statement about their breast page, still misses the point

Not long ago, Wookieepedia released an official statement regarding the breast article I wrote about earlier today.

Although Brian at Tosche Station has already written a great response to the statement, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, I still feel I should address it personally.

First of all, I do appreciate that this statement is far more measured than anything we saw from ‘Wookieepedians’ in our comments. However, I’m afraid it skirts the real issue.

This is certainly the right tone to take:

Wookieepedia has a long tradition of April Fools’ Day jokes. We usually decide on one main theme for the joke, but often there are several side jokes implemented as well. This year our main April Fools joke was the introduction of Wookieepedia Pro, a pay-to-read subscription service. In addition to this, a decision was made to highlight a modified “joke” version of our “Breast” article on the Main Page. Without attempting to mince words here, the article was crass, offensive, and ill-considered. It was not part of our community-approved main joke, which centered around our wiki becoming a subscription service. Although I cannot and do not presume to speak for the entire community, I can say with authority that I and many of my fellow Wookieepedians deeply regret this decision, and we offer our sincerest apologies to those whom we have offended.

Unfortunately it doesn’t go far enough. Yes, the April Fools version of breast article (which you can see in this Tumblr screenshot) was indeed “crass, offensive, and ill-considered,” but to claim the current article “documents breasts and their “in-universe” uniqueness in a mature and encyclopedic tone,” completely ignores that the existence of the page at all is the problem. As I said in my earlier post:

The whole reason that page exists? It’s not because breasts are particularly important in the Star Wars universe, that’s for sure. It’s pure titillation, ‘oh, we’re so naughty,’ because it’s just so easy to write an article on biological functions and pretend that’s the point. But what real need is there for that on a Star Wars encyclopedia? None.

You can write a page on breasts as dry and encyclopedic as possible, but there’s still no getting away from the fact that a Star Wars encyclopedia is not the place. This is not Gray’s Anatomy, this isn’t even a general knowledge site like Wikipedia, or something like the Encyclopedia Britannica. Even the World Book, which is for kids, has more reasons to have an entry about breasts than the Wook does.

I personally don’t care that the page features a naked woman. That’s not what bothers me – I was an art major in college. I took life drawing, art history classes, the works. I can tell an “artistic nude” from pornography. That is not and has never been my issue.

I understand that Wookieepedia is a community, and that there are deeply entrenched views and squabbles and controversies that we from the outside are barely aware of. Things are not going to change overnight. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good time to start.

So no, a warning label is not going to cut it. Sorry, Wook. You still have work to do. I just hope your people can face this with something more like the maturity shown in the statement than what we saw in our comments.

2 Replies to “Wookieepedia makes a statement about their breast page, still misses the point”

  1. Why is it so hard for people — not just in SW fandom, but everywhere — to admit they screwed up and sincerely apologize and say they’ve learned from the experience? /rant

    1. I don’t know, but I see people posting on the vote page about ‘how we shouldn’t care what the outside thinks’ and I’m just… Your READERS? The fandom community at large? The people you serve?

      I don’t know why they think they can just vote this away.

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