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Some discussion[edit]

On current opinions among historians: I am defining a "historian" (perhaps "mainstream historian" was considered to be offensive) as one who follows historical procedures standard in academia (as opposed to a scholar who bases his statements on revelation).

Shaye Cohen (a) claims nothing about the Conservative movement, (b) is not making any claims that are not generally accepted by his colleagues at this stage. Rather, the relevant fact here is that he has expressed these views within the pages of "Conservative Judaism", the main review of the eponymous movement, and that these views seem to have been accepted by at least some Conservative Rabbis; see In general, the Conservative movement seems to follow what is seen as history by academia, though there was some confusion in the period of conflict immediately following the 1982 Reform decision. Note that the acceptance by (part of?) the Conservative movement of (a certain version of?) history does not imply that the Conservative movement will change its laws, or sees itself as being obligated to change them.

Who is Shaye Cohen?
I don't think the Conservative Movement is basing its acceptance of patrilineal descent solely on the views of unnamed historians.
I have rephrased some sections and included the actual Mishaic reference. The Talmud quote will follow when I've got access to it. If necessary I will supplement this with references to the Mishneh Torah and Shulkhan Arukh, but I think this will do.
You're encouraged to get a username! JFW | T@lk 18:08, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(a) Shaye Cohen is a historian and a professor at Harvard. this is not true (b) Your edit is incorrect: no "fraction" of the Conservative movement accepts patrilineal descent. Rather, the Conservative movement large and by accepts the current consensus among academic historians, namely, that patrilineal descent was once the norm. (c) The way things are currently written, it is implied that the Orthodox view is the "objective" or normative one, and that some people simply disagree. This is similar to having creationism be stated as the current scientific consensus under "evolution", and having a couple of sentence on Darwin and other dissidents at the end. (d) I'll get a username, and conduct some further edits, when I have the time, but, frankly, I am getting a bit tired.

You can't just make claims, you need to provide sources for them as well. For example, how do you know that "the Conservative movement large and by accepts the current consensus among academic historians, namely, that patrilineal descent was once the norm."? Is this referenced somewhere? Was a poll taken? The opinion of one Rabbi is not necessarily the same as that of the movement as a whole. Also, putting the traditional view first does not imply that it is correct, and the article has ample differing views presented fairly, which is NPOV. Jayjg 19:38, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Furthermore, the Orthodox view has been normative for literally thousands of years until someone decided that it "wasn't correct". The way you make it sound, the historians are correct and the Orthodox are fossils.
If you can provide a reference, then Prof Cohen is most welcome to be cited. JFW | T@lk 21:12, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(1) Jayjg: I will look into the matter of Conservative Rabbis' views of history. However, I should make clear that the Conservative movement does not have a view on how to ascertain the past different from that of academic historians. This is, in fact, one of the definitional characteristics of Conservative Judaism. If something is generally accepted by the historical community outside Conservative Judaism, it becomes accepted by Conservative Judaism. Professor Cohen's opinions were published, not only in his book "The Origins of Jewishness" and various scholarly journals, but also in Conservative Judaism, the flagship publication of, well, Conservative Judaism. There was not, as far as I know, a storm of protest, or even dissenting opinions; I will take a second look. Also, while Cohen's book seems to be generally seen as one of the most detailed and rigourous works on boundaries in Judaism in late antiquity, I will see if I can find other treatments of the matter. Notice, however, that what is new in Cohen's treatment is not his view of matrilineality as an innovation (this is standard by now) but his study of its source in the treatment of mixtures in Rabbinic thought (as opposed to the influence of Roman law)

(2) Jfdwolff: Nobody is disputing the authority of the Orthodox to decide what Orthodoxy is. Moreover, I understand perfectly well that it is a central tenet of Orthodoxy that what I and most other people call "Orthodoxy" is in fact simply normative Judaism. What is at stake is history. Historical research into religious texts is a matter of the last two hundred years, for the most part. The fact that many people before and now had a view of the world different from that of historians is a very interesting fact about people - just like the beliefs of most Westerners, say, 300 years ago about the natural world is an interesting fact about these individuals and society, not a fact about the natural world.

Sorry about the links[edit]

I didn't notice you put them at the bottom. Jayjg 21:27, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Josephus et al[edit]

Please bring the specific statements from Josephus etc. which indicate patrilineality, or at least a source which claims they do. Also, Wikipedia:NPOV doesn't involve drawing conclusions, so I'm going to remove the POV conclusion you've drawn in the article. You can quote someone coming to that conclusion, but you can't just state it yourself. The reader will come to whatever conclusion they think reasonable, based on the evidence. Jayjg 22:52, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The statements by Josephus et al. are quoted and referenced in Shaye Cohen's book, Chapters 8 and 10. While I have not reintroduced what you call a POV conclusion, I would like to state that it is a conclusion that seems to have been accepted as fact; every "fact" in history is a conclusion from evidence. I may have committed the mistake of stating a fact as if it were a personal opinion. If so, I apologize. However, if every conclusion is POV, then only axioms are NPOV. Hasdrubal 23:05, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The way Wikipedia:NPOV works is that all sides are presented from their own POV. Thus you can quote someone (assuming it's a significant opinion) stating that "matrilineality was invented by the Rabbis", but the article itself can't take the position. Jayjg 23:07, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thus, would we have only quotations in an article on evolution, say? And what is "a significant opinion" - one held by many people, one held by people in a position of authority outside academia, or one held by, well, people in a position of authority within academia? BTW, thanks for the message. Hasdrubal
No, you can have plenty of information, but you need to have sources which back it up. As for significant? That's hotly debated, of course. :-) Regarding Philo and Josephus, what the article needs is some references to the specific statements in both which appear to back up patriliniality. Quoting them would be even better. Jayjg 23:19, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I just went over the relevant chapters in Cohen's book today, but I didn't write
down the bibliographic information; I'll do that soon. (Yes, Cohen does have
specific quotations.) As for "backing up" - the matter did not seem to be
under discussion at the time and place, so "stating" or "assuming" would be a
better verb; in any case, Philo does call children of one Jewish and one non-Jewish
parent "nothoi" (= bastards), so Philo certainly isn't anybody's support group
(you may have thought I was stating the contrary).
BTW - here's another Conservative rabbi on the matter, though he may be said to be
on the left wing of the movement, or at least, I suppose, its west coast -
Notice that this supports both (a) my statement as to how patrilineality is
not considered acceptable by the central Conservative organizations, (b) my
statement as to how views that are current among historians are current among ::::Conservative rabbis. Note also that "mater certa, pater incerta", the influence
of the mother on the child and the great frequency of rape by Roman soldiers
are considered, and rejected, as probable causes by Cohen.
For what it's worth - I found more on possible disagreements as to policy within
the Conservative movement in an article by the same rabbi: Hasdrubal 00:13, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Josephus and Philo references[edit]

I've been looking in the works mentioned, and they seem to be numbered differently that the citations given. Can anyone shed any light on this? Jayjg 04:00, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi -

I have just checked the quotations online - I had no trouble finding them in the editions that are available on the www. Are you using the same editions as specified in the bibliography of Cohen's book (or the same that I just used to give a double-check)? Generally, line numbers are the same across editions of classical works, so I am surprised.

As I think I've made clear in the latest revision, what we have (in the case of Josephus) is assumptions and modes of thought (cf. a certain Targum - which one escapes me - where abundant commentary is introduced to bring Biblical practices on conversion (none, essentially) in accord with such practices as were in use at the time of Targum (and later)). Philo does spell things out. Hasdrubal 22:03, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Which online site did you use? Jayjg 22:38, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Jewish Matrilineality[edit]

This section begins "Orthodox Judaism states that, to be a Jew, one must be either a proselyte or the child of a Jewish mother. This ruling is based on the fact that intercourse between Jews and non-Jews is forbidden, and any offspring resulting from such an act is considered to have no paternity."

This is a logical contradiction. It explains why a child of a Jew and a non-Jew would not be regarded as Jewish, but it does nothing at all to explain why a Jewish woman's child is Jewish and a Jewish man's is not. If "intercourse between Jews and non-Jews is forbidden" then any child of such a union is not Jewish. The common sense issue is to doubt the chastity of women (Jewish or not) rather than the lawfulness of miscegenation.

I'm not entering into debate here as to who is legitimately a Jew here, but this is an encylopedia for all to understand, and that opening paragraph fails. -- Cecropia 22:00, 13 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The offspring from such an act has (according to halakha) no *paternity*. It does have a mother, however. Paternity is not parentage. 22:20, 26 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm rolling back your change because it doesn't resolve the contradiction and only confuses the reader. No one wants to deal with the plain fact that matrilineality is (as stated in the article) not biblical and was added later under doubtful justification to avoid saying the obvious: men don't trust women. There was a book in (IIRC) the 19th century called "What Every Woman Knows." The question begged by the title is: "Who is the real father of her children?" -- Cecropia 01:07, 27 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This all makes sense - the priest(paterlinear) may not be Jewish, The tribes(paterlinear) may not be Jewish,David(paterlinear) may not be Jewish but the children of the women(materlinear) are Jewish. So after 100 generations you can be a Jew if you have 2^100th of your 100th grandmother, who goes to see a priest who isn't Jewish at all from a tribe that never was Jewish i a country that gives Jews special treatment - it's getting clearer by the minute! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:39, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Vote against merger![edit]

I believe that this topic is unique enough to maintain as a separate article. Linking to the other related articles is sufficient.

-- 19:58, 27 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


All the waffle about MtDNA and energy conversion sounds a bit dodge- references needed!

Animal societies[edit]

I would like to see discussion of matrilineality in animal societies such as orcas and elephants. Kent Wang 15:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you'd like to see that, know something about it, and (preferably) have references about it, then go ahead and add it yourself. Petronivs 14:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"knights of Queen Guinevere"[edit]

Can anybody prove this? Parrish Smith (talk) 19:00, 12 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Most of the Jewish material should be split off into a separate article. If every important appearance of matrilineality were dealt with at this length, the article would be enormous. (talk) 22:28, 21 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply] (talk) 22:19, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Where to place a new section, Matrilineal surnames[edit]

Place it in Family name? or in Surname? or in Matrilineality?

This new section is dependent upon a DNA presentation. DNA is already presented in Matrilineality, but would need to be added in Family name or in Surname. So I placed the new section in the Matrilineality article.

Also, I think adding Matrilineal surnames within Family name would muddy the latter's clear-flowing waters. Keeping Family name a purely patrilineal article would be less confusing for readers. For7thGen (talk) 20:47, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Trace fatness and slimness along matrilines"[edit]

In this article's Genetic genealogy section, someone suggested stout Queen Victoria as an example of the above title, and I tried to find a source reference for this paragraph, to help wikify this article. However, her mother and her mother's mother both appear to be of normal build in their portraits findable via the article Queen Victoria. Someone, you should have checked this much at least, and then you should have chosen a better example or else an example that could not be so easily checked, or no example. I would like to have a source reference, and/or to have the outcome of the "attempts" to trace... --just to satisfy my curiosity. For7thGen (talk) 01:30, 7 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Matrilineal surnames[edit]

Hi Damuna, your tag says to improve (this section of) the article, which I already have done, and also to discuss Western bias, which follows:

First of all, thank you for your work on behalf of everyone at WP. My words in the article, which you wrote showed a bias in favor of Western cultures, were:

"Our culture's lack of mothers-line surnames to hand down makes our traditional genealogy more difficult in the mothers-line case than in the normal (fathers-line) case."

I thought my words above implied "Our (patrilineal) culture", which is very global (not just Western) as one sees in the Family name article. I have made the changes you indicated, to:

"The lack of mothers-line surnames to hand down, see the whole Family name article, makes traditional genealogy more difficult in the mothers-line case than in the normal (fathers-line) case."

I hope you will agree with me that these changes do improve the article, so thanks again. For7thGen (talk) 23:44, 7 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

apparently someone on wikipedia has an agenda to prove how great it would be if all kids would get the family-name from both mum and dad. and wrote a large section to that extent. at least acknowledge the reason no sane society has such a system: because it's f*cking impossible. the first generation of children would have 2 surnames, the second generation would have 4 names, the third 8, then 16, 32, 64 etc. in less then 2 centuries any person would have more then 100 surnames. the whole idea is political correct BS from crazy feminists who should find real problems to worry about (little girls getting raped and then killed as punishment for their 'slutty behavior' would be a start), instead of going out of their way to prove that yes, indeed, women are crappy at math. liberated women more-so apparently. geez i wonder why no woman under 50 calls herself a feminist anymore. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 28 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Someone should rewrite the introduction, as it is not of very good quality. I clarified a bit about mitochondrial inheritance but it still seems rather unwieldy. Perhaps a skilled and thoughtful rewrite of the intro could be a good start towards improving the overall quality of the article. Tomyhoi (talk) 18:30, 12 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tomyhoi, I can agree with your adding more about mitochondrial inheritance, and I thank you for helping the readers. See topic "Genome" below. I'm not sure what you mean by the word "unwieldy", and unsure whether you are applying it to all or to which part(s) of the introduction. I would be glad if I or we can improve what I have already contributed to the introduction, to help the readers of course. For7thGen (talk) 20:05, 14 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Tomyhoi, I hope you'll agree that your clarification above is just as clear without use of the word genomic (to most readers). And I'm glad we are working together on this article. For7thGen (talk) 20:05, 14 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reverting User: 's contibution of 16Sep09[edit]

See my own Talk page User talk:For7thGen#Should I delete, in Matrilineality article?, for discussion of this Revert, today. (I'd put the somewhat-long text here too, except that I've got too many entries just above this one...) For7thGen (talk) 21:44, 30 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contributions by Agye on 17Mar07[edit]

As part of my work to provide source references to bring this article up to standard, I am deleting a sentence from the introduction,

"Even ancient physicians had an inkling about such matrilineal heredity: Galen taught that a child's physical frame would (mostly) be provided by maternal heredity." Its original version was "Already ancient physicians had a whiff about such matrilineal heredity: Galen taught that a child's physical frame will (mostly) be provided by maternal heredity."

I'm also deleting 2 paragraphs from the section "Genetic genealogy", whose original versions were:

"Attempts have been made to trace fatness and slimness along matrilines in genealogies of persons whose physical details are well-archived, such as the royally stout queen Victoria I of the United Kingdom."

"There has been a hypothesis that better and worse suitability to give birth would be a (maternally) hereditary physical characteristic. If so, unsuitable matrilines are highly prone to extinction, whereas suitable matrilines would prosper."

All of these were done by a user, Agye, who gave no sources, and who has no User page or talk page and whose contributions ranged from 18Jun06 to only 17Mar07, the date of these quoted contributions.

Anyway, I've worked hard (for many hours each) to find any sources for these three quotes, and I'm a competent researcher by trade. I'm sure that the WP article "Galen" and its many sources would lead one to the desired statement IF Galen did make it -- which I myself do not think is a good bet. I think Galen would have observed the same thing that most people observe nowadays, that a child's frame is dependent on both parents, but much more complicated than being a simple average of the two.

In the 2nd quote, I like Agye's wording "the royally stout queen", which has been improved upon and thus lost -- and I've complained in a recent entry (above) about this paragraph's lack of any source and its poor choice of a well-archived example, since Victoria's daughter and grand-daughter were not stout, at least in photos available on the web.

The 3rd quote needs a source for "a hypothesis". And simply dropping any mention of a hypothesis leaves a paragraph that does not fit in this section nor article nor anyplace else in WP, in my opinion. I actually like the paragraph, as already rewritten by me. However, without a source for "a hypothesis" I have to drop the paragraph.

And without these 2 paragraphs, their preceding paragraph about mtDNA being inherited from the mother became a useless duplication where it was, thus hurting rather than helping the reader -- so I dropped it as well. For7thGen (talk) 23:51, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clean up, to WP quality standards[edit]

To anonymous User, you have helped the readers of this article, by tagging it on 13Dec09 with the tag which is the title of this section. Your Edit summary is necessarily brief and general, and stated that "Paragraphs repeat themselves; some go off on tangents only to return to the original topic in the next paragraph. Also, many areas aren't laid out well at all."

Accordingly, I have removed the following paragraph (in square brackets) from the article's introduction:

[Mitochondria are cellular organelles involved in metabolism and energy production, and contain DNA (mtDNA) that is normally inherited exclusively from the mother. Thus, human offspring contain both chromosomal DNA, contained within the nucleus and inherited from both parents, and mitochondrial DNA, which is found outside the nucleus and inherited only from the mother. As mitochondria are considered "cellular power plants," one's metabolism and energy conversion are much influenced by these matrilineal genetic materials, and thereby by one's matrilineal descent.]

I carefully inspected the whole article for the faults that you mention in your Edit summary above, and found only this one paragraph that could even remotely be the cause of your Edit summary. In any case, this one paragraph simply does not fit in this article -- the information it gives is simply not needed in this article or is easily available via WP's internal links or is repeated in this article when needed. So I hope you feel, as I do, that cleaning up the introduction by removing this paragraph does help the readers. My apologies to User Tomyhoi, see a Sep09 section above.

User 70.etc., if you wanted to help the readers further, you'd need to add more-specific information on the Talk page to clarify and identify what you are talking about. For example, what do you mean by your point about "many areas aren't laid out well at all"? You would need to explicitly identify at least one such area in the article, such as the middle third of section Such-and-such, so that I or any other User can try to understand what you are getting at. Even then, we other Users might not be able to get your meaning, so it would be far better to also show your improved layout, or your own rewriting of each such point –– then other Users definitely would understand each point. I know this could seem like a lot of work, but the benefit to each reader IS multiplied by many readers, which does pay for much work by all of us Users.

I'm very glad that Users like yourself (and myself) exist who want to help the readers. For7thGen (talk) 21:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The topic is my substitution earlier today of matriname for matrilineal surname (and of patriname for patrilineal surname). I think the WP readers will like the increased clarity and brevity and will not need source references for this change, but I believe that many WP editors do need my sources, and rightfully so. So here they are.

  • In his 2001 book The Seven Daughters of Eve (currently the first Ref in this Matrilineality article) Bryan Sykes suggested adding matriname to the existing "surname" as he called it, or patriname in this article.

This word matriname is also used in place of matrilineal surname in the scientific literature such as in the journal article:

  • Silverman, Eric Klein (1997), "Politics, Gender, and Time in Melanesia and Aboriginal Australia". Ethnology, Vol 36 no. 2, Spring 1997, pp.101-121. Possibly accessible and searchable at the stable URL .

Similarly, patriname is sometimes used in place of patrilineal surname in scientific literature such as the book:

  • Isbell, Billie Jean (1978, 1985). To Defend Ourselves: Ecology and Ritual in an Andean Village. Waveland Press. ISBN 0-8133-173-2, Ch. 3, p. 79. Its Ch. 3 is "The Social Classes of Chuschi", and the whole book is available online at the URL . Note well, as of 9Oct2011, this URL has been changed, see my Isbell entry below, in this section.

and in the journal article:

  • Jean-Klein, Iris (2001), "Nationalism and Resistance: The Two Faces of Everyday Activism in Palestine during the Intifada". Cultural Anthropology, Vol 16 no. 1, Feb 2001,pp. 83-126. Possibly accessible and searchable at the stable URL . For7thGen (talk) 06:04, 21 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

P.S. I should explicitly mention the alternative mothername, since others have suggested it: Mothername sounds more commonplace, but some people would misunderstand it and would think it was intended to be two separate words, mother name. So I am glad that Professor Sykes followed scientific usage and suggested matriname.For7thGen (talk) 00:03, 19 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As an obviously needed backup, this Ch. 3 is also now archived (today) via WebCite at ; if you do need to use it, you'll need to click on "plain HTML", but you'll then find patriname highlighted so it is easy to find, on the same book page 79. Is this source worth the work it has cost me? For7thGen (talk) 02:51, 10 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Enate, enatic[edit]

It is difficult to believe the terms "enate" and "enatic" are completely avoided in this article. There also are no redirects or links for these terms. Is there a good reason for this? (I notice the article on Patrilineality is not afraid to use "agnate" or "agnatic", and in fact, devotes much specific text to them.) Some copyeditor should work these words into the lead and the body of the text so this subject doesn't sound dumbed-down, and add Redirects. (I am not an expert on this subject nor a native speaker or I would do it myself.) Regards, Charvex (talk) 09:32, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you feel strongly about it, you probably should do it yourself. Just do the best job you can, and if someone thinks it can be better worded, they'll clean it up. In the meantime, the information is here for people who are reading. Petronivs (talk) 19:16, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since uterine ancestry is alive and well, I should at least give enatic an equal chance at life-on-Wikipedia. Done. I think Saforrest found that royal genealogy actually uses uterine rather than enatic or enate ancestry. I was feeling very lonely, being almost the only contributor to this article and its talk page, so I feel much better now. For7thGen (talk) 01:26, 20 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed two sentences from "India" section.[edit]

This entry is mostly to save myself work in the future. Namely, I checked history and found that Hijjins had added more than half of the section on 29Feb08, and had to do it again on 29Mar08. He contributed from 22Feb08 to 4Jun08, mostly about India.

He or she apparently was a Nair, per their contributions to the Nair talk page, those that I looked at – and her contributions seemed good in the India section. But the section is better without the two sentences, with the section's last sentence rewritten to replace the removed sentences, without needing any verification. Hijjins had the tag (about removal of text if not verified by citations) right in front of him, and certainly should have verified these two sentences, so verifying them was/is probably impossible. I have now finished verifying the India section. For7thGen (talk) 01:08, 20 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Satisfying the WP policy Verifiability[edit]

The context for this entry: I wrote this (22Feb2010, see below) entry just hours after writing the following Edit summary: "Add this new subsection (Consequences). See the Talk page, about satisfying the WP policy Verifiability." For7thGen (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question #1. Does Wikipedia (WP) permit quotations from a commercial-website article?

Question #2. How to do it? My tentative answers are hopefully Yes, see #1 below; and for #2, my way of doing it is what I've just done. If there are better answers, please do educate me either here or on my talk page.

I should mention that the quoted article Matriname is so clearly-written that WP readers really should be able to access it, as they now can via the final paragraph below. Its quotations are much better expressed (say 100x better) than anything I could write in their place. In my opinion, it is essential that WP readers be able to see these quotations (assuming Question #1 is positive).

Question #1: I found no commercial-website problems with four of the five WP pillars, the "content policies", nor with their guidelines. For the fifth, WP:V =Verifiability, its guideline WP:EL =External Links forbids linking to a commercial website, essentially, which is handled below in the Question #2 or final paragraph.

Also, WP:V itself has a short section "Self-published sources (online and paper)" which discourages using these sources to provide "expert" support for the information in your WP article. But the self-published quotations I used are certainly not sources to support any other information in this WP article. In addition, these two quotes themselves are self-evidently reliable and need no other support – just read them yourself. Thus I find a Yes answer to Question #1.

Question #2: So how to cite this commercial-website source without linking to it, yet cite it "clearly and precisely" as required by WP:V? My way was to give the WP reader this footnote to the quotes (updated in the indented entry immediately below): "Fortunately, the source article Matriname, by Elisabeth McCumber, can be found on the web. A search for the two words together, matriname McCumber, yields a link to click on, to then receive the source article as a .pdf file. The author permitted these two quotations on 16Feb2010." For7thGen (talk) 07:22, 22 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This footnote has to be updated, today, to agree with the author's changes. This footnote to the quotes is now: To see the whole thoughtful and well-written article, Matriname: Two Trunks in the Family Tree by Elisabeth McCumber, simply search online for the term "Matriname: Two Trunks" – then click on its resulting item Copywriting Samples: Articles, and then scroll down the latter webpage as needed. The author permitted these two quotations on 16Feb2010. For7thGen (talk) 01:14, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Uterine ancestry"[edit]

I communicated with User:Saforrest about his/her use of the term "uterine ancestry" in the introduction of Matrilineality, as recorded on my own talkpage under the title "A problem with the term 'uterine ancestry'". My final entry was dated 2Feb2010, and the final result, quoted here for possible reference in the future, was:

"Hi Saforrest: It was (and is) a pleasure to receive and read your reply. From your reply I've learned more about uterine and agnatic pedigrees, and from your two sources. I've changed Matrilineality to reflect what I learned. Please feel free to redo it, you certainly have my blessing. I do feel that it is now better than it was, for the WP reader. You can see that I gave "uterine ancestry" its own short paragraph, relocated toward the bottom of the Intro." For7thGen (talk) 17:21, 18 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improving last paragraph of the Intro[edit]

First, here is the current version (in quotes) of the last paragraph of the introduction, for easy comparison after I finish:

"In some cultures, membership in their groups is inherited matrilineally; examples of this cultural practice include many ancient cultures and continues in the contemporary cultures of those ancient origins such as Huron, Cherokee, Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee), Hopi, Navajo, and Gitksan of North America. In the Old World cultures it is found in Ancient Egypt, the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, (Indonesia); some Ezhavas, Nairs including Royal clans, and Kurichiyas of Kerala, India; Bunts, Billavas and Mogaveeras of Karnataka, Pillai caste in Nagercoil District of Tamil Nadu; the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo of Meghalaya, India; the Nakhi of China, the Basque people, the Akan, and the Tuaregs."

(I have already done a lot of work checking and improving upon source references concerning these cultures, and maybe I'm half done.) For7thGen (talk) 03:52, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Well, I finally finished! Here is the result:

"In some ancient cultures, membership in their groups was (and still is if in bold) inherited matrilineally. Example cultures include the Cherokee, Gitksan, Hopi, Iroquois, Lenape, and Navajo of North America; Ancient Egypt, the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia; the Nairs of Kerala and the Bunts of Karnataka both in south India; the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo of Meghalaya in northeast India; the Mosuo of China; the Basque people; the Akan; and the Tuaregs. Some of these examples are discussed in this article, see Contents below." For7thGen (talk) 01:28, 16 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Source references for the section, Judaism.[edit]

I unfortunately cannot spend the time needed to become knowledgeable enough to even understand this Judaism section. I did finally discover that it is mostly excerpts from its "main article" Matrilineality in Judaism, and I have helped the reader by adding notes to that effect at the beginning and end of this section. Otherwise I have not touched this section including its source references.

The source references for this excerpted section are really in that "main article" – and without understanding this topic I can't judge the adequacy of that article's source references. I did notice that the "main article" has only one tag for "citation needed," and that tag is for content about England rather than about Judaism. Therefore I hope that the article and especially this section (without the content about England) have adequate source references. For7thGen (talk) 19:07, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Providing Akan source references[edit]

(I am not well-informed about the Akan peoples, but am a competent researcher if I could afford to spend the time required.) In my work providing source references for the Akan section of Matrilineality, I was hoping for some help from the article Akan people. Instead, I was surprised that there was an apparently-total disconnect between the two, with the Akan article containing very little information about Akan matrilineality. After much work, I finally stumbled across the online source of more than half of the Akan matrilineality information in the aforementioned Akan section (I've added quotation marks as appropriate), and I'm dropping the unsourced remainder of this section. I'm also adding content from an Encyclopaedia Britannica article of an appropriate vintage (1970) – written not too long after the main books were written on this subject. And I'm replacing the above-mentioned matrilineality part of the Akan article, as well, with my newly rewritten Akan section. I hope that both the section and the article are significantly improved; the source references definitely are improved, since there were none for the section and none for this part of the article, before I added mine. (This paragraph is being added to the Talk page of both articles linked to above.) For7thGen (talk) 01:48, 26 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Akan culture still alive?[edit]

Is the Akan culture as described in the above two reference sources still alive for people in the cities (or the rural villages, either) of south Ghana, etc.? Since neither source actually states anything on this important point, I cannot provide a source reference for this point, and thus cannot bring it up in WP articles, according to WP guidelines. (This paragraph is being added to the Talk page of both WP articles Matrilineality and Akan people.) For7thGen (talk) 01:48, 26 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removing the "Refimprove" tag.[edit]

I'm removing the "Refimprove" tag of May 2007 so it will no longer disturb readers such as me. I've now finished the mammoth task of providing source references for all the material in this article or removing the material for which I failed to find adequate source references. (Except possibly the section on Judaism, thoroughly discussed in the above Talk-page entry "Source references for the section, Judaism".) This includes improving the source references of (portions of) WP articles which are linked to by this whole (Matrilineality) article. A lot of work. Several of the Talk-page entries above are related to this work.

And I'm still working on the second link in the China section (an external link to a JSTOR journal article) which currently yields the message from JSTOR people, "Document Not Found. We have recently redesigned the site and some of our information has moved." I can't get help from the user who put the link up because he or they were anonymous with no talk page! If I can't get the link up (by getting myself to a university with a subscription to JSTOR) within two (2) months, say, then I'll probably decide to just delete that whole paragraph – WP readers would have to live without that paragraph. For7thGen (talk) 00:34, 3 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe a refimprove tag is still necessary. Most of the references are not correctly formatted. The following link provides a how-to guide for creating citations on Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Citing_sources#How_to_format_inline_citations.SweetNightmares (talk) 12:49, 27 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your help – I think you and I both are willing to work to help WP readers, and I have now redone the source reference citations. Thanks again, from WP readers as well. ----------------Perhaps you can help further with the section Judaism – see above, including my 20May2010 entry. I would not be able to rewrite this section and its source refs even if I spent full-time for the next 20 years learning about it, so I think the problem should be given to the WikiProject Judaism. (But I don't know how to do that.) Can you suggest anything? For7thGen (talk) 23:49, 2 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Source references about ancient Egypt.[edit]

I failed to find source references for the topic, matrilineal succession to the throne in Ancient Egypt, and so had to remove all mention of ancient Egypt from the Matrilineality article. (I'm now placing this identical section on the Talk pages of these two articles plus a third, the Pharaoh article below.)

Then I learned the above topic was in the article Pharaoh, a whole paragraph in the latter's section Pharaoh#Titles. When the link in the last sentence of this Titles paragraph is followed, which verifies said sentence, then in my opinion the whole paragraph becomes self-documented by its own integrity and factual details. But WP needs actual sources for important content, instead, which are unfortunately not there.

I'll be able to add this content (matrilineal succession to the throne in ancient Egypt) in both articles, Ancient Egypt and Matrilineality, if someone can find and insert such source references into the article Pharaoh (and notify me on my talk page).

Someone, please find and insert them.

We're all working together to help WP readers, For7thGen (talk) 00:31, 4 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Information removed per WP:SPS and WP:PAYWALL[edit]

First off, Wikipedia is not a place to provide one-line amateur reviews of self-published works, or to advertise such works. This citation violates WP:SPS. Secondly, reference number five is not accessible through the directions provided. If a work is not accessible to the general public through use of the internet or a library, it violates WP:PAYWALL. Therefore I have removed the information that was linked to this source: Matriname: Two Trunks in the Family Tree by Elisabeth McCumber. The information it contributed was not very valuable, anyhow. SweetNightmares (talk) 12:44, 27 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I'm very glad that WP policy and guidelines now have been improved to Not allow the use of self-published works, which rendered Elizabeth McCumber's essay impossible to use any longer. I would have been glad to remove my use thereof – so thank you for doing it. I'm sure you and I both want what is best for WP readers, which is the beauty of WP. For7thGen (talk) 00:28, 3 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Double surname shared by all of the children[edit]

Until my "rewrite" of 30Mar11 the Matrilineal surname section was worded for two different surnames in the same family, i.e., the matriname for daughters and the patriname for sons, which is gender-symmetric to satisfy gender equality. But now my further use of Family name has revealed that within all of its cultures (all that I checked), the children in a nuclear family all share the same family name. Therefore single surnames are not a viable option as I had thought – birth surnames must be double surnames. (Double surnames which combine the mother's matriname and the father's patriname, and shared by all of the children, do satisfy CEDAW or gender equality.) Rewritten accordingly. For7thGen (talk) 02:26, 3 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Delete Consequences subsection.[edit]

/* Consequences */ Remove this whole subsection, the only part of the Matrilineal Surname section which might conceivably be called advocacy. I do appreciate the anonymous user who just removed the whole section and another section for advocacy of matrinames, for his or her at least raising the topic of advocacy. I don't see how the readers can be helped by a Consequences subsection, without a few such people criticizing it as advocacy – so I'm just removing the subsection. For7thGen (talk) 09:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


An anonymous user just added a paragraph about the Minangkabau culture in the Matrilineal surname section, but Minangkabau people have clan names rather than surnames so I moved the paragraph into the "Various cultural patterns" section. I also added 2 new source references, which I will add to the main Minangkabau article along with appropriate text ASAP – within weeks or months. And then I'll modify or add to the above-mentioned paragraph too. But the paragraph at least is now clear that the Minangkabau people are organized into clans – rather than into Western-style families with surnames or family names as the above user apparently assumed. So the user thus added a subsection on the largest matrilineal society – it is really important to our global encyclopedia to cover it! Thankfully, For7thGen (talk) 02:41, 24 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Intestate Succession Law, Ghana 1985[edit]

I have tried hard to keep at least some of's two recent additions to the Akan section on 12Aug2011, but cannot in good conscience keep any. I will however change the section's wording to reflect the fact (for which I've now found a source reference, Marlene de Witte's 2001 book) that the Akan matrilineal clans are still alive and well – hopefully within the next month or two.

  • The above-mentioned anonymous user's larger addition concerned Ghana's 1985 Intestate Succession Law PNDC Law 111. I think this law (and its 1991 Amendment) should have its own WP article, or at least its own section of the Ghana article. This reform law (and its aftermath) could be a very complicated subject. In the 2001 book above, which I searched via Google Books, this 1985 law is discussed on pp. 173-178 plus 3 related source references given on pp. 206-08. And simply googling turns up lots more information on this law. I expect I'll never find time to write such a section or article, but if someone else does find time, I'll hope to then write a paragraph in Matrilineality's Akan section appropriately making use of their section or article.
  • The user's smaller addition concerned marriage being forbidden between members of the same 'ntoro' group, which is wrong, I'm sorry to say. See the reputable webpage, which is an Akan Culture summary by Robert O. Lagace. Respectfully, For7thGen (talk) 22:31, 21 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Split off new article, Matriname[edit]

I'm splitting off Matrilineality's section, Matrilineal surname, by cutting and pasting it into a new article Matriname. The latter name is simpler and more common (i.e., less scientific) than the orginal section's name, as appropriate for an article name.

As recommended by WP guidelines, I'm substituting a synopsis of the information needed, under the old section heading, in the article Matrilineality, and linking to the new article as the old section's Main article. I'm also tending to the categories of both articles, as well as tending to the WikiProjects listed at the top of the Talk page of each article. I tried to do just the Splitting off/Creating an article, clearly labelled in the two Edit summaries – ie, nothing extra during that one step, as recommended.

My reason for splitting it off: Since I wrote the 21Aug09 Talk page entry about which of 3 named articles to place a new section Matrilineal surname in (I placed the latter in Matrilineality), both this new section and the rest of the article have benefited from each other, I think. But the section has grown much bigger than many other sections within the article, even though the latter have grown too. Thus, the section has developed to where it should be an article itself. So I'm being bold and splitting it off.

I'll continue to work in both articles. For example, I still need to do some work on matrilineal clans, in the Matrilineality article. I'm placing this identical entry in both Talk pages, For7thGen (talk) 02:36, 9 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Matrilineal identification within Judaism[edit]

An anonymous WP editor added Jews to the list of matrilineal societies in the Intro, and of course this is wrong, they are not a matrilineal society. Merely using a matrilineal criterion as part of identifying who is Jewish, and who is not, does not transform their whole society into a matrilineal society. So I've now improved the organization of this Matrilineality article by renaming the last section, now titled "Matrilineal identification within Judaism" –– it had been titled "Matrilineality in specific religious groups" with a subtitle "Judaism".

In fact, the "main article" Matrilineality in Judaism might better be titled "Matrilineal identification within Judaism" as well. But this is a matter for the WikiProject Judaism people to determine, I am much too ignorant about Judaism to say anything at all about it. Years ago I did write a request on the WikiProject Judaism page (or a similar page, I don't recall the exact name) to rewrite this last section of the Matrilineality article, which is very badly written, still. And it will be more years before I myself can afford the time to rewrite it if they don't....

So the inaccurate and misleading organization of the Matrilineality article has now been corrected, thanks to the helpful attempt by the anonymous editor. Trying to help the WP readers, For7thGen (talk) 15:14, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why aren't the Seminoles included here? They are a matrilineal society. Shadowmane (talk) 04:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Greetings, Shadowmane. The reason the Seminoles are not yet included in this article is because no-one has done the work of adding them. I just checked the Seminole Tribe of Florida article and it does not mention matrilineality. So you would need to find some reliable sources (i.e., source references) and then write the addition to both articles, ideally. The many readers of Wikipedia, including me, would very much welcome this work being done! (Merely adding the name in the introductory section of this Matrilineality article would not suffice, without the writing and the sources in one or the other of the two articles, and/or ideally both.) I'm intentionally ignoring the other two Seminole societies or tribes in the US, for lack of time to check on them. Thanks, on behalf of all our readers. For7thGen (talk) 06:31, 30 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I've not actually done any of the research myself, but I know as a 1/8th Seminole myself that they recognize people through matrileneal bloodlines. Officially, I would not be recognized by the tribe, as my Great-Grandfather was a full blooded Seminole. However, I do have an Aunt who has been "re-adopted" by the tribe, and was at one time a tribal shaman. Shadowmane (talk) 16:34, 4 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a start, because with your experience you might find locating an anthropological study (for instance) easier. Your statement itself would not qualify, but a published secondary source probably would. I gather something like it is true for many tribes and I'd be happy to see them added when sourced. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 17:10, 4 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it is wonderful or great, Shadowmane, that you are 1/8th Seminole yourself and your Aunt is hopefully 1/4th, both from your Great-Grandfather. (By using View history for this article, you can see our improvement which I made just now and which you thereby have a share of. The result is at Matrilineality#Genetic genealogy.) Can you and your Aunt work together at finding any published (including online) sources, within the next years? Wikipedia is here to stay so there is no hurry. If necessary, get something published yourselves, at third-party locations which would be valid sources for WP (Wikipedia). Who knows, you just might help all Seminoles thereby, in your "infinite spare time". And I liked your good contribution too, Nick. We are all trying to help all of us WP readers, For7thGen (talk) 20:53, 5 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One caveat in addition to the usual bevy: If an author or close relative of an author of an external source is to cite it in Wikipedia, it's necessary to declare a conflict of interest. A good way would be to post on the article's talk page what you intend to cite and for what content and your relationship to the author, and give people a reasonable time, maybe a week, to comment before posting the new source into the article. But having a conflict of interest does not bar editing. It only requires more caution. Nick Levinson (talk) 22:02, 5 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Listing of tribes not yet documented as matrilineal[edit]

I've searched the following list of articles about North American Indian tribes or societies for any documentation of any matrilineal aspects such as clan membership, and found none. For the documenting that is needed in any Wikipedia article, see the previous section. The listing follows:

Lakota, see link above. The article plausibly mentions that matriarchal family units have been the traditional form of Lakota governance, but gives no source references for this. I note that the article perhaps should use the word matrilineal instead of matriarchal.

Cheyenne, see link above. From the article: "Studies into whether the Cheyenne developed a matrilineal clan system are inconclusive." No source references are given on this topic.

This listing is for my own future reference, as well as for other readers and editors. For7thGen (talk) 20:28, 2 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Early human kinship" section --- NPOV issue perhaps?[edit]

The article is very informative and I'd like to thank whoever put in the work. However, I noticed that for the section on "Early human kinship", references 13, 14, and 16 are from "left-wing"/"Marxist"/"Communist"/"Feminist" sources almost entirely. I'm not implying the information ought to be removed, but it should be noted within the article that aside from references 15 and 17 (I couldn't find any information on those two, to be honest), it's Marxist activists such as Chris Knight (anthropologist) and Feminists such as Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (according to [1] she did work on a "feminist reinterpretation of evolutionary theory") that are promoting these studies. I couldn't find anything linking the Destro-Bisol et al study or the Opie and Power article to any noticeable ideology in particular. The links that are there for the Chris Knight articles are also from leftist sources (Communist Party of Great Britain website and the Radical Anthropology Group, which is also fairly biased [2]). Again, I'm not arguing these sources should be removed, but that perhaps a bit more balance is needed by informing the reader that certain left-wing activists are making good use of studies which do happen to fall in line with their ideology. Perhaps there are other studies out there that these same activists would neglect to talk about. Just reading the work of Knight leads me to think about how biased the information is, how he could have cherry-picked everything. If you read his work, he refers to those whose theories he disagrees with as "dogmatic" and then instantly praises the author of the study he agrees with as being a "major specialist". (talk) 20:38, 21 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The solution to bias in the sources being reflected in the article is to add content from other sources. In general, authors of secondary sources, including scholars and journalists, are allowed and largely expected to select what they consider important and to present their results accordingly. We achieve balance, insofar as it exists in the panoply of sources available and not just cited in Wikipedia, by adding sources that have more to add to the article. For instance, if two sources disagree with each other on a weighty point, we ordinarily report both. But because Wikipedia is perennially a work in progress, we usually don't hold up editing because more content can be found; we can add what we know on Tuesday and if more is found on Thursday we can add that on Thursday. Within Wikipedia's policies, the article is biased (has an overall POV) only if the article is biased by its presentation or omission of content from sources or without sources, not if the sources themselves or their authors are biased. It might be that male and female counterpart articles do not correspond like mirrors if the sources cited or existing even if not cited do not correspond, and that is often the case, because the researchers are different people and sometimes have different questions (replicators, for instance, may add questions to what they investigate); and there are major debates about the nature of objectivity as applicable to social sciences. Authors' qualifications can be stated (usually very briefly) but, if not from the source already cited with the author's name, should be sourced and not just to a Wikipedia article; if the information is from a Wikipedia article, that can be linked to. But mainly the focus is to add sourceable content. Nick Levinson (talk) 15:47, 22 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

indigenous peoples[edit]

The following came mainly from a recent revision of the matriarchy article, but I don't feel qualified to edit this article based on this sourcing, so I'd rather offer it for anyone else to consider researching and editing. Nick Levinson (talk) 17:45, 24 November 2013 (UTC) (Corrected italics: 17:49, 24 November 2013 (UTC))Reply[reply]

"There are also matrilinear, matrilocal, and avunculocal societies, especially among indigenous peoples of the Americas, Asia, and Africa,<ref>Other than avunculocality: [ Goettner-Abendroth, Heide, trans. Jutta Ried & Karen P. Smith, Modern Matriarchal Studies. Definitions, Scope and Topicality (Societies of Peace, ca. or ante 2005)], as accessed October 27, 2013.</ref> such as those of the Minangkabau, E De (Rhade), Mosuo, Berbers, and Tuareg, and, in Europe, e.g., traditionally among Sardinian people.<ref>[ La Famiglia e La Donna in Sardegna Annotazioni di Studio, vol. 71, no. 3 (2005)], pp. 487–498 (article) (dissem.).</ref><ref>[ Sardegna matriarcale] (in Italian).</ref>"

Ruwanpura and feminism[edit]

I've added relatively brief content to the article on the feminism of matrilineality in eastern Sri Lanka sourced to a book. Here's more of the context from the book:

According to Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, "Sri Lanka .... is highly regarded even among feminist economists for the relatively favourable position of its women, reflected [in part] in the ... matrilineal and bilateral inheritance patterns and property rights".<ref>Ruwanpura, Kanchana N., Matrilineal Communities, Patriarchal Realities: A Feminist Nirvana Uncovered (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, paper [1st printing? printing of 2006?] 2006 (ISBN-13 978-0-472-06977-4 & ISBN-10 0-472-06977-2)), p. 1 (author asst. prof., Hobart & William Smith Colleges & "soon" to be lecturer, School of Geography, Univ. of Southampton, England).</ref> However, Ruwanpura continued, "feminist economists need to be cautious in applauding Sri Lanka's gender-based HDI ["human development" index] achievements and/or matrilineal communities."<ref>Id., p. 3 (bracketed insertion per p. 1).</ref> Ruwanpura "contend[s] that matrilineal communities do not indicate the death of patriarchy, and that patriarchal structures and ideologies and matrilineal communities can be strange but ultimately compatible bedfellows. Thus feminist economists ought to be more cautious in upholding Sri Lanka as a feminist nirvana and/or paradise."<ref>Id., p. 10 (line break between "and/" & "or").</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, "Sri Lankan women are surely not constrained by classical patriarchy, and feminists have claimed that Sri Lankan women are relatively well positioned in the South Asian region .... Matrilineal practices in eastern Sri Lanka have distracted feminists from other practices of women's status and position."<ref>Id., p. 4.</ref> According to Ruwanpura, there are "patriarchal institutions and ideologies within the Sri Lankan context .... [and she] position[s] Sri Lankan women within gradations of patriarchy  ... [in light of] the main religious traditions, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam".<ref>Id., pp. 4–5 (page break between "and" & "ideologies").</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, "it is important to acknowledge the prevalence of patriarchal structures and ideologies even among matrilineal communities."<ref>Id., p. 6.</ref>

"The fieldwork [in Ruwanpura's study] was carried out during 1998–9, at which time eastern Sri Lanka was engaged in a protracted ethnic conflict."<ref>Id., p. 45.</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, feminists have criticized a view of women's lives in Sri Lanka, e.g., in accordance with "village practices and folklore ... young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Id., p. 76 n. 7.</ref>

"Have matrilineal practices for Muslim and Tamil communities legitimated the status of female-heads and widows so as to establish entitlement relations and sharpen extended entitlements? The evidence is moot, since matrilineal practice does not mean the absence of patriarchal values and/or structures."<ref>Id., p. 182 (line break between "and/" & "or").</ref>

"Matrilineal inheritance patterns and community structures place female-heads in a favorable position, but this positioning was only relatively so.... [F]emale-heads within this particular context in eastern Sri Lanka ... have lives that remain shaped and influenced by patriarchal relations. Patriarchal restraints sit together with structures that have traditionally favoured women".<ref>Id., p. 186.</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, "some female heads possessed" "feminist consciousness".<ref>Id., p. 142.</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, "the economic welfare of female-heads depends upon networks that mediate the patriarchal-ideological nexus, although the distinctions and similarities of the ethnically-based experiences of female-heads provide a sound basis for a coherent feminist perspective."<ref>Id., pp. 145–146 (page break between "a" & "sound").</ref>

In a "shift from economic to non-economic forms of support .... feminists would no doubt wish to observe a significant shift in attitudes reflecting progressive and accommodating values towards female-heads, [but] this is not taking place on any scale in these communities."<ref>Id., p. 159.</ref>

According to Ruwanpura, "the discussion ... seems to indicate that, generally, repressive cultural practices are not a pervasive feature. But this does not negate the existence of patriarchal structures and patriarchal institutional laws that run counter to matrilineal inheritance, and are likely to work against the interests of women, and of female-heads in particular. Such divergences will not positively affect/inform the informational base of female-heads, since they only serve to perpetuate patriarchal interests from which female-heads have no legal recourse."<ref>Id., p. 182.</ref>

Nick Levinson (talk) 20:54, 24 November 2013 (UTC) (Moved misplaced nowiki tag: 21:02, 24 November 2013 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Your source, Nick Levinson, seems like a reputable book since it was published by the University of Michigan Press. But, your added section simply ignores ethnicity and you only used one source, both of which I originally (a few days ago) found suspicious.
Now, in desperation, I've taken time today (22 Feb 2015) to look at your one source, which, luckily, I could do thanks to Google Books. And your above source is just fine, and does contain other sources which also seem fine to me. See my addition to this article's Sri Lanka subsection, which now does mention Muslims and Tamils, plus mentioning another author McGilvray.
I note that the See also section of the WP (WikiPedia) article Sri Lanka lists a Wikibook (a new concept for me) on Sri Lanka, with sections listed that might very well already contain the material you added, so you might enjoy them if you can find time to enjoy them.

Now (23 Feb), I see that the subsection A feminist and patriarchal relationship can indeed fit into the section Various cultural patterns, and so I've moved it there –– and improved your subsequent references to the same first source reference, I hope you'll agree. Please go thru this subsection and appropriately include (one of) Ruwanpura's source refs along with each reference to her book, for some or a few of these references. This would add more source refs, and would also fix the problem of the subsection being a non-encyclopedic repetitive reference to Ruwanpura's book, as it now must come across to our readers including me. Your subsection somehow also omits any mention of Muslim and Tamils. To help our readers, I hope you'll agree, you now need to mention them as in her book itself, maybe including the Sinhala too. Then feel free to also rewrite the Sri Lanka subsection if needed in your opinion. (If you don't want to do it yourself, I eventually will if I think it is needed after your changes to the earlier subsection.)

And I must apologize for being more that a year late in giving you these inputs. Things were chaotic for me at that time (Nov2013) and I somehow missed seeing your new section until I saw it yesterday. (I thought that your "relatively brief content" above meant just a few words, not a whole new section.) I sometimes "screw up royally", and will do so again no doubt. Anyway, as WP editors, you and I both are: Always trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 07:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think I've ignored ethnicity in the sourcing; it's far more likely that ethnicity was not mentioned relevantly to what I quoted, because I'm almost positive I would have included ethnicity if the sourcing had given it. Whether a source author could have been more specific, I don't know. If someone had studied just the eastern end, they would not have to apply their findings to the larger locus; sometimes scholars do, but sometimes they don't, depending on whether they believe that conditions could significantly vary. Your concern is reasonable, but I would preserve what the sourcing says until someone finds and adds a source that clarifies the issue. I'll dig in my files and see what turns up, which will take me a while, but what I'll look for will be the source I used, if that's still an issue, not new sources, because I'm seriously short of time (as I gather you are, too). I have to leave the finding of new sources to other editors, who can then edit accordingly.
I never edited the Sri Lanka article and I'll leave that, and the editing of other world location articles, to other editors.
I've been busy with non-Wikipedia matters and had to cut my Wikipedia time down a lot, so I hadn't gotten to this article even though it is on my watchlist. Thanks for letting me know.
I tried to guess whether For6thGen and For7thGen are definitely the same editor, but I'm not sure I should be trying. Thanks, overall.
Nick Levinson (talk) 23:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC) (Added: 00:10, 1 March 2015 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Nick, thanks for your reply. But apparently I need to clarify: I did not write anything about you ignoring ethnicity In the sourcing. For your and my convenience, I'm repeating my exact wording here:

Your subsection somehow also omits any mention of Muslim and Tamils. To help our readers, I hope you'll agree, you now need to mention them as in her book itself, maybe including the Sinhala too.

I trust we can agree there is nothing in those 2 sentences about your sourcing. Don't you think that your subsection needs to mention Muslims and Tamils, at least? That's all I'm saying. And I see a typo of mine, where I wrote Muslim but meant Muslims.

Apparently you thought I was talking about the Sri Lanka article when I wrote the following:

Then feel free to also rewrite the Sri Lanka subsection if needed in your opinion.

What I meant was your own Sri Lanka subsection of the Matrilineality article. I'm surprised that you misunderstood.

I hope I have succeeded in deleting my For6thGen user account. If not, do you know how to do it? Thanks again, For7thGen (talk) 00:39, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ethnicity: Oops. I had read the talk post through the diffs, so I saw "[b]ut all of your quotes above simply ignore ethnicity" but didn't catch that you no longer quite that by the time you finished editing the post ("your added section simply ignores ethnicity" is subtly different). My fault. I should have been more precise.
Sri Lanka: Ditto oops. For this, I saw "I'd like to see you (Nick Levinson) add this matrilineality stuff in a subsection of the [[Sri Lanka]] article as well as in this article" but didn't catch that you no longer referred to that article in that way by the time you finished editing the post. Ditto my fault.
For6thGen: The braces on the user page are wrong. But no matter, since what's mainly relevant is Wikipedia:Username policy#Deleting and merging accounts.
My computer session has to end shortly. Best wishes.
Nick Levinson (talk) 01:42, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The two of us have apparently arrived at an agreeable version (and placement) of the feminism/patrarchy subsection, so I needn't dig the book up at a library or through interlibrary loan (and my time is short). It may be that Ruwanpura identified groups in her study methodology (perhaps in chapter 3) and if what is in the subsection is based on that identification then adding the groups would be a good idea. On the other hand, since the feminism/patriarchy angle is a cultural pattern that is sourced, it could be sufficient that readers can find the source for all issues of greater depth.
Sometimes, when a source itself cites a source, I cite that in the Wikipedia article, but I'm of divided thought on whether to do so. These are usually sources that I have not read myself, or I would cite them directly and not indirectly. I think that's needed when the citing source is less credible than what it cites. A hypothetical example would be if I added to Wikipedia "Mars is a planet."<ref>Disney, Walt, ''A Baby's Guide to the Sky'', p. 3, citing Ng, Pat, ''Manifest of Explorations, Analysis of Photographs, and Five-Year Budget Proposal'' (Washington, D.C.: NASA), p. 1722.</ref> But in many cases a Wikipedia reader, having been given a citation to one source, can find the source and therein discover that source's own sources. In this article's case, if you think citing the next level of sources even without our reading them ourselves is a good idea, go ahead.
My subsequent citations were shorter than the first; yours are even shorter. I'll leave your form, although I'm not sure which I prefer. However, I plan to restore that the Google Books citation is to an unknown edition and printing, lest the article as context be read as implying that Google Books presents what the article generally cites.
Thank you for fixing my typo ("&nbs;" when I should have written " "); I should have caught it back then.
Nick Levinson (talk) 01:08, 8 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the email, but its content should be on the talk page (if I make a mistake, it should be visible to other editors) and if you give permission (it's implicitly your copyright on the email) I'll be glad to copy it minus the personal information, by quoting from "Hi" through "Best wishes,".
While Google Books gives ISBNs on the back cover (the second number looks like an ISBN), Wikipedia normally gives both an edition identification as well as an ISBN when available, including for a widely-available print edition. If we gave only an ISBN as a way indirectly to identify an edition, we'd be expecting readers to do detective work. Since scholarly bibliographies typically cite editions and not ISBNs in my experience as a reader and this book is cited as the paperback where Google Books is not relied upon, I think the distinction is important. However, in this case, the number that is probably an ISBN in the Google image matches the ISBN given in the Wikipedia article's note 16, so I assume Google's is an ISBN and I deleted the Google Books part of the citation in note 29 as redundant.
The quotation attributed to p. 37 in the article's n. 29 can be confirmed at this Google Books page for the beginning of the quotation and this Google Books page for the balance of the quotation, both as accessed today. I apparently can't access the entire p. 1 in Google Books since they are selective in full pages shown and snippets are not generally of full pages, so I'm not sure what you thought I could use, but I probably used what I thought could be used. If you'd like to add to the article, feel free, of course.
I did see the Sri Lanka subsubsection. That is an unusual way of writing an endnote, but perhaps it's a good way of getting the information across. I replaced a sentence with a hatnote per Wikipedia's preference. While the India section wants citations for some Kerala content, perhaps the Kerala article can be used to get sourcing.
Nick Levinson (talk) 23:50, 14 March 2015 (UTC) (Corrected tense: 23:58, 14 March 2015 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Removing a Ruwanpura-book quote[edit]

I'm removing the following sentence from the subsection A feminist and patriarchal relationship:

  • She also wrote that, on the other hand, feminists have criticized a view of women's lives in Sri Lanka, e.g., because in accordance with "village practices and folklore ... young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"[24]

The quote is from the source book, Ruwanpura (2006), in Ruwanpura's note 7 on p. 76. The author Ruwanpura gives only the words "Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena" as her source for this information, on her p. 76. In her References at the end of her book one finds this info source:

  • Jayawardena, Kumari and Malathi de Alwis. 1996. "Introduction," in Kumari Jayawardena and Malathi de Alwis (eds.) Embodied Violence: Communalizing Women's Sexuality in South Asia, pp. ix-xxiv. New Delhi, Kali for Women, London and New Jersey: Zed Books.

There are no ISBN numbers given in Ruwanpura's whole book, I believe. Anyway, I obtained her source book, never mind how and at what cost, and it is ISBN-13 = 978 1856 494472. As its Preface explains, pp. vii-viii, it presents the results of a 1992 conference, and I read carefully every word of its "Introduction" on pp. ix-xxiv. Rape is mentioned several times, but there is nothing like or even remotely related to the above quote. So Wikipedia has no actual source for the quote and it must be removed.

For the sake of completeness, here is the last half (the relevant half) of Ruwanpura's note 7, exactly as in the book:

  • [NOTE: Feminists have criticized Yalman's work for romanticizing the position and status of women in Sri Lanka. Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena drew attention to this criticism, by highlighting cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture painted by Yalman. A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists! A Sri Lankan film, Baddegama, based on Leonard Woolf's book The Village in the Jungle, recounts a similar incident in a rural village, although the location is Southern Sri Lanka].

Please pay attention to the difference between rare isolated incidents and a pattern of such incidents implied by the wording "where young women raped ... usually ... are married-off/required ...". The removed quote reported that such a pattern existed in Sri Lanka, without any reliable evidence. I would have removed it more than a year ago if I had been alert then. On behalf of our readers, For7thGen (talk) 23:33, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps I should also reassure the reader that I did carefully search the rest of Ruwarpura's source book (Embodied Violence, above), and there is nothing even remotely related to the above quote. There is an interesting essay or report by Malathi de Alwis, pp. 89-112, on the topic of an archeological site, the Sigiriya frescoes, but no contribution at all from Kumari Jayawardena (aside from the above-mentioned "Introduction" on pp. ix-xxiv). There is also a report directly on the topic of rape, pp. 32-41, mostly about 18-year-old Rameeza Bee who was gang-raped by 4 policemen in 1978 and then put on trial herself, in a patriarchal region of India. Her husband was also beaten to death by the 4 rapists, leaving her a single woman. The maze of legal "considerations" in her trial "effectively justified" her rape. This report's conclusion was that "an independent single woman, by definition, has no constitutional or democratic rights in this society." For7thGen (talk) 20:12, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An author outside of Wikipedia may interpret their sourcing in ways that a Wikipedia editor cannot and an outside author may produce original research based on their expertise where a Wikipedia editor cannot. Whichever it is that Ruwanpura did, reporting Ruwanpura's book as a source is legitimate for the purpose. However, your process brought out a distinction I should have caught earlier. I read her text as positing that "[per] village practices and folklore ... young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!" was an example of the criticism by feminists. However, it appears that it was an example added by Ruwanpura and not supplied by the feminist critics of the "romantic" view of "the position and status of women" there, and your research (thank you) evinces her having supplied the example more clearly. However, Ruwanpura in her writing may supply her own examples and that writing could still remain a reliable source. If anything anywhere, including in the Jayawardena and de Alwis source, contradicts the Ruwanpura source, we should report that, as we report multiple sides of any disputed point. I'll restore a version edited to correct my error. Please add any contrary content you find in any suitable source. Nick Levinson (talk) 00:18, 29 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sunday, 30Jul2017 : Nick Levinson and I (For7thGen, see my sign-off below) have discussed this rape-quote topic much more, from 20 Feb to 15 Apr of 2017 on my own Talk page, which is automatically linked-to below at my sign-off. But I don’t think our fellow-editors should take much of their valuable time, or any time at all.

Now, in the last few months, I finally did the work of finding out that Ruwanpura published her book in 2006, 10 years after her rape-quote’s source ref (the Conference-proceedings book, Embodied Violence, see below) was published in 1996 reporting a conference that took place in 1992. In 10 years from 1996 Ruwanpura certainly should have known that the 4th sentence of the 6 sentences in footnote 7 on p. 76 of her book was totally false, see below. Here are her (verbatim) 3rd, 4th, and 5th sentences, of her 6 sentences:

  • 3rd: Feminists have criticized Yalman’s work for romanticizing the position and status of women in Sri Lanka.
  • 4th: Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena drew attention to this criticism, by highlighting cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture painted by Yalman.
  • 5th: A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married off/required to cohabit with the rapists!

Her source ref for the 4th sentence is given on p. 237 of her book, within its References section pp. 232-242, and copied here verbatim (the only source or reference listed which is co-authored by these 2 authors):

  • Kumari Jayawardena and Malathi de Alwis. 1996. “Introduction,” in Kumari Jayawardena and Malathi de Alwis (eds.) Embodied Violence: Communalizing Women’s Sexuality in South Asia, pp.ix-xxiv. New Delhi, Kali for Women, London and New Jersey: Zed Books.

Fortunately, her source book is available online via Google Books ( Anyone can search the book (Embodied Violence) online and verify that these pages ix-xxiv mention neither the phrase drew attention, nor criticism, nor village practices, nor village, nor folklore, nor contravene, nor favourable picture, nor Yalman; nor anything else even remotely close to them. Thus Ruwanpura’s 4th sentence quoted above is totally false. Not that her readers would be aware of this untruth, maybe not even WP’s own reader Nick Levinson.

Ruwanpura goes on from there, in her 5th sentence = [A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married off/required to cohabit with the rapists!], implying (but not stating or saying or suggesting) that her totally-false 4th sentence provides “A helpful example” of these highlighted “cases of village practices and folklore”. Thus she invites readers of her book to reach the conclusion that Nick Levinson does state in his rape-quote, which is given here verbatim:

  • She also wrote that, on the other hand, feminists have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka and said that, in accordance with "village practices and folklore[,] ... young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"

She did write what Nick stated that she wrote, but she did not say (nor write nor suggest) what he stated that she said, and Nick Levinson is illogical and wrong in stating that she “said” it. Even if Nick were to somehow find a valid Ruwanpura source to replace Ruwanpura’s totally-false 4th sentence above, he still could not logically reach his conclusion that Ruwanpura said what he quotes her as saying (above), only that she implied it. Of course Ruwanpura could have said or suggested it, but she chose not to, and just implied it instead. Readers of her book will most probably conclude that she said it, just as Nick Levinson did. And in fact, Nick Levinson could contact Ruwanpura to see whether she has later published what she meant, in a relevant journal article about Eastern Sri Lanka, a reputable article which we could use as a source in Wikipedia.

Nick could change the word “said” to the words “falsely implied”, in his above rape-quote, to make his statement accurate -- although unacceptable in a Wikipedia article. Because his rape quote, verbatim above, is illogical and wrong, it must be removed from Wikipedia. Therefore I am removing it.

[I should add that it is only in the last few months that I discovered (or noticed) that Ruwanpura’s 5th sentence only implies that she is providing “A helpful example” of these “cases of village practices and folklore”. I wish I had done the work to make this discovery more than 2 years ago.]

Trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 01:18, 31 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're repeating your mistake of over two years ago. Wikipedia's policies and guidelines require that sources have certain qualities. But they do not require those qualities of sources of sources, or sources of sources of sources, and so on. If they did, every source would ultimately fail and an encyclopedia for which content must be sourced would have no content. Wikipedia would be empty. The only exception would be content over which no one disagreed, viz., that the sky is blue, and I knew someone who disagreed with that in some situations, and that means you would need a source for the statement that the sky is blue. But if a source of a source to any depth must satisfy the policies and guidelines for sources themselves, you could not say that the sky is blue. By extension, the encyclopedia would be empty and you would never have heard of Wikipedia, because no one would have looked at an empty Wikipedia.
Another error of yours also needs correcting. A statement being unsourced does not mean that the statement is false or illogical. The claim that an unsourced claim is by definition false and illogical is illogical and therefore false. It would only be unsourced (and thus if controversial then not reportable in Wikipedia) but, in this case, we agree the statement in question is sourced, the disagreement being on whether the source is itself sufficiently sourced.
Consider the statement, "Europe exists." Say it has a source, dated this year. You might trace the sourcing back a hundred years and find that the particular lineage of sources you used began with a sourceless beginning. That would not mean that Europe's existence was false. And, for Wikipedia, the most recent source stating that Europe exists would be the most you would have to cite. Even if the source cited a history of lunar exploration as its source and that source did not mention Europe, the most recent source stating that Europe exists would still be the most you would have to cite. You might decide that you don't believe the source and refuse to add the statement to Wikipedia, but, if someone else added it, you could not delete it because of that challenge to the source. Such a challenge would be insufficient to remove the source and the content it supports.
In particular, what you may have forgotten is that a source author may interpret their own sources and need not follow them only as originally worded, and it's likely that, around the world, most do interpret. A secondary source is reliable if it reflects a reasonable effort at accuracy; it is still reliable even though the particular content being used for Wikipedia was not sourced inside that source. Ruwanpura may have legitimately used a source without using any of the specific words in that source. If she quoted it, we'd want the quote to be accurate; but if she did not quote it but paraphrased or summarized it instead or only wrote about it, that's also a legitimate thing to do and Wikipedia can report from the final source. Even if she inadequately cited her sourcing or even if her source may only have been a source for part of what she wrote, none of this makes Ruwanpura's work or conclusions false or illogical, and the result is that Ruwanpura's book may still be a source for Wikipedia.
You point out that Ruwanpura "drew attention to ... [the] criticism [by "[f]eminists" that "Yalman's work ... romanticiz[ed]... the position and status of women in Sri Lanka"], by highlighting cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture painted by Yalman", supporting this attention with a citation to a book by de Alwis and Jayawardena, pp. [ix–xxiv (Introduction)]. The Introduction seems not to mention Sri Lanka or Ceylon (per string searches) but reading it reveals that Sri Lanka is mentioned at p. xx and de Alwis contributed an essay on Sri Lanka. I have not read Yalman's work, but the Introduction does indeed "highlight... cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture ...", not necessarily in Sri Lanka but at least in South Asia (see, e.g., pp. xiv, xvii, & xix–xx), and someone may infer, and Ruwanpura may have inferred, that what happens in South Asia also tends to happen in the part of South Asia which is Sri Lanka. Some may disagree with that logic or with that as a social science finding, but it is within what a scholar may reasonably imply, infer, or conclude. And we're not relying on de Alwis and Jayawardena for this Wikipedia content, we're relying on Ruwanpura, and Ruwanpura is allowed to interpret and Wikipedia accepts secondary sources that interpert, so we don't hold that against Ruwanpura's book as a source for Wikipedia.
More centrally to the issue here, the quotation in question in Wikipedia is the one about women being raped and then being married to the rapists, not the one about highlighting cases. The de Alwis and Jayawardena citation is for the sentence about highlighting. The sentence in question is Ruwanpura's interpretation and that may be used in Wikipedia even without a deeper citation. We can cite Ruwanpura for that.
You're on the verge of an editorial standard that is excellent for some other websites and publishers, including very high quality ones relied on in academe. And by that standard you may choose not to add content, just as I generally do not add content from fields grounded on premises with which I fundamentally disagree. You may edit or propose an edit to any policies and guidelines, even if they would fundamentally revamp what Wikipedia is about; but unless and until such edits are made, the current policies and guidelines remain in effect. Various websites fulfill various purposes; Wikipedia's is largely to report what secondary sources say. Ruwanpura's work meets that standard on the point in question.
Scholars are logical but may interpolate information and build logical cases either with or without that information which some accept and others reject. People in the same field tend eventually to find their conclusions converging as they come to agree on more fundaments, but even so not always, and we report in Wikipedia the scholarly consensus and also much that is not scholarly consensus.
Where sources disagree, we report both sides of the disagreement. While an editor is free not to add content because the editor disagrees with it, that same disagreement is not ground for removal of that content. It stays and the contrary content is added. Readers may make up their own minds.
Sometimes, a scholarly consensus says one thing and a former consensus that was contrary no longer enjoys consensus and the article has become long enough to require paring for space, relying on the principle of due weight; the former consensus of scholars would only be reported in a history of the subject. However, if the article does have room, that history can still be reported in the same article.
The passage of years generally does not invalidate a conclusion, unless new information is developed during those years and it is contradictory, as that may invalidate later conclusions that don't consider the new information. However, passage of time alone is not relevant. That includes durations of far longer than 14 years.
You wrote, "She did write what Nick stated that she wrote, but she did not say (nor write nor suggest) what he stated that she said". That's self-contradictory, unless you thought that say does not include 'write'. Saying includes 'writing', in the definitions of say on Merriam-Webster's website, and Merriam-Webster is an authoritative source of definitions. You wrote, "Nick Levinson is illogical and wrong in stating that she 'said' it" (emphases in original); either that misunderstands say or is part of the self-contradiction error. Suggesting, of course, is subsumed within saying and writing; she wrote and thus said it, so she more than suggested it. The quotation and how I described it are accurate.
Since we may use the verb "wrote" or "said" to describe a quotation from a printed source, to describe this quotation as "implied" would be odd, at best. Consider this hypothetical case: "Smith wrote, 'Mars is allegedly the home of Martians running around.'" If Smith wrote that, then this is correct: "Smith wrote that someone claimed that Mars has Martians and that they run from place to place. Smith therefore implied that Mars is allegedly the home of Martians running around." But it's the rare case where this would be quite correct: "Smith implied, 'Mars is allegedly the home of Martians running around.'" So, not only would "falsely implied" be wrong, "implied" even without the adverb would be bad in context. The verbs said and wrote are correct.
Rape and marriage of the raped to the rapist are indeed examples of practices that contravene a romanticization of women's status in that matrilineal society.
The example given by Ruwanpura is not just implied, it is stated. Ruwanpura did not name a woman who was subject to what is in the example, but it is still an example, specifically an example of a practice and folklore that contravene a "picture". Being stated, it does not need to be labeled as merely implied.
Thus, I'm restoring the Ruwanpura content recently deleted. Please do not resume deleting it. So far, there has not been a good reason for deleting it. But there is something else you may do.
The opportunity this leaves you and any other editor is that you can report, if sourcing is available, that rape is no more frequent in eastern Sri Lanka or in matrilineal societies generally or even that it is less frequent or even nonexistent or that there are better ways of coping with it (law enforcement, community support, direct response, etc.) in eastern Sri Lanka or in matrilineal societies than elsewhere in the world. That likely would not replace the Ruwanpura content about rape, but would go near it, because we report both sides of an issue.
We do not ordinarily need to contact source authors for news of new content, of republished content, or of corrections to old content, but are free to add such if it becomes known to us. If Ruwanpura has issued a correction, that would be ground for correcting the content attributed to her in Wikipedia and perhaps for its removal, but I don't know of such an issuance and my guess is you don't either. A difference of opinion is not necessarily a correction; thus, it would be treated as a difference of opinion. Ruwanpura might have discussed the issue later, but there's no reason to delete the content we're including in the article because of the mere possibility that she might have contradicted it later. If you find such a contradiction, we might still report both sets of content, even though they're by the same author, unless one is explicitly a correction of the other. When there is simply a controversy, we report both sides.
Please do not discourage other editors from participating, as by your statement in your last post above ("I don't think our fellow-editors should take ... any time at all"). This talk page exists to support discussion and that is institutionally encouraged. However, note that article consensus must be within policy consensus and guideline consensus.
I appreciate your working on this; you're right that I did not trace as deeply as you have. I'm glad for your desire to help our readers. We may differ on how to do this, but we agree on the goals.
Nick Levinson (talk) 23:48, 19 August 2017 (UTC) (External links were as accessed 8-6-17 except for "over two years ago" & "source author may interpret their own sources", which were as accessed 8-18-17; the Google link was as accessed 8-6-17 & 8-19-17.) (23:58, 19 August 2017 (UTC): Corrected links.)Reply[reply]

Sun, 20Aug2017. Nick answered today, above, and says that “The example given by Ruwanpura is not just implied, it is stated.” This was and is the main point of our disagreement, as follows:

Her actual statement, her 5th sentence, is

  • 5th: A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married off/required to cohabit with the rapists!

But this 5th sentence does not state that the helpful example actually occurs, it only implies that the helpful example occurs. There is a subtle distinction between the two, that I’m sure most WP editors will notice. Nick is misunderstanding her sentence when he says the helpful example is stated to occur. “The example given by Ruwanpura” (Nick’s wording today) is just implied to occur, and is not stated to occur, exactly the opposite of what he says. Nick is just plain wrong about this main point.

Sorry, Nick, but I’m respectfully defending both our readers and WP’s reputation, against the harm caused by your rape-quote which was pointed out by my wife and mentioned in our earlier discussion on my Talk page. As I thoroughly explained in my 31Jul2017 entry above, your rape-quote is illogical and wrong, so it must be removed from WP.

Trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 23:19, 20 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, the 5th sentence does indeed "state that the helpful example actually occurs" (your words), because it is stating an example of a response in line with the "feminist concern". Ruwanpura has left open that examples other than young women being raped and required to marry or cohabit with their rapists are available, by offering this phenomenon as itself one example. Perhaps you are implying that Ruwanpura did not name people who were subjected to what that example describes, but she didn't have to in order to present that example and for her work to be a source for the Wikipedia content in question. Nick Levinson (talk) 22:38, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

request for Third Opinion[edit]

I've requested a third opinion (3O) on whether an issue of rape and forced marriages within a matrilineal society may be stated in this article. I have added it three times;(1st) (2rd) (3rd) the editor For7thGen has deleted it three times.(1st) (2rd) (3rd)

We agree that the content is sourced to a secondary source.(Talk 1) (2) However, the other editor says the source is itself not adequately sourced for this statement(Talk 3) (4) (5) (6) and therefore that the statement must be false.(Talk 7) I said that reliable sources do not need to source every statement in them(Talk 8) (9) and that the failure to do so for one point does not make a cited source false for that point.(Talk 10) In this case, the source does itself cite a source on the more general matter and the source author is within her intellectual authority to write what she has written based on her sourcing and her expertise and we may paraphrase or quote it and cite that latest source without citing earlier sources.

If all sources had to be traceable to earlier sources and they in turn had to be traceable to earlier sources without limit, nothing would meet that test and Wikipedia would have no content. We know today that light can travel through a vacuum because Einstein reinterpreted other people's experiment contrary to the experimenters' reported conclusion. While Wikipedia cannot contain original research, a source may contain its own original research and Wikipedia may report that content with that source.(Talk 11) Wikipedia can report Einstein's conclusion, even if some editors were to think Einstein was wrong.

If an editor believes given content is false, that editor is free not to add it. However, once another editor has added it, an editor's disbelief of the content is not ground for deletion.(Talk 12)

While the editor argues that the content is false (I don't think it is and the source does not support falsity), the editor has also suggested it should be in an article on rape(Talk 13) and has said that the content is true ("I agree with it wholeheartedly").(Talk 14) I said that content can be in two articles in Wikipedia.(Talk 15) The issue of choice of article has not been raised recently.

I have invited the other editor to seek and report content contrary to what is in dispute here, because Wikipedia reports disagreements between sources.(Talk 16) (17) I know of none and none has been forthcoming.

Some other issues on this matter have been raised,(Talk 18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) but the foregoing are the main issues.

No other editor has addressed this concern.

Nick Levinson (talk) 20:20, 9 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Third opinion response.
@Nick Levinson: My opinion is that unless there are other reliable sources proving the reliable source is wrong, then the source should be treated as correct and its removal resisted. A reliable source is sufficient for WP:V and I see no merit in arguments about the quality of the sources used by the source unless there are other sources of equal reliability being used in contention. In my opinion the amount of writing you have come up with on such a simple matter is astonishing, however part of the issue is in fact the content of the book, can it be verified the quote is in fact, the correct quote from the book, and not a misstatement based on incorrect assumptions of the meaning of ambiguous wording?
@For7thGen: Your argument is rather long winded, are you arguing the source Nick is using is unreliable, or that it does not contain the meaning Nick has extracted from the text? And if the latter, what is your interpretation of the text and is it available online?
Α Guy into Bοοks § (Message) -  12:44, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your questions, A Guy into Books. 1) I am arguing (reasoning, actually) that his Ruwanpura source “does not contain the meaning Nick has extracted from the text”. 2) My interpretation of the Ruwanpura text is strictly based on the text itself and its meaning in good English, so it is not available online elsewhere, just here in this Talk section or subsection.
And this above-mentioned text is part of footnote 7 on p. 76 of Ruwanpura, a book which only cost me $2.08 +3.99 or $6.07 total so I have my own copy.
I plan to write some replies at appropriate points above and maybe below, tomorrow. But there is a lot of ground to cover, on only a few hours notice for me due to other activities. For7thGen (talk) 05:16, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nick Levinson's comment
Thank you.
The passage relies on a quotation bounded with quotation marks and the quotation is accurate, except that there should be a four-period ellipsis rather than a three-period one in the middle of it.
My photocopy of the source (which I photocopied from the book myself) says this, including what was quoted and what was paraphrased relevant to this dispute (brackets so in original): "[NOTE: Feminists have criticized Yalman's work for romanticizing the position and status of women in Sri Lanka. Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena drew attention to this criticism, by highlighting cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture painted by Yalman. A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists! A Sri Lankan film, Baddegama, based on Leonard Woolf's book, The Village in the Jungle, recounts a similar incident in a rural village, although the location is Southern Sri Lanka]." Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Matrilineal Communities, Patriarchal Realities: A Feminist Nirvana Recovered, p. 76, n. 7.
It's also in Google Books. Although Google is selective and variable in showing snippets from books so that someone may not see what someone else may and someone may see on one day what is not shown on another day, when I accessed it Sunday (9-10-17) the passage was visible.
The editor For7thGen also quoted the entire passage for this talk page section (see the editor's paragraph beginning "For the sake of completeness"). The editor goes on in that post to argue for a "difference between rare isolated incidents and a pattern of such incidents" but does not point to any evidence that the incidents were "rare" or "isolated" and may not hold to that argument any more. If that evidence is available, it can be added to the quotation and the context.
I will wait at least a week before restoring (or deciding not to restore), so that For7thGen has time to respond to your request.
Nick Levinson (talk) 15:20, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I finally returned to this topic, today, accidentally just in time: I appreciate your giving me a week to respond -- tomorrow! I'll be working on it and responding tomorrow, and hopefully something still tonight. For7thGen (talk) 03:53, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


(ping @Nick Levinson:) Basically the text in contention is:

On the other hand, she also wrote that feminists have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka and said that, in accordance with "village practices and folklore[,] ... young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.</ref>

Is probably too short a quote, the truncated form is difficult to use objectively. Now quotes are supposed to be short (for COPYVIO reasons among others), however consider:

On the other hand, she also wrote that the feminists [[Malathi de Alwis]] and [[Kumari Jayawardena]] have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka put forward by Yalman, and said that they highlighted cases of village practices and folklore where "young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.</ref>

Note that the quote is even shorter, however, more of what Ruwanpura wrote is included in the paragraph, which gives more context. It would appear that Ruwanpura is herself paraphrasing Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena who drew attention to this criticism. Ruwanpura then uses a 'helpful example to press this feminist concern' - sentence breaks without punctuation before the quote: "is where young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!" Obviously "cases of village practices and folklore" is different to "in accordance with village practices and folklore" but is objectively more correct to what was written. It is pointless to try and paraphrase the last section of the quote, so I have left that as is.

I would support the quote being put back in with this alteration, which seems to deal with the argument, although waiting for For7thGen to comment would be polite. Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  16:04, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your proposal is a fine idea; I'm tweaking it a bit. Ruwanpura's sentence "[f]eminists have criticized Yalman's work ...." is about feminists in general, of whom two are cited, rather than the two being the only feminists the Ruwanpura passage encompassed. The rewrite also avoids the problem of exactly what it is that is the example Ruwanpura intended, which was in dispute. Nick Levinson (talk) 23:19, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps simply adding 'including'? Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  07:46, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, she also wrote that the feminists including [[Malathi de Alwis]] and [[Kumari Jayawardena]] have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka put forward by Yalman, and said that they highlighted cases of village practices and folklore where "young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.</ref>
I previously prepared the same for the likely restoration, except only that my text refers to "feminists" and not "the feminists", the "the"-less version being more consistent with the source's phrasing and meaning. At this point, I'm just waiting till the 19th of September in case of a response from the other editor. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 00:02, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the other hand, she also wrote that feminists including Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka put forward by Yalman, and said that they highlighted cases of village practices and folklore where "young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"[1]

On the other hand, she also wrote that feminists including [[Malathi de Alwis]] and [[Kumari Jayawardena]] have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka put forward by Yalman, and said that they highlighted cases of village practices and folklore where "young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.</ref>

Seems reasonable. Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  07:39, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@For7thGen: It is not a problem, I look forward to your thoughts on it. Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  08:08, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi to you both, and you will be glad to know that I am simply not able to defend our readers from your including Ruwanpura's rape-quote distortion about Eastern Sri Lanka.

I think that most editors, after a careful reading of her 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th sentences, would conclude that her 5th sentence does not apply to Eastern Sri Lanka, instead applying to Sri Lanka as a whole. But I can't prove it logically.

Let me point out that Ruwanpura could have written what you say she wrote, but she instead chose to break out the rape quote into a sentence of it own, her 5th sentence. That was her choice for her text, while you two are re-writing her text for her by directly connecting her rape-quote to her 3rd and 4th sentences, in one sentence of your own. Naughty, naughty, to rewrite one's source text for our WP readers to read. But the rape quote can be included without rewriting her text, in the following accurate sentence:

On the other hand, she also wrote that feminists including [[Malathi de Alwis]] and [[Kumari Jayawardena]] have criticized a romanticized view of women's lives in Sri Lanka put forward by Yalman, and mentioned the Southern Sri Lankan case "where young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.</ref>

I feel that I've done the best I could for our readers, For7thGen (talk) 00:16, 20 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not home right now, but it's likely I'll check tonight and if I agree that the source supports that then I'll edit (probably tomorrow) the article consistently with For7thGen's proposal. I appreciate the research, the cost, and the time put into this. Thank you. Nick Levinson (talk) 01:14, 21 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I took "Southern" out of For7thGen's proposed text, because what was Southern was "a similar incident in a rural village" ("a similar incident in a rural village, although the location is Southern Sri Lanka") and not directly about the example of the feminist critique, which was about Sri Lanka in general. The passage now refers to Sri Lanka as a whole for what is quoted, and that is consistent with the source ("[f]eminists have criticized Yalman's work for romanticizing the position and status of women in Sri Lanka...."). I think the reference to "Eastern" Sri Lanka dates back to earlier posts discussing the article and may not be important to this passage. As re-added, "Sri Lanka" as a whole is named in two places in the passage and the second may be redundant and deletable, but I'll leave it now. At any rate, the editing is now in place. Thank you to editors For7thGen and A Guy Into Books. Nick Levinson (talk) 18:00, 21 September 2017 (UTC) (Correction. 19:52, 21 September 2017 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Nick, I'm afraid you are rewriting the source text, by changing "Southern Sri Lanka" to "Sri Lankan". (What do you gain, really, by this rewriting? Your reasoning about it, in the above paragraph, cannot change the fact that you are rewriting.) I don't wish our readers to learn that WP editors rewrite their source texts.

Trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 19:32, 22 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

um... without being nitpicky, it does say cases - plural. Are we sure that they all happened in 'southern' Sri Lanka? Also this was not supposed to include the case in the film/book, but the just other cases brought up by the feminists, where does it say they were in southern Sri Lanka, I feel like I am missing something here.Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  08:51, 23 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, the word "Southern" does not belong there, precisely because putting it there makes the passage an inaccurate paraphrase of the source. Since the word "Southern" is not in the quotation in the latest article revisions as any of us wrote the quotation, the quotation itself is not being rewwritten by any of us. Since Ruwanpura's book has already been printed and no new edition is coming out (as far as I know), the source is not being rewritten by any of us.
Since I gave my reasoning in my last post above, anyone may try to refute it. In short, what was in Southern Sri Lanka was the locus of "a similar incident in a rural village". Nothing we've been reading and quoting places the case "where young women raped (usually by a man) are married-off/required to cohabit with the rapists!", which is situated generally in Sri Lanka, as if it was situated specifically Southern Sri Lanka. The source does not situate the case "where young women raped ...." in Southern Sri Lanka.
On the newer point raised, "cases" is plural but refers to a somewhat different though overlapping context. According to the Ruwanpura source, "Malathi de Alwis and Kumari Jayawardena drew attention to this criticism, by highlighting cases of village practices and folklore that contravene the favourable picture ...." Since the next sentence says, "A helpful example to press this feminist concern is where young women raped ....", in which "example" is singular, the example is only a subset of "cases". The film matter may not be among the "cases" at all, especially if the film matter did not come from de Alwis and Jayawardena, who did the highlighting of the cases and, as far as we can see from the source by Ruwanpura, did not place those cases specifically in the South.
With respect to Southernness, I suggest that, if anyone wants to re-insert the word "Southern" or anything like it for that meaning, please discuss the reasoning here, first, or cite a source that puts it into Southern Sri Lanka, since Ruwanpura did not.
Nick Levinson (talk) 19:33, 23 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please read my thorough explanation of what is wrong with the cases that you both are trusting Ruwanpura to have correctly provided support for, above, which I dated 30Jul2017 at the start and I signed off 31Jul2017. In Nick's case, please reread my thorough explanation.

I'll not be able to see your responses until 9Oct. Trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 00:34, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's off point, but I did read that and I explained why that explanation was wrong, in the response immediately following your post. In short: Wikipedia does not require that sources themselves have sources for every point, or for what we are quoting; a source's lack of a source does not make the source's information false; a source we may cite may include the source author's interpretations of information; the passage of time does not, by itself, generally invalidate a conclusion; we do not need to contact Ruwanpura herself; you were confused about say and write and about suggest and say; you may report from additional sources, if you find them; if you or anyone else disagrees with any of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines the person may edit a policy or guideline or propose an edit on a policy or guideline talk page.
Getting back on point, neither that explanation of yours nor my response to it is about "Southern", the word now under discussion regarding the film matter and the rape/marriage/cohabitation matter. Thus, so far, reasoning for reinsertion of "Southern" has not been provided. I suggest that the best you or any other editor can do is to find a source that says that the rape/marriage/cohabitation pattern of events is situated specifically in "Southern" Sri Lanka. As far as I know, no such source is available. Therefore, that claim of Southernness does not belong in this article. Perhaps it can go into a website that someone may choose to create, but not into Wikipedia.
Nick Levinson (talk) 03:33, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I actually disagree with both viewpoints... Ruwanpura has said something, her statement is reliable unless proven otherwise, I do not know where or when this happened, I suppose it is implied it was recent, and in somewhere in Sri Lanka. It would be helpful if @For7thGen: could identify the case involved, it may well have happened in southern Sri Lanka (well obviously unless it happened in northern Sir Lanka). It the meantime keep the word southern out of it, I can't see its support. On a unrelated note, why are we using this at all, the author has hardly done a good job writing this (really saying 'usually by man' in a country that has no homosexual rights?), is it not possible to find a better source? Α Guy into Books § (Message) -  12:17, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rape can be within the same sex regardless of law, and in the U.S. sometimes is, although in Sri Lanka forcing into marriage would not apply and probably cohabitation wouldn't be expected, either. But Ruwanpura's statement as published and as quoted would still be generally accurate; in most places to my knowledge, most rape is heterosexual.
I don't know of a better source. Ruwanpura may simply not have gone into great depth on the matter, focusing more on other parts, but still giving enough on our subject for Wikipedia to report it. My guess is that a better source might exist but not in English. Sri Lanka's official languages are Sinhalese and Tamil and most local people speak one of them, so interview and other research material is probably mainly in those two languages or in the languages of visiting international scholars and other investigators, not necessarily English. If finding another source results in a disagreement between sources, unless one is overwhelmingly of better quality than the other, we probably should report both. But I guess that the other editor considered locating that research (at least I invited it) and no one has found it yet. I doubt anyone's holding it back.
Thanks for correcting my misspelling.
Nick Levinson (talk) 00:37, 26 September 2017 (UTC) (Correction: 00:44, 26 September 2017 (UTC))Reply[reply]


I removed the section on Comoros from this Matrilineality article. I have thoroughly searched online for any evidence that Comoros has any connection to Matrlineality, and found none, zero, nada. Thus Comoros does not belong in this article. I did find that housing there is often matrilocal, in the Encyclopedia Brittanica's article on Comoros, in its Housing section, and readers can see that statement in context at the external link [3].

I can not afford the time to correct the Wikipedia article Comoros about this matrilineality topic, but someone else should.

For7thGen (talk) 02:08, 23 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would have tagged the paragraph ( for Citation Needed and then someone could have deleted later if still unsupported, but I'll leave this alone. Adding the Britannica material looks okay, if someone would like to. I haven't read Britannica's passage myself but I take your word for it. Nick Levinson (talk) 20:29, 25 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deleting a paragraph in Indonesia section[edit]

Until now the last paragraph in the Indonesia section has been :

Besides Minangkabau, several other ethnics in Indonesia are also matrilineal and have similar culture as the Minangkabau. They are Suku Melayu Bebilang, Suku Kubu and Kerinci people. Suku Melayu Bebilang live in Kota Teluk Kuantan, Kabupaten Kuantan Singingi (also known as Kuansing), Riau. They have similar culture as the Minang. Suku Kubu people live in Jambi and South Sumatera. They are around 200 000 people. Suku Kerinci people mostly live in Kabupaten Kerinci, Jambi. They are around 300 000 people

These peoples are being unjustly forced to stop their traditional lifestyle, and certainly have my sympathy. For an example see the WP article Kubu people, which describes the forest-dwelling lifestyle of the Kubu people. Their lifestyle won't be possible when there are no more wild forests in their SE part of Sumatra, the provinces of Jambi and South Sumatra (or Sumatera). In the WP article they are stated to be "highly egalitarian", which may be much better than matrilineal but is not matrilineal. (And of course their culture is not similar to the Minang, how could it be?) In the absence of evidence that any of the 3 listed peoples are matrilineal, I am just "being bold" and removing the whole paragraph while preserving the paragraph here. Trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 02:34, 5 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

discussion on Sri Lanka, Ruwanpura, and relationships[edit]

A discussion is underway with respect to this article and material by Ruwanpura. Feel free to participate. Nick Levinson (talk) 02:43, 7 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

wondering about Humphries citation for Ruwanpura quotation[edit]

How does note 51 support this portion of the article's Sri Lanka section's subsection on matriaral-patriarchal mixture?

According to Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, "Sri Lanka .... is highly regarded even among feminist economists for the relatively favourable position of its women, reflected [in part] in the ... matrilineal and bilateral inheritance patterns and property rights",[61][51][a]

Unless Humphries, the author cited in what is now note 51, has the same quotation, which then would seem to be a redundant citation, I assume she supports a more general point. Since note 51 also appears earlier in the article, what may be needed is that the note not appear twice but that two notes citing Humphries be presented, the one elsewhere staying as it is and this one being rewritten as more general or as making whatever point is appropriate. I don't have the Humphries source, so I'm not the one who can do that.

Nick Levinson (talk) 19:51, 11 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Ruwanpura already did the work for you, Nick, and for me also, especially me. Your above quote from Ruwanpura is from her p.1, where she refers to "Humphries 1993: 228", so instead of simply reusing note 51 -- evidently two years ago I was so hurried that I didn't even notice the 228 -- I should have used p.228, giving a new note 62 immediately after your note 61. So you don't need to have the Humphries book, and I'm sure you do have the Ruwanpura book. And I also have only the Ruwanpura book. I hope this answers your question and the rest of your entry above. (The earlier note 51 was more general and this one, the new note 62, is the more specific one, based on Ruwanpura's inline reference quoted above.) I hope to have that change made (a new note 62) along with other changes, within this coming week. Good luck to us all. And I wasn't aware of your entry here until about 4 days ago when I happened to look at this talk page. For7thGen (talk) 23:08, 16 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jeju people not matrilineal[edit]

An anonymous or IP editor added 3 different peoples or societies on 25Apr2017, without providing the required source references. One of the 3 was the Jeju people of So. Korea, who are matriarchal but not matrilineal, as follows. In the article Jeju Province, the wording used is, quote, "Another distinct aspect of Jeju is the matriarchal family structure, found especially in Udo and Mara, but also present in the rest of the province. The best-known example of this is found among the haenyeo ("sea women"), who were often the heads of families, because they controlled the income." However, matrilineality involves inheritance, something such as a surname or property or a public office, handed down the matriline or mother-line, from mother to daughter.

I have also searched well but unsuccessfully for any evidence of such inheritance among the Jeju. So I am removing the Jeju people from this Matrilineality article. For7thGen (talk) 04:10, 3 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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links and Efn tags generally and on Eastern Sri Lanka[edit]

On recent edits:

Quotations should not have links inside of them (unless the quoted sources have them too, but that's rare). A preferred method is to add Efn templates after the quotations.

Editing a quotation about Sri Lanka to narrow its applicability to eastern Sri Lanka is appropriate and was artfully handled.

Thank you. Nick Levinson (talk) 03:57, 11 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And thank you, Nick. I think you and I (=Frank) agree that, in your Sri Lanka subsection, we should violate the WP:MOS Manual of Style's Section 9 about Quotations ("try not to overuse them" and "Using too many quotes is incompatible with an encyclopedic writing style.") Namely, Ruwanpura's text is too complicated and delicate to be adequately paraphrased and summarized by anyone; instead her text must often be quoted, both appropriately and clearly. We should have "too many quotes".
Now in response to your message above, I have contrived to relocate all my links from within quotations, at the cost of disrupting one's reading of your subsection. If you however do agree with me that Ruwanpura's complicated and delicate text justifies violating the WP:MOS guideline against any links within any quotations, "generally", then please just undo my edit of a few minutes ago. (I realize that's not likely.)
I should mention that your above message's preferred method using Efn's is much more disruptive for our readers (just think about it!). And I thoroughly searched for other ways to drop these 9 forbidden links, with partial success. I was able to drop the links to patriarchal and patriarchy, because of my link to them in the main section, above your subsection. But otherwise I had to relocate quote marks as needed. The result is disruptive for our readers....
While I mention "eastern Sri Lanka", twice, outside of any quotations, I only mention "Sri Lanka" within any quotation; thus I am unable to understand the last sentence in your above message. Perhaps you wanted to add an upbeat last sentence, so I accept it as such. Thank you. For7thGen (talk) 23:20, 16 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On controversial points, I prefer quoting to paraphrasing. I haven't checked lately whether it violates a provision or not since I recall that there is authority for using quotations in such cases.
I still prefer Efn tags but I don't plan to change your style. I can see an argument for either method. I suppose either method may be disruptive, but embedding links in quotations is usually inaccurate, so maybe there's no great solution. Were this not a wiki, perhaps one could bracket note references in a quotation that follows whatever would otherwise qualify to become a link or to get an Efn tag, because the bracketing would mean that it was not in the original being quoted, but this being a wiki all note references are bracketed, so that meaning is lost, so that method is unavailable here. So your solution or Efn tags may be the best solution left.
Dividing quotations creats a technical problem with citations. Consider this hypothetical model: "Saturn is a planet encircled with rings."<ref>Guide to Planets, p. 28.</ref> If modified: "Saturn is a planet" [[circle|encircled]] "with rings."<ref>Guide to Planets, p. 28.</ref> But that could mean that the citation is only for the last quotation, "with rings.", and not for the prior quotation, "Saturn is a planet", which then may be misperceived as a quotation without a citation. The solution: "Saturn is a planet" [[circle|encircled]] "with rings."<ref>Guide to Planets, p. 28 (both quotations).</ref> The difference is in adding "(both quotations)" into the citation. Some editors apparently think that's too much trouble but, if it goes in, it tends to stay in and it helps with accuracy.
I wasn't fishing for a nice thing to say. I think I was referring to the diff in which the quotation is newly described as being about Eastern Sri Lanka and formerly described as being about Sri Lanka. The quotation itself mentions Sri Lanka, implying the whole, so, in my Talk post, I erred in that instead of writing "[e]diting a quotation about Sri Lanka to narrow its applicability to eastern Sri Lanka" I should have written "[e]diting about a quotation on Sri Lanka to narrow its applicability to eastern Sri Lanka". Thank you for catching that.
Nick Levinson (talk) 18:50, 8 July 2017 (UTC) (Corrected my misspelling: 19:02, 8 July 2017 (UTC))Reply[reply]
About your preferring quoting to paraphrasing, please keep in mind that clarity is absolutely necessary in an online encyclopedia such as WP. Would you claim that your original long string of quotes was clear to the readers? Of course not. So paraphrasing is absolutely needed to help the readers understand the complicated and delicate topic of this subsection.
About "Dividing quotations creating a technical problem with citations": My citations are accurate, for each sentence or phrase for which I give a citation. The citation applies to the whole sentence or phrase, including quotes and paraphrasing both. You are lecturing me when I am way ahead of you, I'm sorry to say.
About "The quotation itself mentions Sri Lanka, implying the whole," I think you are belaboring this point. Since the whole book is about Eastern Sri Lanka, where the book's topic matrilineality is, Ruwanpura can rely on most readers to use the context to understand whether she means Eastern or whole Sri Lanka. This is trivial, and we editors on WP should not spend our valuable time on such trivia.
I am trying to communicate clearly and respectfully, both. For7thGen (talk) 16:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought we were more or less agreeing on using quotations in some contexts. Both clarity and accuracy are necessary; we agree on that. I thought what I had added was clear but you find it was not and perhaps for a wider audience it needed clarification and as long as content due weight is in there I'm not worrying too much about how (within policies and guidelines and I think we agree on that, too).
Some editors put a single citation at the end of a paragraph. That's allowed by WP with one exception, which is that every quotation has to be supported by a citation. Thus, "'A' B 'C' (source)" would be ambivalent or silent about the source for A. I'm used to reading books and articles that have many note citations within a single paragraph, even several within a single sentence, but many people recoil from reading anything with any note references, so an in-between style for paraphrased sources is common in WP. Since "all quotations" must have citations, I don't think it's bad for readers to say that a cite is for two quotations.
No, it's not belaboring. I said the edit "is appropriate and was artfully handled". Most WP readers do not dig out most sources cited in WP, even when interested, so the presentation is helpful.
Thank you for what you are contributing.
Nick Levinson (talk) 22:50, 15 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removing Guanches subsection from In Africa section[edit]

The subsection Guanches was added in an edit at exactly 10:21, 9 November 2014, but that editor provided no source reference for it, violating the cardinal rule of Wikipedia.

I have Googled this topic, Guanches, thoroughly, plus checking Library of Congress Country Studies's avenues, The World Factbook's avenues, and much more. I am unable to find any real or actual sources for matrilineality among the Guanches, who effectively were wiped out by the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands in 1496, more than 500 years ago. The editor who added the Guanches subsection presumably was similarly unsuccessful, but was willing to violate Wikipedia's requirements for reliability of its encyclopedic information. I myself need and support the reliability of WP's information, and am glad that most editors do. I am removing the subsection. For7thGen (talk) 17:48, 17 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, the editor Bentaguayre did provide a good 2014 book on current archaeology research in the Canary Islands, as his/her source ref, satisfying WP requirements just fine for matrilineality among the Guanches, with the help of other WP editors to get this Google Books source working well. The 2014 book simply makes the matrilineality statement, without any support of course, but that provides the only reliability possible in this case. Therefore the Guanches people do belong here in the Matrilineality article, and I am restoring the Guanches subsection including its first sentence. Of course other editors can restore the other sentences of that subsection if they also provide source refs to assure the reliabilty of WP's information. For7thGen (talk) 12:21, 2 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sri Lanka and Ruwanpura and quotations on legal recourse and feminist consciousness[edit]

I'd like to restore the following, which came out May 31, but which I think still have due weight for the subject (here I replaced "[s]he" with who she is, Ruwanpura): Ruwanpura wrote that "female-heads have no legal recourse" from "patriarchal interests".<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 182 (both quotations).</ref> According to her, "some female heads possessed" "feminist consciousness"<ref>Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 142 (both quotations).</ref> Nick Levinson (talk) 19:11, 8 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry to be so slow. I finally figured out how (and where) to restore the first quotation pair and did so, using your above source ref verbatim. But I think most readers do not need this added sentence, with its disruption thus harming more than helping. If you agree with me, please just Undo my edit.
In contrast, your second quotation pair concerns a very complicated and delicate concept which Ruwanpura calls "feminist consciousness", which cannot reasonably be included in WP because it can not be explained to the readers without their actually reading the previous 26 pages of Chapter 7, I'm sorry to say. Always trying to help our readers, For7thGen (talk) 01:07, 18 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Solved. Thank you on the first pair and I added the second. I don't think either harmfully disrupts, although it may be a little unexpected in addition to being informative. I added on your word a reference to the earlier part of the chapter, so readers will know where to follow up. I think the Efn tag works well for this situation, so I added that. In general, Wikipedia adds much content that might be a sentence long but is often clarified by several or hundreds of pages of source material; medical content comes to mind. As long as the summary, paraphrase, or representation is reasonable and is not adversely cherrypicked, we're okay. Thanks again. Nick Levinson (talk) 05:26, 23 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the way you explained feminist consciousness, Nick. Great. But you misread what I wrote above about "the previous 26 pages of Chapter 7"; see above. So I simply fixed your source ref by removing what you wrote about them, in Latin even!! Now our readers must be happy, For7thGen (talk) 03:45, 24 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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"While men held positions of religious and political power, Spartan constitution mandated that inheritance and proprietorship pass from mother to daughter.[24]" - The source that is given actually says that inheritance was passed equally to sons and daughters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:48, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. ^ Ruwanpura, 2006, p. 76 n. 7.