Site Wikipedia is receiving criticism after a New York Times contributor noted that they moved the majority of female novelists to their own section on the site, with the "American Novelist" category consisting mainly of men.
Amanda Filipacchi said the main category "American Novelists" used to consist of men and women, but it is now being cut down to just men, as moderators for the site move the women writers to their own subcategory.
"People who go to Wikipedia to get ideas for whom to hire, or honor, or read, and look at that list of 'American Novelists' for inspiration, might not even notice that the first page of it includes far more men than women. They might simply use that list without thinking twice about it. It's probably small, easily fixable things like this that make it harder and slower for women to gain equality in the literary world," Filipacchi said.
Among the women removed from the main category are Slyvia Plath, Harper Lee, Ayn Rand, Anne Rice, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt and Flannery O'Connor.
Most of these women used to be included on the "American Novelists" list.
"If you look back in the 'history' of these women's pages, you can see that they used to appear in the category 'American novelists,' but that they were recently bumped down. Male novelists on Wikipedia, however - no matter how small or obscure they are - all get to be in the category 'American Novelists,'" she noted.
After writing the article, Wikipedia editors have started adding female novelists back to the main section.
They said they originally did it because the main section was becoming too large, with almost 4,000 names.