Category talk:Births out of wedlock

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This category is problematic - it's at once overly broad (is it really appropriate to list people who were born in slavery? Elizabeth I's parents were certainly married at the time of her birth, regardless of whether their marriage was retroactively annulled as a political ploy. What about people whose parents were married, just not to each other? Where are the fossilized remains of prehistoric humans?) and overly narrow (this is certainly not a defining characteristic for most people, with the possible exception of the notable illegitimate children of royalty).

I think it would be reasonable to have the category only be for graphs and such pertaining to births out of wedlock. Examples of people, though, are... it seems like that could cause trouble. DS (talk) 20:30, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Such potentially sensitive categories should not be applied to people without clear proof, and it seems to have been applied in error to some others. I just removed the category from Category:Justin Welby, who was born to a married couple (although apparently his mother was not married to his biological father). There seem to be no equivalent categories for people in Wikipedias, and it doesn't seem like a useful defining characteristic for media files. Looking at the categories this category belongs to also makes me think it should not include any people. I agree that the scope of the category should be limited in the way DS suggests. Kusma (talk) 20:38, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Me too – people aren't births, and dividing people into the marital status of their parents is imo clearly inappropriate given the (not only historically) frequent derogatory use of such labelings.    FDMS  4    20:45, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
If there's no compelling argument against my suggestion (to remove all specific people from this category) by ... say, four days from now... I'll implement it. DS (talk) 00:35, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Per the Wikidata link, the equivalent on the English Wikipedia for this Commons category is en:Legitimacy (family law). There is no equivalent category for people on the English Wikipedia, but there is an equivalent list of people in the "Notable people" section of that article. If there is a reason that listing people individually on this topic is objectionable on a Commons category page but not in a Wikipedia article, then we should state this reason explicitly on the category page. This category has three subcategories that list people individually: Extramarital offspring of Swedish royalty, Illegitimate children of French monarchs, and Coats of arms of illegitimate sons of King Charles II of England. If we are going to treat the parent category differently than the subcategories by listing individual people in the subcategories but not in the parent category, we should give a clear reason for this difference on the page itself. Neelix (talk) 00:55, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
The list on the English Wikipedia is also problematic (and partially incorrect, mixing several different definitions). I think it would be better to not list or categorise people by this at all. Kusma (talk) 09:16, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I have removed the list of people on the English Wikipedia. Kusma (talk) 10:14, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Shall I go ahead and strip them out of the category? DS (talk) 06:00, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
First, we need to be able to articulate on the category page why this category doesn't include individual people but its subcategories do. Neelix (talk) 19:00, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, please go ahead. Per Neelix' argument, perhaps you should also de-categorise the subcategories so only statistics-related images remain. Kusma (talk) 10:43, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
May I suggest that in the future, before making a change that will affect dozens of pages, you should indicate somewhere more public (e.g. the Village pump, or CFD) that such a discussion is taking place? Keep in mind, very few people who would have been watching the pages from which you removed this category had any likelihood of knowing this discussion was taking place, since they weren't watching the category as such. - Jmabel ! talk 05:05, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
FTR, I started a CFD, so at least the creator of the category was notified.    FDMS  4    12:23, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm glad you started a CFD; I missed it because the action was taken so soon after starting it. Keep in mind, even many people strongly involved in categorization only look at CFD about once a week. Also, my concern wasn't that people who had worked directly on the category wouldn't be informed: it was that the dozens or hundreds of people whose categories would have this one removed as a parent would not be informed. Removals of parent categories are particularly hard to reverse on any comprehensive basis, so if later consensus went the other way, the change that was made here would be a particularly hard one to roll back (there is no "what used to be in this category" query). The only way it could sanely be rolled back would be to look through the contribution logs of the person or people who did the removal. - Jmabel ! talk 17:48, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Where is that CFD? I can't find it. - Jmabel ! talk 00:00, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the concerns I have raised have been understood. As it currently stands, the statement on this category page doesn't provide any reason for this category not listing individual people; it just states that this category doesn't list individual people. We need to provide a clear reason on the front-facing page. Secondly, the subcategories have been removed from this category, but they still list individual people. The problem wasn't that they were subcategories, but that the way we are treating this category is inconsistent with how we are treating those categories; we have excluded individual people from this category but not from the former subcategories, despite all of these categories relating to births out of wedlock. Now we have the additional problem that two valid subcategories are inexplicably excluded from this category page. Either 1) the former subcategories (Extramarital offspring of Swedish royalty, Illegitimate children of French monarchs, and Coats of arms of illegitimate sons of King Charles II of England) should be deleted, or 2) the individual people categories should be re-added to this category, or 3) a clear reason for the inconsistency should be added to this category page. Neelix (talk) 13:12, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
IMO (only) the three linked former/current subcategories should be made/remain subcategories of this category.    FDMS  4    16:17, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Certainly, any outcome should include those three categories becoming subcategories of this one again, unless they are to be deleted. What remains is to determine whether there is a reason for the inconsistency and, if there is, what it is. Unless there are objections, I will reinstate Extramarital offspring of Swedish royalty, Illegitimate children of French monarchs, and Coats of arms of illegitimate sons of King Charles II of England as subcategories. Neelix (talk) 20:55, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Because no one objected, I re-added Extramarital offspring of Swedish royalty and Illegitimate children of French monarchs to this category. Is there any preference on which of the three options I list above should be pursued? Option #2 (re-add the individual people categories) seems to me to be the default option, but I will only pursue it if there are no objections and if no one pursues one of the other two options. Neelix (talk) 02:09, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Reasons to not have individual people on this list include that it is a potentially very sensitive issue and that it is very poorly defined (people who were born in cultures that did not formalize 'marriage' in the way we formalize it now? people who were born in cultures that barred their parents from participating in formalized marriage for reasons of human slavery? people whose parents were married but not to each other? people who were born to recently widowed mothers? people born as the result of sperm donors? people born to parents whose marriages were retroactively -- or even posthumously -- annulled for political reasons?). Good enough? DS (talk) 14:22, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

@DragonflySixtyseven: I am not arguing that there are insufficient reasons for excluding individuals from this category. I arguing that, if such reasons are deemed sufficient, 1) they should be stated on the category page, and 2) the inconsistency between how this category treats individuals and how its subcategories treat individuals needs to be either justified or rectified. First things first: Do you feel comfortable amending the statement on this category page to include the reason(s) why individuals are excluded from the category? Neelix (talk) 15:43, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
That seems like it could be excessive; perhaps a note to see the talk page? DS (talk) 15:56, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
That's a fair compromise. I have added the link in a manner modeled after a similar link on the Old women category page. What is your preference on how to resolve or justify the inconsistency between this category and its subcategories? Do you see a reason why it is valid to list individuals on the subcategory pages? Neelix (talk) 23:15, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not entirely convinced it's necessary for those categories to exist at all, come to think of it. "Coats of arms of illegitimate sons of King Charles II of England" could just as easily be "Coats of arms of sons of King Charles II of England", for instance, and "Illegitimate children of French monarchs‎" could likewise be "Children of French monarchs" (althouh they certainly weren't all children!) . "Extramarital offspring of Swedish royalty" declares that it contains "illegitimate (non-royal) sons and daughters & grandchildren", but a) most of the people in the category were aristocracy -- barons, counts, etc -- and b) if you're going to extend the definition of 'illegitimacy' any further back than one generation, you risk making everyone illegitimate. DS (talk) 18:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)