[Crm-sig] New Issue: Re-label E22, E25, E71 to remove "Man-"

Richard Light richard at light.demon.co.uk
Fri Apr 12 15:16:38 EEST 2019

A serious technical and cost concern for users of CRM would be that existing data encoded with the old URIs will now be incompatible with this new label. That is a significant trade off.
Ah, but if we had id-only URIs it wouldn't be an issue.  Just sayin' ...


On 12/04/2019 12:45, George Bruseker wrote:
Dear all,

I think there is a distinction to be made in the question of whether the language is in fact biased and whether it is perceived as biased. While I would agree with Pierre that there are arguments to be made that it is not in fact exclusive language in principle (and valid counterarguments to be sure), it is in fact taken by many as being biased and exclusive. This in itself makes it exclusive and this is unnecessary and unwanted.

Since a label in the ontology is just a label, and our intention with the label in this case is to give a heuristic to the ontology user in order to point towards non-naturally generated objects (man made object as we have said to now), I think that dropping 'man' from 'man made', does not impede this functionality.

Removing this part of the label, however, can remove an unintended impression of gender bias. This seems to be a functional gain that is compatible with the spirit of CIDOC CRM (view neutral by nature).

Between 'made' and 'human made', I would lean to the latter. 'Made Object' is already at the limit of understandability in English (it also has some unintended connotations of Mafia language). I think maybe 'human made', while sounding awkward in present day English, may be the direction that everyday language will go anyhow. 'Humankind' sounds very natural and more inclusive than 'mankind' certainly. The adjectival form will also follow.

Another concern is how problematic would the translation be. Checking the translations I could find, I did not find a major problem, but it is something to take into consideration.

A serious technical and cost concern for users of CRM would be that existing data encoded with the old URIs will now be incompatible with this new label. That is a significant trade off.

Finally, there is another class (E24) that includes man made. Added below.

E22 Ανθρωπογενές Αντικείμενο
E24 Ανθρωπογενές Υλικό Πράγμα
E25 Ανθρωπογενές Μόρφωμα
E71 Ανθρωπογενές Δημιούργημα

E22-人造物件 (Man-Made Object)
E24-人造实体物 (Physical Man-Made Thing)
E25-人造外貌表征 (Man-Made Feature)
E71-人造物 (Man-Made Thing)

E71 Künstliches
E22 Künstlicher Gegenstand
E24 Hergestelltes
E25 Hergestelltes Merkmal

I, in any case, think it is probably worth making the change -unless the costs to users in real terms is exorbitant - since the existing label can be perceived to be biased and this is wholly unintended by the community which aims to be both neutral and inclusive.



On 2019-04-12 14:23, Dominic Oldman wrote:
I strongly agree with Florian.

 It is simply right to make these changes.



FROM: Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr><mailto:crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr> on behalf of Florian
Kräutli <fkraeutli at mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de><mailto:fkraeutli at mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de>
SENT: 12 April 2019 11:35
TO: Pierre Choffé; Athanasios Velios; crm-sig at ics.forth.gr<mailto:crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
SUBJECT: Re: [Crm-sig] New Issue: Re-label E22, E25, E71 to remove

Dear Pierre and all,

I strongly disagree. This is not about the origins of the word but of
its usage and meaning in present day. The CRM should reflect
(changing) knowledge contexts and we as a community should react to
and respect developments in the world, and not decide based on our
personal opinions about them.

I think this should be put up as an issue and I would vote in favour
of either suggestion: dropping ‘man’ or replacing it with



On Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 12:13 PM +0200, "Pierre Choffé"
<choffepierre at gmail.com><mailto:choffepierre at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear all,

This subject is typical of the politically correct attitude of our
times and most people (including me) generally avoid getting
involved in such discussions - especially on social media where you
would immediately get drowned in a flood of insults - and the result
is that we have a feeling of consensus on the matter.

Now, we as a community might have a different point of view,
starting with the knowledge we have of the origin of the word "man"
(please consult the wikipedia page [2] for a brief introduction).
Can we please avoid this kind of discussions and leave it to Twitter
and Facebook ?

Et pax in Terra hominibus bonae volontatis... (any woman feeling
excluded here ?)

Have a nice day,

On Fri, Apr 12th, 2019 at 11:2 AM, Athanasios Velios
<a.velios at arts.ac.uk><mailto:a.velios at arts.ac.uk> wrote:

I support the change of the English labels to:

E22 Made Object
E25 Made Feature
E71 Made Thing

And I think this can be proposed as an issue to be voted through
the SIG

All the best,


On 12/04/2019 05:38, Robert Sanderson wrote:
Dear all,

On behalf of the Linked Art consortium, I would like to propose
that the
labels for E22 Man-Made Object, E25 Man-Made Feature and E71
Thing be changed to drop the unnecessarily gendered “Man-“.
In this day
and age, I think we should recognize that inclusion and
diversity are
core features of community acceptance, and that including
language is alienating.

Thus the proposal is: E22’s label should be changed to Made
Object, E25
changed to Made Feature and E71 changed to Made Thing.

The “human” nature of the agent that does the making is
explicit in the
ontology, in that only humans or groups there-of can be Actors
and carry
out Productions or Creations, so there is no ambiguity about
making these.

This issue was discussed at length, and has been open in our
tracker for 12 months now. We would greatly prefer that it be
solved by
changing the labels in the documentation, and thereby in the
rather than other RDF specific approaches such as minting new
terms and
using owl:sameAs to assert equality, or rebranding only in the
serialization but persisting in other serializations. The change
consistent, reduces the length of the class names, and is an
substitution. The comprehensibility of the label is still the
Given the renaming of Collection to Curated Holding, migration
existing data has the same solution - just substitute the

As a second choice, if the above is not acceptable, we propose
instead replace “Man-“ with “Human-“ … only two
additional characters,
but a bit more of a mouthful.

Many thanks for your engagement with this issue!


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