A raging row has developed over who is am “American novelist”. The matter is described by James GLIECK http://bit.ly/11B9uRe. I recommend reading the comments as well, for they illuminate the subject matter significantly (as well as the attitudes).
Here the conundrum in a nutshell: when a category becomes too large to handle on the screen, Wikipedia creates subcategories to ease the search. The process is called “diffusion”.
There are too many American novelists – diffuse! Problems arise when the diffusion process occurs – or appears to occur – selectively. A sub-category “American woman novelists” was created. Its logical companion “sub" – namely “American men novelists – was not created at the same time. This asymmetry has been perceived as sexist – and it may well reflect the charge.
My take? Simple. Diffusion must always be integral. If the sub-categories do not map the whole space, a category “not otherwise classified” must be created.
Would American men writers accept classification as “American writers not otherwise classified”?