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Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

by Caroline Criado Perez

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9043517,381 (4.26)55
Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives. Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women+‹, diving into women's lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor's office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Invisible Women takes on the assumption that men are the default human beings, elaborating at length on how women are indeed different, and equally human, and generally forgotten or ignored, to the detriment of their lives, success, and health. Criado Perez covers wide-ranging examples: spoke-and-hub transit planning that doesn't accommodate caretaking and chores, stress being an inhibitor of work success and women consistently having more background stress, medical trials deliberately not including women because of the complications of hormonal fluctuations and risk of pregnancy, and a cornucopia of other dimensions.

This book will hit you over the head with its message, and then hit you 1000 more times for good measure. It was good, and I'm glad I read it, but egads was it repetitious. Despite my antipathy, I have to admit that Criado Perez was darn effective. It would be hard for someone to walk away from this book without being converted and sent on their way with a salient handful of facts.

Overall, an excellent book for someone hyper-rational who doesn't quite see the point of feminism today, or for someone who wants to be able to argue for women rationally rather than morally or emotively. ( )
  pammab | Feb 14, 2021 |
If you're a woman, you probably won't be surprised by this book, but it will nonetheless probably induce rage in you. If you're a man, then this should be required reading. ( )
  lemontwist | Dec 28, 2020 |
This is a fascinating, frightening, appalling look at the way women are under-represented, at best, in many studies, ranging from design of homes and public spaces to medical research. This bias literally results in a world that is less safe for women, leading to increased injury and death in addition to many minor inconveniences such as long line-ups for washrooms at the theatre and cell phones designed to fit men's hands. When I saw this book, my first thought was that it was written 40-odd years ago, but no...it's current and the data biases live on. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 18, 2020 |
I listened to this as an audiobook and boy (or should that be girl), it made me angry and should make everyone angry. I was aware of some of it of course - I am female and a short female at that so I know all about bad design where I can't reach top shelves or the floor on couches or the endless queues for female toilets. But I'd never known or thought about some of the things talked about in this book such as poor urban design which forces women into dangerous situations, poor consideration of safety in transport, medical bias towards male testing only, lack of interest in fixing female health issues ( menopause anyone?). This is not mentioned in the book but I wonder if there is a reason medical scandals are often around obstetrics or dementia care where it mostly happens to women?
Now our world will operate on algorithms based on data biased towards men and it will become even harder to overcome. Made me very angry. ( )
  infjsarah | Dec 17, 2020 |
Truly excellent. I borrowed it from the library then liked it so much I bought it. I am certain I will flip back to a few chapters in the future. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Nov 29, 2020 |
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Epigraph
Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth.

Simone de Beauvoir
Dedication
For the women who persist: keep on being blood difficult
First words
Preface

Most of recorded human history is one big data gap.
Introduction: The default male

Seeing men as the human default is fundamental to the structure of human society.
Chapter 1.
Can snow-clearing be sexist?


It all started with a joke.
Quotations
The truth is that around the world, women continue to be disadvantaged by a working culture that is based on the ideological belief that male needs are universal, (Ch3 - The Long Friday, p86 hardback edition)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives. Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women+‹, diving into women's lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor's office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.

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