Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman.Invisible Women shows us how, in...

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Title:Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
Author:Caroline Criado Perez
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Edition Language:English

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men Reviews

  • Zoë

    "Like so many of the decisions to exclude women in the interests of 'simplicity', from architecture to medical research, this conclusion could only be reached in a culture that conceives of men as the default human, and women as a niche aberration. To distort a reality you are supposedly trying to measure makes sense only if you don't see women as essential. It doesn't make sense if you're talking about half the human race. And it doesn't make sense if you care about accurate data."

    And there you

    "Like so many of the decisions to exclude women in the interests of 'simplicity', from architecture to medical research, this conclusion could only be reached in a culture that conceives of men as the default human, and women as a niche aberration. To distort a reality you are supposedly trying to measure makes sense only if you don't see women as essential. It doesn't make sense if you're talking about half the human race. And it doesn't make sense if you care about accurate data."

    And there you have it. For years and years and years, society has ignored the fact that women are physiologically different to men and as a result have completely different needs. And as a result of this women are being put in danger and mistreated because society treats them as an aberration from the "norm". In this, the 21st century when women's capabilities, endurance and perspective is adding more value than ever, the facts that the design of things all around us is holding us back is ever more stark.

    I am absolutely furious. Everybody needs to read this book. We are so far from an equal society, and we have no idea just how deep set that divide is.

  • Zoe Obstkuchen

    I wish I could make everyone read this book in the hope that every man could actually see how insignificant women are in a male-oriented world. Quite simply, we do not exist.

    When I was 13 I adored reading Sherlock Holmes stories but I soon worked out that when a man refers to ‘people’ what he actually means is ‘other men’. Every single thing that impacts on the lives of women has actually been designed by men for the benefit of men. From cars to taxes, from medication to disaster relief time and

    I wish I could make everyone read this book in the hope that every man could actually see how insignificant women are in a male-oriented world. Quite simply, we do not exist.

    When I was 13 I adored reading Sherlock Holmes stories but I soon worked out that when a man refers to ‘people’ what he actually means is ‘other men’. Every single thing that impacts on the lives of women has actually been designed by men for the benefit of men. From cars to taxes, from medication to disaster relief time and time again women suffer, die and are sidelined because instead of being seen at 50% of the population we are simply seen as non-standard men.

  • Gwen

    This is a book about unconscious bias. It's not about men deliberately excluding women when considering things like uniforms, city travel, or treatments for medical conditions ... although it's true that once the bias is pointed out, it's not always top of the list to make safety adjustments. And that's really one of the most important points of the book: it endangers women if you design and build the world without considering women's needs and habits. Women are built in a particular way, and th

    This is a book about unconscious bias. It's not about men deliberately excluding women when considering things like uniforms, city travel, or treatments for medical conditions ... although it's true that once the bias is pointed out, it's not always top of the list to make safety adjustments. And that's really one of the most important points of the book: it endangers women if you design and build the world without considering women's needs and habits. Women are built in a particular way, and they are socially conditioned in a particular way, and they're treated in a particular way - comparing all this to men's situation is useful only to a certain extent because it is so easy for everyone to slip into the mindset that men are the default human, and women are, as the author notes, "niche". We design things for people, but really only think of men and their needs because - and companies and designers are open about this - women are harder, with our non-linear bodies and hormones meaning that more sophisticated (and more expensive) research needs to be done.

    We also design things for men because men are the designers for the most part. They have no experience being women of course, and don't really look into it because, for the most part, it doesn't occur to them. If you're a woman, just think about all the books you've read through the years about male experience, with a male protagonist, and presented - or even taught - to you as "human experience". We do it all the time, and I read books regularly with male protagonists sorting out their stuff (if you follow me here, you'll see plenty of ex-Navy-SEALS running around). But women's experience in novels and poems? That's women's experience only. My point here is that while women are trained to identify with both men and women, and indeed possibly favor the male experience, men aren't trained to look at - or think about - about women's experience.

    Criado Perez has really done her research, but what could have been a very statistic-heavy book is in fact very readable, engaging, and so enlightening. The Introduction should really be published on its own - it's magnificent. This is a book to buy and keep, and get some of those sticky notes because you'll want to mark pages for future reference!

  • Jenn

    This book is infuriating as it is fascinating.

  • Becky

    Do not read this if you are suffering from high blood pressure, because it is absolutely rage inducing. However EVERYONE should read this at some point, it looks at things that I had never even considered, genuinely brilliant.

  • Olivia

    Since I've picked up this book, I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to, and now I'm recommending it to

    . This is an extremely well-researched and comprehensive look at the gender data gap in all aspects of life, ranging from the utterly absurd to the life-threatening. The sub-subtitle of this book could be "but wait, there's more" as Criado Perez delves deep into the social construction of the gender data gap with both conscious humour and appropriate outrage. I cannot recommend this

    Since I've picked up this book, I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to, and now I'm recommending it to

    . This is an extremely well-researched and comprehensive look at the gender data gap in all aspects of life, ranging from the utterly absurd to the life-threatening. The sub-subtitle of this book could be "but wait, there's more" as Criado Perez delves deep into the social construction of the gender data gap with both conscious humour and appropriate outrage. I cannot recommend this enough.

  • K.H. Leigh

    Everybody needs to read this book. Everybody. Female, male, nonbinary, everybody.

    The introduction perfectly articulated and validated many of my own anecdotal observations - the pervasive idea that female is somehow a deviation of human, rather than the base model. The first few chapters, which deal largely with social impacts - community planning, workplace dynamics, etc. - were fascinating, insightful, and compelling.

    But then as the book progresses, Criado-Perez slowly ups the ante. By the tim

    Everybody needs to read this book. Everybody. Female, male, nonbinary, everybody.

    The introduction perfectly articulated and validated many of my own anecdotal observations - the pervasive idea that female is somehow a deviation of human, rather than the base model. The first few chapters, which deal largely with social impacts - community planning, workplace dynamics, etc. - were fascinating, insightful, and compelling.

    But then as the book progresses, Criado-Perez slowly ups the ante. By the time she begins to dissect the utter disregard for women in medical studies and pharmaceutical trials, I was a white hot ball of righteous fury. And it only gets worse from there.

    And yet, despite how FUCKING LITERALLY INCREDIBLE it is that women remain unseen, despite comprising half of the population, Criado-Perez's impeccable research and dry wit give the reader something to feel optimistic about. No, it isn't hope. Hope is passive. What Criado-Perez provides is

    . She cites numerous examples of individuals and organizations who are actively

    things for the better. Simply by writing the book, she joins their ranks. Simply by reading the book, I do, too. By passing it along, recommending it to every damn person on my friend list, I am helping make women visible.

    We are not niche. We are not aberrations. We are not a specialized subset of the human race. We are not to be ignored.

  • Carla

    Audiobook fundamental para se ter uma visão abrangente e fiel das desigualdades de género a que as mulheres continuam sujeitas num mundo moldado à imagem dos homens.

  • Katie Lumsden

    A really strong and interesting read. It's a very powerful, somewhat depressing but entirely eye-opening look at how women and data surrounding women is left out of the system we live it. I would highly, highly recommend.

  • Kelly

    Read this if you're ready to get mad about how basically every research study done and used to create solutions to problems for "all people" are based on the average white male. Not surprising, but infuriating to see it laid out so plainly. I've always been so angered about technology being not useful for my tiny hands, and it's relieving -- and again, angering and frustrating -- this is just a norm of being female when research completely excludes the fact your body isn't the average white dude

    Read this if you're ready to get mad about how basically every research study done and used to create solutions to problems for "all people" are based on the average white male. Not surprising, but infuriating to see it laid out so plainly. I've always been so angered about technology being not useful for my tiny hands, and it's relieving -- and again, angering and frustrating -- this is just a norm of being female when research completely excludes the fact your body isn't the average white dude.

    And don't get me started on the viagra research.

    Crucial reading for feminists and for anyone who does product research. There is so much work to be done.

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