Home Economics Invisible Women

Invisible Women
Read in 25 min.
Listen in 32 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women

The analysis of an unbalanced world in favour of men

Finally closing the gender gap, and saying goodbye to male bias, is so much more important today, in our highly technological world, where more and more aspects of our lives are regulated by data. However, this is not a simple undertaking in a world that continues to apply a universal standard based on the comfort of men, without taking into account women’s daily needs. Caroline Criado Perez analyses the presence, and more importantly, the absence, of data from the female perspective, in her best-seller Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.

Invisible Women
Read in 25 min.
Listen in 32 min.

The history that we have been taught is only half true due to the gender data gap

Many of us study history without realising one important truth: everything that we know about humanity until now is only half of what really happened. Often in fact, the stories of men have been presented as a representation of all human beings, completely leaving out the female point of view. This phenomenon is called male bias, and it lies at the foundation of the gender gap, meaning the lack of data about the experiences, points of view and necessities of women. Concepts such as these are even more important in a time such as ours, where big data and artificial intelligence are becoming ever more important, and regulate every aspect of our lives.

The big data supplied to artificial intelligence or input into our computers can in fact be contaminated by gender bias, and usually we do not even know about it, because artificial intelligence is often created privately, and so is not subject to any checks by government bodies or by ordinary people. If in most cases this bias leads to various levels of discomfort for women, for example installing a high shelf, or keeping the office temperature too high because the thermostat is based on male data, in others it can put their lives in danger, such as when heart attack symptoms are not diagnosed in time because the heart monitoring system does not cover female cardiac anomalies, due to it having been set up for men.

The fact is that men tend to shape the world in their image, and they do not have a female body, they are not subject to the burden of having to assist family members, or of unpaid work, and they are not the victims of deliberate violence in the same way as women are, so they tend not to see these problems. This oversight is not deliberate or malicious, it is simply a lack of attention that leads to bigger problems for women who live in an increasingly unequal and unjust world. This becomes even more serious when the female category is mixed with any other minority group: where the data for women are scarce and often ignored, they are practically nonexistent when it comes to say, women of colour or with any kind of disability.


The key ideas of "Invisible Women"

The history that we have been taught is only half true due to the gender data gap
Gender gap data influences women’s daily lives, and can sometimes put them in danger
Women do 75% of the unpaid work needed to make society function but nobody cares
The typical workplace is designed based on male comfort and safety standards
The brilliance bias lies behind the different perception of women in the professional and academic worlds
Design is based on male measurements, making females’ lives more difficult
The world of medicine is steeped in male bias so there is a lack of data on female disorders
In times of darkness for humanity, women’s conditions worsen
Take-home message
4books preview

Try 4books Premium for free!