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Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

de Caroline Criado Perez

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1,1304613,605 (4.22)76
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 the 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.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 46 (següent | mostra-les totes)
My friends, I really wanted to like this book. I like the concept of it a lot – using data to prove that statistically the world is designed in such a way that women are deliberately overlooked. There were some interesting statistics in the book, but unfortunately I don’t think this one holds up. And that’s really sad, because even though data changes rapidly, its not the data that makes this book feel outdated – it’s the language.

Even before I looked up Caroline Criado Perez for my Problematic Authors page, the language used in Invisible Women was getting to me. Criado Perez very stubbornly separates our world into binaries to push her point, and that simply is not an accurate picture of the world. I only recall her referring specifically to Black women once in Invisible Women, and I don’t recall any specific references separated by race, orientation, or other data other than than that. One of Criado Perez’s prime arguments about data bias is that there is a data gap – we don’t segregate the data by gender being one of the main factors she argues. And yet, Criado Perez doesn’t bother to segregate the data in an inclusive way herself.

It really bothers me when someone is complaining the world is not inclusive when they are deliberately sidelining other minorities. It’s the same thing that happened with women’s suffrage and it’s a very selfish, unjust way to go about seeking change. Everyone or no one.

On top of not acknowledging data differences by race, orientation, age, and other factors, Criado Perez inserts a lot of her own opinions in Invisible Women. A non-fiction book using science to illustrate systemic flaws is not the place to add outraged personal stories – it lowers the effectiveness of the data. Instead of feeling illuminating, Invisible Women felt like it was pushing a personal agenda. And I say that as someone who completely agrees with the core, bare-bones principle. There is a lack of effort to collect diverse responses and respond appropriately to new data by building a system that is inclusive and supportive for all. Between personal interjections and consistently using inconclusive studies and leaning very heavily into experiences in the United States and United Kingdom, Invisible Women fails to present as an objective, informational book.

Given Criado Perez’s insistence on ignoring the experiences of transgender women as part of her study, Invisible Women was already a questionable read. Having finished it, I find myself outraged for the wrong reasons. I think everyone should be aware of data gaps and how they snowball to create a world where individuals are asked to change themselves to fit a broken system. But I don’t think Invisible Women is the place to start that conversation. ( )
  Morteana | Dec 4, 2021 |
I was aware of the basic premise of this book, that women are either excluded from or under represented in all manner of studies, reports, and policies. And going forward this needs to be corrected. ( )
  jimgosailing | Nov 18, 2021 |
I would consider this to be a good intro to the topic of data bias based on sex. The author does a reasonably solid amount of research in presenting at least a decent number of solid examples and anecdotes of how these flaws can work and impact people in the real world or lead to misunderstandings of data or situations. Now, not all of her interpretations about findings are necessarily totally correct, and she certainly does NOT go the extra mile in attempting to produce solutions or claiming to have any real answers on what can be done - indeed, this is a reasonably short audiobook on such a big subject for a reason - but, then again, this book makes no such claims. It is meant to introduce a reader to a very important subject. Going beyond that introductory level of grasping the basic concepts and why they matter is entirely up to them.

The examples chosen are generally quite relevant and relatable, the text is extremely approachable even for the most casual of readers, and the time spent reading or listening to the text feels abundantly worthwhile. Overall, I would say this is a work well done and which accomplishes all that it sets out to do. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Oct 26, 2021 |
At first glance, Criado Perez seems to rely a bit too much on data with percentages and statistics thrown on the page and punctuated with the leitmotiv "gender data gap". However, from this foundation, she builds a compelling story on the numerous ways in which women are disadvantaged in all spheres of life and in all societies. She looks broadly across the world, analyzing studies from every continent and how unexamined biases affect women in real ways: their health, their safety, their ability to ear a living and much more besides. Her style is academic but not dry which makes the book an easy read - before I knew it I'd finished the book (and I'm not a big nonfiction reader).
This book is an excellent example of the importance of such tools as the Gender Bias Analysis Plus to ensure that voiced of all humans are heard, listened to and actioned on. It is also a great way to continue the conversation on equality and feminism in a rational, deliberate and focused way. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Oct 11, 2021 |
Oh, this book. Filled with important data pointing out the myriad ways that women have been neglected in building society around the world. And so depressing that it took me forever to read it.

Criado Perez is thorough. She explores not just the commonly known areas where women have been historically unplanned for, like medicine and the workplace, but also transportation, public toilets, the internet, refugee camps, and the list goes on and on. She ends with summing up her work into three themes that "define women's relationship with the world". One is the invisibility of the female body - neglecting to take into account the female body in medicine, technology, and architecture - and how it has led to injury, death, and a world where we just don't fit. Two is, ironically, the hyper-visibility of the female body. Male sexual violence against women and how we don't measure it and don't design spaces to account for it or limit it. And third, the unaccounted and unpaid care work of which women do more than their fair share. In our current world, "human" equals "male".

Her main solution to all of this is getting women in the position to be involved in decisions. To me, this seems undoubtedly correct, though I think part of that equation has to be getting men involved evenly in the unpaid care work at the same time. (Please, to all my male friends who are already there and doing their fair share, I see it and acknowledge it - my husband included!) I do love her last line:

"And so, to return to Freud's 'riddle of femininity', it turns out that the answer was staring us in the face all along. All 'people' needed to do was to ask women."

This is a book everyone should read, but fair warning that it isn't comfortable or easy reading. ( )
3 vota japaul22 | Oct 1, 2021 |
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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
Dedicatòria
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For the women who persist: keep on being blood difficult
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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.
Citacions
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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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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 the 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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