I’m a woman.
If you are a woman you will read this book. Now, here are some of the reasons why:
- Doctors, aside from their gynecology and labor/delivery training, are trained on an “average” male body even though women’s heart attacks are very different.
- Drugs, with a few exceptions, have traditionally been tested on mostly male volunteers. Which explains why some do not do what they should for women
- City planners design spaces that all must live in, but that forget the needs of women and children for things like grocery stores and playgrounds.
- Transportation systems engineers design systems for men’s commute to work–not for women’s round-about trips to first check on Grandma, then drop the two stroller-bound toddlers at daycare and THEN go to work and then at the end of the day adding a stop to buy groceries before going to the daycare and the other Grandma’s house.
- Cars and airbags are designed for men. Pregnant women, who are naturally closer to the steering wheel? Never considered.
- Disaster relief teams, refugee camps, and similar forget that women menstruate, endure cultural shunning for being with men to whom they are not related, and often must give birth. Condoms, yes. Sanitary pads–no. Or worse, only tampons in spite of taboos restricting them to only married women.
The book shows all the ways that leaving women out of surveying, quantifying, and otherwise amassing information to inform decisions is costing us time, money, productivity, advancement, lives, and more. Just read it.
There are so many more I won’t go on. Now, about the author. Yes, she is a strident left-wing feminist and yes the HRC person is mentioned more than one time. Ignore both and read the book. This book has been needed for so long! The distortions of data have cost women lives, dignity, safety, and opportunities–and that is being said by someone far to the right of the author. This book should be used in every course on quantitative research or similar. It is not a boring textbook. The author tells the story very well and illustrates it almost too well. This is one of the most interesting nonfiction books I’ve read in years. I do not agree with every single thing she says, but it was very interesting and thought-provoking. Just read it. Have I mentioned you should read it?
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez