Books

Book Review: Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible indeed. This book is likely to make you a bit angry. And a bit is downplaying information gaps we have when it comes to women, which cost lives. And there is no way around it. Caroline Criado Perez proves with the data on how female lives are lost because we see the male body as a standard. I spoke about this book with my sister. She worked as a nurse in a cardiac unit. She commented on how women are misdiagnosed when they have a heart attack because the male symptoms are seen as the norm. My sister told me it is a reality. She has seen her share of women sent home because their heart attack was seen as heartburn. One end up on the transplant list because the damage was substantial. Here we are, going into a brave new future, ignoring women everywhere and relying more and more on data, which governs our lives from insurances to how we get work to the machines keeping us alive. 

After reading this book, I am scared as a woman who has to rely on the power others held over me, and now I see they might be ignoring my gender. This is not done because of some male conspiracy against women. This is done because of ignorance and customs. Say like musical instruments. They are designed to average male hand. As a kid, I always wondered why I cannot play anything. Why my hands don’t bend the way they should to piano keys? The answer is in this book, and it explains a lot why there are not many world-class female pianists—the hand-size. And it is all down to customs. There is no real reason why we cannot make smaller keyboards. This doesn’t only affect women. Christopher Donison wondered why he couldn’t play some pieces, and when he understood the hand-size issue, he created a 7/8 DS keyboard.

I end this review here because I think this is a book you need to read whoever you are. This is about gender, but this is something that affects all of us. Good customs taking women into consideration in medicine and drug trials aids science and, you know, save lives. 

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

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