Invisible Women

book notes for Invisible Women
by Harshvardhan J. Pandit
blog book gender-bias review

Book notes for "Invisible Women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men" by Caroline Criado Perez.

  • pg 2: challenging the stereotype of 'man as hunter'
  • pg 8: lack of gender specific emoji
  • pg 15: identfying as a female character in video games, as opposed to identifying as a blue hedgehog (sonic) or anthromorphic characters - which is seen as acceptable
  • pg 21: argument against the notion that someone is blinded by femisnism as an ideology when their viewpoint is an ideology itself - and ironically a blinding one at that
  • pg 30: reasons why men and women travel are different, which affects planning routes, especially for public transport where the need of women are different - as pedestrians, family caretakers, and taking a multi-bus route
  • pg 35: London introduced hopper fare in 2016 for multi-trip routes
  • pg 48: Layouts of public toilets, problems with gender neutral layouts
  • pg 54: problems with statistics on crime victims - which show men are more likely to be victims, when in actuality women face far more occurences of threatening behaviour, but don't report it because of social issues
  • pg 63: presence of girls in parks decreases from age of 10 (data from Vienna). City officials re-designed the park to have more isolated play spaces, which resulted in more girls playing.
  • pg 69: 24 October - no woman in Iceland would do any work (including unpaid, house labour)
  • pg 79: maternity leave, paid period and duration, impact in organisations and countries
  • pg 84: Sweden introduced a month of paid paternity leave for fathers (cannot be transferred to mother)
  • pg 87: equating long hours at workplace with effectiveness
  • pg 89: babysitting as an expense (in the context of workplace)
  • pg 93: blind auditions (music)
  • pg 96: female authored papers are accepted and rather higher under blind review in academia; for males the position of authors has no effect as they receive benefits from any, whereas for females there is a negative biased effect
  • pg 99: male professors receive higher scores in evaluations than female, even under a blind test
  • pg 101: by the age of six, girls start doubting their gender, and think they are not 'smart' - when presented with a game meant for 'smart children', 5 year old are interested regardless of gender, but 6 year old girls are less interested
  • pg 108: sex-disaggregated employment data in the industry - women are encouraged to adopt more male traits, but the skewness is in the male perception of what is desirable
  • pg 111: accountability and transparency needed for employment procedures and data - results of one tech company adopting this resulted in pay gap being non-significant after 5 years
  • pg 113: AC temperature is set based on 40-year old 70kg caucasian male - the current temperature is 5 degrees too cold for women
  • pg 117: toxic effect of makeup - especially in nail salons
  • pg 122: women in military have to face conditions and equipment designed for male specifications
  • pg 123: women are forced to match male stride length (and other male statistics)
  • pg 135: just-in-time scheduling software (for assigning shifts to workers) is gender-insensitive and does not take into consideration social requirements such as being a mother, requirements at home, etc. and therefore is more disruptive to women
  • pg 149: farming equipment is not suitable for women in terms of size, weight, dimensions
  • pg 151: improvements to crops are from a male-perspective (based on male participants in surveys) which is primarily yield (profit by selling) and does not incorporate female perspectives such as ease of cooking, prep time which are time-saving measures for multi-tasking women in home
  • pg 159: women are more likely to own an iPhone; companies have no justification for large screen sizes; why they are intended for two-hand use; sizes that don't fit small hands (mostly women); lack of adequate pockets
  • pg 162: voice recognition software is male-biased (lack of female voice data)
  • pg 165: gender bias in AI (translation examples)
  • pg 173: there is no data about female bodies - a company wishing to design products for the vagina found there was a lack of sufficient data - compared with abundant data available on penises
  • pg 176: female health needs are ignored - when Apple launched health services it lacked a period tracker: something that is useful for 50% of users
  • pg 179: reason app to help health workers was not being used because women could not take the phone with them as they usually hid valuables in undergarments and the phone was too big - something the designers had not taken into account
  • pg 185: women's tendency for motion sickness changes throughout the menstrual cycle - this affects why women are more susceptable to feel sick in cars
  • pg 186: men are more likely to be involved in a car crash than women (maybe because they are more likely to be in a car), but women are more likely to be seriously injured. Women tend to sit further in the seat than men because the distance follows the norms of male bodies (yes, seats can be reconfigured, but it is not the default nor enough). Women are at a higher risk of rear-end collisions, and more at risk of internal injury in front-end collisions. Car safety features are not sufficient for safety of women as they are designed based on male body.
  • pg 204: hormone levels change at different times in the menstrual cycle; and women are not included in all stages in trials, only in the follicular stage when hormone levels are 'stable' - which results in lack of data of how drugs affect women at other times in the menstrual cycle
  • pg 207: when 'female viagra' was released in 2015, it was found to potentially interact negatively with alcohol. Its manufacturer ran a trial by recruiting 23 men and two women
  • pg 215: most drugs are based on gender neutral doses - which are mostly based on male participants in studies, and don't take into account the physiology of the female body
  • pg 218: heart attacks in women do not follow the same symptoms and patterns as men - and doctors miss or misdiagnose them when women have heart attacks; women do not display customary pain (clutching chest, distorted face) type of heart attack; the tests for physiological symptons (ECG, PST) are less conclusive in women
  • pg 226: women are prescribed anti-depressents more often than men - who are prescribed painkillers for the same symptoms
  • pg 227: men and women may experience pain differently - the pain sensitivity in women changes throughout the menstrual cycle
  • pg 229: PMS affects 90% of women is under-studied - there is 5 times more research on penile dysfunction; women are misdiagnosed or simply told the symptoms are in their head
  • pg 241: the golden era of productivity in 1970 had a large aspect of women going out to work rather than consuming artefacts in the houseghold (food, clothes)
  • pg 255: zombie stat is a spurios statistics that just won't die - everyone will repeat it by citing each other - as it feels intuitively correct but has no actual basis in real data
  • pg 259: the way tax works in married households, the lower income earner (mostly women) are taxed much higher under the stacked tax system
  • pg 266: increase of women in political representations (elected MPs) has a positive correlation with education expenditure and infrastructure related to women's needs - as much as 1% increase in representation had a many times increase in effects
  • pg 277: men are twice as likely to interrupt than women
  • pg 282: analysis of court arguments shows men interrupt more than women, but when women interrupt they are socially penalised more
  • pg 290: houses built without kitchen post-disaster because women were not consulted as to the needs
  • pg 306: ignoring potential for male violence in the case of female refugees