Audiobook Spotlight #5

Happy Monday! I have another Audiobook Spotlight for you today. If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I really enjoy listening to audiobooks so I’ve created this feature to talk about an audiobook I listened to in order to share my love for them! This week, we have a non-fiction focus!

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

Publication Date: 12th March 2019

Publisher: Random House

Narrator: Caroline Criado Perez

Genre: Non fiction

Format: audiobook

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Goodreads Synopsis

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued.

If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women.

Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew 

My Thoughts

Feminism is a topic that really interests me. I bought this book for my sister for her birthday last year and regretted not getting a copy for myself! So, I was really glad when I found it on BorrowBox!

This book was fascinating and so well researched. I found myself shocked-but-not-shocked at some of the ways the gender data gap disadvantages women. While I was listening, there were so many instances when I went yes, I totally get that! It was (as it should be), very fact and data heavy which, when listening to it, could be quite challenging to keep up. For me, it was best listened to in chunks rather than devouring it in a few short stints as it was intense, but in a good, informative way.

Throughout, Criado Perez discusses every day issues that are (often unintentionally but ignorantly) biased against women.

Here are some examples that jump out at me:

  • The size of smartphones – When I bought my new phone about 18 months ago, I went to a wide variety of shops to try to find one that I could comfortably hold but still had all the features I wanted. It was absolutely impossible! I have quite small hands even for a woman, but it really felt like I was in the wrong for not wanting to follow the trend of bigger screens.
  • Unpaid work – Although my partner does do so many things at home, I find that I end up doing most of the chores, and him, the DIY. The DIY aspect makes sense because I have no skill in that whatsoever, whereas he is very handy (this could be a whole other discussion topic in itself). However, if the dishwasher needs emptying, or the washing needs sorting that normally falls to me. Is this his fault? I’m not convinced. But I feel as though it has to be my duty to sort these things out even though he is more than willing to take on his fair share.
  • Urban planning – this, for me, was an incredibly interesting chapter which depicted how women are disadvantaged because transport systems and new urban developments do not take into account the needs and habits of women. It resonates with me because I believe that we need better representation in business and government in order to build a world that works better for everyone. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my tutor group about why lockdown was announced the night before Eid and very few seemed to care, yet the plans for Christmas were such a huge focus of the pandemic. Although this is an incredibly complex issue, I feel like if there was better representation in government, of men, women, BAME, LGBTQIA+, then we would have a better chance of creating a better and fairer society. The truth is, if something doesn’t affect your life, you are unlikely to think about it! If I didn’t live in a very multicultural area of the country, I doubt I would have really understood the importance and unfair nature of the lockdown over Eid either.

On the whole, the main take away from this book was that the world is more often than not designed by men, for men. The white male has become the default and everything else needs to adapt to fit that mould. A lot of these decisions are taken, not maliciously, but unconsciously because they are trying to do what they feel fits best. But, having a limited representation of a population does not lead to all bases being covered and a better society built for all. Of course, one might have to be realistic because we can’t please everyone. However, I definitely more can be done, and has been done as demonstrated by examples in the book, to ensure that the world is better for all.

If you are interested in data science, gender, or feminism, I’d highly recommend this book.

What are some of your thoughts about the issues raised here? I’d love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Audiobook Spotlight #5

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