Publication Date: March 7th, 2019
Strong Point: It is hugely thorough. The amount of work and investigation put into this book is astonishing.
Weak Point: Because of this same thoroughness, sometimes the style can be a bit dry due to the amount of percentages and numbers Criado uses to explain her point. But it is anyway needed.
Books on Tour Rating: (5/5)
Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.36/5)
“Women all over: always the exception, never the default”.
“Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men”
I knew since I learned about the publication of this book that I had to read it. I also knew that it would make me very angry. But I also knew that I would love it. And that has been totally the case.
The reading platforms categorise “Invisible Women” as “feminism” but I think it is more than that. Women as well as men must read this book if we want to treat everyone with equality and stop ignoring half of the world population.
Society is failing women daily in so many ways that it is terrifying. In some areas I am quite aware of the problem because I have suffered it. But in others, because of me being a white, middle class woman living in a first world country, I did not even know that problem even existed.
Criado has organized her book extremely well. She divides the book in different sections according to the part of women’s lives affected by the gender data gap: “daily life”, “the workplace”, “design”, “going to the doctor”, “public life”, and “when it goes wrong”.
And every single one of these categories is infuriating. I could not have possibly known women were “second-class” citizens in so many ways.
I was unaware that women in India were raped and abused on their way to a public toilet because they must walk to one due to the fact they don’t have any at home. Furthermore, I did not know drugs we women take every single day have not been tested on us. Like…what?
And this goes on and on: seatbelts that are too big, bulletproof vests for the police which are huge for our bodies (one police woman even had to get a breast reduction operation if she wanted to use the vests and feel safe!), etc. etc.
Furthermore, it is awful to think that women have to live in a world where they don’t fit. This world has been created ignoring them, and taking men as “the norm”. This means that half of the world population has to live according to men standards.
Even when creating utensils supposedly made for women, like kitchen ovens, men’s standards are used. Who hasn’t experienced the situation of trying to reach something in a kitchen cupboard way higher than it should be located for women’s heights? Who hasn’t?
And all these problems are supported by the fact that we simply don’t have enough data about women: that is the gender-data gap Criado talks about throughout the whole book. That is the foundation of all women’s problems.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “INVISIBLE WOMEN”
I said at the “weak point” section that “Invisible Women” can be quite dry sometimes because of all the statistics and percentages Criado includes in it.
However, all these numbers are one of the best ways to reinforce her speech. They are necessary to deeply understand the problems she is talking about. In addition, all the real cases she talks about, make the book alive and close to the readers who may have not experienced the situation other women deal with daily.
Furthermore, she uses a great amount of endnotes which link to the studies or reports she mentions, in case you want to continue researching on your own. In addition, Criado includes an index, which makes the consultation of specific topics a lot easier. These two last features give even more value to the book, transforming “Invisible Women” in a sort of textbook.
To sum up, I really recommend reading this book; everyone, not only women, but ALL OF US. Maybe the right person reads it and can deal with the problems exposed here and can do something to solve them.
Because, as Criado herself says, “it’s time to stop dismissing women, and start saving them”.