Invisible Women: a Book Review

One more time, I am so behind in the book reviews that I can hardly remember what the last book I reviewed was. But consulting my Audible library, here are the three books I wanted to write about. 

The first on the list is Invisible Women Data Bias in a World Designed for Men A person who recommended it said that it’s a horror book. I thought that maybe it’s a horror for them, but I could hardly imagine that there can be something in the book about women’s unfair treatment that I do not know. And boy, how wrong I was!

When I checked the reviews, I saw that many readers shared the same sentiment, saying that they could not even think about the depth of prejudgement and that there are so many defaults they never thought of. 

I can relate to all these sentiments since I felt the same way. This book is about the data gaps which are present in nearly every research in virtually any field. Each chapter of this book is dedicated to one of the areas in which research routinely exclude or under-represent women: medical trails, interior design, government… The book introduces a “default male,” and I never realized how deeply this default male concept is enrooted in almost all assumptions I make. An eye-opening moment was when I realized that when I write or say “a user,” I picture a male! And that’s me, a fierce advocate of women’s equality in technology! 

If you want to know the depth of your own “default to male” presumption, I highly recommend this book! 

2 thoughts on “Invisible Women: a Book Review

  1. I constantly catch myself at “seeing” men or boys or, more rarely, a mixed group of men/women or boys/girls (but NEVER — just women or just girls) when I hear the words “people,” “children,” “students,” “colleagues,” etc. I mean: if somebody says “children,” it’s just impossible to imagine a group of girls only. And this is regardless of language, even considering that “child” has no gender in English, “ребенок” in Russian is a masculine noun, and “дитина” in Ukrainian is a feminine noun. In any language, “child” by default means (in my head) a boy in the first place and collective “children” — boys or boys + girls.

    Liked by 1 person

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