Egalia’s Daughters – A Book Review

I do not remember where I first saw this book (Egalia’s Daughters) mentioned, but I remember that a short description intrigued me, and I went to look for it. I found out that this book is not available neither as an audiobook nor as any type of e-book. After some hesitation, I decided to read a paper book ( the thing I didn’t do for a while). Although now my vision is much better than at the time when I stopped reading paper books and technically speaking, I can read them now, it was still a challenge. I excluded paper books from my life several years ago and could not find a place for them:). I purchased this book in July, and I thought I would make it a beach reading. But as I mentioned before, the beach time appeared so tranquilizing that I didn’t want to do anything at the beach, including the book reading. ‘s

Time passed, and I still could not go beyond the first hundred pages until I decided to take it to read on a plane. I read most of it on the flight to Helsinki and back, and after that, I used every spare minute to finish :). 

This book is brilliant. Just brilliant. I had never read anything like this before! If you try to describe this book in one sentence, it will be trivial like “gender-reversed,” but it’s so much more than that! Man wear skirts and obey their wives, and wives wear pants, drink, smoke, and swear – that is trivial, and it won’t be so interesting. What makes this book incredible is that it demonstrates how ridiculous all references to the “natural order” are when somebody tries to justify the subdued role of women in society, appealing to “nature,” “biology,” and “things always were that way.” It turns out that one can perfectly well justify that men, not women, should care for children and that they are “biologically more suited” to that role. That man “won’t benefit from additional education.” That “a man on a boat is a trouble.” That “men should not exercise.” Oh, and by the way, they are not “men” anymore. Because there are “wim” (wom singular) and there are “manwin” (manwom singular). And a lot of words that are derived from “man” are modified in a similar way. 

Well, you just have to read it. Nothing will prove the absurdity of assigning gender roles that the book assigns them backward. Or that IS indeed the right way:)? 

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!