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Booktip 1: Invisible Women


Some books trigger joy, some curiosity, some sadness. For me, this book triggers anger, but also a spark of hope. Caroline Criado Perez, British journalist, author and feminist activist, brought out the book Invisible Women in 2019. The full title: Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. A good indication of the content to expect.

In this book, Perez provides an overview for all the areas of life where cis women are discriminated against and disadvantaged by a lack of data. It's a development that wasn't exactly intentional - cis men didn't get together and think about how to make the world a bit harder for cis women, they merely forgot. And considering that cis women make up over 50% of the world's population that's a rather significant mistake. However, Perez doesn't just focus on the missing data, but also uses examples to show that this sometimes even life-threatening inequality between cis women and cis men can be abolished. Perez draws on statistics and examples from all over the world. Even Germany offers statistics that serve as a comparison again and again, making the book perhaps even more interesting for us.

From medicine and research to public transport, to the size of art portfolios, unpaid work and cars designed for men, this book holds insights that are sometimes shocking and sometimes depressing. But it shows all the more that this is a book that needs to be read -by cis women and cis men, by academics and by people in leadership positions.

Because knowing the problem is the first step to solving it, right? Maybe not quite, or maybe that's not the whole story.

Despite the many insights this book offers, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Recently, accusations of transphobia against Caroline Criado-Perez have surfaced. The book has also received much criticism because it is written of only two genders - female in the sense of having XY chromosomes and male in the sense of having XX chromosomes. However, science has already proven that there are significantly more genders than just two. Perez has not taken these into account in her book, although it can be assumed that trans and inter people, for example experience special discrimination. If you have already read the book or would like to do so, you should be aware of the severely limited perspective and keep a critical eye on the findings.

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