Invisible Women

By Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women: Default Female Space Dogs

#105・

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Invisible Women
Invisible Women: Default Female Space Dogs
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #105 • View online
My dear GFPs! These Wednesday missives are becoming a habit – but I promise it’s not one that’s going to stick. We will be returning to our usual Monday morning scheduled programming in short order.
I had actually intended to give you a Monday edition this week but, well, I got some truly devastating life-upending news on Friday and it threw out my plans. I am not going to write about that today, but I expect I will write about it at some point in the future. It has brought so much of my work into focus for me in a deeply personal way; I think the writing will probably be inevitable.
In the meantime, I bring you happier news, of this week’s episode which is on a topic that I know is very close to GFPs’ hearts: POCKETS. And the baffling lack thereof in women’s clothing. Join me and the rest of the Visible Women gang as we do the DEEPEST OF DIVES into this perennial problem, and try to get to the bottom of a mystery I first raised back in an earlier edition of this newsletter, The Curious Case of Percy Pig & the Missing Pocket.

Default male of the week
So, the bad news is that, for the past twenty years, women on liver transplant waiting lists “have experienced [a] 15% lower transplant rate and significantly higher waitlist mortality compared to males.”
And, as GFPs will be SHOCKED to discover, this sex disparity is thanks to some serious default male-ing.
It all started back in 2002, with the introduction of the Mayo End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scoring system. The aim of the MELD score was to reduce waitlist mortality by prioritising the most urgent candidates for transplant. And it worked great!
In men.
You see, it turns out that the MELD scoring system, introduced in 2002, has been systematically under-prioritising women for transplants for 20 years, because the scoring system was, drumroll please, based on male data.
Multiple factors impact the current MELD scoring gender bias; the crucial one is using creatinine, a muscle metabolism byproduct utilized to estimate kidney function, as one of the values used to calculate the overall priority score. Because women have less muscle than men, they do not produce equivalent creatinine volumes. Creatine differences, therefore, made this lab test less accurate in women, as it is less able to identify poor renal function in women, and this led to women’s waitlist underprioritization as the scores did not accurately predict their degree of illness and subsequent risk of death. This factor, along with overprioritization of access for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and the fact that women’s size — typically smaller than men — means they cannot be eligible for all of the available livers, led to about 10% to 15% increased death risk for women versus men.
Anyway, the good news is, we’re finally going to do something about this disparity which by the way we’ve known about since at least 2008. And it’s going to make things better for EVERYONE
The proposal being considered to equalize access for women improves the c-statistic, a discrimination measurement, for both men and women, so the new proposed system works better for everyone. One optimization in the newly presented model is inclusion of an albumin measurement, improving predictability for men and women, says Dr. Heimbach.
It’s almost like including female data from the very beginning is a good idea or something?
Default FEmale of the week
I enjoyed this submission from GFP Ilan…
Soooooo we created space PPE for female dogs decades ago but still haven’t rolled any out for female humans…
NASA’s spacesuits have a gender problem. These women are fixing it.
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Homework
First of all, LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, because this will get you all fired up for the actual homework, which is to email ASOS to demand RADICAL POCKET TRANSPARENCY! All you need to do is to visit the Visible Women page on the Tortoise website, where you can click through to generate an auto-populated email to ASOS’s CEO.
Let’s do it, GFPs! Cheer me up after a shocker of a week 😘
(and let me know if you get any responses!)
Poppy pic of the week
Yes, the A[merican]B[eefcake] did inveigle our dog into his Independence Day celebrations
Yes, the A[merican]B[eefcake] did inveigle our dog into his Independence Day celebrations
That’s it! Until next time, my dear GFPs….xoxoxo
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Caroline Criado Perez

Keeping up with the gender data gap (and whatever else takes my fancy). Like the Kardashians, but with more feminist rage. Plus, toilet queue of the week.

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