Invisible Women

By Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women: default female t-shirts

#92・

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Invisible Women
Invisible Women: default female t-shirts
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #92 • View online

A short missive from me this week GFPs as I finally got the black lung and this is now me:
the absolute worst thing about it is that I finally have to stop lording it over everyone with my superior immune system 😭 god, covid sucks doesn’t it? I haven’t even had a terrible time of it, but it’s day 7 and my brain is still mush and every. little. thing. exhausts me and I am just so fed up of being exhausted all the time. Bl**dy little f*cker of a virus! WHEN WILL THIS END
Gender data gap of the week
Sexism: When people say ‘people’ online they may mostly be thinking about men | New Scientist
No, duh, rings the echo of a legion of GFPs who remember all the research from Invisible Women that showed just this:
A 2015 study identified the top five words used to refer to people in human–computer interaction papers published in 2014 and found that they are all apparently gender neutral: user, participant, person, designer and researcher. Well done, human–computer interaction academics! But there is (of course) a catch. When study participants were instructed to think about one of these words for ten seconds and then draw an image of it, it turned out that these apparently gender-neutral words were not perceived as equally likely to be male or female. For male participants, only ‘designer’ was interpreted as male less than 80% of the time (it was still almost 70% male). A researcher was more likely to be depicted as of no gender than as a female. Women were slightly less gender-biased, but on the whole were still more likely to read gender-neutral words as male, with only ‘person’ and ‘participant’ (both read by about 80% of male participants as male) being about 50/50. (IW, p.9)
Still, more data is always welcome, and this research is an interesting example of both the benefits and the dangers of AI. Benefits, because this scale of analysis is made possible by AI (and one of the things I’ve been most excited by in my research for the AI episode of the podcast is the potential for us to use the statistical power of algorithms to help us CLOSE the data gap and even maybe fix some biases), but also dangers, because as lead author April Bailey points out, “the same collection of texts scoured by this research is used to train a range of AI tools that will inherit this bias, from language translation websites to conversational bots.”
“It learns from us, and then we learn from it,” says Bailey. “And we’re kind of in this reciprocal loop, where we’re reflecting it back and forth. It’s concerning because it suggests that if I were to snap my fingers right now and magically get rid of everyone’s own individual cognitive bias to think of a person as a man more than a woman, we would still have this bias in our society because it’s embedded in AI tools.”
Default FEMALE of the week
YEAH THAT’S RIGHT. This week’s break from standard operating procedure comes courtesy of GFP Michelle who made me laugh far too much with this picture of her packing label from Myer, which, she informs me, is a large department store in Australia.
The first two listed items, labelled as “MENS” are t-shirts and hoodies for her male partner, while the 3rd item, the generic, un-gendered “T/Shirt,” is for her, and, Michelle writes, “definitely cut for the female form too.”
JUSTICE AT LAST!
JUSTICE AT LAST!
Maybe I’m delirious but I found this hilarious. 
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GFPs fixing it
Roshana Mehdian-Staffell
Size Matters ✋🏽

Inclusive Orthopaedics

Over a month ago I wrote a letter, in conjunction with @BritOrthopaedic to all large Orthopaedic Equipment Manufacturers:

✋🏽 Instruments need to be designed for female, smaller hands & those with disabilities

#orthotwitter #MedTwitter https://t.co/eL9k5j3Rx7
Love to see this! Will be keeping an eye on Roshana’s campaign to see how it turns out ✊
Poppy pic of the week
At least poppy’s having fun 😭❤️
Until next time, my dear GFPs, when I will hopefully have rejoined the land of the thinking…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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