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Invisible Women - Default male dolphins

Invisible Women
Invisible Women - Default male dolphins
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #47 • View online

Well, GFPs, the new house shenanigans continue. To recap: we have recently moved house. Hurrah! What you won’t know is that the house is old and very cold and there are a lot of very lovely but not very heat-retaining bare floorboards. So we are in dire need of rugs. But rugs don’t come cheap and we have a roof to fix among many – many – other things.
Clever Caroline thought she had found a solution at Anthropologie, which should have been my first clue something was going terribly wrong because while Anthropologie has a lot of beautiful stuff, very rarely is it a solution when you’re thinking about price. Nevertheless, I thought I had and I sat back smugly, waiting for my job lot of new rugs that would definitely do for a fair old while.
Then the first rug arrived. And…
Not so Clever Caroline....
Not so Clever Caroline....
GFPs, I had made a horrible mistake. I had misread the rug measurements as metres. They were not metres. They were feet. And the surprisingly good value rugs were nothing of the sort. They were in fact quite expensive doormats 😭
I guess I’m chalking this one up to experience. Luckily, the nice people at Anthropologie have been very understanding about my inability to read and are helping me sort out a job-lot return. Except…when I laid them out next to each other…
I kind of like them?? 3 doormats = one narrow but fairly reasonably sized rug?
Outside of rug news, I was really delighted to see that a long-standing gender data gap has closed this week as marriage certificates in England and Wales are FINALLY going to start including mother’s names as well as father’s names. Yes this is the 21st century, I checked.
I first discovered this bizarre historical hangover back in 2014, when I supported a petition started by Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler to get mother’s names on marriage certificates. I also vowed that I wouldn’t get married until the law was changed – it just sat all wrong with me to willingly participate in the erasure of women.
Also, I didn’t want to be angry on my wedding day. And let’s face it, I would have been furious. Everyone would have had to endure a feminist lecture. Don’t get me wrong, they still will, but it will be a lecture with a happy ending. No not THAT kind of happy ending, honestly GFPs, you all have a one-track mind and I’m ashamed of you.
This change has been a long time coming. It didn’t take long actually for David Cameron, who was PM at the time (god remember those days? Before Brexit. Before Trump. BEFORE COVID!) to agree to adding a box for mothers. In fact everyone was falling over themselves to agree that it was a very bad thing to be systematically excluding women from the historical record. It was just that no one thought it was important enough to pay for. Apparently the cost of printing some new pages for the registers (which until this point were all paper-based) was more than women’s equality was worth. Still it’s nice to have a figure for these things isn’t it. Woman’s worth = less than tax cuts for the top 10% of male earners*. Seems fair.
Thankfully, digital registers saved the day and apparently the cost of shifting from paper to digital was worth it. Hooray! A gender data gap closed by Big Digital, who’d have thought it.
Anyway, the wedding’s on and I will finally be making an honest man of the AB who is naturally very happy about this development.
*OK yes that was a bit of a non-sequitur. Here is some data to make up for it:
In 2017, the Women’s Budget Group pointed out that at the same time that austerity measures were having a particularly severe impact on women in the UK, ‘tax giveaways disproportionately benefitting men will cost the Treasury £44bn per annum by 2020’. These include a £9 billion cut in fuel and alcohol duties, a £13 billion cut in corporation tax, and a loss of £22 billion from raising income tax and National Insurance thresholds. Together, these tax giveaways accounted for more than the total annual cuts in social security spending – which makes it clear that this isn’t a matter of resources, so much as (gendered) spending priorities. (Invisible Women, p.262)
But, GFPs, as one gender data gap closes, another one opens, and this week has been no different.
Gender data gap of the week
This week’s gender data gap comes courtesy of eagle-eyed GFP Angela:
It’s not like women are more likely than men to have and die of strokes or anything is it.
Meanwhile, this is fine because women famously never think, so no need to include us in this kind of research
Air pollution spikes may impair older men’s thinking, study finds | Air pollution | The Guardian
Default male of the week
This week’s default male is ALSO courtesy of a GFP, Kate, who submitted this classic bit of default male-ing from The Times…
Et tu male default dolphins, et tu.
The full screenshot is also worth a look….
They’re just tired from all the rapey dolphins tbqh and who can blame them
Actually designed for female bodies of the week
Another GFP submission! You have been excellent GFPs this week. And do remember, submissions are encouraged for this section in particular as there will be loads of specialist designed for women kit that I won’t come across, as this week’s entry neatly demonstrates. So if you know of a product that deserves to be known more widely – get in touch!
Elly Cope
@CCriadoPerez I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new, very women’s specific bibshorts from @endura - blog post from @VeloVixenUK
GFPs, I was very impressed by this entry. To begin with, naturally they had thought about the pee-ing situation, which as every GFP knows is very close to my heart. But it went so much further than that. GFPs, they had ACTUALLY COLLECTED DATA ON WOMEN. And spoke to female cyclists to determine their needs. Imagine!
Endura's quantum leap forward for comfort and performance – VeloVixen
The result is padding *actually* positioned where it needs to be for the female body. From Phil Burt, the ergonomist who worked on the shorts:
A lot of people adopt a riding posture that is suboptimal to alleviate saddle pressure – pushing back in the saddle or sitting in a more upright position. Good shorts allow you to sit where you want to sit and achieve the position that allows you to perform to your best.
We don’t know how many women give up cycling and are lost from the sport. The ones we know about are the tip of the iceberg.
[…]Gel at the back supports the sit-bones but we know women have problems further forwards. Because of a woman’s mechanical structure, the hips tend to rotate slightly forwards transferring weight on to the soft tissues at the front, so we have put more gel in this area.
Literally as simple as considering the female form, recognising it’s not just a small male form, and designing around that. An unprecedented innovation car manufacturers could perhaps learn from 🤪
This all made me think about cyclist Hannah Dines’ account of how male default saddles had resulted in her having to have surgery on her vulva – and fair warning, it’s not for the faint-hearted
‘I had a huge swelling’: why my life as a female cyclist led to vulva surgery | Women | The Guardian
Sadly this innovation comes too late for Dines, but it might be a step forward to ensuring no other female athlete has to live with incapacitating pain, resulting in surgery that would never have been needed if only we designed for the female body as standard.
Next up: designing bike parks for female style bikes instead of only the default male ones
Claire Williams
Here’s another one for you @CCriadoPerez - the handy @coopuk bike repair stand outside the store... oh look, doesn’t work to hang a non-“traditional”-male cross bar.... 😫 #InvisibleWomen #Cycling #EverydayProblems
And don’t even get me STARTED on having to ACTUALLY buy an add-on pole to your bike to turn it into a default male bike in order to get it onto any car bike rack 🤬🤬🤬
Poppy pic of the week
Poppy surveys her growing expensive doormat/ruggy collection 😬😭
Poppy surveys her growing expensive doormat/ruggy collection 😬😭
That’s it GFPs! Until next time, and remember: when life gives you overpriced doormats, make…a patchwork! Or something…love you byeeee!!! 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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