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Invisible Women: "females received limited benefit"

Invisible Women
Invisible Women: "females received limited benefit"
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #75 • View online

Well hello there GFPs and welcome back to your weekly shot of righteous data rage. But first! Let me show off about my trip to the land of big cars, big pies and big…well, everything really. Much fun was had by all, particularly me as I proceeded to go FULL AMERICAN.
I drove in the Platonic ideal of a pick-up truck…
…went to a football match
something something beat the hell out of you mumble
something something beat the hell out of you mumble
…made and then ate shrimp & grits
…bought a massive car (ok posed next to a massive car)
…ate a heart attack for breakfast
…ate a corn dog
…rode a tractor
…baked ALL the pies AND they were even edible
…WENT TO A HOE-DOWN (yes that is my bum wiggling about)
I even kissed a baby – luckily for said baby not captured on camera, but nevertheless important to note.
What I’m saying, is, I believe I am now ready to run for US congress 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸
Gender data gap of the week
GFPs, you may remember the emergence of dexamethasone as a potential treatment for severe Covid – I do. This was back in the summer of 2020. Pre-vaccines. We were all desperate for some good news. For something that could work to curb the horrifying death toll and that didn’t involve injecting ourselves with bleach (any excuse to watch this again). And suddenly there it was: a drug that not only seemed to work, but was cheap.
When my mum got Covid a few months later I was terrified (she is in her mid-seventies), but less terrified for knowing that if things got really bad we had at least drug that was proven to work…oh.
A popular COVID-19 drug might not help women, new study shows
That’s what University of Calgary researchers argue in a paper published this week in Nature Medicine. […]The University of Calgary team was aware of trials showing dexamethasone only helped some males, but not females. So authors Jeff Biernaskie and Bryan Yipp examined patients at an Alberta hospital, and discovered that the treatment reduced male deaths, but had effectively no benefit for sick females. They call it an “unsettling observation.”
You say unsettling, I say same bulls*** different day tbh
They took blood from COVID patients treated with dexamethasone, and from other hospital patients who didn’t have COVID, for a control group. Complicated lab tests using RNA sequencing and bioinformatics analyzed the patients’ immune responses, and the team says they documented one reaction in men and another in women.
medical researchers, apparently
medical researchers, apparently
“Males derived benefit from the steroids, and the females, at both the cellular level and at the population level, received limited benefit,” his colleague Yipp said. 
How naive do I feel now.
I do remember that at that stage in the pandemic I had kind of given up checking on every trial to see if they had sex-disaggregated their data – there were too many going on and they never make it easy to find that information. It would have been a full-time job in itself.
And I felt demoralised by, well, everything. I wanted to trust that I could trust the research. Sometimes, even I get tired of questioning everything. Sometimes, even I want the win, want things just to work as they should.
But here we are again, GFPs. Another wonder drug that is wonderful for only half of us. Another sex difference in treatment response that we can’t explain because we know too little about sex differences in immune response generally, and too little about the female body specifically. And perhaps most importantly another example of why researchers must ALWAYS sex disaggregate their data and why we must stop assuming that just because a treatment works for men it will necessarily work in women.
Meanwhile a new wonder-drug has emerged…
How Will the COVID Pills Change the Pandemic? | The New Yorker
Can’t wait to find out how they work in women about a year after discovering they work for men 🤪
Default male of the week
Aerobic Exercise Before a Weight Workout May Help Boost Muscle - The New York Times
The NYT excelling itself here with a gender-neutral headline PLUS a picture of very clearly female legs running, to illustrate a study conducted exclusively in men, but my favourite bit of the whole piece goes to the researcher who said “there is no good rationale for believing the effects would be any different in women”
GFPs fixing it
This week’s slot goes to Stella Creasy, who is spearheading a push to get more mothers elected to Westminster. Modelled after the US’s Vote Mama, the plan is for a cross-party foundation as well as party political activity. And in case you’re rusty on your Invisible Women, here’s an extract on why diversity in parliament matters:
Several US studies from the 1980s to the 2000s have found that women are more likely to make women’s issues a priority and more likely to sponsor women’s issues bills. In the UK, a recent analysis of the impact female MPs have had in Westminster since 1945 found that women are more likely to speak about women’s issues, as well as family policy, education and care. An analysis3 of the impact of female representation across nineteen OECD countries4 between 1960 and 2005 also found that female politicians are more likely to address issues that affect women.
The OECD study also found that women’s words translated into action. As female political representation increased in Greece, Portugal and Switzerland, these countries experienced an increase in educational investment. Conversely, as the proportion of female legislators in Ireland, Italy and Norway decreased in the late 1990s, those countries experienced ‘a comparable drop in educational expenditures as a percentage of GDP’. As little as a single percentage point rise in female legislators was found to increase the ratio of educational expenditure. Similarly, a 2004 Indian study of local councils in West Bengal and Rajasthan found that reserving one- third of the seats for women increased investment in infrastructure related to women’s needs. A 2007 paper looking at female repre- sentation in India between 1967 and 2001 also found that a 10% increase in female political representation resulted in a 6% increase in ‘the probability that an individual attains primary education in an urban area’.
And yes yes yes not all women are mothers (I’m not, for example) but a lot of them are, so perhaps their interests should be represented in the place that makes the laws?
Handily the UK parliament just sent Stella an email showing exactly why her work is needed
Apparently Parliament has written a rule which means I can’t take my well behaved, 3-month old, sleeping baby when I speak in chamber. (Still no rule on wearing masks btw).

Mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard it seems….

OH EM GEE NOT A BABY!!! In this climate???
Meanwhile in a country run by grown ups…
New Zealand speaker cradles MP’s baby during parliament debate - BBC News
I am reliably informed that following this admittedly horrifying break in the time-space continuum, New Zealand has, in fact, continued to exist and even flourish as a functioning democracy. Fancy that.
Two bits of homework for you this week GFPs (well you did have a few weeks off!)
First one is very easy: a petition directed towards U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, urging him to update car crash testing standards and technology 
Women are 73% more likely to be injured and 17% more likely to die in a car crash than men. The U.S. allows companies to crash-test cars with dummies based on a 1970s average male, and the government’s 5-star safety rating doesn’t require testing for women in the driver’s seat position. More equal testing standards and new crash test technology could save thousands of lives and prevent needless injuries.
Homework number two is just for straight male British GFPs (feel free to pass this on to the straight male British GFP in your life 🥰💕💞
Toilet queue of the week
We’re back baby! But why, CCP, are you so happy about this, you ask? Well, because while I was in the States I was inculcated into the frankly inexplicable world of American football (why is there ANOTHER time-out and why the f is batman on the pitch???), known stateside as just “football” and I was delighted to see this:
Ladies, there was no queue for the, well, the ladies.
In other toilet news I also enjoyed this colour-coded toilet in Atlanta airport
Poppy pic of the week
My mum looked after Poppy while we were in the Land of the Big and naturally she bullied poor Toby out of his bed.
I call this composition: "Why? 🥺"
I call this composition: "Why? 🥺"
and this one, "WHAT"
and this one, "WHAT"
That’s it my dear GFPs, until next time…. 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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