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Invisible Women - Sexy Snails

Invisible Women
Invisible Women - Sexy Snails
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #23 • View online
Good morning GFPs! Welcome to your weekly dose of doom…or is it? Every now and then, someone gets in touch to ask if I could be a bit more upbeat, because this newsletter depresses the hell out of them. Could I include some good news, they ask? Well, look, I would love to, but the problem is there often isn’t a lot of good news to go around. Although, considered from another perspective, every one of these newsletters is good news, because knowledge is power, my friend. See this tweet I was sent this week:

Emma Knowles
Prescribed Plavix blood thinner to prevent another stroke. Of course my first instinct is to google “plavix research women”. Of course it’s 50% less effective in women than in men! Thanks @CCriadoPerez for making me aware of this kind of thing! #invisiblewomen
Yes, you could see that as a negative and in one way it very much is: yet another drug that doesn’t work as well for women, and of course I worry for Emma and all other women who have an illness for which we don’t yet have a female-effective treatment. On the other hand, Emma now knows enough to challenge her doctors for better treatment. And even beyond that individual approach, every gender data gap identified is a gender data gap we are one step closer to closing. So take heart, my GFPs! Yes, there is a lot of work to be done. But by making ourselves aware of what that work is, by sharing it with others, by challenging our doctors, our workplaces, our families and friends, we are fixing this every single day.
Plus, you know, there’s always the Poppy Pic of the Week 😘🐾
Also I’m too tired to be jolly this week. Maybe next week.
Gender Data Gap of the Week
This week I’m giving you TWO data gaps for the price of one, you lucky things! MORE KNOWLEDGE!
GFPs being super grateful for all the truth-bombs
GFPs being super grateful for all the truth-bombs
First, up, I was really pleased to see that the 2001 small scale study which found that 80% of drugs that had been withdrawn for unacceptable side effects had worse effects in women (see IW, p.215) has, only 19 years later, been updated with a larger scale study. I guess like the viagra-vs-period-pain research (see IW p.230-1) before it, well, it’s only women, so no rush, eh?
I was less pleased by the findings, of course: “striking” sex differences in blood concentration and drug elimination times (pharmacokinetics) were were found for 88% of the drugs evaluated, and these sex differences were strongly correlated with the rate of adverse drug reactions in women, including nausea, depression, bleeding, seizures, severe weight gain, cardiac abnormalities and, well, death. Body weight was not found to explain this sex difference.
“This,” explained the researchers, “likely contributes to the near doubling of adverse drug reactions in female patients, raising the possibility that women are routinely overmedicated.” The trouble is, there are “thousands of drugs for which sex-stratified [pharmacokinetic] data are not publicly available.” So, as usual, we possibly have a huge problem, it’s just that because we haven’t collected data on women we have no idea how big that problem is.
But still, the first step to fixing the male bias in medicine is better data, so this is a huge step forward.
Gender Data Gap The Second
when u sex-disaggregate ur data…
vs when u don’t…
But wait, there’s more!
So that’s nice, isn’t it.
Default male of the week
So yesterday the American Beefcake (the AB to me and you) got himself some swanky new earphones. And he would NOT SHUT UP ABOUT THEM. I wouldn’t have minded, except, well:
Caroline Criado Perez
So my boyfriend bought himself some fancy new earphones and they even have a m/f set up for sound. Too bad they’re too big to fit into my very average female sized ears 😑
If anyone has found a solution to wireless earphones that even with the smallest silicone bud are TOO BIG for your ears, please let me know! I currently use AirPods which are the only ones that just about fit for me, though they do hurt if I have them in too long.
Readers' corner
So last week, I revealed the VERY EXCITING NEWS that I had a leech named after me, a discovery from which I am still recovering. The revelation also struck a chord with another reader, who had this to say about the widespread habit of default male when it comes to animals:
As a naturalist, it really annoys me when people use ‘he’ for animals - especially because they’re unlikely to be right even 50% of the time for invertebrates. You probably know that most of the bees we see are female - in honeybees for example, males only have two functions, breeding and controlling the temperature of the hive.
It’s even worse with leeches as they (like slugs and snails) are hermaphrodite! So female names are just as appropriate as males. I was especially annoyed last week by a ‘heartwarming’ story about a left handed snail. All the snails were given males names and when ‘Jeremy’ finally laid eggs ‘he’ was still referred to as a ‘father’.“
This reminded me of the study about the stuffed toys I wrote about in Invisible Women:
when researchers in one study attempted to prompt participants to see a gender-neutral stuffed animal as female by using female pronouns, children, parents and carers still overwhelmingly referred to the animal as ‘he’. The study found that an animal must be ‘super-feminine’ before ‘even close to half of participants will refer to it as she rather than he’. 
I guess Jeremy just wasn’t sexy enough. Poor show, Jezza
Toilet Queue Of The Week
Andrzej Kozlowski
Press Secretary of the President: Natalia Eismont: “It’s funny even to hear some dreamers call Svetlana Tikhanovskaya “President”. It impossible even for technical reasons. In the Presidential Administration there is no female toilet. It simply has not even been considered.”
OK, technically not a queue, but we’re going rogue with this newsletter
Poppy pic of the week
Poppy cosplaying as a kangaroo
Poppy cosplaying as a kangaroo
That’s it, GFPs! Until next time…stay sexy! 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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