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Invisible Women - Things That Are Actually Designed for Female Bodies

Invisible Women
Invisible Women - Things That Are Actually Designed for Female Bodies
By Caroline Criado Perez • Issue #44 • View online
Hello GFPs! And for British (or is it just English and Welsh?) GFPs welcome to being allowed to have a haircut and a pint again! Maybe not at the same time, BUT MAYBE AT THE SAME TIME! (not me, I hate beer, so I’ll just have a G&T with mine, ta).
This week (well ever since I discovered it about sixteen hours ago) I have been fretting over Elizabeth Arden having discontinued their daily defence SPF 35 face cream. It took me YEARS to find a non-greasy non-chalky non-tinted SPF face cream that didn’t make my stupidly sensitive face skin sting so I am obviously furious. If any GFPs with similarly stupid skin have any recommendations, please fire them my direction.
Which leads me onto another thing: I have been mulling this one for a while and it occurred to me with so many thousands of us here, we could maybe start a repository of Things That Are Actually Designed For The Female Body (bonus points if they have pockets). What do you all think? Would that be a useful and welcome addition to the newsletter? I don’t intend to do all the finding work myself (I think my editors might have a word if I introduced that as my new full-time job), but perhaps GFPs could recommend products and each week we will highlight one of them? Shoes designed using a female last (remember a few newsletters ago we discovered most of them aren’t?) power tools designed around a female hand size etc etc? Am I exploiting you all as my own personal shoppers? No comment.
And finally! Before we move on with the main meat of the email, long-time subscribers will remember every now and then I have a minor rant about rights of way. Well, next week, MPs are debating whether or not to criminalise trespass as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Yes, that Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The same bill that if enacted would more or less criminalise protest depending on the mood of the police that day is also intending to criminalise wandering outside of the 8% of English land we are allowed to walk in (in contrast to Scotland where there is a right to roam across mountains whether or not they are owned by Lord whatever and whether or not the locals can provide reams of evidence that 50 years ago people were walking a particular route). ANYWAY. Now is the time to write to your MP to let them know that you care about this issue and want them to attend the debate, and luckily for you there is even a template email for you as well as all sorts of helpful links to more information should you be interested.
Right, enough of that, let’s move on to women being ignored as usual 🤪

Gender Data Gap of the week
This week came yet another study showing that we just don’t take women’s pain as seriously as men’s. We don’t believe women’s pain is as bad as they say, and we are more likely to think men should get pain medication while women just need to get their emotions in order. As I wrote in Invisible Women, we have known about this sex disparity in pain treatment since at least the 80s, with regular studies proving the same finding every few years or so.
We’ve known this for a long time. We have enough proof that this sex disparity is real and that isn’t just going away of its own accord. And yet here we are still just researching it and proving again and again that it exists.
And to be clear, I’m not suggesting that we stop collecting this data. It’s crucial that we keep measuring the extent of the problem. I’m just suggesting that we perhaps now have enough data to start doing something about it. There will be systemic solutions to this problem as there have been for other habitual mistakes historically made by medics. So why aren’t we introducing these systemic changes?
It’s almost like we can’t believe that women aren’t believed.
Meanwhile, we still don’t really know much about how women actually experience pain. As I reported in Invisible Women, there is “mounting evidence that men and women experience pain differently”, and that different dosages and medications might be required for men and women – but this evidence has yet to trickle down to your average medical practitioner as common knowledge.
Male default of the week
This headline from The Times annoyed me this week. As I tweeted at the time, “Evidence from hand prints alongside many cave paintings suggests the majority were actually done by women but sure let’s carry on pretending everything has been done by men.”
This tweet was inevitably followed with a series of patient people explaining to silly old me that “mAn iNcLuDeS wOmAn tOo!!!”
Except I’ve literally written the book on this and it doesn’t, does it.
From Invisible Women,
Numerous studies in a variety of languages over the past forty years have consistently found that what is called the ‘generic masculine’ (using words like ‘he’ in a gender-neutral way) is not in fact read generically. It is read overwhelmingly as male.
When the generic masculine is used people are more likely to recall famous men than famous women; to estimate a profession as male-dominated; to suggest male candidates for jobs and political appointments. Women are also less likely to apply, and less likely to perform well in interviews, for jobs that are advertised using the generic masculine. In fact the generic masculine is read so overwhelmingly as male that it even overrides otherwise powerful stereotypes, so that professions such as ‘beautician’, which are usually stereotyped female, are suddenly seen as male. It even distorts scientific studies, creating a kind of meta gender data gap: a 2015 paper looking at self-report bias in psychological studies found that the use of the generic masculine in questionnaires affected women’s responses, potentially distorting ‘the meaning of test scores’. The authors concluded that its use ‘may portray unreal differences between women and men, which would not appear in the gender-neutral form or in natural gender language versions of the same questionnaire’. 
Of course I now feel very silly.
Bonus default male of the week
Phillip Morgan
1/3 Baby William’s mother Zoe has unfortunately been called for jury service. Breastfeeding a 2 month old was not seen as a reason by junior @MoJGovUK officials to defer jury service. Surely that’s not fair to the baby, mother, defendant, or the court @RobertBuckland @MoJPress?
When rules are made by men, for men.
Poppy pic of the week
That’s it, GFPs! I will not be here next week as, unless something goes terrible, horribly wrong, I will be moving into my new home! Only took about 8 months. Keep all fingers, toes and anything else firmly crossed please!
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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