Invisible Women - sex disaggregated blood clots
Hello GFPs, this week I've been feeling, for want of a better word, triggered by the Everyone's Invited story. Quietly waiting for the name of my old school to come up. The school where girls bodies were discussed in class and up for grabs, literally. On a daily basis. Then I opened The Times app and read this column by a mother of a boy at Dulwich College, one of the schools at the centre of the scandal. The allegations, she writes "risks damaging an entire generation of innocent boys."And I couldn't not say anything any longer. Because what about the entire generations PLURAL of innocent girls who have been being damaged for decades? I know I and my fellow female classmates have been scarred by that for life. I texted an old friend the other day to talk about it because I was so upset and the stories we shared, which we had never spoken about, have scarred us. I went back to that school to give a talk about fifteen years after I left. It was the same. The same toxic atmosphere from the boys. The girls kept apologising for them, were clearly intimidated by them. I felt so sad for these girls. What about their scars? As for “the nice boys getting tarred by this,” yes, not all boys. But how many of the "nice" boys sniggered along as it happened? How many of the nice boys have had the niceness bullied out of them, moulded by the diktats of toxic masculinity into joining the pack? Why doesn't this mother want to address the toxic lad culture that exposed one boy I know at my old school to sexual abuse as part of a relentless campaign of bullying that ended in a suicide attempt. Several attempts, in fact.If you are the mother of a nice boy, your son is at risk too -- of becoming either predator or prey. You should be on the side of the girls.GFPs, unusually, I have some homework for you.First, watch Promising Young Woman, which brilliantly explores the dilemma of what we do about nice boys who snigger along to rape. It's thought-provoking as well as being a cracking film.And read The Double X Economy by Linda Scott (which I reviewed a while back for The Observer). She doesn't talk about schools, but she does very shrewdly explore the dynamic where all you need is a few bastards at the top to set the culture and turn the other men into not-quite-as-bad bastards if only to avoid getting picked on themselves.So there is something in it for men to stand up to the bastards too. But they have to choose to support women over solidarity with their own sex first. The question is: will they?
Gender data gap of the week
So this AstraZeneca blood clot story. First of all, in-depth analysis of evidence by the European Medicine Agency "including laboratory results, clinical reports, autopsies, and clinical trial data" found that "the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots." On the other hand something that definitely causes blood clots is Covid, so if you're worried about blood clots, probably get the vaccine.
But you know what does cause blood clots? The combined pill. That's right, something millions of women taken on a daily basis increases the risk of blood clots by up to four times.
Forgive me if I've mentioned this before, but it's almost like we should sex disaggregate our data or something? 🤪
Default male of the week
Classic example from Slack here of why it's really REALLY dumb not to have a diverse product design team.
Slack quickly removes message invites in its new DM feature over harassment concerns - The Verge — www.theverge.com Slack has disabled a messaging element of its new DM feature that lets anyone send an invite to anyone else on the platform so long as they have their email address. Concerns were raised about abuse and harassment.
Basically, they let anyone send you a DM before you'd even accepted an invite. The DM would be sent to you from firstname.lastname@example.org, thereby bypassing any email blocks you may have. There was no filtering or monitoring for abuse in place and the abuser could just keep sending you abusive invitations. I simply refuse to believe there were more than a handful of (if any) women involved in this decision-making process that prioritised growth optimization over basic safety features. And to be clear, I don't think Slack deliberately set out to prioritise growth over the safety of its users. I think that they forgot that abuse is endemic online. Something you can only do if you aren't one of the people for whom online abuse is a daily part of your life, ie if you're a white man.
As the headline says, they quickly removed this feature following "valuable feedback from our users about how email invitations to use the feature could potentially be used to send abusive or harassing messages," and it's great that they listened to feedback, but this feature should never have been rolled out in the first place. This is a 2010 mistake: inexcusable then, plain embarrassing now.
In other tech news, I gave my mum my old fitbit last week, entered in all her details, and today it flashed up asking her if she wanted to track her period. So, it's nice that tech companies have finally realised periods exist; maybe now they could realise that women don't get a period for their entire life and that a woman in her 70s probably isn't tracking her cycles anymore? Maybe they could even offer menopause tracking??
I know, I know, it'll never take off. After all there are only millions of women living through the menopause, it's a pretty niche product feature.
So...this is happening...
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Haven't yet decided if I can bear watching myself...maybe GFPs can watch it for me and report back 😬
I also spoke to Alisha Haridasani Gupta for her excellent piece on why we need to sweat the small stuff. As I said in last fortnight's newsletter: men who kill women do not suddenly kill women. They work up to killing women. There is no such thing as a harmless creep.
Poppy pic of the week
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for f$ck's sake poppy 😑[/caption]
that's it GFPs, until next time! xoxoxo