REVIEW: Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez

A few days ago my dad was watching a film on TV from 1956. During the adverts he turned to me and spoke about how far society has come “with women and stuff” and told me a bit about all the sexist material shown in the film that wouldn’t be seen in the movies of today. I nodded in agreement, glad that he acknowledged the advances in feminism as an improvement rather than a downgrade from the ‘good old days’. When I mentioned that we still have a long way to go however, I received a laugh as a response. “What more is there to do?”, he asked, genuinely confused, sure that just because life for him was no longer like 1956, it was the same for everyone else.

If you’ve ever had a similar question posed to you -from a man no doubt- this is the book I recommend you smack them across the head with.

Brimming with disturbing statistics and eye-opening studies covering just about every aspect of life today, ‘Invisible Women’ perfectly reveals just how unknowingly accustomed we have become to the world we live in – the world that was built for men.

Criado Perez explores what is referred to as the gender data gap, the fact that the data we have on the world is based on men being seen as the ‘default’ human.  She supplies endless heart-breaking data on how this has affected (and continues to hinder) women all across the globe, providing us feminists with the tools to end any argument over the so-called equality we have today with just one book.

Infuriating to read? Absolutely. Each new chapter had me seething with frustration and questioning how I could have been so blind to what now seems so painfully obvious. From the seemingly minor inconveniences women face such as offices set to the male temperature norm, to the life-threatening medical data gap that leaves women suffering with major heart problems go undiagnosed. Every harrowing percentage of inequality left me screaming on the inside at what we women have to tolerate without even being aware we’re tolerating anything at all.

However, anger is crucial if we wish to make a change in this world, as is knowledge. Criado Perez did the work, unearthed the research, and provided us with both. So read this book at your own risk. It will undoubtedly enrage you as it did me, such is the purpose of revolution-starting work, but will hopefully unmask you to the inequalities women still face (yes, even though it’s no longer 1956), encourage you to prevent them where you can, and help make women less invisible.

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