Have you ever thought about why things are the way they are? Why that seat is designed to be that height? Why the temperature is set at that particular figure? Or why the world just doesn’t feel like it’s been designed with you in mind?
If you’ve answered yes to those questions then the sentiment of Caroline Criado Perez’s book will ring true to you. And you’re also, probably, a woman. Perez, who received an OBE in 2015, has spent the last three years researching her latest book, ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’.
In it, she explores how the world in which we live has been designed with solely men in mind. Crash-test dummies are based on the ‘average’ male which means car safety systems are designed to fit their measurements. Stab vests are designed for the ‘average’ male, which means they open women up to more life threatening injuries. And the temperature set in offices accords to the metabolic resting rate of the ‘average’ man. This at last explains why in every office you’ll see several women wrapped in blankets while men wander round in t-shirts.
The sentiment at the heart of Perez’s book is not man-bashing; nor is it designed to alienate one gender. Provocative yes, but what it’s really designed to do is to make the case for change, to highlight the bias that we may not have realised even existed. She’s exposing the gender data gap and allowing women to recognise that just because things don’t fit them, it’s not actually their fault; it’s just the way they were designed.
Visit Caroline Criado Perez’s website to find out more.