Women are doing far and away more than our fair share of [unpaid care work] – this necessary work without which our lives would all fall apart. And, as with male violence against women, female biology is not the reason women are the bum-wiping class. But recognizing a child as female is the reason she will be brought up to expect and accept that as her role. Recognizing a woman as female is the reason she will be seen as the appropriate person to clear up after everyone in the office. To write the Christmas and birthday cards to her husband’s family – and look after them when they get sick. To be paid less. To go part-time when they have kids.
Failing to collect data on women and their lives means that we continue to naturalize sex and gender discrimination – while at the same time somehow not seeing any of this discrimination. Or really, we don’t see it because we naturalize it – it is too obvious, too commonplace, too much just the way things are to bother commenting on. It’s the irony of being a woman: at once hyper-visible when it comes to being treated as the subservient sex class, and invisible when it counts – when it comes to being counted.
Excerpt from Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, Abrams Press, New York, Paperback Edition 2021 (pp. 313-314).
[Original Hardcover Edition, published by Chatto & Windus (UK) and Abrams (USA), 2019.]
CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ is a best-selling and award-winning writer, broadcaster, and award-winning feminist campaigner. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men is the winner of the 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize and the 2019 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. She lives in London (UK) where she also writes a weekly newsletter keeping up with the latest data on the gender data gap.