We've already got a thread somewhere on .com or .org about tools that are not made for women or smaller men.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado-Pérez
"Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman.
"Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.
"Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew. (less)"
From the introduction to the book: (pp. 21-24)
"Identity is a potent force that we ignore and misread at our peril: Trump, Brexit, and ISIS (to name just three recent examples) are global phenomena that have upended the world order--and they are all, at heart, identity-driven projects. But misreading and ignoring identity is exactly what obfuscating maleness under the guise of gender-neutral universality causes us to do.
"A man I briefly dated tried to win arguments with me by telling me I was blinded by ideology. I couldn't see the world objectively, he said, or rationally, because I was a feminist and I saw everything through feminist eyes. When I pointed out that this was true for him too (he identified as a libertarian) he demurred. No, that was just objective, common sense--de Beauvoir's 'absolute truth.' For him, the way he saw the world was universal, while feminism--seeing the world from a female perspective--was niche. Ideological...
"These white men have in common the following opinions: that identity politics is only identity politics when it's about race or sex; that race and sex have nothing to do with 'wider' issues like 'the economy'; that it is 'narrow' to specifically address the concerns of female voters or voters of colour; and that working class means white working-class men...
"These white men also have in common that they are white men. And I labour this point because it is exactly their whiteness and maleness that caused them to seriously vocalise the logical absurdity that identities only exist for those who happen not to be white or male. When you have been so used, as a white man, to white and male going without saying, it's understandable that you might forget that white and male is an identity too.
"...Whiteness and maleness are silent precisely because they do not need to be vocalised. Whiteness and maleness are implicit. They are unquestioned. They are the default. And this reality is inescapable for anyone whose identity does not go without saying, for anyone whose need and perspective are routinely forgotten. For anyone who is used to jarring up against a world that has not been designed around them and their needs.
"The way whiteness and maleness go without saying brings me back to my bad date (OK, dates), because it is intrinsically linked to the misguided belief in the objectivity, the rationality, the, as Catherine Mackinnon has it, 'point-of-viewlessness' of the white male perspective. Because this perspective is not articulated as norm, it is presumed not to be subjective. It is presumed to be objective. Universal, even.
"This presumption is unsound. The truth is that white and male is just as much an identity as black and female. One study which looked specifically at white Americans' attitudes and candidate preferences found that Trump's success reflected the rise of 'white identity politics', which the researchers defined as 'an attempt to protect the collective interests of white voters via the ballot box.' White identity, they concluded, 'strongly predicts a preference for Trump.' And so did male identity. Analysis of how gender affected support for Trump revealed that 'the more hostile voters were toward women, the more likely they were to support Trump.' In fact hostile sexism was nearly as good at predicting support for Trump as party identification. And the only reason this is a surprise to us is because we are so used to the myth of male universality.
"The presumption that what is male is universal is a direct consequence of the gender data gap [the subject of this book]. Whiteness and maleness can only go without saying because most other identities never get said at all. But male universality is also a cause of the gender data gap: because women aren't seen and aren't remembered, because male data makes up the majority of what we know, what is male comes to be seen as universal. It leads to the positioning of women, half the global population, as a minority. With a niche identity and a subjective point of view. In such a framing, women are set up to be forgettable, Ignorable, Dispensable--from culture, from history, from data. And so, women become invisible."
This forum has always been biased toward male, but we have shifting from Green Wizards to Conservative White Male Wizards. And on the eve of my ninth anniversary here, that worries me a lot.