By Gauri Padmanabhan, Grade 11
Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women is a book that highlights the systemic oppression of women around the world. Most of the time, we don’t stop to think about why things are designed the way they are and more importantly, who they are designed for. For many women around the world, inconveniences are taken as a part of life and not analyzed further. Invisible Women, however, deep dives into those ‘little’ inconveniences and uncovers a world of prejudice behind them.
Often, individuals who stand up for women’s rights are pushed aside, saying that they don’t have enough evidence to back up their claims. This is where Invisible Women shines. The book is focused on data and the meaning behind it, it provides a clear description of where women stand in the world as of now and is not fuelled by another motive. The facts that one encounters in this book are truly mind blowing and puts into perspective that we really do live in a world designed for men. Men have been taken as the default human, in fact, if many of us were to imagine a person in our minds, we would immediately imagine a man if the sex wasn’t specified. The ways in which we talk to each other, the ways phones are designed, the way roads are plowed when it is snowing, not to mention the way airbags are designed are all based on male preferences. It took until 2011 for carmakers in the US to start using crash test dummies based on the typical female body. There is a lot of invisibility surrounding women but what is so strange about this, is that women are treated as a minority when they are the majority. We must realize that the female experience is not niche, it is something that must be taken into account in all aspects of society.
In the theme of ‘Giving Back’, this book asks one to pause and reflect on the treatment of women around the world and at the same time shows us possible solutions. As students going into many different fields, it is of utmost importance that we educate ourselves on the struggles of women and help make systemic changes to ensure that all people have the same opportunities.