Jan 15, 2020
Bryan Callen and today's guest, Caroline Criado-Perez, have very different feeeeeeelings about the word feminism. For Bryan, feminism is a bit of a dirty word which he associates with well-meaning but misguided Social Justice Warriors on a crusade to remake the world in denial of the facts. For Caroline, feminism is a noble cause that aims to make the world fair and equal for all regardless of gender. And yet, in spite of their feelings about the word feminism, the case that Caroline makes in her latest book "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men" is so compelling that Bryan and Caroline found themselves agreeing on the premise of her book. From medicine to the design of smartphones to bathroom allocation to the temperature of office spaces, the world is based on the assumption that an ordinary human is male. The result is that women die unnecessarily of heart attacks and car crashes. They wait longer in line for bathrooms. They are constantly cold in offices while men find the temperature perfectly comfortable. Many men wonder why the women in their lives are always cold, as if it is some defect of their body's ability to regulate its internal environment. Rather than a failure of homeostasis among 50% of the population, women and men simply have different mean body temperatures and men have simply been setting the thermostats for their own comfort without consulting women or considering that they might have different needs. In every way and in every field of life, the world was designed by men and for men and women have suffered as a result. There's a saying in Washington D.C. that if you're not at the table, then you're on the menu. In other words, if you're not there helping make the decisions, then you're going to get eaten alive. For most of recorded history, the people calling the shots and making the design decisions have been men and women have been on the menu. Bryan, Caroline and Hunter all want to live in a world based on fair play. So, why would we spend our time arguing about our feeeeeeelings about the word feminism when we can devote our time and energy to solving the problem? With Caroline's book, we not only have a persuasive case. We have a recipe for action for how we can make a world that works better for all of us. Fair play isn't just about marches, elections and new legislation. It's also about making little decisions like where we set the thermostat into discussions.