After having an in-depth podcast discussion with author Lori Meakin about her new book, No More Menemies, and how she’s set out to help create a more gender-equal world, we thought we’d also ask her what she’s reading right now, as part of our ‘four favourite books’ series. Here’s what she gave us:
Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado Perez
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (to give it its full title) literally changed the way I understand the world, and triggered me to research and write No More Menemies. It sets out, in irrefutable detail, that although the world we live in is apparently designed for all people, it’s actually often designed for male bodies and lives. And so, it simply doesn’t work as well for women.
From playground use to medicine and car safety, these oversights are making our lives significantly more difficult and often more dangerous. Once you see it, it’s impossible to unsee…
The Authority Gap, by Mary Ann Sieghart
This book analyses ‘Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously than Men, and What We Can Do About It’. It’s easy to think that gender equality has come so far that women are now treated as men’s equals in relationships and in broader culture. Some even think women hold the power now.
This book is packed with evidence to the contrary, showing how in all kinds of ways, we (women as well as men) accord women and girls less authority than we do men and boys. And this has some calamitous consequences.
Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?, by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
The title of this book strikes me as something few women would get away with asking (thanks to the Authority Gap!). But it’s no sensationalism. Based on extensive research over many years and expert analysis from this eminent Harvard, UCL and Colombia professor, it sets out how most organisations promote leaders based on personality traits that are proven to be damaging, like overconfidence and narcissism. Rather than replicating this flawed system that rewards arrogance over humility, and loudness over wisdom, Chamorro-Premuzic shares the most proven-effective leadership qualities… ones in which women currently over-index, but men can adopt too.
The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, by Shon Faye
Anyone who wants to properly understand the system that’s come to dominate the western world over hundreds of years would do well to read this thoughtful, powerful and hopeful book. Because, as Shon Faye says ‘Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia share much of the same DNA. To the patriarchy, we all do gender wrong.’
Packed with insight and evidence about what it’s really like to walk through the world as a transgender woman, Faye argues for a more informed, compassionate approach, highlighting what unites us and offering a vision of a future with less hatred and more hope.
Featured image: The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, by Shon Faye