If you ever feel like being a woman in this world is somehow hard, it may be because it is. What does it mean for a woman to live in a world that’s predominantly designed by men? Does it make women less visible and less heard? These are crucial questions that we don’t really have the answers to straight away.

But Karly Hou, a sophomore at Harvard in computer science, math, and economics, has recently posted an illuminating thread on Twitter that has shed some light on the current state of gender bias which, in many cases, is not so obvious. “Our world was not built for women,” Karly made a strong statement before proceeding to list all eighteen disturbing examples of how it’s hostile to female identities.

From simple things like smartphones and cars to military equipment and recommended drug dosages, these are the things most of us have been taking for granted. Maybe, until now?

And she listed these disturbing examples of how our world wasn’t built for women

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

The world population is projected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050, an increase of more than 25% from the current 2020 population of 7.8 billion. While more than half of this 7.8 billion are women, the heads of governments, corporations, and other influential voices are those of males.

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Many feminist researchers claim that this is the case because the “default male” is the figure our world is designed around. According to one such author, Caroline Criado Perez, the male that serves as a stand-in for “human” may have very real and often damaging consequences.

From longer wait times at the loos to phones that simply don’t fit female hands, these are some of the annoying things women have to find their ways around. Some though can be truly lethal, like protective clothing that wasn’t built according to female proportions, or misdiagnosing heart diseases in female patients.

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

But the default male problem is much greater than just manifesting in daily activities or objects. Turns out, it’s something that permeates the very language we use to talk about such things. According to feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon, the #MeToo campaign has achieved what the law couldn’t.

“Culturally, it is still said ‘women allege’ or ‘claim’ they were sexually assaulted. Those accused ‘deny what was alleged.’ What if we changed the emphasis and said that survivors ‘report’ and the accused ‘alleges’ or ‘claims’ it didn’t happen?” Prior to #MeToo, society has privileged the male accused while framing women’s reports as suspect.

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The problem takes us to the point that gender bias is an unconscious matter that we are all “infected by” from an early age. Feminism is part of the process to “unlearn it,” but it needs more radical shifts in thinking while we frame the default male concept as inherently problematic.

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

More women shared their observations on things that were meant for men

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