A journalist explains the dangerous consequences of a world built for men

In college, Caroline Criado Perez picked up a book on linguistic theory that pointed out that when women hear the word “he” — the default pronoun that is often used to mean “he or she” — they picture a man. “It blew my mind because I realized that I do that, but I had never realized that that’s what I do,” says Criado Perez. “I never realized that I had been going through life blithely picturing men all the time when the gender of the person was not specified.”

Photo by Rachel Louise Brown

Years later, the same idea would resurface when Criado Perez learned that women are more likely to die from heart attacks due to unequal treatment because it’s not well-publicized that female heart attacks have different symptoms…

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