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Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men

Katrine Mar?al

An illuminating and maddening examination of how gender bias has skewed innovation, technology, and history It all starts with a rolling suitcase.


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Book Information

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams.
Publish Date: 10/19/2021
Pages: 304
ISBN-13: 9781419758041
ISBN-10: 1419758047
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 18, 2021

"The authors who make up this year’s Porchlight Business Book of the Year Awards longlist gift us with a feast of new ideas to explore and, even more valuable, a renewed sense of possibility.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 19, 2021

Books to Watch | October 19, 2021

By Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, Emily Porter


October 22, 2021

Katrine Marçal's new book shows us how gender bias has determined what technologies we have built, and even what we consider to be technology, undermining our ability to reach our full potential as human beings. It continues to be the case today, and it has never been as important as it is now to upend our ideas around gender to build a more balanced and sustainable world. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 02, 2021

Porchlight's Creative & Social Media Manager, Gabbi Cisneros, explains our picks for the best Innovation & Creativity books of 2021. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

An illuminating and maddening examination of how gender bias has skewed innovation, technology, and history It all starts with a rolling suitcase. Though the wheel was invented some five thousand years ago, and the suitcase in the nineteenth century, it wasn't until the 1970s that someone successfully married the two. What was the hold up? For writer and journalist Katrine Mar?al, the answer is both shocking and simple: because "real men" carried their bags, no matter how heavy. Mother of Invention is a fascinating and eye-opening examination of business, technology, and innovation through a feminist lens. Because it wasn't just the suitcase. Drawing on examples from electric cars to bra seamstresses to tech billionaires, Mar?al shows how gender bias stifles the economy and holds us back, delaying innovations, sometimes by hundreds of years, and distorting our understanding of our history. While we talk about the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, we might as well talk about the "Ceramic Age" or the "Flax Age," since these technologies were just as important. But inventions associated with women are not considered to be technology in the same way. This is a sweeping tour of the global economy with a powerful message: if we upend our biases, we can unleash our full potential.

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