The Mother of Invention review: How gender expectation curbs innovation

Katrine Marçal challenges rigid assumptions that limit economics and cultural scope

Wheelie suitcases did not take off until the 1970s because of macho assumptions women were not meant to travel alone and men should be strong enough to carry luggage.

Wheelie suitcases did not take off until the 1970s because of macho assumptions women were not meant to travel alone and men should be strong enough to carry luggage.

If the wheel was invented over 5,000 years ago, asks Katrine Marçal in this thought-provoking book, why wasn’t it applied to luggage until the 1970s?

A Swedish journalist based in London, Marçal is the author of Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? (2012), which explored the limitations of Homo economicus as an organising principle and the societal costs of devaluing unpaid labour.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.