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Editor's Correspondence
January 11, 1999

The Invisible Woman

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(1):99-100. doi:

Women make up 51% of the US population,1 yet men occupy most leadership positions in politics, business, and academics. There is considerable concern that despite substantial numbers of women in US medical schools since the mid 1980s, women are not progressing to senior academic ranks.2,3 This male predominance perpetuates itself through often subtle means.4,5 One of these means is to consciously or unconsciously make women feel invisible.6 We had such an experience reading the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.7 Table 7 in that report states, "Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 oz (30 mL) per day or 0.5 oz (15 mL) of ethanol per day for women and lighter-weight people."