Google Suggested Search Reveals Sexism
November 15, 2013
What do you think will show up as a suggested search if you type in “women should” on Google?
Instead of “be empowered” or “be respected,” you get sexism like the following: “stay at home,” “be slaves” and “be in the kitchen.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
Advertising firm Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai partnered with UN Women to design a series of ads featuring close-ups of women with their mouths covered by search bars. The search bars show the top Google searches you get when you type in words like “women shouldn’t” and “women need to,” which are “women shouldn’t have rights” and “women need to be put in their place.”
When I first saw these ads, I refused to believe them. I had to try it out for myself. I mean, hasn’t our society evolved a lot from the days of extreme sexism?
Unfortunately, the ads were very much true. And when I tried searching the same phrases for guys, the top searches included “men cannot be feminists” and “men should be allowed to hit women.”
Are you serious? I was absolutely appalled.
When my friends tell dim-witted jokes about feminism or women’s rights, they attempt to justify it by saying that it’s not a big deal and that women aren’t really being discriminated against. These ads prove that our society is far from equal and that sexism is alive and well.
But the ads can inspire us to keep fighting for full gender equality. On the bottom of them are messages of hope and empowerment, such as, “women cannot accept the way things are,” “women shouldn’t suffer from discrimination anymore,” “women should have the right to make their own decisions” and “women need to be seen as equal.” We should all be committed to making sure that these messages of hope become a reality.