Wonder why it's so hard to finally ditch beliefs such as “a women wearing revealing outfits is asking for rape”? Just ask Google. A new series of ads from UN Women by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai uncovers just how prevalent misogynistic views still are in the 21st century using real Google searches.
To reveal men's expectations and beliefs about women, the organization looked at Google searches dated 9 March, 2013. Searches like “women shouldn't...”, “women cannot...” or “women should/shouldn't...” reveal the fact that a surprising number of men have either negative beliefs about women or even worse, believe women's right shouldn't exist. If these haven't made your blood reach the boiling point yet, we suggest trying “women must...” and “women shouldn't be allowed to”.
The disheartening conclusions came as a shock for Christopher Hunt, Art Director of the creative team: “When we came across these searches, we were shocked by how negative they were and decided we had to do something with them”. The new ads represent the attempts to silence women and are meant to be a wake up call for all those who believe gender equity issues are a thing of the past. Clearly, there's still a long way to go.
Think these ads are an overreaction and that negative beliefs are just as widespread among women? That's not exactly right and a similar exercise isn't nearly as saddening as the above examples. What does Google say about men?
It appears that trust issues are common to both genders: both “men cannot be trusted” and “women cannot be trusted” are high up on the list. However, typing “men should not” will reveal mostly fashion advice and not blatant rights denial: men should not wear flip flops, skinny jeans and shorts, according to popular opinion. We're not quite sure which gender believes that “men shouldn't marry”, though. Typing “men should” does not dot results in demeaning suggestions.