Google Search Terms Reveal Today’s Sexism

With the advent of the Internet, education, science, and advanced technologies never before-imagined by the forefathers of the contemporary world, one issue remains devastatingly current–women are still viewed as the inferior species in society.

UN Women, one of the branches of the United Nations, teamed up with artist Christopher Hunt of Oglivy & Mather to produce an ad campaign to address the pervasiveness and current predominance of the deprecating attitudes towards women.

The graphics feature bleakly lit photographic portraits of women of different races and backgrounds. Superimposed over their mouths like a tied gag is the iconic Google search bar with a drop-down of popular search terms about women. The highly searched queries, done in September 2013, echo archaic sentiments from far beyond the Victorian ages: “women shouldn’t vote,” “women need to be controlled,” and “women need to be disciplined.”

The popular queries reveal the Internet age’s view on sexism in the stark black text, while corrective and forward-thinking sentiments such as “women cannot accept the way things are” are printed almost illegibly in white beneath each woman’s chin. The black, inhibiting text easily overweighs the white restorative text printed on the ads.

The Google search ads reveal a disturbing and bleak truth about the world’s progress in attitude, or lack thereof. In terms of global development, especially with the empowerment of women as one of the MDGs, the question begs to be asked: is enough being done by today’s leading international institutions to advocate the importance of women in the common interest of pluralism and peace?

– Malika Gumpangkum

Sources: Adweek, Design Taxi, Newsfeed
Photo: Times