We were blown away by this super powerful campaign by UN Women over the weekend in which they use Google’s autocomplete feature to illustrate how pervasive sexist views in the world really are. Autocomplete is obviously based on the most common searches typed into Google so after “Women need…” the most common (YES MOST COMMON!) words to follow were “to be put in their place” followed by “to know their place” then “be controlled” “be disciplined”. How depressing is that insight into people’s, and we’re guessing mostly dudes’, heads?
It’s easy to live in a PC bubble, especially for me growing up in multicultural London and now living in liberal Brighton, and think you know it’s 2013, sexism is mostly a last century thing right? And then you see something like this and your head explodes.
And when you consider Laura Robson, the British tennis player, who certainly doesn’t make a living from posting bikini-clad selfies to her Instagram, had these words showing up in Google autocomplete maybe the world of women’s surfing isn’t so doomed after all. Albeit in the least scientific survey of ever, based on one-off google.com searches performed on a drab and featureless Monday morning.