If you ever feel compelled to type "women" into Google, get ready to feel outraged, confused, amused, and very, very concerned all at once. Oh, the dark irony: An advanced search algorithm, the same tool that expands our collective pool of knowledge every day, can also provide a severe time warp that proves ossified social attitudes are alive and well. Let's say you're curious about women in space (and not just because of Gravity). You type "women" into the Google bar, and before you even get a chance to finish your query, the ever-helpful auto-complete box suggests "women should stay quiet," "women can't be trusted," and the exasperating chestnut, "women should be property." Just like that, your astronomical curiosity is shot down with morale-dampening evidence that people search for ways to keep women in line — or bound to earth, you could say.
Perhaps, because these intellectually deficient attitudes are so ridiculous to anyone with a working cortex, it's easy to laugh; after all, laughing is a great way to deflect what makes us uncomfortable. But, it's astonishing that human beings — in 2013, on this planet — search these sexist terms enough to make them prominent results. "Women are less than men" culls over 1 billion articles, with everything from income disparity to Islamic debates showing up on the first page. Since people tend to search for what they're struggling to understand, it's pretty clear that women still pose a real dissonant threat to many.
A genius ad campaign by human-rights organization U.N. Women brings the unfortunate "googling for women" issue into sharp focus. Four posters showcase women with an offensive Google search emblazoned over each of their faces. "Really, guys?" they urge in the most polite way possible. It's a graceful approach to a most ungraceful reality, and we seriously hope it opens a few eyes (and minds). (Mashable)