• 10.21.13

Google Autocompletes The World’s Opinion Of Women–And It’s Not Pretty

UN Women uses a simple Google feature to show sexist attitudes hiding in plain sight.

Here’s one easy way to determine how rampant sexism is across the globe: run a Google search. To prove that masses of Internet users have worrying opinions on what women should–or cannot–do, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) tested the search engine’s autocomplete feature. Type in the words “women” and “shouldn’t” or “women” and “cannot,” and you’ll get a litany of despicable options: drive, vote, speak in church, box, have rights…you get the point (interestingly, here in the U.S., when you type in “men shouldn’t,” you get a more innocuous list: wear flip-flops, wear shorts, marry).


The ads were created by Christopher Hunt at Ogilvy & Mather Dubai. Each one includes a line of small print, listing the date on which the search was run. Why not give autocomplete a try and see what pops up when you type “women can” into the search bar. Or better yet, the phrase “misogynists are.”

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.