The Internet Is Not As Enlightened as You Might Hope

Spurred on by an recent article in Mashable about auto search results being sexist, I did a little experiment. 

The article, Ads reveal Horrifying Sexism in Google Autocomplete, uncovered what the results are if you type “women should” into the search bar. Here are my results:

google women

Women should be seen and not heard? Is this 2013 or 1913? So I wanted to see what the results where on other search engines.  Here are the results from Bing and Yahoo.

bing womenyahoo women

Women should not be allow to vote. Should stay at home. Not wear pants??? I found similar results on Msn.com and Ask.com.  UN Women have created a series of posters sharing the Google results, hoping to create a campaign of awareness. 

From the Mashable article, they explain a little about the science behind the auto complete function:

Google autocomplete is a feature that suggests what your search term might be, based on its most frequent searches and the content of web pages. It is, in many ways, a neutral reflection of society.

Somehow that makes it worse. To think that there are so many people searching for “women should not work” that it becomes an automatic choice, is a sad state of affairs. 

Is it any wonder we have such a small number of women leaders in business, government and non-profit organizations. 

How does this make you feel? Understand that the Internet isn’t just based on the results of the United States but is a global reflection of views on what women should and should not do. Are you surprised?