The image above is part of an ad series that the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women launched recently in order to spark a much needed dialogue on a very real issue. The ad series includes images of women whose mouths are covered by Google search options. It is appalling to think that after typing in “women need to…”, the options given were so degrading, such as to “be put in their place.” Now, according to UN Women, these search options were taken on March 9 of this year, which is still too recent to ignore. Although the options listed are different today (Oct. 31, 2013), one search option that Google provides based on popularity is “…shut up.” Women need to shut up? Really? This idea of having to control women is too ingrained in our society. We’ve seen, through Dreamworlds 3, that music videos—an incredibly popular media form—portray men as the aggressors and the ones with power over the submissive women; women are basically nothing without a man. This depiction is shared among other forms of media as well, such as print advertisement and television commercials, and is unarguably influencing the way society views a woman. Google search options are apparently a great way to see what society thinks on the subject! As UN Women put it, women don’t need to be controlled, they need to “be seen as equal.” Society needs to collectively change its opinion on women because we don’t deserve to constantly live in fear of being sexually abused or taken advantage of, which is merely one of the results of this sexism.
Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video. Dir. Sut Jhally. Media education foundation, 2007. Film.