Women ____________________

No doubt you’ve heard about the Google search item.

Here’s a simple and powerful campaign idea from UN Women using real suggested search terms from Google’s autocomplete feature. Campaign creator Christopher Hunt, head of art for Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, offers this summary: “This campaign uses the world’s most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web.” Each ad’s fine print says “actual Google search on 09/03/13.” While Google users in different countries are likely to get different results, a quick test shows that several of these suggested terms definitely come up in U.S. searches. Since its creation, autocomplete has become a popular device for social debate and even inspired a recent epic visual from xkcd, but these ads do a stellar job driving home the daunting fact that enough people around the world share these vile opinions that Google has come to expect them.

So I tried, and sure enough. Of course some of them will be people like me looking for nasty bullshit, but all the same.

Check out the article for what the campaign did with some. Here are the ones I harvested.




Women should not put up with this crap.


  1. captainahags says

    Decided to try and be positive and put in “women can…”
    Women cannot
    Women can’t have it all
    Women cancer
    Women can’t drive.

    Men can…
    Men can stop rape
    Men canvas backpack
    men can lactate
    men cancer.


  2. left0ver1under says

    I hope this isn’t taken as criticism or disagreement….

    While Google users in different countries are likely to get different results, a quick test shows that several of these suggested terms definitely come up in U.S. searches.

    It’s not just where you are, it’s who you are. Google’s “suggestions” are based on a person’s search history.


    If a list appears containing such phrases, it’s because you’ve entered similar terms in the past, or pages you viewed through google contained them. Those who oppose hate are looking for it to criticize it, and those who promote hate look for and want to see it.

    My search history is different from others’ history, so I got different results when I tried it:


  3. PatrickG says

    Just because it’s fun (so the wrong word)…

    Women can’t….
    – have it all
    – drive
    – take a compliment
    – be trusted
    – live with them
    – preach
    – do pull-ups

    women should not….
    – be in combat
    – preach
    – speak in church
    – work
    – vote

  4. PatrickG says

    Oh, and women need to…
    – shut up
    – grow up
    – know about men
    – stop complaining
    – support each other

  5. says

    This is what I got (Google Canada):

    Women shouldn’t… work, vote, run, wear pants.
    Women cannot… be trusted, drive, have it all, live with them
    Women should… serve men, be property, not wear pants, be seen and not heard
    Women need to… know their place, be put in their place, shut up, grow up

    For curiosity’s sake,

    Men shouldn’t… eat soy, get married, cry, marry
    Men cannot… be feminists, be feminists [again], be friends with women, go backwards sexually
    Men should… be what they seem, weep, own women, all die
    Men need to… feel needed, ejaculate, man up, be needed

    Girls shouldn’t… go to college, have abs, run, lift weights
    Girls cannot… be trusted, be colorblind, be trusted quotes, be colour blind
    Girls should… know about guys, not be educated, be healers, act like girls
    Girls need to… realize, know about boys, grow up quotes, learn to flush the toilet

    Boys shouldn’t… make you cry, cry, hit girls, play with dolls
    Boys cannot… hit girls, be friends with girls, [don’t] play with dolls, be trusted
    Boys should… be boys, know, be boys book review, learn to cook
    Boys need to… realize quotes, know about girls, grow up quotes, respect girls quotes

    If a list appears containing such phrases, it’s because you’ve entered similar terms in the past, or pages you viewed through google contained them.

    Not necessarily. I’ve never done a search like this before. The closest I’ve come is an image search for “women/men/boy/girl reading”. I don’t search out sites with hate to criticise. I get enough of that from what comes to me naturally. And, as you can see from searches done by different people in different countries, there’s an overlap of terms that are obviously being generated for autocomplete because they are common searches made by the general internet public. I do a lot of reading on blogs that talk about the intersection between religion and feminism, yet no religious statements appear in my results (e.g. women should not preach; women should cover their heads) but they do appear in results reported from the US and South Africa.

  6. The Beautiful Void says

    I recently got dumped, so decided to avoid negativity and use positive-only terms:

    Women should:
    Women shoulder bags
    Women should be seen and not heard
    Women should stay at home

    Women can:
    Women cancer
    Women canvas shoes
    Women can’t drive

    Women are:
    Women are from venus men are from mars
    Women aren’t funny
    Women are shallow

    Women may:
    Women may swenson
    Women mayors
    Women may not drive in a housecoat

    Women do:
    Women down jacket
    Women don’t like me
    Women don’t need men

    Women will:
    Women will rule tumblr
    Women will be women
    Women will rule the world

    What I find most interesting here is that Google doesn’t think I’m a misogynist so much as it thinks I want to buy things from them. The “Women Will” set is unexpectedly inspiring and has put me in a good mood, although I have the sneaking suspicion that whomever wrote “women will rule the world” didn’t mean it as a good thing.

  7. The Beautiful Void says

    And to get the view of my own gender:

    Men should:
    Men should weep
    Men shoulder bag
    Men should talk

    Men can:
    Men cancer
    Men can’t fly
    Men canvas shoes

    Men are:
    Men arena
    Men arena postcode
    Men arena tickets

    Men may:
    Men Maya Angelou
    Men Maya Angelou analysis
    Men may tinh la gi

    Men do:
    Men don’t tell
    Men don’t leave
    Men down under lyrics

    Men will:
    Men willingly believe what they wish
    Men willies
    Men will be men

    …this is outrageous. I will not stand for anyone telling me that, just because of my gender, I am unable to fly.

  8. Blueaussi says

    I am somewhat of a pepper geek, and I order a lot of seeds and plants on-line in order to get difficult to find or new-to-me varieties. One of the best sources of new or off beat varieties of peppers is The Chilewoman. For several years, if I googled for The Chilewoman, Google helpfully asked me if I meant “The Chileman” , which is a lovely and informative UK website. It would consistently list it above The Chilewoman’s web site every time I searched for it.

    Now, when it is catalog fondling season, I obsessively go over and over what peppers are available to whittle down a list that starts in the hundreds to something that will actually fit in my garden. So, I visit The Chilewoman’s web site daily at minimum during the dark months.

    And Google would still suggest that perhaps I meant Chileman, not Chilewoman.

  9. freemage says


    You didn’t quite replicate the experiment. None of the examples are just the word “women”. Instead, it’s “women + linking verb (+ not)”.

    If I just type “women”, I get results similar to yours. If I type “Women need” or “Women should”, however, I get the stew of misogyny. Try it again with those criteria and see what you get.

  10. Abdul Alhazred says

    It works for other groups.

    “Blacks aren’t”
    … people
    … humans

    “Jews have” is pretty bad too.

  11. says

    How very odd, I ran into something like this last night. Was it to do with “women” in the search term? I can’t recall, but Ima try to find out…. nope. Damn.

    But I notice this crap all the time, irrespective of the seriousness of the subject matter. Actual search results can also be crap, but I’m amazed at what popular search term completion suggestions are offered. Spluh.

  12. says

    “Women should not put up with this crap.”

    Nor should men. Everyone needs to challenge misogyny, and we’ll be a much better society when the oppression of women is no more.

  13. Shatterface says

    I tried a few Asperger searches and ‘Aspies can’ automatically appends can with ‘t, i.e. ‘can’t love’, ‘can’t get a girlfriend’, ‘can’t get a job’, etc.

    ‘Aspies do’ gives ‘don’t have emotions’ and ‘don’t have friends’.

    ‘Aspies should’ gives ‘Aspies should not marry’ or raises the question ‘Should Aspies have kids?’

    ‘Aspergers do’ gives ‘Aspergers doesn’t exist’.

    It’s all pretty eugenic.

  14. yellowsubmarine says

    women are go:
    women are gold diggers
    women are goddesses
    women are god’s gift to men
    women are good for three things

    women are good:
    women are good for three things
    women are good for six
    women are good for nothing
    women are good for one thing

    women of faith
    women of worth
    women of faith Anaheim
    women quotes

  15. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Women will:
    rule the world
    rule tumblr
    save the world
    always cheat

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