United Nations ad

un ad

Recently I saw an this for women’s rights, put out by the United Nations. It features a woman in hijab and theoretically what would happen if you began to search for “women need to.” It’s pretty shocking to see that such terrible and strongly worded phrases complete the search. I mean, “women need to be put in their place” is bordering on obnoxious.

So naturally I wanted to know if that would come up when I searched it. So I went to my local Google search to see what would happen….

screenshotWhich is not even close, honestly. Sure “shut up” could possibly be stretched to a command of discipline, but mostly it just sounds whiny. The advertisement puts out a far more anti-woman message than the reality. And while I understand the effectiveness of shock and awe advertising, when it comes to ending gender inequality, is this really the way to go?

I’m curious what the search engine completes are for other countries. Is this really what pops up in America? Or anywhere? So please, do share!

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7 Responses to United Nations ad

  1. pollyheath says:

    The Russian search is the same except the fourth result is “…need to know about men” (?)

    I think it’s a very interesting ad campaign and I think it’s pretty effective. Even if the ad is getting a little sensationalized, it’s an interesting way to address the problem.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I got the same search results that you did. I don’t think that the UN ad was supposed to be realistic at all and I’m pretty sure that the pop-ups that it shows won’t appear in search results anywhere in the world.

    Is that type of advertising really the way to go? I have no idea. But do people around the world, particularly around Saudi Arabia which has very strict laws, have that attitude? I can’t say much about Saudi Arabia, but there’s a co-ed frat-like group of guys at my school that are known to have that attitude. After one year, many of the girls in that group literally just left the group, so those attitudes still exist in places in America (at a tech school in California, no less!).

  3. callistonian says:

    I’ve had an unfortunate amount of exposure to sexism lately and while the google terms may not actually represent what’s being searched, they do represent, in an overall and global sense, how people feel about women. Sometimes, it’s hard to see because we all live in our little bubbles, but step outside of them and … I think Americans have a tendency to downplay the problem too much, actually.

  4. Liv says:

    Since this is supposed to be my area of expertise, I’d say the campaign sounds like the kind of crap advertising agencies try to do these days.

    I’m not a feminist and I can’t stand feminism, but the searches that appear are pretty obnoxious. Though I’ll agree with the “women need to shut up” one. The old women on my train do need to shut up.

  5. Expat Eye says:

    I got the same as you did. Interesting exercise! I used to work in advertising and it’s true. Everything is exaggerated for shock value. But it gets people talking and writing about it and puts women’s rights in the spotlight which I guess is the aim – and not a bad thing! Linda.

  6. Aussa Lorens says:

    I don’t think the ad is not necessarily a bad approach… Most ads take things out of context (have you ever seen a hundred naked women chasing a man after he used Axe body spray? God, I hope not) but they do so in order to get a point across. I think that there is an absorption rate or something– by the time the idea gets into our minds it has been diluted so it’s best to start at the extreme.

  7. Top three in the USA per my Google search

    – Women need to shut up
    – Women need to realize work isn’t school
    – Women need to grow up

    Two of the three just sound whiny, but the work isn’t school line I found to be a bit odd. If anything, I’ve realized that in every workplace I’ve been in, both men and women cause it to be a high school-like, gossip-filled environment.

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