To this day, self-identified feminists are still asked why they associate with what is commonly mistaken as an outdated movement: ‘why are you a feminist?’; ‘why do we need feminism?’; ‘why is feminism important?’
UN Women’s latest ad campaign provides a series of shocking and telling images answering these questions.
The campaign, devised by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, uses search engine Google’s autocomplete feature to reveal just how potent and present sexism and misogyny is in contemporary culture. The autocomplete feature mentioned is a platform which provides a list of the most popular and common queries pursued on the popular search engine; and these are the results which we are presented with by UN Women.
The team behind the images are voiced their own outrage at the hostility and prejudice behind these blatantly sexist prejudices. Art director, Christopher Hunt commented on the process of working with UN Women and just how deeply these the existence of these searches affected him and his creative team:
“When we came across these searches, we were shocked by how negative they were and decided we had to do something with them”
Copy writer, Kareem Shuhaibar, also, expressed how shocked he was at the archaic and backward nature of these beliefs:
“The ads are shocking because they show just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality. They are a wake up call, and we hope that the message will travel far.”
With regard to Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai’s design it is rather genius in its simplicity: depicting women of different age, ethnicity and race being silenced by these unpopular – and yet still disturbingly popular – searches. The Google searches were cataloged on March 9, 2013 and recent searches provide similar – if not more disturbing – queries and opinions.
In an experiment of curiosity I begin typing “women deserve to be respected.”
As far as “women deserve to” I was greeted with several disquieting suggestions: to be abused; to die; to be loved; to be pursued. 1 out of four of those suggestions is acceptable; the others prove that, yes, feminism is a desperately required and needed movement in our current culture, especially if these posters are any indication of how majorities regard women.
Let’s try putting this in perspective: website Statistic Brain details that in 2012, Google was hit by approximately 5,134,000,000 searches a day; and these are examples of the most popular searches regarding women. But, hey, who needs feminism?