Okay, I want you to open a new web browser window and go to Google.com. Once you have Google open, type in the search bar “Women should be.” Take a look at the autofill that goes along with “Women should be”. What do you see?
According to a survey of Google Autofill results surveyed by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, the most commonly searched words along with the phrases “Women should,” “Women should not,” “Women can,” and women cannot” indicate stereotypical views of women. According the UN Women's research, some of the most commonly searched phrases were “Women shouldn’t have rights,” “Women should be slaves,” and “Women need to be controlled.” (http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads) How does this make you feel?
As part of Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s Media Program, we asked a group of 5th and 6th grade girls what they thought about the UN Women’s research and here is what some of them had to say:
What do you think about these results? Why?
“These results are mean and offensive. Girls should have their own rights and the freedom to do what they want.”
According to these results, how do you think other people view women?
“Other people think men are better than women.”
Who do you think was searching for these phrases? Men, women or both?
“Both, men and women.”
Describe a time that you heard someone say one of these stereotypes about girls or women.
“I was walking by a group of men in the mall once, and I heard them say that women should do all the work.”
How do you think we can change these stereotypes about women?
“We have to prove that girls are different from boys.”
These girls are all participants in GSNC’s Media Program as part of our Metlife Foundation Hispanic Leadership Fund.