In a world filled with sexist institutions, it can sometimes be tough for women to remind themselves that they are valued and important members of society. Even when they’re something as basic as Googling a simple dictionary definition.
Google Dictionary sources its entries mainly from the Oxford American Dictionary, and some of their example sentences are… err – not exactly what most would use in a family-friendly spelling bee.
Take for instance, ‘promiscuous’: the example used is “she’s a wild, promiscuous good-time girl”.
The example sentence was ‘ugly’ is “she thought she was fat and ugly”.
So, two Aussie women have decided to take matters into their own hands. They want to open dialogue against the subtle advances of ingrained sexism that women often barely notice – starting with Google‘s dictionary feature.
Georgia Patch and Kiah Nicholas, both from Sydney, have created an awareness campaign called ‘Redefine Women‘. They are straight up sick to death of Google pulling entries that put women in a negative light, or display cases of blatant sexism.
Here’s just some of the shithouse definitions they’ve found:
PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Kiah and Georgia, and asked them why they began the campaign:
“Redefine Women is about changing perceptions of women starting with definitions. We’re pro-equality, and we’re always sharing ideas and our outrage at sexism in society. We realised that definitions were reinforcing prejudices against women.
We knew we had to do something. We thought about how we could have the most impact, and we knew a lot of people would feel the same way we feel so we wanted to hand it over to people and rally for change through participation, and thought social media would be the best way to do it.
We’ve found so many already, and our hope is that people can help us find more. We’re getting messages every 5 seconds from people who’ve found new ones. We’ve got a lot of content to create! [laughs]
We perceive Google as a progressive company, and we’re reaching out to them for help. They’re an aggregator, we know they’re not the ones publishing them. But they’re so powerful, I think together we can make a big change.”
When we asked the duo what their end goal of the campaign is, they told us,
“Just a bit more thought put into what the search engine is aggregating. Maybe an update to the algorithm – it seems like its aggregating old definitions.
And also we just wanted people to talk about it; driving awareness and opening conversation, starting with the subtleties we’re all overlooking.”
The pair have only been at it for a few weeks, but are hoping that supporters of their campaign will add to the conversation by regramming their Instagram posts, tagging Google to spread the word, but most of all, opening dialogue about how these kinds of microaggressions contribute to wide-scale sexism.
“If nothing changes, we’ve had people contacting us and sharing definitions. The fact that it’s being discussed at all makes us very happy”.
Dialogue is the key, yo. Found a sexist definition? Speak it loud, tell the world why you think it sucks – your voice is important!
And don’t forget to contribute it to Redefine Women at one of the below links:
Source: Redefine Women.