Last year we reported on the ‘Redefine Women‘ campaign: a movement that’s trying to get Google to address the subtle sexism in its dictionary definitions.
Not sure what we’re talking about? Have a butcher’s at this:
The campaign is run by two Aussie women, Georgia Patch and Kiah Nicholas. When we spoke to them last year, they told us:
“Redefine Women is about changing perceptions of women starting with definitions. We realised that definitions were reinforcing prejudices against women [and] knew we had to do something.
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 [the definitions]. But they’re so powerful, I think together we can make a big change.”
Welp, the big change is afoot. Google have started addressing the gendered example sentences that pop up when you type in words like conniving, flighty, promiscuous, shrill… basically a whole lot of words that are often used to denigrate or dismiss women.
Check it out: the example sentence for “conniving” used to be “a heartless and conniving woman“. Now:
And while “shrill” used to have the eye roll-inducing example of “the rising shrill of women’s voices“, it now reads:
Even “promiscuous” has been changed from “she’s a wild, promiscuous, good-time girl” to “promiscuous teenagers” and “the city fathers were promiscuous with their honours“.
Nice one, Google. Microaggressions like these make a big difference in people’s subconscious biases, and moving towards gender-neutral definitions is always going to be a good thing. Now let’s do hysterical, yeah?
Source: Redefine Women.