UN Women Ad Campaign Response

UN Women recently launched a search engine campaign using suggested Google autocomplete search queries. The results were sobering and remind us of how far we have to go on the road to gender equality.

But it got me thinking: what would the autocomplete suggestions be like for men? Would they be the same, different, or worse?

While different, the results were (again) sobering. But why would sexism towards men exist?

Charges of sexism have a long history of being denied where attention isn’t explicitly directed by a third party. The feminist movement didn’t make progress in hushed voices – it made its political point in campaigns run on decibels and big protests. And without first directing attention to those instances of sexism, there could be no acknowledgement of its existence – let alone a chance of addressing it.

Women couldn’t be active citizens a century ago, but men can’t turn on the television today without being told they are dumb, smelly ogres. Homer Simpson and Ray Romano are the quintessential examples of this, and many other television programs have been criticised as similarly enshrining sexist stereotypes.

Granted, though, what’s being told you’re dumb compared to not being able to vote? I’d take today’s sexism towards men over last century’s sexism towards women any day. Should that mean we can’t do better, though? As the search boxes suggest, I think we can do better for both women and men.

So if sexism towards both women and men exists, why don’t we hear about the latter as much?

Mostly because there hasn’t been a historic movement or great oppression in the past, I think. Feminism has an advantage in their track-record of progress where the same cannot be said about the mens’ rights movement. Men were never as badly treated as women, and in some parts of the world (even in the West) women are still treated much worse than men. Though that doesn’t mean we don’t treat men badly as well or that sexism towards men should be ignored.

Instead, let’s make our fight against sexism in general, not about sexism towards women or towards men; let’s just fight to #EndAllSexism.

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6 thoughts on “UN Women Ad Campaign Response

  1. I’m 100% behind an advocacy to improve the lives of every human, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or any other element… I support Egalitarianism, #EndallSexism, and Human Rights Advocacy.

  2. This is a very misleading UN campaign as it does not demonstrate the disparity it claims exists. Anyway everyone is going to do it for themselves creating a huge distortion.

  3. Here’s my problem as you’ve already stated: “I’d take today’s sexism towards men over last century’s sexism towards women any day. ” Women, in almost every country in the world didn’t start actively gaining social and political power in only some countries until what, 40-50 years ago. Women still on average do not have societal power or respect in the world’s most populous & growing economies like China and India and let’s not even go into rape, domestic abuse statistics, and violence perpetrated against women not out of a personal vendetta but out of respect for their personal autonomy. Are men raped, beaten, and killed, yes, they are. And we should work against all of those things for both sexes. But this post tries to equate sexism against men in one country as something that even holds weight as compared to the abuses against women seen worldwide. This is belittling of how far and hard women have had to fight to just be TOLERATED to be in the same spaces as men (working outside of the home, being childless and career focused, leading people/working in politics, ect.). This isn’t meant to be about who has the saddest story, this is about reality. The reality is, men hold the majority of positions of power in nearly every country developed and undeveloped. They tend to have higher paychecks, they vote and can even decide whether or not to allow “their” womenfolk in their family to vote, younger males are looked at to be the head of the house even when there are capable, older females, men are killed less often for societal/religious infractions, they’re more likely to find a job and be self sufficient because they are raised and given the tools for those skills since birth unlike women in developing countries. They overwhelmingly have more autonomy. This is reality. I understand that media can play a role in influencing a nation and so I completely agree that messages that say that men are stupid, sex-obsessed pig-children is harmful to the male psyche. However, excuse the UN if they first focus on the half of the world that has been ignored and degraded for centuries. Excuse them if they focus on countries where women can’t work therefore making it nearly impossible to leave abusive relationships because you don’t have financial autonomy. Or working on countries where women can’t initiate divorce because it’s against some stupid religious edict. Or working on countries where rape prosecution is ridiculously low. Or working on countries where sexual violence against women fosters a dehumanization of all females including girl infants, teenagers and women as merely sexual objects. Should the UN be working to bettering the world for all humankind? Yep. But let’s be realistic and let them work on problems that have afflicted half of the world’s population since the beginning of humans.

    • Perfectly twisted!

      How you would manage to say I equate sexism of men and women when clearly say that I don’t – even in the quote you made of me, no less! – is beyond me. Of course the injustices are not equal and I am not saying that, as is very clear.

      In fact, it’s these sort of gender vs. gender, “who’s got is worse” stuff which does the belittling. You see, by emphasising that only one gender experiences sexism it dilutes public thought so much that very few are aware of or are will to accept that sexism can occur to the detriment of men.

      Why not stop distracting from the issue (however minor as you see it) and accept an equal approach?

  4. Men haven’t had to deal with sexism, true, but in return have been expected to stand in front of women in danger, thanks to chivalry. Scores of men have died in wars and still do, when if equality was present then women should be dying in the same numbers in the battle fields of Afghanistan. Every feminist organization keeps on going on about equality but only asling as it benefits their agenda. If they want equality stop making a big deal if a woman becomes a CEO (Marisa Miller) or if one ends up in a body bag.

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