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Search engine query suggestions: Looking at what’s allowed, and what’s not

December 29, 2009 2 comments

Warning: This is long and picture heavy!

Yesterday, I decided to do a little experiment, because I found Google to be very limited in searching apparent “mature” words and especially noticed that “abortion” was considered one of those “mature” words. So, I decided to look at several search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL) that offer query suggestions in the search box. Before I go further, I need to say that I made sure that all the filters were off. The whole point of this was really to see if “abortion” was limited in other search engines as well, but I discovered some other things along the way!

The main words that I looked up were abortion, vagina, penis, sex, sexi (it’s not a work, but I just put that in and lots came up!), fuck and maybe a few others. I’m going to go through this word by word, so that you can see the comparison immediately.

First, since I was most interested in the lack of “abortion” on Google, I’ll go over that first. Here are the findings:

So, before I actually got into the word “abortion”, I decided to just type in “abor”, and you can see that there are many results for that. Even in the non-Google search engines, abortion comes up when you just type in “abor”, but in Google, it’s all about Aboriginals. And then, all of a sudden…when I type in “abort” or “abortion”, Google doesn’t like that and doesn’t give any suggestions that have to do with abortions!

As it can be seen, Google is the only search engine that is crazy and thinks that “abortion” is a dirty word. Now, I moved onto other “mature” words, and I for one felt as though I lost a little bit of my dignity while doing so…all in the name of science! Next up, is “sex”, “sexi” and “sexy”.

What I thought was interesting about the MSN search for “sex” was that the word sex wasn’t allowed to be searched at all, even in the case where I put in “sexism”. Weird. Next up, AOL.

So, I’ve kind of determined that AOL will almost let you search anything. And finally, Google and Yahoo!

What I found interesting here was that in Google, you can’t search “sexy”, but you can search “sexi” or “sexiest”…which really makes no sense. Yahoo! of course lets you search what you want. Next up, the words “vagina” and “penis”.

So with Google and MSN, you can type “vag” and get some suggestions. However, type in “vagina” and that’s a big no-no! Remember, vagina’s are bad and scary, kids! However, Yahoo! and AOL aren’t as scared of vagina’s as Google and MSN.

Now, we move onto “penis”. I didn’t really know what to expect, after the results that “vagina” had.

Turns out, even more people are scared of penises. You can see in the first Google search box that I just put in “peni” to see what would come up, and then BAM! I put in “penis” and everything goes away! MSN and AOL gave some different suggestions when “penis” is in the search box, but they fully stay away from an actual penis.

This next one, well…I really lost all my dignity doing this search. However, I will say it again, it’s all in the name of science! I typed in “boobs” in AOL, because I had found that AOL had been the most unlimited search engine. Guess what I found? A lot of suggestions for “boobs”.

It kind of makes me sad and a little pissed, to be honest, because you can’t even type in “penis” and get valid penis suggestions for that, but you can type in “boobs” and get that sick shit? Not fair. Not cool.

Finally, I wanted to find a word that would virtually be off-limits for every search engine. In the end, this word was “fuck”.

So, what can we get from all of this? Ultimately, I want to focus on the “abortion” not being something that is “valid” in Google’s search box. What the hell? Why is “abortion” a dirty word? Google will let “sex”, “sexi” (which turns into sexiest, etc). And considering that Google is the biggest and most well-known search engine, I personally don’t believe that “abortion” should be off-limits and ignored in terms of query suggestions. It really, honestly, doesn’t make sense. Every other search engine offers query suggestions for the word “abortion”. No one crying about it. I just wish people would understand that abortion is not a dirty word and that it’s not a bad thing.

Some may disagree with me, and that’s fine. However, I respectfully disagree with you as well. Ultimately, I can see some reasoning for every other word that doesn’t have query suggestions (however, since the filters were completely off, I still find it kind of weird). However, I don’t really see the problem with the word “vagina” or “penis”, because those words are generally not used for pornography. In the case that they were, I would understand more.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with search engines and what they offer in their query suggestions?


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Douchebag quote of the day!

December 17, 2009 1 comment

This is taken from an article about the new possibility of the male birth control pill.

β€œIt is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,” says Brown. β€œSome women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.”

Wow. Thanks for that Quentin Brown.


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Categories: contraception, men, ridiculous, sex

Toyota Yaris commercial pulled in Australia

December 15, 2009 1 comment

This Toyota Yaris commercial has been pulled off the air in Australia, because of complaints about sexism and possible slight incest.

Yeah, it’s a little much. And kind of gross and verbally objectifying. Also, everything was being said as if he was going to do it to her, not necessarily with her. Glad it’s off the air!

Thoughts?


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Categories: ads, media, sex Tags: ,

AIDS and Gender

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

With the recent finding that HIV/AIDS is the biggest killer among women in their reproductive age, we know that there are some serious issues that need to be looked at in terms of this disease and gender.

We know that for most women (an estimated 98% of all women affected by HIV/AIDS live in developing countries), treatment, prevention and ultimately, equality, are things that they do not have access too. Let’s talk about gender inequality for a moment, shall we? Gender norms are a part of this inequality and accounts for much of the spreading of this disease. UNAIDS states,

Gender norms, for example, often dictate that women and girls should be ignorant and passive about sex, leaving them unable to negotiate safer sex or access appropriate services. Gender norms in many societies also reinforce a belief that men should seek multiple sexual partners, take risks and be self-reliant.

And let’s not forget, they also mention how in in many cultures, violence against women is condoned. So looking at the gender norms of men, it’s apparent that women automatically become more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. These uber masculine gender norms continue to hurt women in many ways, but especially in this area. And of course, when women and girls are supposed to be “passive” towards men about sex, it doesn’t prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS. A way to hurdle this is to of course promote gender equality, empower women to know more about their bodies and sex, and teach men that these norms aren’t good for women, or themselves. And of course we can’t forget, if there is going to be consensual sex, use a condom!

The WHO talks about another issue that comes up with gender norms. They call it “gender-related barriers” for services, or treatment.

Women may face barriers due to their lack of access to and control over resources, child-care responsibilities, restricted mobility and limited decision-making power.

Socialization of men may mean that they will not seek HIV services due to a fear of stigma and discrimination, losing their jobs and of being perceived as “weak” or “unmanly”.

How true. For women of course, it appears that they are not in control of the decision to go seek out services or treatments. How horrible, but true. Women once against face the brunt of this disease, because of their lack of options. Men on the other hand probably do have much more access to services or treatment, but because of their societal gender norms, they refuse to get treatment. This hurts men. This hurts men a lot. Any cultural idea of what hegemonic masculinity should look like, usually hurts men and it can be seen here that men also pay the price.

I’m not going to sit back here and think I know the solution to all of this. I don’t think anyone actually does; and even if they do, solutions are a very hard thing to put in place and people will still continue to live with HIV/AIDS and die from it. However, I do say that promoting gender equality is a must (it’s a must anyway, but I digress). Through promoting gender equality, women and girls will have more rights, as well as have an understanding about their bodies and understand that consensual sex is where it’s at. Now, I’m not saying that women and girls always have the choice of consensual sex. A lot of times they don’t. But for them to know that that is what kind of sex should be happening, is a must.

Women and girls do unfortunately bare the greater responsibility and consequences of sex many, many times. After all, we are the ones that get pregnant and we are the ones that are more vulnerable to STIs. It shouldn’t be our complete responsibility, however, it sometimes ends up like that. Women and girls must be educated about safe sex and the possibility of HIV/AIDS. Many women and girls are in the dark about this because they have not had access to this kind of education. Of course, this still will not prevent HIV/AIDS, because some men will insist that no condom be used.

And this brings me right back around to promoting gender equality. When women are able to make decisions and choices about their bodies and sex, we will see a decrease in HIV/AIDS, in both women and men.

If you want to read more about AIDS and gender, visit AVERT.

Hayden Panettiere gets, uh, dirty?

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

First off – **NSFW**

I came across this Hayden Panettiere stuff while doing my weekly search of horrible, trashy, gossip blogs. Don’t judge me!

So, she participated in a photoshoot with Tyler Shields, who is creating a book called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. Here, we first see a picture of her, obviously naked, licking a machine gun.

Hmm…sex and violence. What a great combination! And how awesome is it that the machine gun is obviously this phallic image and she’s going to lick it. Wonderful. Juuuuust wonderful. This isn’t objectifying at all, right? And I mean, the sensationalized and glamourized concept of sex and violence? That’s not harmful at all, right? Oh, just wait for it. It gets better! Below is the video that Tyler Shields shot along with the photoshoot. You’ll love it. Watch it. Seriously.

Do I even have to explain myself? I hope I don’t, but I will. This video clearly has a huge sexual image. I mean, “champagne” (I know it is champagne, but come on), being sprayed all over Hayden’s face/body? And her looking very sexual about the whole thing? And drinking it? And possibly enjoying it? I mean, fine, I’ll be honest, I don’t know exactly what is being tried to get across here, but either way, even if some people think it’s art, it’s still objectifying. It shows that women are only sexual beings for men to mess around with. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, before I go further, I will say that something similar was done with Zachary Quinto, but you will clearly see that his video with milk does not seem to be an overtly sexual thing. He’s not opening his mouth or drinking the milk; and in fact, he remains fairly stoic during the whole thing. But you can judge that for yourself, I guess.

And you know, I know the book is called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. I get it. It’s supposed to be dirty. But why does it have to be dirty at the expense of women? If you go to Tyler Shields website, you will see that there are many more photos that are complete, disgusting, objectification of women, which involves a combination of sex and violence. Like I said, just wonderful! In fact, click here, here, here and here. You will see what I mean! (Seriously, click there NOW – despite me not wanting to give him more traffic). But hey, it’s just art, right?


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#ARealWife? Really?

November 13, 2009 3 comments

As I do my daily Twitter visit, I look at the trending topics to see what’s what. Well, one thing caught my eye, which was #ARealWife. I just knew this was going to be golden (insert sarcasm here) and disgustingly sexist, so I clicked on it to see some of the responses. Try to disregard the horrible spelling and grammar. Here we go:

#ARealWife Has a sore jaw after 5 days on her period…. LMAO + WORD

#arealwife will hide dope in her purse for u and prostitute to keep the cable on an food on the table

#ARealWife gives her husband head. Come on!Its 2009. If u not then some other hoe is so u might as well be yo husband slut. LOL

#ARealWife keeps it tight, keeps her figure right, keep her hair fixed, rocks the hottest outfits…

#arealwife is submissive to her husband.

#ARealWife should have dinner ready when #ARealHusband comes home from a long day at work

These are just some of the beauts I saw, but there are several hundred, possibly thousands more. So, let’s do a rundown. To be a real wife, you have to constantly give your husband head while you’re on your period, because you know he needs constant sexual satisfaction. And hey, if you’re not making ends meet, you better get out on the street and become a prostitute, but it might only be helping your husbands drug problem. Also, you need to look perfect. ALL THE TIME. No questions asks. Oh, and you should also be a good cook and make sure that dinner is on the table when your husband comes home, even if you have your own full-time job. Hell, that doesn’t matter, you must be submissive to your husband at all times and if he wants his damn dinner on the table when he comes home from work, it better be there! And my favourite, your husband may be getting head from someone else (or, sorry, some other “hoe”), but probably thinks that you need to be giving him head, because you might as well be your husband’s “slut”.

So, it pretty much addresses many stereotypes about women and how wives should be. Ridiculous. It’s stupid things like this that make this kind of dialogue so damn pervasive! Do people not see this? Even if some of them are “joking” about it, joking allows for this idea to continue getting entrenched in our minds.

Counterfeit condoms!

November 13, 2009 2 comments

Apparently, it’s been found that the spread of counterfeit condoms is “rampant” in China. There may be about 1 million counterfeit condoms in China that has been produced by one factory in central Hunan province.

Four people were arrested at the factory which was distributing illicit condoms nationwide that provided little or no protection and carried the risk of both pregnancy and disease.

As well…some weird bits about this story…

Authorities say when they entered the factory they saw bare-chested employees using vegetable oil to lubricate the condoms and putting them into fiber bags without any sterilization.

So, I guess that’s the random story of the day; but also serious for those in China who have picked up some of those counterfeit condoms and used them, expecting protection.

The sex slave industry in Britain

December 21, 2007 1 comment

Apparently there are human trafficking problems happening in Britain, and some political leaders are wanting it to stop before Britain becomes “the sex slave capital of Europe.” There is a new legislation being put forth that will make it illegal for a man to pay for sex.

Public prostitution and “kerb crawling” is already illegal in Britain, but this would go further.

The idea is to extend successful action against kerb crawlers to brothels and massage parlours where the majority of trafficked sex slaves in Britain are forced to operate.

It’s essentially hoping to stop the trafficking obviously, but it’s also hoping that men learn to take responsibility for feeding into the sex slave industry by visiting places like massage parlours and brothels.

I think it definitely has a good intention and should be commended…but after reading the comment section, it looks like people (mostly men) disagree with this. What do you all think? Bad idea? Good idea? Not looking at the real issues?

Oh the scandal!

December 19, 2007 6 comments

I am sorry that I have to make a post about the most recent famous teen pregnancy, but after reading some responses on People (I know, it’s horrible that I occasionally read that trash!), I have decided that I really do see a feminist issue within all of this.

First off, Jamie Lynn Spears and her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, made a mistake. Probably some unprotected sex, because you know, abstinence only education is the way to be! And…seriously, who let’s there teenage children live together? But obviously this pregnancy thing wasn’t purposeful, and all we’re hearing now is how it’s all Jamie’s fault, as well as her mothers. This is why I had to respond to this news. Here are some quotes from People:

“This is a shock to anyone? Where are the role models? … I blame the parents on this one for not educating their daughters to behave like ladies (bold mine).

Ladies? Ladies? Seriously? So, her boyfriend had nothing to do with this? Give me a break! This was a decision on both their parts, and Jamie shouldn’t have to have misogynistic expectations on her just because she happens to have a vagina. We’re in a new age people! Women, and young women at that, have SEX. Oh there! I said it! They have sex! Get over it. And she doesn’t need education on how to behave like a lady. She, and her boyfriend, and the rest of the youth in the U.S. need a good, solid, sexual education program. That’s what they need.

And now onto the mother. Huffington Post said:

“Lynne Spears, what were you thinking? Or not thinking and not doing?”

Well, I must say, kids are growing up quite fast these days and they happen to have their own minds and make decisions for themselves. No parent can stop their child from having sex. And what about Jamie’s dad? Is he in all of this? Is he being held responsible with words like these? No. He’s not.

This is hopefully the first and last time I will posting on this, unless more feminist issues arise from it. I don’t want to make some spectacle out of this, as it already has been made out to be! But this is a clear example of why a comprehensive sexual education is needed. Teens are going to make these decisions either way, but they need to be educated about damn contraceptives!

Revisiting red-light districts

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Thanks Amy for sending me your link at Travelhacker about the world’s most famous red-light districts.

Red Light District

I think that this can definitely be a controversial topic in terms of feminism. I think when we think of any red-light district, we think of women whoring themselves out and degrading themselves. And the article does mention some not good things that occur in some red-light districts, such as child prostitution. But at the same time, I think we have to have a different look at it as well. In many of these red-light districts, it appears that there are safe places for sex workers to work. The street has always been an unsafe place to work, and I completely support brothels and other buildings where sex workers can do their thing. After all, these women are making a living. This could be something that they personally like doing. Or it really could be something that they are doing just to make sure money is coming in.

Of course, a lot of this work can be looked at as degrading. There’s no contest there. But I definitely don’t think that blaming the women who are in this kind of work is right, or will do anything. This definitely is a feminist issue that comes back to the social, political and economic stance of women across the globe.

So, I know this is a controversial topic. What do you all think about red-light districts and women in this work? Do you support brothels in any way, shape or form? Or are you completely against all of this?

Reminding everyone of Puirty Ball creepiness!

December 3, 2007 Leave a comment

I came across this interesting news article from the Chicago Tribune that discusses Purity Balls, sex, abstinence and the question of daughters being property to their fathers. It’s definitely a good read.

He signed a pledge to be the protector of her purity and to live his own life with integrity. She gave her father a gold key to her heart, and asked him to hold on to it until her wedding day, when he would hand it over to her husband. They walked down the aisle with locked arms and she laid a white rose beside a cross, sealing her commitment.

“It’s like I’m devoting my virginity to my dad, saying that I will stay pure because it is the Christian thing to do,” said Lindsay Anne Schell, 18, a freshman at Bradley University in Peoria. “The rose shows the world that you are devoting your purity to God and to your father.”

Huge issues. Devoting your virginity to your father? Sounds really messed up. Of course, girls need these purity balls because they obviously can’t stop themselves from having sex. Their father has to make sure they don’t have sex. And this gold key thing? Eww. That reeks of the time when women were property. And why the hell don’t they have these things for boys? Riight, their sexuality isn’t worth as much. They can just go fuck around if they want. But girls, nope, they need to remain pure! So many sexist issues and double standards come out of this. Too many to really talk about right now.

So, property? I say yes.

“These events represent an idea that there is something about female sexuality that needs to be controlled by dominant men in the household,” said Mary Zeiss Stange, a professor of women’s studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. “That relates to a patriarchal position in the evangelical movement that not only defines female sexuality but females themselves as property. What happens with purity balls is, in effect, the daughter becomes her father’s property until he hands her off to her husband.”

How are these balls even accepted or allowed? Are people still so old fashioned and sexist that they think this is just the best thing since sliced bread? Oh…one more thing. Why aren’t mothers involved? They gave birth to their children. They deserve a little input, I’m thinking.

Sooooo many things wrong with these things.

Zimbabwe women are forced to give sexual favours to survive

November 30, 2007 1 comment

Because of the economic state in Zimbabwe, women are having to give sexual favours to men to be able to support their families.

Miriam Madziwa writes that each time the Zimbabwe dollar tumbles, women’s survival chances take a corresponding knock, as it means more sexual favours to seal deals with men, who by virtue of their jobs or connections are able to make or break women’s survival attempts.

For the cash-strapped women, sex offers an easy and cheap, albeit risky, means of supporting their families. In return, they are able to secure scarce goods as well as discounts on transport and accommodation and their businesses flourish.

So sad.

Categories: international, sex Tags: ,

Don’t teach your kids about sex! It’s a crime!

November 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Aym Smalley, a mother of two, is being prosecuted for “giving her children too much information about sex.”

Her children are 11 and 15, and I guess the son, who is 11, talked to a coounsellor about this and he preferred all this information to be kept to his mother. I can understand this and see this from an 11 year old son, considering she supposedly talked about her own sexual experiences, how to perform oral sex and showed them a sex toy. Ok. I can see the son not liking any of that. But, should this really be a criminal offence?

“Ms. Smalley would be within her rights as a parent to educate her children in such a manner as she sees fit … even if the state feels it improper,” Gumz wrote.

The state, Gumz said, does not have the right to decide what parents can teach their children about sex.

I think that kids do need to hear about sex from their parents, because sex is something that is normal. I don’t see how she could be prosecuted for this, even if it was a little too much information. It was probably nothing worse than kids are talking about amongst themselves anyway!

Isn’t it ironic?

November 5, 2007 1 comment

Texas has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States! Hm…I wonder why that is?

Texas’ policy is to deny contraceptives without parental consent wherever possible and to push an abstinence-only sex education program in public schools.

Experts, though, are questioning that approach. They note that from 1991 to 2004, the state’s teen birth rate dropped by 19 percent, while the U.S. rate dipped by one-third.

There is clear correlation here. Abstinence-only education and parental consent for contraceptives equates to teen pregnancy. What teen would want to ask their parents for consent for freaking condoms? I sure wouldn’t ask my parents for consent. And obviously most teens aren’t, and are having sex, “hoping for the best”, as in hopefully they won’t get pregnant.

When will the government realize this mistake of abstinence-only education and parental consent? It is very true that abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent a pregnancy, but it’s not realistic in our society today. The government needs to be doing what’s best for the people they are trying to govern, instead of thinking about their own religious ideaologies.

I’m suing Shonda Rhimes

November 2, 2007 1 comment

I loathe Grey’s Anatomy for making this mainstream and getting men to think that we should switch the word from vagina to vajayjay.

In Michael Smerconish’s blog over at Huffington Post, he talks all about the harnish of the word vagina, and how it is uninviting. How no one has ever gotten used to the word vagina and people feel very uncomfortable using it, especially men.

It’s a reminder of the difficulty men of all ages have had in coming up with the proper name for what’s in the female zone.

Um, since when does a man have to come up with a “proper” name for my vagina? They don’t have one. They can keep on using the name it already is, and if they really have an issue with it, fine, use vajayjay amongst yourselves, but please don’t try to push another word on us. And I know some women and feminists who like the word, so ok, that’s fine. But it sounds like he’s getting at the fact that he has power over this area, which he does not.

Oh right, and then he attacks feminists. He says that feminists have much interest in our vagina and that we don’t want men “attracted” to it. So, he’s pretty much saying that feminists are asexual beings. Right. That’s bullshit. And everyone knows it!

The reason why people have been and still are uncomfortable using the word is because a woman’s “private parts” have been looked at as a lot of worth almost the entire history of the world. People still want and expect women to be sexually pure, and in some places it’s a must. But men on the other hand can be as sexually promiscuous as they want. Their sexual organs are not as “special” as a woman’s, therefore it’s so much easier to say penis than vagina.

So, ultimately, I blame this one on the patriarchy completely.

Categories: feminism, feminist, men, sex, women Tags: , , , ,