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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I hope that all of you have some great New Years Eve celebrations and ring in 2010 doing just want you want to do!

I’ll begin posting again on Jan. 4th. Have a safe and happy New Years!

Categories: general

Big Think’s interview with Feministing’s Jessica Valenti

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

As I hopped over to Feministing last night, Jessica Valenti had put up a post about her interview with Big Think, and I’m just wanting to share that here. You can either watch the whole interview, or several little clips. It’s great! She talks about everything from Lady Gaga to her marriage and gives some great insights (as always) about feminism, what’s going on right now in terms of feminism and defends feminism as well.

Click here to see her interview.

Categories: general Tags:

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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Holidays

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey Being Feminists readers! I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be taking a small, holiday break from posting, probably until the 28th, unless something that totally must be blogged happens.

I hope everyone has great holidays, whatever those holidays may be!

Categories: general

Apology!

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey Being Feminist readers! I just want to give a big apology for not updating as much as usually do! This past week I was sick and had two exams…so you can imagine the lack of time I had!

I’m now done all my school for the holidays, so I will get back to normal posting on Monday!

Categories: general

Music Hit: Let’s Go Sailing

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Direct from the website, “Let’s go sailing is full of rainbows and fairies. But it also has a darker side…It is full of lost and neglected stuffed animals found at the side of the road.” Let’s Go Sailing is headed up by Shana Levy, who decided herself to start this new venture, and is the essential face of the group. They have worked with Chris Chandler (Flaming Lips/Modest Mouse/Elliott Smith) and Rod Cervera (The Rentals/Weezer).

I personally enjoy the song “Sideways”. It’s chill and mellow, yet a little happy, but offers more heavy and dark than that. There is a deep, beautiful use of instrumentals, especially strings, in the song. Check out Let’s Go Sailing at their Myspace, Facebook, or Last.fm.


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Categories: fun, general, music Tags:

Men Against Violence Against Women, Part 2

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

So, going on from my previous post about the “Men Against Violence Against Women” panel discussion, I just wanted to mention some other things that stuck out for me.

1. What is a woman’s role?
So, although it is clear that men must take responsibility for this issue, there is still an important role that women play, and have been playing for many, many years. Resistance. Women have been resisting violence against them for a long time and women must continue to play this part. Our resistance is extremely important. But now, since we’ve been resisting for years, it is time for men to respond to this resistance!

2. Safe spaces for men
New safe spaces need to be created for men to discuss these things. These safe spaces need to be places that men can come and grow and learn how to have an emotional life, outside of just having anger. This will bring together a collective of men who believe the same things and will be able to fight against violence against women.

3. Live the way you believe
Finally, what I want to end with is something that one panelist said. “Live the way you believe”. This is the first step in action. This means that everyone can act. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you believe certain things, live it out. Do not be silent. Your silence will condone this violence (or whatever other issue it may be). You CAN help this situation, no matter how helpless you may feel. It doesn’t have to be some huge act. Small acts everyday will build into a great movement, and actually be a part of a movement that is already happening. I hope that you feel a little inspired to at least try something!

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