We were asked by Marie Claire to write an ad about consent. And amidst all the current outrage, the media investigations, the sickening testimonials and the powerful voices for change; amidst all our reading and our research, we found something on Google that stopped us in our tracks.
Our ad features a screenshot of real search autocompletes. On their own, they might seem harmless. But together, they shook us. And for two reasons. One, because the most frequently searched questions for those keywords are together indicative of the very behaviour that leads to sexual harassment. It’s a shocking reflection of the damaging societal belief that when a woman says no, she doesn’t really mean it.
And secondly, because we were stunned to think that these were even questions being asked to Google. Why are we not equipping men with this kind of knowledge from a young age? Through our ad we want to drive home the importance of having these conversations with young men. Of having them early, and having them frequently. To educate on what is, and what is not acceptable, empower them to approach their relationships with respect and empathy, and to hopefully enact change in a world that is desperately calling for it.