… at least, that’s my conclusion after my innocent Googling experience today*.

A professor of mine posted an article about an episode of Mad Men. Don Draper, the main character, was given a rape history, but for some reason it didn’t make any waves, nor was it really addressed or labelled as rape. Because, of course, there are crazy double-standards for sexual assault.

This made me think of an episode of Lost Girl that really bothered me. Lost Girl is a fun, cheesy, totally escapist-awesome Toronto-based television show on Showcase. Lost Girl features Bo, a succubus, and there is (predictably) a LOT of sex in the show. However, in one scene, Bo is desperate for energy – which she gets from having sex – walks into a pizza parlour with her friend, and seduces the worker there completely against his will. (I am having trouble wording this right. I mean 'seduces' as in 'does all of the things in TV shows associated with seduction' for our gaze, not that he succumbs to this seduction. This is rape through coercion, not through overt physical force, which makes it 'sexy' for the camera, apparently.)

The poor guy fully backs up, puts his hands up, shakes his head and everything, but the music and the framing are all “Haha, lucky guy, free sex! Resistance is futile! LOL”

Ugh. Really rubbed me the wrong way. After reading this (really wonderful) Don Draper article, I wondered if anyone had written about this in Lost Girl, or at least immortalized the scene onto Youtube so I could do so.

Google: lost girl rape scene.

Result:

Google thinks Rape and Sex are Synonymous?!

I don’t even know what to do with myself. Is this a thing? Does Google really think rape and sex are synonymous? As you can see, the word ‘sex’ is bolded, as if it was one of my search terms. Also, most of these hits are about Bo’s lesbian relationship (but that’s probably more about the people who spend their time making these clips than Google itself). Obviously, a Google search of just the word ‘rape’ only turns up a bunch of articles about rape. I wonder where this line is drawn?

Does anyone know anything about this? Is this a thing? Googling something about rape being synonymous with sex didn’t lead to results, but that’s a pretty hard one to word. This has just blown me away. Ugh, Google. Total fail.

/endrant

*Not today - in August sometime. I wrote this on my blog, which has zero followers (on purpose), just to get the rant out, but I want to post it here again a) so you guys can see how fucked up this is, b) so maybe someone can tell me some secret of Google as an engine that makes this not possible, and/or c) to see what people think!

ETA: I wasn't expecting this to be mainpaged, so I would like to add a final note based on the discussions I had with Kirov and other GroupThink commenters.

I am not saying that Google is a nefarious, evil machine (although I'm not not saying that? Heh). After talking about Google's search functions, I think that either this is really sad because people type "sex" and click "rape" when it shows up (and/or type "rape" and click on "sex") enough that Google thinks they are synonymous, which is why they show up the way they do. Alternatively, Google may have made an executive decision that those two terms are interchangeable for search purposes.

This isn't a Google conspiracy, but this is (to me) an indication that the line between sex and rape is not as firm as it should be - either for the largest search engine we have, or for the culture(s) using it.