There's now a campaign to add 13 more women emojis. Here's why it matters.

Who doesn't love emojis?

They're so useful and versatile! You can use them to react perfectly to almost any situation, cryptically label a Venmo payment, and even rap the entirety of a Kanye West song.

They're fun, adorable, and still relevant, despite parents everywhere overusing the :poop-emoji: out of them.



Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images.

Emojis are used to symbolize ideas, objects, places, and, of course, people. But it's people that emojis aren't always the best at representing.

As long as there have been emojis, there have been campaigns to expand and diversify them so that more groups of people are included.

For the most part, those campaigns have been successful; different skin tones were added to help represent people of different races, same-sex couples and families were added to help represent people of different sexual orientations, and last summer, a taco emoji was added because tacos.

Yup. Emoji cookies. Photo via Rosanna Pansino/YouTube.

Despite several inclusive expansions to the basic emoji library, one gap has stubbornly remained: emojis for women.

More specifically, emojis for women who want to be depicted as more than a bride, a princess, a flamenco dancer, or twin Playboy bunnies.

There's also an emoji of a woman with her hand raised next to her face like she's carrying an invisible cocktail tray. I was never quite sure what was up with her, but a quick search in the Emojipedia (because that's a thing) shows that her official name is Information Desk Person. So ... she's a secretary.

While those emojis are very useful for brides, princesses, flamenco dancers, Playboy bunnies, and information desk people, there's a lot of women out there who aren't those things and therefore aren't represented on the emoji keyboard.

Men on the other hand get to be police officers, (napping?) construction workers, royal guardsmen, detectives, Santa Clauses, and Tom Selleck. Not to mention, and I promise I am not making this up: There's even an emoji for the niche audience of levitating businessmen. Regardless, when it comes to emoji, men have options.

The lack of female representation in emojis is not a new observation, either.

Just two months ago, Always created a campaign highlighting the need for more girl-powered emojis, and people have been pointing out the specific lack of professional women in emojis for a while.

Photo via Always/YouTube.

Now though, something is actually being done about it.

Google has handed in an official bid to add more professional women to the list of official emojis.

The 10 page proposal would add 13 emojis for different careers, including a doctor, a scientist, a mechanic, and a college graduate.

"No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before," says Google. "Isn’t it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?"

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images.

Google also noted that, when you consider that women are the most frequent users of emojis, it's ludicrous to think that they're still so underrepresented.

Yes, emoji are just little cartoon faces. But this matters because people are exposed to emojis at younger and younger ages.

Texting is the primary method of communication amongst young people. That means more and more young women and men are scrolling through emojis and only seeing women depicted as princesses and secretaries.

Whether you believe it or not, that sends a message.

Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images.

Consider the gender gap in STEM jobs, for example. Or the lack of female CEOs. Wouldn't it be great if girls saw images of themselves as scientists, engineers, and businesswomen within their primary method of communication? Wouldn't it be great if boys grew up seeing women depicted as their equals and not just their secretaries and wives?

Sure it's a small step in a huge problem, but it could be a really important one. Representation matters, and we use those little cartoon faces to represent ourselves all the time. It's only right that they represent all of us.

More
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture