Last week Google proposed a set of 13 career-driven female emojis to Unicode Consortium, the company in charge of creating and implementing new emojis, that could change the lack of working women on the keyboard.
According to the current emoji options, women only either get their hair cut, get married, do the flamenco or dance with their friends in leotards and bunny ears. Meanwhile, men are police officers and construction workers.
The proposed female emojis include a doctor, software engineer, chef, teacher, chemist, graduate, farmer, construction worker and rock star. These emojis would show women are represented in many career fields and not limited to doing the salsa – or making it.
The 2015 Webster Dictionary word of the year was the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji, which technically is not even a word, so while it may seem futile in the grand scheme of feminism, emojis really have become a very large part of the world we live in.
We see emojis on social media and in nearly every conversation we have over text. Amy Butcher of the New York Times explained her issue when she wanted to send a congratulations text to her friend who earned tenure, but couldn’t find one that represented her hard work.
“Where was the lawyer? The accountant? The surgeon? How was there space for both a bento box and a single fried coconut shrimp, and yet women were restricted to a smattering of tired, beauty-centric roles?” Butcher wrote.
The Unicode Consortium, the group that regulates standards for all text displayed online, has previously responded well to criticism, most recently and memorably when the emojis depicting different skin tones were added to keyboards last year. This change added diversity and allowed People of all colors to be represented on their keyboards, and now it is women’s turn.
Because feminism is a fight for equality it would be optimal to use the same system that the skin tone emojis use. When an emoji is selected an option bar would pop up, allowing users to choose from a man or a woman.
By adding emojis of women in the workplace we will no longer have to search, with no success, for an emoji that we can use to represent our excitement on the new internship we got, or how hard we worked at a day in the office, lab or classroom.