Emojis are replacing Barbies as the battleground where the fight over the portrayal of women is being waged.
A group of Google employees is pushing for 13 new emojis to be approved with a “goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empower girls everywhere,” according to their proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium this week.
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“No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” the developers said in a its proposal. “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?”
As of now, emojis depicting women are overwhelmingly stereotypical: There’s nail painting and hair grooming; there’s flamenco dancing and twin burlesque bunnies. Men, meanwhile, are cops and doctors and athletes, as Always pointed out as part of their “Like a Girl” campaign. Google’s proposal includes doctors, farmers, graduates and professors for both sexes. There’s even a David Bowie tribute emoji.
— Google Design (@GoogleDesign) May 11, 2016
Unicode Consortium is currently mulling which emojis will be allowed in its next batch, due to arrive on people’s phones in mid-2017. However, the Googlers might have an advantage since the Consortium’s president, Mark Davis, is also a Google employee.
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