Saturday, 14 May 2016

Emoji Feminism

<Emoji Feminism

Emojis Designed to Represent Women Better in Workplace

A set of 13 emojis have been designed by Google engineers and according to them represent women better in the world of work. The designs have been presented to the Unicode consortium which is a body that tends to approve and standardise emojis. The team have mentioned that they hope the samples would empower young women, the substantial emoji users and reflect better the fundamental roles that women seem to play in the world and include healthcare workers, scientists as well as businesswomen.

 Emojis are considered to be icons which are being utilised in mobile and web messaging in order to help tell a story. The terms which means picture (e) and character (moji) in Japanese had been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. A group of four Google employees mentioned a New York Time op-ed known as `Emoji Feminism’ as the inspiration for its new design. Amy Butcher commented that `they were told that they are the new generation of American women, no longer a minority and that they in fact, are the majority of breadwinners in American homes and yet the best that they can get is the flamenco – dancer’.

Search Engine for Emojis – Emojipedia

Research done by Procter & Gamble indicated that 82% of girls in the age group of 16 – 24 tend to use emojis daily. More than half of those who had been surveyed were of the opinion that female emojis were stereotypical. The designs of Google comprise of women in technology, construction, farming as well as the food industry. Female musician emoji includes homage to the late David Bowie with a pink zigzag on her face.

Users have the option of choosing from various skin tone and as well as the generic yellow on some of the devices. A search engine for emojis, Emojipedia, had recently proposed that one should also be able to choose the colour of hair and specify gender. All the emojis should be approved by Unicode to ensure that they are displayed properly on the various platforms.

But emojis could look quite different on competing platforms, where a dancer emoji for instance shows up as a ballerina on LG phones, a man disco-dancing on Samsung devices, a yellow blob with its arm raised on Android and a flamenco dancer on iOS. The next set of emoji candidates is said to be released mid-year though it is not known whether the designs of Google will be approved in time to be included in this.

Empower Girls Everywhere

According to its proposal, the objective of Google is to have these emojis in steady use on smartphone and computers towards the end of the year in order to empower girls everywhere. Presently, there are more than 1,000 standardized emojis that are utilised globally depicting everything from ice-cream to dragon to police cars.

But the current emoji selection feels subtly chauvinist, portraying men running and policing while women dance and cut their hair. Google had mentioned in its proposal that `considering the fact the women seem to be the most regular emojis users and they span a wide professional spectrum which is not yet reflected in the present emojis, we want to help address this pressing matter of equality’.

It is a good gesture though there is yet a long way to go in putting women on equal footing in the workplace. According to the latest data from the National Committee on Pay Equity, women in the U.S. tend to make around 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gender pay gap is closing since the early 60s though the change has been quite slow.

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