At least, that’s if liberals get their way. An article penned The case for a ‘pregnant male’ emoji from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation puts forward the idea that there should be a ‘non-female pregnant emoji’ to represent all the many pregnant men we have in society.
The article argues that though the Unicode Technical Committee claim they are committed to keeping gender-neutral when designing emojis, some are concerned that they aren’t keeping to their promise.
Charlotte Buff, a German computer scientist who has written multiple submissions to Unicode on the subject, is quoted as saying: “Adding gender to Unicode was a massive mistake right from the start. Representation by specificity is inevitably doomed to failure [but] now they have done it, they stubbornly refuse to actually do gender properly.”
ABC’s article bemoans that non-binary representation does not exist for different professions in emojiland: for example, only women wear scarves and only men wear tuxedos. And, most damning of all, “only women emoji are allowed to be pregnant.”
Fear not, however, as Buff has a solution to fight these cis-gendered societal standards: “populating the currently missing gender options using existing emoji architecture: a Unicode character known as a zero width joiner can combine gender-neutral emoji (Adult, Child, Older Adult) with existing professions (Cook).”
Though Jeremy Burge, the co-founder of Emojipedia (an online emoji database), feels that when you “start representing humans, you’re opening yourself up to the fact that there’s an unlimited number of combinations of people on this earth.”
He also states that Unicode are “open” to the idea of having more non-binary options. Burge says that Unicode, “Don’t have any stance against any aspect of humanity,” and that if the demand is high then more diverse emoji’s will be implemented.
But for Buff, that simply isn’t good enough:
“This year [Unicode] added a softball emoji. A slightly differently sized baseball is vitally important, but I guess there just wasn’t enough time to consider transgender and non-binary people.”
Pregnant male emojis. What a time to be alive.
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