If I wanted an emoji to look exactly like me, I’d just send a photograph. But then, unlike Apple and Google, I understand that they are a symbolic shorthand, not a racist tool of oppression that ignores my identity.
On Wednesday, World Emoji Day, the two California companies revealed their expanded repertoire of “newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard.”
Seventy-two new iOS emojis of couples holding hands, instead of a generic symbol. Thus, a blonde woman with a blond man, a blonde woman with a tan skinned man, a blonde woman with a light-skinned black man, a blonde woman with a dark-skinned black man, a dark-skinned black woman with a light-skinned black woman, a white man with a moustache with a white man without a moustache, and so on and on and on.
Ten new emojis of the US sign for ‘deaf’, ten for cane walkers, five ears of different shades fitted with a hearing aid.
Twenty emojis of people with two genders and five different skin colors riding two different types of wheelchairs – mechanical and automatic.
Racism, homophobia and ableism intersectionally slayed again by the billionaire tech giants!
Who cares that there are already over 3,000 registered emojis, despite the fact that only a dozen account for half the usage, while the rest clutter up your phone making the needed ones harder to find.
At least users are happy at the inclusiveness. Or are they? Ironically, after the release there are more questions than compliments, since a Pandora’s Box has been opened. If you are including a black woman in a wheelchair, why not ginger people? Why not bald people, or fat ones? These are far more common – are they too ugly to be pictured? Why is it the US deaf sign and not those used in other sign languages? Why two people in a couple when there are polyamorous families living in threes? And surely if we have those, each option must include the option for all genders – 2, 3, or Facebook’s 71 – so you do the math timetables for all the possible permutations. (RT)