“Gender-neutral” images are just a few of the new emojis that will likely be coming to your phone sometime soon.
According to the U.K. Telegraph, the new emojis were part of a suite of 69 emojis unveiled Monday night by the Unicode Consortium, which handles emoji development.
While it’s up to phone software providers like Apple, Google, and Microsoft to interpret the new emojis as they wish, it would be highly unlikely that they would outright reject the Unicode Consortium’s guidance on gender-neutral emojis.
The Los Angeles Times reported that there were a score of other emojis introduced, including a tyrannosaurus rex, broccoli, a UFO, the flags of Scotland and Wales … and a dumpling.
— Jeremy Burge 🐥 (@jeremyburge) March 28, 2017
However, most of the talk is bound to be about the gender-neutral emojis, first proposed by Adobe designer Paul Hunt.
In a proposal filed last October, Hunt said that “current practice is to provide humanized, gendered appearance for a rather large set of characters. Unfortunately, the only options currently available in a majority of these situations are exclusively feminine or masculine presentations.”
“The purpose of this proposal is to suggest emoji mechanisms for portraying gender expression in emoji in a more inclusive way,” Hunt explained “For purposes of emoji presentation, gender inclusive should be interpreted as a humanized appearance that employs visual cues that are common to all genders by excluding stereotypes that are either explicitly masculine or feminine, as can currently be observed in the MAN/BOY and WOMAN/GIRL emoji.”
While little data is available about gender identity in the United States, the 2011 British census revealed 0.4 percent of the U.K. identifies as non-binary.
Meanwhile, a University of Chicago poll found that 31 percent of American households owned a firearm in 2014, but this didn’t stop Apple from changing the gun emoji to a water gun.
I guess when it comes to your phone, representation isn’t quite as important as agenda.
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