back to article Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

Google has decided that emoji need to offer better role models for women and has therefore proposed 13 new ones, all depicting women in the workplace. Google's proposal (PDF) says the company “wants to increase the representation of women in emoji” and therefore suggests “a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of …

  1. Ralph B

    Prejudice

    I detect a shameful prejudice against bald women in those new emojis. And against bald men in the current set. If they would only embrace the representation of members of the bald community they would also realize that, under the hair, we are more similar than we are different.

    What I'm suggesting is that we standardize on a set of hairless, neuter, monochrome, vaguely human images for all of these emojis.

    Or just stop using emojis altogether.

    Yes. I think that might be the better solution.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Prejudice

      Your post shows shameful lack of appreciation for the strands of diversity in the community we represent. We do, of course, need complete sets for all people representing all disabilities, religions, ethnicities, genders (etc., I forget the complete list and it keeps growing anyway).

      Your last point completely disregards the feelings of those people - predominantly women as the article notes - who use emoji so you are clearly a sexism pig.

      :-)

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Prejudice

        Having barely mastered a colon-dash-bracket combination I suspect I'm not part of the target demographic, but I will now be losing sleep at the underrepresentation of stroppy Welsh flappers with a penchant for '50s milkbar-chic.

        1. energystar
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Prejudice

          fa..fa..flappers?

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: Prejudice

            @energystar hands on the keyboard please

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Prejudice

        "Your post shows shameful lack of appreciation for the strands of diversity in the community we represent."

        hook, line, *AND* sinker!

        You did not get the humor nor satire, did you?

        Personally, I am *SO* *SICK* *AND* *TIRED* of all of the political-correctness "diversity" nonsense. Why can't we just recognize people as 'human' and NOT make race/sex/appearance/behavior/whatever a criteria for ANYTHING? Are all too many of us as immature as a 4 year old, needing a doll that "looks like me" or something? Or in this case, an emoji. Cue 'rainbow brigade' emoji list ad infinitum. I wonder what the 'gay' one will look like...

        But the final conclusion of the original poster was the correct one: let's just abandon the use of emojis, period.

        "Your last point completely disregards the feelings of those people"

        Not surprising. 'Feel', the new 'F' word as far as I'm concerned. Everybody has them, they're a poor basis for decision making, too many people *feel* instead of *think*, and maybe that's how we got here...

        thanks for playing, though.

        (or was the smiley at the end an indication of satire?)

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Prejudice

      Unisex Unicode?

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Prejudice

        Is no one even slightly concerned the skin tone chosen for these emoji closely matches the Donald's orange hue?

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Emoji proliferation

      That's the problem, you can't try to be politically correct when it comes to emojis or we'll soon have billions of them and 32 bit unicode will be insufficient! I'd be really annoyed if I have to get an iPhone with more flash just to hold the billions of emojis required, not to mention how it would be near impossible to select the "right" one with so many choices. Already I'll bet there are some emojis that are only used once a month in the entire world.

      People think now we have male emojis so you need female. Then you're biased against different races so you need different eyes, and a palette of different skin tones and hair color combinations. Then you are leaving out industries or unfairly combining them, because factory workers and mechanics aren't the same job so they need their own. And so on. Why not just let every person on Earth contribute their own personal emojis as long as we're forced to go with 64 bit Unicode anyway?

      They should make them look as generic as possible, sexless with facial/eye features that don't tend to any particular race, and some sort of neutral skin tone that's unlike any real skin tone (maybe Trump orange would be a good choice?)

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Herby Silver badge

    We now need to support...

    ...the emoji messaging service. so these can be used.

    Look up "accidental emoji expert" and get an even further explanation.

    1. frank ly

      @Herby Re: We now need to support...

      Thank you for the link Herby :) However, that site closed in July last year :( It all changes so fast nowadays, I just can't keep up with what's happening, lol. (Who needs emojis anyway?)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How was there space for both a bento box and a single fried coconut shrimp...

    ...and yet no adequate representation of middle-aged, balding, beer-bellied, left-handed, mustachioed C++/Perl/Java developers with a penchant for stouts and Irish whiskey and who dislikes snake-oil solutions for imaginary problems such as DevOps?

    Enough visual icon discrimination!

  5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    High Tech worker is mislabeled

    Looking at the depiction of said worker its label should be "Foxconn Assembly Line Worker".

    I like the "KISS"/Bowie series of Icons though. It is Rock and old git like me can understand (pity the meaning of that lightning across the face is lost to the predominant emojii audience).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why "Music = rock" only?

    It's just the musical equivalent of racism and discrimination.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Why "Music = rock" only?

      Agreed. Let's have emoji for musicians playing musical saw, theremin, glass harmonica and spoons.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Why "Music = rock" only?

        "Agreed. Let's have emoji for musicians playing musical saw, theremin, glass harmonica and spoons."

        don't forget washboard. we can use 'Bender' the robot in that one.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Lego conquers the emoji world

    All the figures look like Lego™ people. Will someone please think of the copyright!

  8. Chairo
    Coat

    Whatever you do...

    don't remove the bento box and the ebifry emojis. Otherwise Japanese salarymen couldn't properly inform their housewives about their wishes for tomorrow's bento.

    Mine's the one with the cliches in the pocket...

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Was this what Unicode was for?

    With all the combinations of emoji there'll be no codepoints left for characters. Perhaps they should forget sticking role models into fonts and use Miis/Xbox avatars instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

      there'll be no codepoints left for characters.

      Of course not. After all no one today is educated to be able to write or spell anyway.

      We are well on the way to a return to a preliterate society.

      As one AI said to another 'The whole proposition that human beings created us is completely preposterous: By inspection they cant even find their own arses with both hands'.

      1. nijam

        Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

        > We are well on the way to a return to a preliterate society.

        What do you mean? Writing exclusively in emojis worked perfectly well for the ancient Egyptians.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

          Yes, but just for a class of highly trained scribes...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

          Writing exclusively in emojis worked perfectly well for the ancient Egyptians.

          Really? And where are they now?

      2. Pan_Handle

        Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

        Why did you capitalise the word 'by'?

    2. Mike Shepherd
      Unhappy

      Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

      With hindsight, it was only a matter of time before Unicode became a target for the PC brigade (or Google, which seems to feel that the entire human world is at its disposal).

      Unicode characters were intended to represent repeated features of real languages so you could write in those languages and about them, without resorting to graphics. (This includes the facility to write about "dead" languages like those used in Mayan script or in Egyptian hieroglyphics).

      The Unicode Consortium rightly rejected the proposal of a code page for the Klingon language. Unicode is not a platform in which to express support for political movements, whether the associated images show women in "professional" jobs or at the kitchen sink.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

      "With all the combinations of emoji there'll be no codepoints left for characters."

      I somehow get the feeling that this is how the Egyptian hieroglyphs got started.

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

      Next up .. someone will pay ICANN to register a new TLD using these.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

      "With all the combinations of emoji there'll be no codepoints left for characters. "

      No problem there is a simple solution to that: UTF-128 ie. UNICODE v6

      Naturally it will be incompatible with UTF-8 and all existing standards, but it will be wonderful and it will have more than enough space for everyone to define their own character sets...

  10. astrax

    irony1 ˈʌɪrəni/

    - The desire to communicate a true representation of professional women via emojis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: irony1 ˈʌɪrəni/

      - The desire to communicate a true representation of professional anything via emojis.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    13 'professional women'

    I intuited a bakers dozen of 'ladies of the night', and similar, who make a profession out of being a woman.

  12. Lee D Silver badge

    Unicode has gone far too beyond what was necessary.

    That is, a collection of individual characters from all known written languages, so that you can represent any written text - or write papers on it - using one fully-occupied Unicode typeface.

    To start including clipart just because people use clipart in their messages is getting far too daft. It's almost like the Unicode consortium have nothing else better to do.

    1. Brian 18

      Re: Lee D

      Unfortunately they do have better things to do but would rather waste time on emoji. I read an article about a linguist that was getting fed up with the emoji focus especially at the expense of research into ancient languages.

      I can't find the original, but here is a link to a similar but less serious article.

      http://trueviralnews.com/?p=94865

      Note: I've got nothing against a basic set of emoji to convey common concepts like happiness, sadness, humor, etc. I just think the situation has gotten completely ridiculous.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Devil

      > ... is getting far too daft.

      Just wait until they sell unused codings to companies!

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Just wait until they sell unused codings to companies!

        See Private Use Areas.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Happy

          Learning stuff on the Reg. Thanks!

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Unicode has gone far too beyond what was necessary.

      "Unicode has gone far too beyond what was necessary."

      I suppose we could just include UNICODE alphabets for all of the Tolkein languages, and Star Trek languages (Klingon, Romulan, Vulcan), and any OTHER sci-fi fictional language for that matter.

      No, wait...

      http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/Unicode

      (an attempt WAS made...)

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Meh....

    In some minds, these are obviously a high priority item... why?

    Yeah, I'm missing the point of these things. Feel free to illuminate or hammer me into a quivering, crying pile in the corner.

    1. ssharwood

      Re: Meh....

      Won't someone think of the children? The children educated so poorly that they can no longer form sentences, but can only communicate by sending each other cartoons?

      Does that explain it?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Meh....

        Ah... something more illiterate than texting using whatever passes for language in them. Got it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emojigeddon

    Buzzfeed had an excellent article recently about rifts within the Unicode consortium around this issue. Which is more important, medieval Irish punctuation or a new taco emoji? And who's to say these emojis of today won't be the obsolete or dead languages of the future.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/inside-emojigeddon-the-fight-over-the-future-of-the-unicode

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Emojigeddon

      And who's to say these emojis of today won't be the obsolete or dead languages of the future.

      Future? I suggest beyond the basic emojis the vast majority are already obsolete or dead - just like many WingDings. I predict that within a couple of months many will have missed or forgotten the emojis Google are proposing here.

  15. MJI Silver badge

    The only one I can think of is

    The Laughing Man

  16. Banksy
    Trollface

    Discriminatory

    These shocking new emojis are obviously highly discriminatory to transpeople and other gendered people. Typical chauvinistic, misogynistic tech industry.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Discriminatory

      And Pirates. Bastards. Where are the required array of pirate emojis?

      There need to be a full spectrum of these with different eye patches, hats, skin colours, gender, scars and parrots. Never forget the parrots. The Norwegian Blue just doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

      (my pockets are full of pirate stickers)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Discriminatory

      Also both the male and female rockstars appear to be David Bowie at different stages in his career.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Discriminatory

        career V. move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way...yep that's David Robert Jones ....

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bztXXKln1Y

        A fraud from start to finish.

  17. Old Buccaneer

    The accidental expert

    I'm so glad I'm not on the board of the Unicode consortium.

    If emoji can have gender skin tone and hair colour set by þe user why do we need þis special subset?

  18. Dwarf Silver badge

    Too Much Time

    Some people have far too much time on their hands.

    If this is the most important thing that they can think needs fixing, then something has gone badly wrong in the chocolate factory.

    There will clearly be a whole project team behind this - software people, graphic designers, project managers, line managers etc. Did nobody stop and think "is this really necessary"

    Looks like its time for an HR Forrest fire.

    1. Andy Nugent

      Re: Too Much Time

      You can always sell your shares in Alphabet if you think their work is no-longer valid.

  19. jake Silver badge

    Who invented the term "emoji", and why?

    Shirly the bloody useless things already had had a perfectly good name, that being "emoticons"?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Who invented the term "emoji", and why?

      The font of all definintive knowledge, Wikipedia, has a page explaining this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji

      Emoticons, originating with the ascii smileys, were generally to depict emotions. Emojis are essentially just pictures, which is kind of reverse evolotion for many languages but not incorrect as such because it's the nature of languages that they change.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who invented the term "emoji", and why?

      b'cos the yoof of 2day found it hard 2 spel

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: hard 2 spel

        But you'll struggle to find *anyone* who can "spell" an emoji, in the sense of hitting keys on a keyboard to generate a Unicode character of choice in their plain text document. No, what happens instead is that they are using some multi-media-enabled application and they click/tap on a button somewhere and choose a picture from a limited selection chosen by a programmer. From a technical point of view, you might as well insert a URL to the relevant clip-art.

        And at the far end, no sane font designer actually creates glyphs for these. Once again, a programmer has a library of clip-art (that they can style according to how PC the end-user wants to be) and they draw it in a character-sized box.

        We had "inserting pictures into documents" ages ago. Unicode emojis merely uses limited resources (committee time and code space) to perform over-optimized compression on a class of message that is of no fucking importance whatsoever.

        Actually, I lie, Bayesian spam filters might well be able to use the presense of emojis to determine that the sender is an ignorable twat.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who invented the term "emoji", and why?

      You shouldn't be surprised they come from a country used to ideograms like Japan... but people should also understand why Western civilization abandoned that kind of writing thousands of years ago. Having to remember hundreds of ideograms to express an idea I could convey with a few letters looks pretty stupid to me. Also, I'm not afraid of foreign languages...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is it!

    Solution to all of our problems delivered by the Holy Google.

  21. Yugguy

    Or not

    One of the many random FB suggested pages I get (which seem to bear NO relation whatsover to my Like history) is for some bird who has given up a succesful career as a lawyer to become a model.

    I have to say I completely support her choice. Women's lib, yeah!!

  22. jb99

    Unicode is ruined.

    They had one job, which was to assign a few extra characters into 16bit characters instead of 7 bit ascii so more languages could be supported, and they comprehensibly failed to do just that. Unicode is basically an unusable mess and I don't see why anyone supports it.

  23. Tessier-Ashpool

    The Guardian Website

    I am mystified that this story didn't appear on the Guardian website within nanoseconds of publication.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    emoji for "wankers"?

    Like a lot of this decade's additions to Unicode, these don't belong in standard fonts. They're like hieroglyphics that no one has ever written by hand, with no common meaning or significance whatsoever.

    Yesterday I was saying (not here) that UTF-8 text is a good archival format, in spite of some issues with bloat. I take that back. Unicode must die.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: emoji for "wankers"?

      Unicode must die.

      It would only be replaced by something worse.

  25. sabroni Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Emojis were fine yesterday.

    But now they've given women jobs? And not just as hookers? Fuck that, get rid of unicode.

  26. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Headmaster

    But, but, but...

    if you want to include an image in your writing, include a bloody image. Don't mess around defining the image as a character.

    Emojis? Stop 'em at the firewall. Bah.

  27. energystar
    Gimp

    So, trying to include all the 'Village People'?

    Proposing myself to UNICODE Catalog...

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