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Tipsheet

'Gender Neutrality' Emojis Have Given Us a Pregnant Man Emoji

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Thanks to "gender neutrality," there may soon be an emoji of a pregnant man. In anticipation of Saturday's World Emoji Day, a Thursday Emojipedia blog post from Jeremy Burge previewed "New Emojis in 2021-2022." Among them is a pregnant man. 

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According to Burge's post: "Pregnant Man and Pregnant Person are new, and recognize that pregnancy is possible for some transgender men and non-binary people. These are additions to the existing ?? Pregnant Woman emoji."

When Burge claims that the new emojis "recognize" something, it's actually doing so in a way that denies biology, considering only women can get pregnant and birth children.

There is also "a gender-inclusive alternative" to the princess and prince emojis. The new emoji will simply be "Person with Crown."

It's all part of a consistent "gender neutral option" though, as mentioned in the blog:

The above additions will mean that nearly all emojis can have default a gender neutral option, with choice to use a woman or man where relevant. A few exceptions remain, which are being reviewed, as per this Unicode Emoji Subcommittee report from 2020.

"Other inclusions on the draft list are consistent gender options for pregnancy and royalty," the blog post says when describing various potentially new emojis.

The Spinoff also published an interview between Josie Adams with the outlet and Jennifer Daniel, the creative director of emoji at Google. While pregnant men were left out of the polished interview, "gender neutrality" is referenced as a motivating factor:

For the past few years, platforms have been moving away from “male” as the default: they’ve added lady counterparts to each manly emoji, so we have ?????, ?????, and ??????. But the solution, to Daniel, is something much more obvious: gender neutrality. 

Instead of scrolling to find the man or the woman, everyone can just click the same emoji. The examples she shows me wear a vibrant agender orange, and have scruffy hair down to the nape of the neck. “We really drove adoption of gender-inclusive emoji, and now they’re accepted industry-wide,” she says.

She also sees this shift as a way of decoupling gender from stereotypes. Instead of looking for “lady doctor”, you can just look for “doctor”. She shows a redesign of the parenting emoji Google has been working on, inspired by her husband. “I went through my keyboard, and I was looking for a man who was participating in childcare. Not only was there no existing emoji, but there was no effective combination of emoji.” ?????????????

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The buzz words on this don't merely include "gender neutrality," but that it's considered "obvious" and that the "gender-inclusive emoji... is accepted industry-wide."

It's not merely emojis, though, which fly in the face of biology. 

The Biden administration memorably substituted women or mother with "birthing person" for their budget proposal. 

According to a chart included by Emojipedia, sometime in early to mid 2022 is when these emojis are expected to be available on a majority of platforms, including Apple, Twitter, and Galaxy.

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