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The Week in Woke: Pregnant Man Emoji edition

It’s time again for The Week in Woke, my attempt to track the silliest things that right-wingers have declared “woke” on a weekly basis. Today we’ve got a pregnant man, some Major League sports, and a renegade … Fox News?

The Pregnant Man Emoji

This week Unicode, the company in charge of setting the standards for emojis across various platforms, unveiled 102 new emojis that are being considered. One of them — well, technically six of them — depicts a mustachioed man with a pregnant belly; there’s also a non-binary “Pregnant Person” emoji. It’s an attempt, Emojipedia noted, to “recognize that pregnancy is possible for some transgender men and non-binary people.”

Naturally, heads exploded. “Woke Culture Strikes Again As “Pregnant Man” Emoji Now Being Considered, declared Jeremy Porter on DrewBerquist.com.

There is no stopping the left when it comes to the list of outrageous demands they have for the future of America. … liberals don’t operate in a world of facts or even science. They believe it is all about how you feel. If you feel like a woman, but were born a man – then simply change your gender. And don’t forget, the rest of the world has to go along with it. But no matter how hard they try, science has laws like a man can’t get pregnant. Well, thanks to woke left, men might not be able to carry a child, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a “pregnant man” emoji.

Dude, what part of “trans men can get pregnant” do you not understand?

The National Football League

I guess the NFL is still trying to make up for its atrocious handling of Colin Kaepernick. According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, the league

will introduce more social justice messaging on fields and player helmets during the upcoming 2021 season. ….

To reinforce its 10-year, $250 million commitment to combat systemic racism, the league will promote social justice via on-field signage, decals on player helmets, and in-stadium PSAs.

The NFL also plans to make “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — often referred to as the Black national anthem — a prominent part of all big league events, said sources.

This last bit seems to have thrown some right-wing critics into a tizzy. “With ‘Black National Anthem’, NFL to Double Down on Viewership-Killing Wokeness” declared Matt Philbin in a headline on newsbusters.org. He continued:

the NFL is bringing back a whole lot of the anti-racism virtue signaling that made pro-football unwatchable last season. …

Sure, it’s farcical and craven, but think how good it will be for business … er, wait. Turns out there’s plenty of evidence that when televised sports go woke, viewers go away.

Blithely predicting that this “wokeness” will mean “billions of dollars lost,” he concluded:

Easy come, easy go. But the chance to soothe the conscience of the feckless, cowed commissioner? Priceless.

Fox News?

Wait, Fox News? Yep. Former Fox News blabber Eric Bolling, now a host on far-right Newsmax, attacked his ex-employer for its allegedly insufficient response to Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver to protest the passage of an anti-voter legislation in Georgia.

Yep. According to Bolling, who (as Salon points out) left Fox in the midst of allegations of sexual harassment, thinks Fox is “woke” for not being anti-woke enough.

“Speaking of blowing woke smoke, I have to call attention to Fox News,” he decalred. “They seem to hate the ‘woke’ cancel culture agenda as much as I do, but do they really?”

He thinks not.

So Fox News, they raged — rightly so — about Coke going woke. But where were they after MLB canceled the All-Star Game over being woke?

Fox is falling down in the battle for America’s soul, or something.

Now I wonder why Fox was so quiet on the All-Star Game flip-flop, after all, they claim to be against the leftists ruining the country by constantly playing the race card here, there, and everywhere. And against the cancer that cancel culture is.

His theory? Follow the money.

Why were they silent when it came to the All-Star Game. Look no further than their program guide, turns out Fox was broadcasting that Major League Baseball All-Star Game,

Bolling wouldn’t agree with me in a million years, but what I conclude from this little story is that the only way Fox can do things right — in this case by NOT attacking MLB as “woke” — is by doing it for the sleaziest of reasons.

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MV96
MV96
8 days ago

Well, they don’t understad the part where trans men are AFAB and trans women are AMAB.
Also, name a more iconic duo than righturds and erasing trans men.

Snowberry
Snowberry
8 days ago

As someone who follows what’s going on with the Unicode consortium, mainly (though mot exclusively) because of emoji, I can report that these emoji aren’t meant to represent pregnancy specifically, but “swollen bellies”. The justification is, because the pregnant woman emoji is sometimes used to represent the situation of “wow I ate way too much and boy am I full” (AKA “I’m having a food baby”), there should be a full range of gender options for it. The fact that it can also be used for pregnant transmen and nonbinary people like the media is going to be making a big deal out of is just a side benefit; if that was the only use, then it wouldn’t have been seen as high enough priority to include justify including yet. While the Unicode Consortium is theoretically dedicated to inclusiveness, due to the issue of “emoji bloat” the majority considers “predicted level of usage” to be a more important consideration in the short run.

In which case one might wonder “then why was ‘bearded woman’ included in the previous release, as you’d think that would be even lower priority?” that was because it was released as part of a larger set of general inclusiveness which involved identical coding and presentation issues. (Due to how it’s handled, the “woman with swollen belly” emoji would not necessarily have been done the same way.) As all of the other emoji of that exact type were high priority, so it was a “we might as well” situation.

Note also that while the various two-person emoji come in M/M, M/F, F/F, and N/N versions (except the wrestlers, which have just M/M and F/F versions, and the hugging emoji, which is in silhouette to avoid having to encode every combination of race and gender) the majority opinion puts adding in N/M and N/F combinations to be very low priority at present. The reasoning is that the most common use for the N and N/N emojis are by cis people to represent someone nonspecific rather than Nonbinary people using them as a form of self-representation, so they don’t believe that N/M and N/F combinations would see enough use to justify their immediate inclusion. There is a minority faction which considers the arguments for the “likely” lack of usage to be weak and based on cis privilege, and also isn’t fond of the “level of likely usage” prioritization to be a good approach when it comes to matters of inclusiveness, but they’ve been fighting that battle for at least the past three years to no avail.

Finally, note that they have no intention of expanding on the various “family” emoji. (Technically there’s an official way of adding skin tones to them, but it’s messy and most systems won’t support it. There’s also no official way to add nonbinary people, babies, 3+ parents, or 3+children.) Rather, they’ve stated that they intend to declare them “officially depreciated” sometime in the next few years (no specific date planned yet), meaning that they’ll remain in Unicode, but recommended that they be made unavailable to standard emoji keyboards and dropped from general usage. They say people should instead just use a string of individual icons to represent their families, or just the general concept of “family”, if someone wishes to do so.

TL;DR the above is all about present and future planned emoji releases, including the new “pregnant” emojis.

Last edited 8 days ago by Snowberry
GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
8 days ago

So it’s a post-Thanksgiving overeating emoji?

What could be more ‘Mericn than that?!

The guys do look more like they’re having stomach cramps than a blessed event, too.

Bearded women also might be good emojis for when a lady comments humorously that she’s really overdue for her facial waxing (as happened to many in the pandemic), or if one is writing about the exploitation of non-average people in old-timey carnival sideshows.

As far as “likelihood of use”, I’d say having a female disco dancer and a male flamenco dancer would be more often used. I mean, I have never flamenco’d, and I know some AMAB people who have.

Coke-woke-smoke? Has someone had a large toke?

Last edited 8 days ago by GSS ex-noob
SpecialFFrog
SpecialFFrog
8 days ago

In terms of Colin Kaepernick it is more like the NFL is trying to distract from rather than make up for. Unless I am missing something he is still being blacklisted and they never mention his name at all when doing this kind of thing.

Snowberry
Snowberry
8 days ago

@GSS ex-noob:

The 💃🏻 🕺🏻 dancer emoji have opened up a huge can of worms years back which they still haven’t been able to resolve. Should the existing ones have a full range of gender? Should there be an N dancer in a third style? *Which* style? Should they both be made N, and multiple dancer styles be added in as so to be more culturally inclusive? They don’t find any of those options satisfactory, but leaving things as-is isn’t satisfactory either. If your response is “they should make additional dancer styles *and* give each of them a full range of gender options” then that definitely ain’t happening any time soon and possibly ever.

Amadaun
Amadaun
8 days ago

So woke folk, especially Coke, may go broke because some bloke (fired after non-consensual poke ‘n stroke and stoked by Koch) spoke about how they’ll choke and croak under that yoke.

What a joke.

Alan Robertshaw
8 days ago

@ snowberry

Thanks for your comprehensive explanation of how such things are decided; that was really interesting.

It was especially timely. I’ve been chatting to some people about whether a particular writing system evolved from earlier ones; or whether someone just came up with it from scratch. I was wondering how such a process could even happen; but you’ve given me some insights.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
7 days ago

They believe it is all about how you feel. If you feel like a woman, but were born a man – then simply change your gender. 

Do they think a pregnant man emoji is meant to represent a pregnant trans woman?

That said, if conservatives are mad about reality being shaped around feelings, they should probably be scolding the National Review over their recent post about how anti-vaxxers won’t get the vaccine because they feel disrespected.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
7 days ago

@weirwoodtreehugger We all know they love to shape policy around their own feelings. What they are very strongly against is policy being shaped around other people’s feelings.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
7 days ago

@weirwoodtreehugger

For real, terfs and conservatives all forget that trans men exists. they all think for some reason that all trans men are 12 year old girls who are either confused lesbians or Tom boys, I have never seen either side even acknowledge that that there are trans men that are adults.

Full Metal Ox
7 days ago

@moregeekthan:

We all know they love to shape policy around their own feelings. What they are very strongly against is policy being shaped around other people’s feelings.

This retort to a popular 2016, and 2020, and now 2024 Presidential campaign sign comes to mind:

http://i.etsystatic.com/22848373/r/il/c4b7ac/3023857823/il_1588xN.3023857823_8c0u.jpg

epitome of incomrepehensibility

Yeah, it seems that they’re thinking of trans women instead of men, from what they wrote.

And since when do transphobes care if emojis represent reality? I don’t hear them complaining that eyes can’t literally turn into star & heart shapes.

@Snowberry – That’s actually really interesting!

I never though much about how emojis were decided until I read a book called Because Internet (basically, sociolinguistics of Internet communication for a popular audience) and even that only talks about the Unicode consortium briefly (far as I remember).

Last edited 7 days ago by epitome of incomrepehensibility
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
7 days ago

David, you probably already know this, but going along with what WWTH said, there are a bunch of antivaxxers now calling themselves transvaxxites. It’s a play on the awful attack helicopter joke but they are saying they’re identifying as vaccinated even though they’re not and bla bla bla we’re bigoted if we don’t go along. It’s really gross in so many ways.

Last edited 7 days ago by Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
7 days ago

@Amadaun: standing ovation

I’ll believe the NFL is sincere when they apologize to and pay Kaep.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
7 days ago

For real, terfs and conservatives all forget that trans men exists. they all think for some reason that all trans men are 12 year old girls who are either confused lesbians or Tom boys, I have never seen either side even acknowledge that that there are trans men that are adults.

This, plus transphobes constantly teach each other language that associates “trans” with “male” in reference to trans women. No wonder their brain jumps to a wrong conclusion when they accidentally hear someone on the “woke” side talking about accommodating trans men.

Amadaun
Amadaun
7 days ago

@GSS ex-noob

*bows*

I couldn’t resist.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
6 days ago

I just realized the thing I pointed out started like 2 months ago. I pride myself at being so behind the times, really I do…

MexicanHotChocolate
MexicanHotChocolate
6 days ago

God, the constant whining from the right is so tiresome.

tim gueguen
6 days ago

I wonder if any of these geniuses have heard of the concept of Mpreg fiction. It would probably break their unimaginative brains.