Well… Hmmm… I sit here, after having watched this video and having read the accompanying article on Adweek (http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/not-every-brand-loves-emojis-always-girl-says-female-ones-are-terrible-169956?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Adweek_Newsletter_2016560219&utm_source=sailthru&utm_term=AW_Adfreak)… And I scratch my head in dismay, wondering if this is what my generation has become, or maybe, just MAYBE this is another bullshit stereotype perpetuated by the professional media. I’d think it’s the latter.
But more importantly, I’m wondering what to say here. Because you see, the thing is, in the age of political correctness, one cannot be careful enough.
Now I’m not chauvinist, and I don’t want to come off as such. If you take offense, I take no responsibility, because I’m trying to look at this subject objectively. But again, one cannot be careful enough.
And objectively, the fact of the matter is that we live in a day and age, where people lump everything under the category of chauvinism and bad portrayal of women. And people are offended by EVERYTHING. And people use irrelevant issues as support for their cause. And that, I’m not okay with.
Because this is not okay. This is not okay on so many different levels. It isn’t okay for the aforementioned reason of lumping and misusing issues, products and symbols.
If anything, emojis are not about sexism… Oh boy, I have a hard time not laughing, having to spell this out… Anyways, I’m sorry to say, but this claim about the “self-image of teenage girls” being somehow related to the non-existence of emojis of girls playing basketball, working out and singing, and complaining that there’s male emoticons of Santa and construction workers… oh, for fucks sakes, why?
To quote the article: “Emoji images are particularly important, Always says, because they are used so much by young, impressionable people.”. …SAY WHAT NOW???
Sure, we are used to emojis. And we express a lot using emojis. But if the fact that all girl emojis are pink somehow shunts your development into a healthy woman, then I must say, you have bigger problems than the emojis.
And sure, this might be an inconvenience. But it is certainly not a real problem. If it is for you, you have too much time on your hands. This is the same baloney we went through with “Barbie dolls giving girls unhealthy standards”, and all that jazz.
Image source: https://stupidbadmemes.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/on-the-gender-politics-of-plastic-homonculi/
Now Mattel bent and broke under years of pressure and finally yielded to public nagging, and created more “realistic”, in my opinion, rather disturbing variations. They really shouldn’t have, but business is business. If this is what the public wants, this is what the public gets. I really can’t blame them, but one little amendment to this thought; this is not the Barbie product anymore. The Barbie product line has specifications this does not fit. This is what they came to call Barbie. But the Barbie product is lost.
…But as I said, business is business…
Image source: https://news.virginia.edu/content/new-shapes-old-barbie-will-it-make-difference
Well… Right… This is much better… This isn’t at all going to lead to racial bigotry and distorted self-image… I mean, I guess this is as anatomically correct as a mass produced cheap doll is going to get, and sure, some came out quite alright while some still need some work… But I’m not sure if this made things better, or if it made everything a hell of a lot worse. I can already see the kindergarten scenareos: “Your Barbie can’t be friends with our Barbies, she is short and fat.”, or some shit like that… I hope I’m wrong but kids even discriminate each other based on looks, so it’s not a huge leap of logic that this is happening soon. I really do fear that this has a potential of making things a whole lot worse… But that’s what happens when you blow shit out of proportion and make problems where there ain’t none. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
And the same argument was played with “video games make you violent”. Sure, I concur. I remember frequently going out in my childhood to build my fleet of spaceships and conquer the galaxy as a direct influence of my all-time favorite RTS game; Imperium Galactica 2. Or no…? Oh right, no. I never did any of that. Nor did I pick up a chainsaw and murder an army of Imps from Hell, like DOOM Guy did. WHOOPS! Sorry for calling bullshit on your bullshit. Bummer…
One has nothing to do with the other. Videogames don’t make you violent, Barbies don’t make you anorexic, and emojis don’t make you feel less of a strong woman. Again, if they do, you have bigger problems. Because research proved time and time again that if you do not have a psychological predisposition for such behavior, these factors will not have a negative effect on you. If you DO have a psychological predisposition for such behavior, the problem is FAR deeper than shoot ’em ups, Barbies or emojis.
And the claims get worse. To quote the original article again; filmmaker Lucy Walker stated: “Society has a tendency to send subtle messages that can limit girls to stereotypes […] as someone who has studied sociolinguistics, I know the kind of impact even seemingly innocuous language choices can have on girls.”
Really…? So you are saying that in the day and age when we have (close to) size zero Victoria’s Secret models wearing nothing but a bra and panties on huge-ass billboards, TV shows promoting “beauty standards” and “roles” (mind you, portraying women in extremely, sometimes disgustingly stereotypical and sexist ways), mothers telling their completely normal looking daughters to lose wheight and such nonsense, princess emojis instead of police woman and female construction worker emojis are the greatest problem? If you are, then YOU need help. As in… MAJOR help…
And let me ask, who exactly are you fighting here? What’s the objective? Okay, sure, you want less chauvinist emojis. But is this a bad time to call your attention to the fact that there are different emojis by app/software? Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Chatheads, Skype, Kik even Tox all have distinct emoticons. Hell, emojis even vary by operating system/firmware, sometimes even by mobile device model. Do you plan on bullying all companies into unifying their emoji sets? Not gonna happen, USP doesn’t bend to bitching, and in the communication business, your emoji design is a USP.
So again, what are you hoping to achieve here? Because even if this were a legit problem rather than a mere annoyance/inconvenience, I don’t see a tech solution to this “issue” unless you copy Dove and release your own emoji set adon for all software. But you won’t (I hope), because it’s lame to take someone else’s camapign and pawn it off as your own.
Now, if your objective is to appeal to your target audience, you can do so in a way that doesn’t get torn to shreds by five minutes of logical thinking and common sense.
It also isn’t okay because of the one sided media exposure these issues get either. And because such sources are where “experts” get their “facts”. Without taking a look at the other side.
I read articles some time ago when Yale students were “protesting” because apparently certain Halloween costumes offended them. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3308422/Students-rage-professor-sent-email-telling-students-just-look-away-offended-Halloween-costumes.html) Ehmmm… ROTFL
I swear, I wish this were a vlog entry, I would be the Gen YZ Bill Maher right now.
Now documented below:
…one of said Yale students began bitching about how “It is NOT about creating an intellectual space […] it is about creating a HOME here!!!”
No. Indeed. A university is not about creating an intellectual space. Well, evidently not anyways, since that would require intellect as raw material…
The sad thing is, both of these went viral. And it was all over the media. And so called “experts” firmly believe this to be what Gen YZ is.
The truth is that part of the generation agrees with these people. A larger portion shakes their heads in disappointment and calls them names. And the rest JUST DON’T GIVE A SHIT.
This is a heterogeneous group of people, but no one listens to all opinions. This leads to perpetuating stereotypes. Which leads to “experts” talking about “values” of this gen without actually having a first clue. Which leads to false information and a lack of insight.
Which sooner or later leads to shitty communication. And that’s not okay.
And it’s not okay, because this isn’t even the way to go. And now I speak to my generation here. Because this is terrible if this continues.
See back in the day, people used to do something about shit that bothered them. They used to stand up for causes that mattered to them with actions. Now there are just a bunch of offended, angry people. Not okay.
To bring you a simple comparison:
In the 1980s, racism on TV was still a problem. So, the people making Star Trek: The Original Series, believing this to be unacceptable, created a show with an international ship crew, mind you, famously being the first show to give an African American woman a leading role ON THE BRIDGE OF THE ENTERPRISE, rather than a maid’s role or something.
More impressively, the writers created the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” where Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) would kiss Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), making it the first interracial kiss on TV. Now just in case the network didn’t go along with it, the scene was shot twice, once with the kiss, and once with a substituting hug.
Shatner was not okay with this racial bigotry, but he didn’t start bitching. Shatner had the balls to stand up for something he thought was right, and sabotaged the hugging scene by making stupid, out of place faces to the camera, that were only seen in editing. This effectively forced the network to go with the kiss.
Image source: http://www.blastr.com/2013-4-19/little-known-sci-fi-fact-uhuras-famed-trek-kiss-wasnt-meant-be-kirk
Now, 30 years later, we have Anita Sarkeesians and whatnot. Now I personally can’t stand this woman for the lack of logic and common sense she presents, but I’ll try not to be a complete dick.
These are the people that keep yapping about the causes they believe in, but doing nothing else than being very angry and very loud. Worse yet, they yap about bullshit causes like the aforementioned emoji and Yale cases, and whether or not Barbie should get therapy for her anorexia…
Sarkeesian personally is a thorn in the eye of common sense because of her YouTube channel “feministfrequency”. She is the kind of self-proclaimed feminist that you see articles about where real feminists call her a feminazi.
I’m not even going to go into length describing why her videos make zero sense, complaining about women’s roles as damsel in distress in videogames, objectifying female character designs and such. Go check out her channel if you’re interested. (https://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency/videos)
But if you think about the fact that much of gaming was/is oriented toward a predominantly male demographic (who often times find remedy for their low self-confidence in such make-believe of saving a beautiful woman), and that many a young boy/teenager throughout the years imagined that “damsel in distress” to be a girl they like, making the game the make-believe of their lives, you can probably see why this is dumb. And yes. She was born mid 1980s. She is YZ.
But my point is, this is where we are at. Stereotyping. Misguided causes. Loud and angry people who fight oppression that doesn’t exist. Categorical lumping. And this is NOT OKAY.
All I’m saying is, that some objectivity, and factual opinion formation helps.
I am in many ways quite fond of Adweek’s articles, but hold of more YZ writers/analysts/consultants from the actual generation, so that all sides are heard, probably would not hurt.