As progressives, we must never relax, smile or engage in frivolity until every injustice of every victim is ended and reparations made. In the case of womyn, the list of injustices is depressingly long: under-represented in the nation’s boardrooms, paid less than men for the exact same job, subject to the patriarchical rape culture on a daily basis, forced to do an unequal share of the housework…
There are literally not enough pixels in the virtual world to list all the injustices against womyn.
And yet, there is another injustice to add to our list – the absence of an emoji to represent that awkward time of the month when Aunty Flo comes to visit. Unicode offers 1,088 emojis to cover all manner of things, but menstruation does not get a look in. Disgusting!
We find it frankly absurd that the defecating-community, for example, is well-served by a smiling poo emoji but there is no period emoji. Not one! Worse yet, this issue is totally ignored by most of the accredited media. Pick up and read any of the Financial Times, The Economist and even the Wall Street Journal and I am quite prepared to bet anyone a trillion Zimbabwean Dollars that none of these publications discuss period emojis on their front covers.
As so often, it is left to the likes of the Guardian to explain what a serious injustice and a major world issue the lack of a period emoji is:
“For a natural phenomenon that the average woman will spend thousands of days of her life experiencing, the shame and silence around menstruation makes no sense. In fact right now 800 million women, including people who identify as male or non-gender binary, are menstruating. Yet in Australia and around the world, there is a strange belief that menstruation is disgusting secret women’s business.
Love them or loathe them, emojis have become a part of our modern vocabulary. More than 92% of the online population use emojis every day to communicate between friends and across cultures. And Plan UK’s research showed that almost half (45%) of women surveyed would happily use a period emoji, particularly to communicate with their partners.
It’s ridiculous that Unicode offers 1,088 emojis, including a long nose goblin emoji, a floppy disc, a unicorn emoji and a smiling poo emoji, but there is no period emoji. The exclusion of a period emoji is a just another way to silence speech around menstrual health which contributes to stigma, shame, leading to yet more silence.”
Although I identify as a male and am not non-gender binary, as the Guardian points out, I might one day menstruate and be part of the 800 million who Aunty Flo is currently visiting. I am fortunate that, until now, Aunty Flo and I have never met. I cannot guarantee that this happy state will always continue but this is besides the point.
The point is that we need a period emoji. End this bloody injustice now!