The new 'pregnant man' emoji explained

After being announced last summer, the release of the iOS 15.4 beta brings the inclusion of the Unicode 14.0 standard, with new emojis including the "Pregnant Man" one.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

After being announced last summer, the release of the iOS 15.4 beta brings the inclusion of the Unicode 14.0 standard, with new emojis including the "Pregnant Man" one.

In July of last year, Unicode Emoji Subcommittee (ESC) met to discuss what emojis would be included in the final version of Emoji 14.0.

Included on this list was one of a pregnant man, and a "gender neutral" version. This list was finalized in September 0f 2021.

According to Apple Insider, the inclusion of these two controversial emojis follows the usual formula for emoji designs.

"Since Unicode 12.0 was released in 2019, the official Unicode standard has used three genders: Woman, man, and 'gender-neutral,'" Apple Insider wrote.

The inclusion of a gender neutral option is explained in the Unicode Technical Standard #51. "It is often the case that gender is unknown or irrelevant, as in the usage 'Is there a doctor on the plane?,' or a gendered appearance may not be desired. Such cases are known as 'gender-neutral,' 'gender-inclusive,' 'unspecified-gender,' or many other terms. Other than the above list, human-form emoji should normally be depicted in a gender-neutral way unless gender appearance is explicitly specified using an emoji ZWJ sequence in one of the ways shown in the following table," the official rationale from the standard reads.

Apple Insider boiled down the standard, stating that it means "unless it's a special case, all emoji should be gender-neutral by default."

In a document written by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee in April of 2019, they highlighted their "Priorities for Future RGI Emoji Sequences." Included in this letter are areas of interest that include gender neutral or inclusive emoji.

According to Apple Insider, while newer emojis are created with these three gender options, some emoji have base elements that still use the "legacy" method. "ESC needs to address those before expanding and adding more," they wrote.

In a document titled "L2/21-055: ESC comments on 2020 Q4 feedback," the committee explained that the original plan was to replace the original "Pregnant Woman" emoji with a non-binary one, then use male and female modifiers.

"The original plan, as per standard practice, was to replace the original 'Pregnant Woman' emoji (U+1F930) with the non-binary representation and then use the male (U+2642 and U+FE0F) and female (U+2640 and U+FE0F) to modify it to the desired gender. In theory, the system is respected, and everyone is happy," wrote Apple Insider.

Instead, the committee wrote: "To ensure the integrity of existing gendered emoji and to preserve a long runway for future additions, 'person' based emoji should never be encoded with a sex symbol. As such, the 'person' and 'man' variants' are in the process of being added as atomic characters."

The document highlighted proposed names for the new pregnant emojis, including "Man With Swollen Belly." This name was not adopted though, because it fell out of the usual naming convention.

"The proposed names of the new characters, 'man with swollen belly' and 'person with swollen belly', are completely semantically detached from the meaning of U+1F930, which is never the case for emoji that form a gender triplet. Being pregnant and having a swollen belly are not synonymous; one cannot reasonably be used as a substitute for the other," the committee wrote.

"While it is true that U+1F930 is sometimes humorously used to convey a general concept of bloat, this has no bearing on its actual semantics as a Unicode character. U+1F930 was encoded for a very particular purpose – to represent pregnancy and parenthood – and retroactively changing its official meaning to encompass any stomach bloat would be both disrespectful to expecting parents and damaging to existing data," they added.

"In other words, due to the legacy use of the emoji and the importance of gender in its meaning, coupled with no modifier for non-binary because it's supposed to be the default, we are instead getting two additional independent variants. 'Pregnant Man' (U+1FAC3) and 'Pregnant Person' (U+1FAC4) will live alongside the original 'Pregnant Woman' (U+1F930), breaking with convention," Apple Insider explained.


Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information