The Emoji Attorney & Other Thoughts
If you had to draw a picture of an attorney, what would it look like? How does your drawing of a male attorney compare to the drawing of a female attorney? I love emojis - I admit it. Many articles coming out of academia are suggesting emoji's may develop into a new language altogether and may change our written communication from less like a novel to more like a comic book. While it's easy to express happiness with :-) and sadness with :-(, how do you express a more complex idea or concept like a profession? These are the new contemplations we are all facing and regardless of who we blame for the rise of emojis (cough cough *Millennials* cough cough), we need to start getting used to the idea that words+graphic=communication.
Google recently developed emojis depicting "professional women." Currently, you can find some male-specific professions but all the female emojis seem to be focused on wearing crowns, painting nails, and cutting hair. #equalityfail As much as I would love to see more accurate depictions of women as professionals, I have to wonder what a female lawyer looks like. I also have to wonder why emojis are insistent on drawing gender-specific lines in a world that is (hopefully) moving closer to gender equality. In other words, why does the female lawyer emoji need to look different from the male lawyer emoji? Can't we both just be the scales of justice?
As a female attorney, I still notice the saturation of male partners and attorneys in North Carolina (and generally, nationwide). Right now, all my opposing counsels happen to be male, and in the past year, I've only encountered one female attorney on the other side. Being a lawyer appears to be more and more of a "boy's club" despite most law schools graduating about 50% female attorneys-to-be.
I suppose with my exposure being limited to almost entirely male opposing counsels (and a male partner), my concept of what the female lawyer emoji should look like is, well, me and the handful of female attorney mentors that surround me. That means this new emoji is going to be an intelligent, witty, powerful, and kind emoji. How do you illustrate these characteristics? This is a problem that Google probably cannot solve. That solution must come from us.