When 230 new emojis were announced last week, alongside a number of excellent steps in representation for people with disabilities and queer and interracial couples, one was the obvious pick for Instantly Iconic.
No, it wasn’t the waffle, the garlic, or even the blood drop/period emoji campaigned for by Planned Parenthood and the Red Cross.
It was this, officially called Pinching Hand:
And the filthy (hive)mind that is the internet immediately went to the most childish interpretation possible.
Many of the people celebrating the advent of the Teeny Things Possibly Including Penises Depending On Context emoji were rejoicing at the prospect of having a one-tap response to unsolicited dick pics, and the related prospect of men who send them suddenly thinking twice beforehand.
But of course, the most childish response to the most childish response came from anti-feminist writer Bettina Arndt.
— Bettina Arndt (@thebettinaarndt) February 8, 2019
Look, on one level, she almost has a point.
Not on the “roomy vagina” thing – the idea that that’s what all women are secretly insecure about is laughable. We’re much too worried about being murdered for that!
But hey, size-shaming isn’t nice, in general – people can’t help what size their penises are, and literally half of all dicks in existence are below average size. That’s how averages work.
And there’s absolutely no call to make anyone feel bad about the size of their penis by publicly declaring that people who are dicks must have dicks that are small.
Even laughing at the idea that Donald Trump’s wee little hands must mean he has a wee little weewee, or confirmation that he in fact does, can make someone who might be similarly endowed but generally a decent human feel pretty awful about their body.
Not everyone who isn’t blessed with the body they want makes up for it by going around being an insufferable f**knugget.
And plenty of insufferable f**knuggets have pretty big penises – ask any of the women who’ve opened an AirDrop only to find it’s a photo of a random dude’s grotty-looking dong being held against a can of energy drink for scale.
If you harass someone with an unwanted picture of your big or small penis – or by touching someone with it in any unwanted way – then one of the reasons you may be doing it is because you are particularly insecure about your masculinity. But even then, I’m honestly not going to feel that bad for you if your chosen target sends you The Pinching Hand and it makes you feel sad.
But there is no great feminist conspiracy to bully Unicode into creating a specific body-shaming emoji aimed at cis men.
Nor is this a sign that it’s totally OK to go around body-shaming cis men the way, say, many people still at this very moment in 2019 feel comfortable doing to women (or anyone of any gender who doesn’t fit a certain image).
After all, it wasn’t feminists who started equating dick size with masculinity. Dudes started that one all by themselves, at urinals and in locker rooms around the world.
[sees a new emoji that can be used to signify something is small] this is an attack on my penis pic.twitter.com/TwS7yHyJRV
— Wild Geerters (@classiclib3ral) February 10, 2019
And hey, that emoji has loads of uses beyond clapping back at digital sex pests. There are plenty of other things that can be small apart from penises.
For example, minds.