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As a graphic designer and web developer, I find myself reading a wide variety of sites that hold a pretty liberal view of the world. But when it comes to design principles and development standards, most everyone is on the same page.
Every now and then, however, there comes a disturbance in the flow of modern life. Something so grossly offensive that the false morality and self-righteous indignation come bubbling to the surface, and the offended party feels compelled to speak and act. In this case, a designer at Facebook expressed outrage at yet another example of the bigoted, unequal, and hateful undertones prevalent in our day.
What is it this time you ask? An icon. Yes, a little 32×32 icon that showed — hold your breath — a man standing in front of a woman.
See the difference? If you don’t, you’re a misogynist. And if you do? You’re probably still a misogynist.
Oh, but there’s much, much more:
Much to my dismay, not long into my tenure as a Facebook designer I found something in the company glyph kit worth getting upset about. There in the middle of the photoshop file were two vectors that represented people. The iconic man was symmetrical except for his spiked hairdo but the lady had a chip in her shoulder. After a little sleuthing I determined that the chip was positioned exactly where the man icon would be placed in front of her, as in the ‘friends’ icon, above. I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration but as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me.
Now, before you grab your torches and pitchforks to mob the unequal, hate-harboring social network website, you’ll be relieved to know that the offense was alleviated. The icons were changed and the social victory won.
No longer will icons be ruled by men. No longer will women be subjected to the shadows of web apps and their formerly male-dominated toolbars. Now, women everywhere can know that they matter every time they click the “friends” tab on their favorite social network. The weight of this social justice victory is beyond words. Not since Rosa Parks has our country seen the likes of such bold, invigorating change.
Or, maybe we live in a day and age where the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In other words, people find that that being offended gets them what they want. Thus, the things that provoke “outrage” become more and more trivial with each passing day.
Pretty soon, Facebook will be considered homophobic for refusing to change their brand colors from blue to the all-too-pervasive colors of the rainbow. As you may have noticed with the icons above, it was never about “equality” as so many tout today, but dominance. By the way, I noticed all of these icons are white. Isn’t that a tad racist?
In other, non-offensive news: ISIS women are beating other women into merciless subjection. But hey, good job on the Facebook icons. I’m sure innocent Syrian women would be proud.