Hillary Clinton shattered a massive glass ceiling Tuesday night by becoming the first woman to claim the presidential nomination of a major political party, and much of the internet responded with jubilation and a lotta feminist love. Perhaps the best representation of the groundbreaking nature of Clinton's win is told through the most ubiquitous modern language available: Emoji. This amazing emojimeme circulated following Clinton's victory speech Tuesday, offering a visual depiction of the progress made by Clinton's nomination. The picture shows 43 old white man emojis lined up next to each other, then a black man emoji, then a white woman emoji.
Actor Zachary Quinto shared the picture on his Instagram account as an amazing reminder of the importance of Clinton's win.
The original version may possibly be this one from Twitter user @LauraOlin, which was posted about four hours before Quinto's. If you look closely, Quinto's version doesn't actually have the right number of old white guys — there, there's only 42 instead of 43. But of course, the message is much more important than the sender in this case anyway.
The visual representation is evocative of so much — how far women have come in the United States, how much the demographic makeup of the country is changing, and how much more open to change this generation is than any of its predecessors. Any student of history knows that the U.S. is far behind many other countries which have had female heads of state, and joined their storied ranks is a humbling honor.
The emoji pictograph also subtly hints at intersectionality, and indicates that this level of achievement may still be a long fight for minorities. Although Clinton's nomination is a win for all women, there's still a tough road ahead for women who are racial and ethnic minorities. Of the few women in the upper echelons of politics, even fewer are minorities, a status quo which will hopefully be radically shifted under the nation's first female president. When a black, Asian, or Latina woman joins those ranks, the message of change and equality within American society will resonate even more powerful across the globe.
It might just be a little picture, but this single image simply and clearly conveys the vast importance of Clinton's win in the context of American history. If Clinton does win the presidency in November, she will make history even further and advance the U.S. into a new era of undeniable feminism.