I'm going to introduce you to what is by far the most annoying trend on social media involving a particular emoji. The annoying online trend features the clapping emoji 👏 in 👏 between 👏 each 👏 word.
The technique is most often used — unironically — by the social justice types to express indignation or condescension.
It's meant to imply that the person who is writing the message is so much more "woke" than you that they are righteously allowed to clap in your face. Just looking at it is enough to test your blood pressure. Among the most recent standouts is the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson's decision to play a transgender character, which LGBTQ advocates would view as a good thing, right? You know, her being an ally to their cause and all. Here's one of the myriad tweets that sums up the feeling:
For weeks, the social justice types had been raging about Johansson, who was slated to portray a crime kingpin who was born a woman but identified as male in the film Rub & Tug.
In an interview with NPR — naturally — a trans activist had this to say about it:
Casting male actors to play trans women and female actors to play trans men really reinforces the idea that trans men are really women who are pretending to be men and tricking people into thinking they're men as opposed to the truth, which is that transgender men are living authentically as themselves. And we look like men and we feel like men, and we are perceived as men, and there's no reason, like, women should be playing us.
Listen to the full interview here:
Boy, if it weren't already confusing enough…
In response to this so-called backlash, Scarlett Johansson released a statement to her critics, noting to "tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
But, finally — as most people do these days — she buckled. She released the following statement:
In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.
What's the source of all this outrage? Because, we all know that the small but vocal mob — who the mainstream media has for some reason given a platform, and whose voice is louder than the rest of ours — is able to bully until they get what they want.
There's no winning.
Let's say that Scarlett Johansson had refused the role to begin with, on the grounds that she will not play a transgender character. You can guarantee the same crowd that's outraged now would be in fits. There's no winning. The best we can do is treat those around us with respect, live humbly and, for heaven's sake, don't clap between every damn word.