An Ode to the Raised Fist Emoji

Oh, . How your five fingers clench with determined strength, but not too tight. Like the way we hold our dreams for a better future — with intention but no real grasp. One tiny symbol with such grand significance, recognized across continents, evoker of hope, solidarity, justice, and … testicles? 

“(clenched fist)”  is my email signature, which is how I learned it means “testicles”/ “fuck you” in Mexico, where I live and work, after making it my email signature the night Donald Trump was elected President. Also in Mexico, during protests and natural disasters, a raised fist in a crowd is a call for collective silence. 

In Cuba, the emoji can stand in for the knocking-on-a-door motion, which means sex. In Switzerland, it can mean ‘here’s hoping,’ like fingers crossed. But it almost always universally means some variation of solidarity and power to the people. 

By Zoe Mendelson, Hyperallergic

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