On emojicons.com/sadface it is known as the Lorena Bobbitt, named after the woman who cut off her husband’s penis after years of enduring his physical, mental, and sexual abuse.
It has the following tags:
bring a bag of ice
don’t mistreat women
A woman in her thirties is browsing the Internet. She sees the emoji, and it resurrects forgotten fantasies of gelding a teen boy. Driving hundreds of miles to meet a young buck who would let her take a hot knife to his manhood. She wonders why.
See Porpentine’s piece in the Emoji issue of Womanzine or click for more.
Ownership? The simple obscene urge to transgress? Retaliation for past crimes of his gender?
She spends three hours in Photoshop making castration porn with flawless boy band bodies as her source material. She turns the area around their crotch red. Their faces remain maniacally grinning and/or laid-back, giving the impression that the recent castration is ideal for them.
A man in his twenties is lost in thought as the emoji sits on his screen, reblogged into his Tumblr feed. It reminds him of a nagging decision that he finds impossible to make.
He straight up loves having his testicles rubberbanded until they turn purple, but that’s just the fringe of his real fixation. He reads a lot of erotic literature that gets him thinking about powerful men severing his genitalia and using his body afterwards. The ultimate objectification. There is something almost spiritual about removing pleasure from the equation.
He muses on the irony of jacking his dick to the thought of losing his dick.
Something would persist, he thinks—a clean warmth, a purity of desire.
Someone browsing anonymously from an Internet cafe sees the emoji and pauses in their browsing. Their face is inscrutable. They hear someone squeezing through the narrow gap of chairs and computer tables behind them and instantly close the tab. There is a five-second pause before they resume their activities.
Someone copy-pastes the Lorena Bobbitt into a text file of cool stuff seen online, then forgets about it. Months later their Internet goes out, forcing them to actually look at their own desktop instead of Firefox. They open the text file because it says “cool stuff.txt” and this description intrigues them.
They see: ( ^?^)?????
and wonder why they saved something like that. Their text editor wasn’t equipped to read the special characters. Without the special characters, it’s just a line of question marks and parentheses, a rudimentary emoji golem of soft clay, a tendriled goblin hiding amid swamp ferns.
A teenage girl laughs out loud when she sees it reblogged into her Tumblr timeline. She ♥s it but doesn’t feel it fits into her Tumblr’s aesthetic, so she leaves it at that.
A woman in her forties copies and pastes the penis component of the emoji until a row of penises is arrayed before the scissors.
She laughs at this suggestion of a penis-snipping assembly line. So cute, she thinks, so small and plump. What a cartoonish depiction of castration.
The doorbell rings. The pizza is here. The pizza is pepperoni and jalapenos.
She hits the enter key, sending the emoji to a friend over gchat. She gets up to answer the door.
An androgynous alien of unknown age drifting along an icy orbit around Earth plucks the emoji transmission out of the air and inspects it. What a peculiar depiction, it thinks. Blobby, consisting entirely of face. The lone limb seems to be extended at will like pseudopodia. What organism is this?
It has tools, so it must be sentient.
The alien is unaware of the human use of horizontal, sequential characters or the restrictions of typing out characters on a keyboard. The alien assumes the emoji is fairly representational and that the spacing is intentional.
Therefore, to the alien, this limb appears to be controlling the scissors but not directly touching them. Telekinesis?
And what is it directing the scissors toward?
A row of tanks? Is this a flanking maneuver by a giant? Or are they another life form with arms held high in the manner of worshipers, or perhaps anguish. Anguish makes sense. Unless the scissors are a gift and they are coming to receive the scissors.
The alien meditates for another one thousand years.