By: Elizabeth Klein
Chaos ensued last week when a Twitter user posted a picture of two cheeseburger emojis: one for Apple products and the other for Google. On the iPhone, the burger ingredients are ordered bun, tomato, cheese, patty, lettuce, bun; on Google’s Android products, they go bun, lettuce, tomato, patty, cheese, bun. This observation has created a debate that some are calling Burger Gate. Many Twitter users are outraged, claiming that putting the cheese under the patty is an abomination. Others say that it doesn’t matter where the cheese goes. Some even say that both emojis are wrong, as Apple incorrectly put the lettuce under the patty instead of on top.
To end the debate, Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted that he would “drop everything” on Monday to come up with a solution. Putting this at the top of the Google to-do list is definitely a positive objective for the company—what could be more important than fixing that cheeseburger emoji? Well, it’s certainly not closing the wage gap between male and female workers at Google. A recent lawsuit against the company claims that women are less likely to be promoted and are paid lower salaries for doing the same job as men. The plaintiffs say that because less qualified men are often given higher level jobs over women, female Google employees have less opportunity for advancement and higher salaries. The Department of Labor has asked Google to hand over information about this wage gap because it “found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire work force.”
Despite this, Google has Burger Gate at the top of their to-do list. They’ve obviously got their priorities straight. Closing the wage gap is certainly of great importance, but it takes a back seat to the monstrosity that is the Android hamburger emoji. The cheese is on top of the bottom bun…the consequences of that are endless and awful. It means a soggy bun and an overall disgusting burger. Honestly, it’s obscene. If the cheese isn’t on top of the patty, it’s not a burger at all. It’s just lettuce, tomato, onion, and patty all the way down. That’s like a meat salad sitting on top of a bed of sad, soggy cheese. Horrifying.
To even think about Google’s problem with paying their female employees equally at a time like this is offensive. The whole nation is divided; nobody knows which phone to trust or which burger to eat. We can’t agree on the essence of what makes us American: our fast food. The wage gap is a problem, but it can’t possibly divide the country like Burger Gate does. Google will have to deal with that issue at some point, but, right now, everyone can agree that women’s rights will have to wait.
Even female Google employees recognize the importance of the debate. One female Google employee was on her way to a protest for the closure of the wage gap when she heard the news. “I turned right around,” she said. “I marched right back to work and started trying to come up with a solution. If I have to pick between women’s rights and a cheeseburger, it’s gonna be the cheeseburger every time.” Another employee expressed similar sentiments, “I was actually asked to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit just a few days ago, but I decided to decline,” she told the Herald. “Right now, we’ve got bigger issues on our hands here at Google. Sure, I don’t like the fact that women are paid, on average, 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, but listen to me: the cheese is under the patty. Under. The patty.”
Overall, it’s apparent that Google needs to come with a solution to Burger Gate as quickly as possible. It’s safe to say that no current issue today wreaks havoc on American society quite this particular emoji. Right now, the whole nation needs to take a serious look at how we perceive the most basic of our American values. Women’s rights are insignificant in light of a problem of such magnitude. How can the closure of the wage gap, the establishment of gender equality, and the acknowledgement that women are just as capable as men ever near the importance of a cheeseburger?