This post may contain affiliate links (including because we participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program). Full disclosure is here.

The raised fist is a symbol of resistance, strength and unity, and it has a wonderful and interesting story behind it. One that I’ll share with you today.

In the early 1900s, things were bad for workers. I mean really awful.

The world was enjoying fast industrial growth, but people were being exploited.

Workers often worked 10 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week – including children that were only five years old!

They earned the bare minimum, which was hardly enough to cover their living expenses, and the work was often dangerous, especially for those working in factories, mines, and on railroads. There were little or no laws to protect workers, usually no proper safety equipment, and there were a lot of injuries and deaths on the job.

It’s no surprise that workers started fighting back. Labor unions were established and things started to change for the better.

Labor activists and unions were the first to use the raised fist as a symbol of their solidarity and resistance, all in their fight for better conditions, rights, and wages.

In the middle of the 1900s, we saw the raised fist being used again – this time by those fighting for civil rights and against fascism.

As the raised fist became more and more popular and well-known, it started being used by movements around the world, from Latin America to Africa and Asia. It became a universal sign for those struggling against oppression and those fighting for independence.

Then the feminists started using the raised fist and this added another layer of meaning, transforming it into a powerful emblem of female empowerment and the struggle against gender inequality.

Like the content? Be sure to like our Facebook page HERE to get daily updates on emojis, their meanings, and new ones coming out.

The Feminist Raised Fist

The 1960s and 1970s saw the second wave of feminism.

There were many activists publicly challenging sexism, fighting for reproductive rights, and pushing for equal opportunities for women in the workplace and society as a whole.

They were calling out at rallies and protests, hanging posters, and publishing books on women’s freedom.

And what did we see everywhere? The raised fist!

Here is an example of a raised fist symbol on a placard at a women’s march in Canada, in 2018.

The raised fist had been adopted by feminists and become a visual declaration that women would no longer accept inequality or injustice.

The Raised Fist Emoji

Fast forward to today …

In digital communication, the raised fist emoji is often used to show support for social movements, including women’s rights, racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights. It’s used all over online, from marking posts related to International Women’s Day on 8 March each year, to fighting for gender equality and expressing a personal commitment to feminist values and strengths.

The raised fist emoji is a symbol of strength and unity, especially for women's rights
This is the raised fist emoji, which is a digital symbol for strength and unity.

The raised fist emoji is a symbol of solidarity and resistance, and it conveys support, celebrates achievements, and advocates for social change. But it can also simply mean “I’ve got your back,” or “Let’s stand together in this.”

The raised fist emoji comes in five skin tones, ranging from light to dark, along with the default yellow tone. Choose a skin color that’s closely matched to your own skin for a more personal touch, or simply go with the yellow skin tone for a universal color.

As we can see, the raised fist emoji continues to play a role in digital activism, where it inspires and mobilizes support for people’s rights.

The raised fist is one of the many emojis that start with R – here are the rest of them.

20 Things a Raised Fist Emoji Says

If you send or receive a message with a raised fist emoji in it, this is what that emoji could be saying:

  • I’m with you all the way.
  • We’ve got this, together.
  • Standing up for what’s right!
  • Yes! We did it!
  • Solidarity, now and always.
  • Count me in for the fight.
  • Proud of us and our strength.
  • Never giving up, no matter what.
  • Here for the long haul.
  • Supporting you every step of the way.
  • This victory is ours to share.
  • Fighting the good fight, together.
  • Power to the people!
  • Let’s make some noise for change.
  • Unity is our superpower.
  • Celebrating every win, big or small.
  • Standing tall against adversity.
  • Our bond is unbreakable.
  • Resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Here’s to the changemakers!