WaPo Express Features Upcoming Women’s March… For Men?

The Washington Post Express, a free daily publication in DC, may be a bit confused about gender. Or rather, the binary symbols that commonly represent male and female.

the January 5, 2017 cover for the Washington Post Express, featuring an image of a pink-tinted crowd of people forming the shape of a male symbol

For anyone who might be missing the error, please consider the following informative table:

screenshot displaying and explaining the binary gender symbols for male and female
Binary gender symbols, via

The cover features the likely-historic rally in Washington to be held on January 21. However, the Women’s March on Washington is being held specifically in support of women’s rights… and that’s specifically a male symbol.

Questions have been raised about the male/female ratio of their editorial board and artistic team.

And wondering what this indicates about dudes being the default.

“We made a mistake on our cover this morning and we’re very embarrassed,” they acknowledged later via Twitter. “We erroneously used a male symbol instead of a female symbol.”

They then tweeted a new cover, writing: “This is how the cover should have looked. We apologize for the mistake.”

On Twitter, the original Tweet with the male-symbol cover has been deleted. (Which is probably fine, since it also had a typo itself.) However, printed copies can’t be so easily redacted:

Even in contrition, the publication remained PLAGUED BY TYPOS:

Don’t get me wrong, I remain impressed by the good folks who can crank out articles, graphics, covers, and more on the daily, under great pressure. But I have to wonder how many sets of eyes that had to make it past without anyone noticing that anything was wrong.

I also salute the crew who got their correction out quickly and with apology. Plenty of readers thanked them for the quick fix on such an epic fail, offered to “help,” or at least indicated amusement:

Regardless of the kerfuffle over the cover, the story about the march itself is well worth a read.

Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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