First we get Reba McEntire changing the food industry forever by becoming the first female Colonel Sanders of KFC and now we get gendered corn chips. What a time to be alive in the junk food industry, am I right ladies?
The concept of “Lady Doritos” began on the Jan. 31 podcast episode of “Freakonomics Radio” which interviewed Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of PepsiCo, better known as the company that owns Frito-Lay, the manufacturer of Doritos.
According to an article by the New York Times, Nooyi told interviewers that men and women don’t eat Doritos the same way. She was then asked if they were planning to make a “male and female version of the chips;” to which Nooyi responded with the fact that it isn’t about the gender, it’s about creating products for women that can be “designed and packaged different.”
Nooyi said the company is planning to look into this more and is also planning to release a new product soon. Specifically for women, it would be about getting the Doritos to be a softer, less flavorful, less sticky version of this high-in-fat corn chip to carry quietly in one’s purse.
So, if it’s not about the gender, then why make a chip, clearly intended to be designed for women, that’s much daintier than a normal chip? Then say it’s not about gender, but then say it is?
As a woman, I’m annoyed. The concept is blatantly sexist and absolutely absurd, but more so, I’m confused. Really confused. When I first heard about this, I thought it was outright ridiculous and just something someone started on Twitter as a joke. However, after a few Google searches, I was surprised to find legitimate articles by real news sites discussing the topic.
To begin, I agree it’s not a bad idea to release Doritos that are softer and less messy. Let’s be real, Doritos have had their fair share of dangerous fails. They are number one on a Buzzfeed list of “18 Foods that Cut Up Your Mouth But You Eat Anyway.” Then there is also a scarring story my oddball seventh grade science teacher told us about a man he knew who swallowed a Dorito whole and ended up slicing open his esophagus.
Clearly, Doritos should possibly consider making their product safer for everyone to eat. If so, why do these new and improved chips need to be “Lady” Doritos? Why not consider something less offensive like “Soft” Doritos or “Easy-to-Chew” Doritos?
Who decided that crunchy chips were masculine? Aren’t all chips supposed to be crunchy? What about Pringles or Tostitos? They’re crunchy, yet no one’s said anything about giving them a gender.
Overall, this whole claim is based on the ductility of a nacho cheese corn chip. I understand they’re messy, and, if this were the 1950s, I’m sure people would be all over this because the crumbs are too hard for our “fragile” female hands to clean up, but this is 2018. It’s a time where the agonizing process of cleaning up the carnage left after a night of ransacking a bag of Doritos is shared by women and men.
Along with the mess, I know plenty of men who hate licking the cheese dust off their finger tips. I also know plenty of women who have no qualms being the most disgusting creatures alive and licking the cheese powder off like a heathen. Our divided stance on this cheese epidemic has nothing to do with gender. It has to do with those of us who have hygiene and those without it.
Doritos released a statement on Twitter saying that the chips are genderless, and it’s also been mentioned by a variety of sources, such as the Washington Post, that the company is pulling back any sort of plan to release the lady chips. My only question left is, why was this a thing in the first place?
All women want is respect and equal rights. Yet, we still find ourselves being graced with the wonderful gifts of female power tools, Q-Tips, glue, and now, Doritos. No one’s asking for change overnight, but what we can ask of society is to stop whatever this is and focus on changing actual crises in a move toward equality.