Unequal, judged, stale... give me a crunchy Dorito

In the interests of brevity, I’ll paraphrase: women would love to eat Doritos like men but are afraid of being judged as geezer-birds. Cue Lady Doritos

Unequal, judged, stale... give me a crunchy Dorito

Lady Doritos - fake news put about by The Sun? Or was that terrible screeching noise the sound of Pepsi’s handbrake turn on an idea even worse than when they tried to cure racism and police brutality by getting a Kardashian to give an actor dressed as a cop a can of fizzy pop? We’ll never know. What we can take from this moment of unintentional comedy are the words of Pepsi’s CEO (a female) about how female people are afraid to eat processed corn snacks.

In the interests of brevity, I’ll paraphrase: women would love to eat Doritos like men (making crunching noises, licking their fingers, tipping the bag into their mouths to get the last bits out) but are afraid of being judged as geezer-birds should their approach to the orange triangular items be deemed overtly masculine. Cue Lady Doritos.

Said the CEO in an interview with Freakonomics, “We’re getting ready to launch… for women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavour stick on the fingers”. All contained in a nice dainty bag that will fit in a lady’s handbag. Presumably so she can preserve the illusion that as a lady, she lives entirely on Evian and air, rather than anything as shameful as noisy, messy, calorific Doritos.

As the internet wept with derisive laughter, Pepsi backtracked faster than you could howl Bic For Her, but it was too late. And so it came to pass that eating crunchy corn snacks has been added to the list of Stuff We Judge Women On. Even a century after getting the vote, and almost half a century of feminism, this list is still far, far longer even than the list of pointlessly gendered products designed to turn a quick buck — pink earplugs, lady laxatives, mansize tissues, sellotape for girls, women’s tea, deodorant for men, Yorkie bars. (Not Lady Doritos, as Pepsi are keen to stress).

The Stuff We Judge Women On, as well as manfully guzzling corn snacks, includes having babies, not having babies, being fat, being thin, covering up, not covering up, going back to work after babies, not going back to work after babies, being promiscuous, being celibate, getting pregnant, not wanting to be pregnant, being too sexy, not being sexy enough, being ambitious, being unambitious, ageing, not ageing naturally, drinking, having too much body hair, not having any body hair, wearing make up, not wearing make up, being too loud, being too quiet.

Although we have bus drivers, boxers, presidents, prime ministers, politicians, rugby players, footballers, referees, pilots, captains, scientists, astronauts, builders, plumbers, electricians, truck drivers, soldiers, sailors, bosses and bankers who are women — because of course we do — differing standards are still applied. Tesco are facing a possible four billion quid bill for paying their female staff less than their male staff for the same work. From eating crisps to being paid properly, we remain unequal. We remain judged. And it’s stale.

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