On a recent episode of “Freakonomics Radio,” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi made a controversial statement: men and women eat Doritos differently. According to Nooyi, women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public… they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.” Whereas men apparently do.
When asked whether PepsiCo would be releasing gender-specific Doritos, Nooyi said, “It’s not a male and female as much as (asking) are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently and yes, we are looking at it and we are getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon.” This is how #LadyDoritos was born.
When news of Nooyi’s statements — which were based on market research — reached the general public, Twitter went crazy. “Lady Doritos pretty much sums up sexism in one chewy package,” wrote Twitter user @wokeluisa. Left-wing comedian Peter Coffin tweeted, “‘Lady Doritos’? More like ‘sexism is deeply ingrained in capitalism.’” @faithchoyce suggested they make a chip for men that would require them to “understand enthusiastic consent before they can open the bag.”
"Lady Doritos"? More like "sexism is deeply ingrained in capitalism"
— Peter Coffin #BernieBeatsTrump (@petercoffin) February 6, 2018
To compete with Lady Doritos, Lays has designed a new chip especially for men: It requires them to understand enthusiastic consent before they can open the bag.
— kai choyce (@kaichoyce) February 6, 2018
Now, let’s be clear: Lady Doritos aren’t actually a thing. They don’t exist. All this outrage was unleashed over the fact that someone suggested that men and women have different habits when it comes to eating chips. A statement that was made based on market research done by PepsiCo in order to create products that consumers would actually want to buy. Meaning that Nooyi’s statements were made based on evidence.
But that doesn’t matter. “I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t knock back the crumbs in the bottom of the bag,” tweeted artist Justine Raymond. Because obviously your friend group is indicative of the chip preferences of the entire country. “We’re gendering snacks now??” wrote @inihelene. As if the chips were going to come equipped with little vaginas.
i'm still laughing about lady doritos because i don't know a single woman who doesn't knock back the crumbs in the bottom of the bag
— justine raymond 🔜 PAX East (@jmarieray) February 5, 2018
The problem isn’t that nobody wants Lady Doritos, the problem is that no one believes Lady Doritos are necessary. The whole idea that men and women might do something differently — even something as insignificant as eating chips — goes against the feminist notion that men and women are exactly the same. So the mere suggestion of Lady Doritos must be vehemently protested.
PepsiCo, seeing which way the wind was blowing, rushed to its own rescue. “We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions,” Doritos tweeted on Monday. It was a clever move. It fed into the overwhelming sentiment that women’s chip-eating preferences shouldn’t be singled out — that women are no different than men when it comes to their chip consumption. And it seems to have calmed the waters somewhat.
We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions.
— Doritos (@Doritos) February 6, 2018
But why did the waters even need calming in the first place? I mean, sure, Lady Doritos sound kind of gross. Who wants to eat soggy, flavorless tortilla chips? But, even though I don’t really care about the sound my chips make when I eat them, I’m perfectly willing to believe that most women do. You know why I’m willing to believe that? Because PepsiCo did the market research to find it out, and I’m just sitting here at my computer.
The level of hysteria #LadyDoritos created is indicative of a kind of group psychosis that has affected modern feminists. Wanting men and women to be valued equally in society is one thing, but an inability to abide the suggestion that women might prefer a different product to men is insanity. What good is feminism if it has no basis in reality?
If women don’t like the sound their chips make when they bite into them, what’s wrong with that? I mean, who are we to tell women what to think?