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Real men eat quiche

(And other pointlessly gendered foods)

Finally, after years of internal battle with myself every time I reach for a packet of Doritos, the kind people of PepsiCo have provided a solution. I will no longer have to lie awake at night worrying about the appalling and offensive noise of my crunching, and any handbag related issues regarding the transportation of my Doritos will fade from my mind. Doritos has the answer: lady-friendly crisps. *Queue collective sigh of relief from the Dorito starved female population of Cambridge*.

According to PepsiCo’s CEO, when you watch men eat Doritos ‘they lick their fingers… and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth, because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavour …’

Women however, ‘would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavour into their mouth.” Never a truer word spoken- how exactly am I going to get a crushbridge if I’m seen eating crisps, with my hands (shock), straight from the bag (horror). In fact, I’m now thinking about all the potential boyfriends I’ve scared off by eating in front of them.

If my sarcasm wasn’t clue enough, the idea that women need a specific (inferior, less crunchy) product in order to give them permission to eat without offending society’s sensitivities is ridiculous. It’s alarming just how gendered food has become. Apparently, men should steer clear of yogurt (no gender based allergic reactions please!), unless an overpaid advertising exec has whacked on some aggressive protein centric branding.

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Man friendly yogurt, finally!

This is truly a modern day crisis. Apparently, were I to enjoy a hearty steak instead of a dainty salad, eyebrows would be raised. If I choose to drink whiskey while my male friends drink rosé, clearly something is wrong. Even breakfast cereal hasn’t escaped this- Special K, though infinitely inferior to other cereal options, flies off the shelves through its weight loss based, guilt inducing marketing.

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Let the boy eat chocolate

I’m now questioning all the food choices I’ve made in my 18 years of life. Am I doing something wrong because I eat doritos? Is eating a Dorito an act of subversion? If I limited myself to eating salad and yogurt, would I be happier and more accepted by society? Is the reason I don’t like beer because it’s not for women, and I’ve absorbed society’s assumptions, or do I genuinely not like the taste?

In my own small contribution to feminism, unsurprisingly related to food (my number one priority), I’m going to fight the good fight. For today, it’s not the gender pay gap that worries me; it’s the snack gap where the real issue lies.

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What joke did the salad tell this time?

I refuse to let my snack horizons be limited by the constraints of sexist ideas, or to let myself become a stock photo-esque ‘laughing woman with salad’. The bizarre idea that ‘real men don’t eat quiche’ and women are to be found drowning their emotions in ice-cream and chocolate (one of the most gendered foods in Western society) is limiting my ability to freely choose what to eat. Yorkie’s have apparently been ‘not for girls’ since 1976, apart from a brief interlude in 2006 when they kindly offered women a brief window of opportunity by introducing a pink yorkie bar… a feminist victory if I ever saw one.

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Not sure if I can cope with the masculine chunks of chocolate!

If I choose to comfort myself with Doritos rather than chocolate, so be it. If my male friends have an overwhelming urge to sensually eat a Galaxy bar or spoon yogurt into their mouth in slow motion, so be it. Hopefully, brands will soon realise that there is no need for pointlessly gendered products, and let me eat in peace, undisturbed by aggressive protein based marketing or naked women advertising my biscuits.