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Thanks Doritos – Women always knew it was the crisps holding them back

It is a truth universally acknowledged that crisps are man food. Without a lady-friendly version – one which doesn't crunch too loudly, leave fingers too greasy or fit easily into a handbag – women will never be able to achieve the equality with men they have been eternally striving for.

Um, no.

I don't doubt that Doritos, the tortilla crisp manufacturers, thought they were addressing a 'need', for crisps geared specifically for women - but that makes it perhaps all the more depressing.

Whilst women continue to be 'interfered' with on a daily basis at work, fail to reach gender parity for doing exactly the same job and, as we found out just yesterday (Monday), are still living in 'period poverty' right here in the UK, then hackneyed attempts to address gender balance like this on the part of Doritos are only going to rub further salt into the wounds.

Doritos' marketeers, however, insist they have identified a real problem. They say women do not like to crunch too loudly in public and, unlike men, they don't lick their fingers generously, or pour the broken pieces into their mouths at the end.

They are planning a version of their tortilla crisps, which will make less of a crunch noise when they are eaten, will be smaller in size and the packet is being specifically designed to fit inside a handbag – but still retaining all that Doritos taste.

It feels like we have taken a huge tumble on the path towards women's emancipation and have found ourselves back in the 1950's when it was acceptable for advertisers to sell their wares with images of immaculately made-up housewives struggling to open a ketchup bottle.

A spokesperson from the Women's Equality Party said: “No doubt some male consumers will welcome the chance to have a bigger package. But the idea of shrinking products for women, no doubt for the same price, is as old as the Ad men making these decisions.
“Companies that perpetuate these tired gender stereotypes will continue to lose out on the single biggest consumer group: women.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that one in five women in Scotland are currently living in 'period poverty' – in other words they cannot afford sanitary products – and are having to go to drastic measures such as using old rags, newspaper and toilet roll to soak up their monthly flow.

This is a story we have been accustomed to hearing reported about women living in the developing world, where girls are unable to go to school and women are unable to work, whilst they are on their period. Money so tight, they are having to choose between tampons and food for the household.

Research by grassroots group, Women for Independence, found women telling the very same heartbreaking stories right here in the UK and as one of the richest nations in the world – this is a disgrace. If ever there was a time to press yet again for sanitary towels and tampons to be free on prescription - at least for those who cannot afford them - then it is now.

Taking this shocking state of affairs in Scotland against the backdrop of Doritos 'lady crisps' it's fair to say the mark is seriously being missed, when it comes to what matters to women most.


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