For too long, women around the globe have struggled under the yoke of noisy, messy snack foods.
Chips crunch. Doritos crumble in-mouth with explosive volume. Cheetos leave the kind of powdery finger residue only a hard-working, indomitable man could tolerate.
But at last, the gender-alert officials at PepsiCo — parent company of snack maker Frito-Lay — have recognized the struggle and moved to make life better for women everywhere with the idea of lady-friendly chips.
These kinder, gentler Doritos will have a less-audible crunch and won’t leave as much luscious and all-natural Cool Ranch powder on the dainty fingers of she-snackers.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told Freakonomics Radio: “As you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, 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 flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom. … Women I think 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 flavor into their mouth.”
It’s a well-established rule of etiquette that a proper lady never pours the flavor into her mouth. But in the modern era, is it fair that a woman should do without delicious, flavor-dusted corn-ish chips simply because her consumption volume would shatter the feminine mystique?
Of course not. This is a new age, and companies like Frito-Lay are embracing the feminist motto: “We’re here, we’re strong, and we hope nobody notices it when we’re eating chips!”
As news of these new gender-appropriate chips spread Monday, some women mocked Frito-Lay on Twitter, claiming the concept is sexist and out of touch: “Has anyone at Doritos ever met a lady”; “Hey girl, you’d be a lot prettier if you smiled more and crunched less”; “1917 called and they want their Doritos back.”
It’s a simple misunderstanding on their part. Allow me to mansplain why quieter chips for women are a sensible idea.
Going back to the earliest days of human history, men have sought food that makes a loud crunching sound when eaten. It’s an innate way of letting other humans know you have found food and are thus a successful provider and a virile manly man.
Archaeologists have found evidence of cavemen freezing woolly mammoth meat before eating it so it would crunch and crack, making the people in neighboring caves envious. (They also found evidence that women would take their frozen mammoth meat to a corner of the cave and attempt to eat it quietly, presumably so nearby men wouldn’t hear them and come over to explain something obvious.)
As time went on, this dynamic continued, with men displaying their prowess by eating noisily and slurping their fingers and burping while women quietly nibbled soft foods and wished they were elsewhere. In the early days of America, the Founding Fathers briefly considered adding a constitutional amendment that made it illegal for women to eat apples, but that was rendered unnecessary by the invention of applesauce.
Fast-forward to the present day and we still have most men gleefully crunching Cheetos while licking their fingers with loud, slobbery tongue laps. I do my level-best to amplify each meal, often consuming chicken bones or sprinkling small, crunchy pebbles in my otherwise silent soup. (Sorry, ladies, I’m taken.)
But as an ally to women, I’ve always felt bad that they’re unable to enjoy crunchy snacks. Granted, I don’t want to hear them eating those snacks — that would be awful — but I do want them to have a chance to enjoy the rich flavor profile of a Jacked 3-D Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dorito.
So kudos to Frito-Lay for seeking out ways to deliver soggy chips to women who wish to be seen but not heard eating snacks that have less flavor than man-food.
And hopefully, farmers and food manufactures will get to work making a few other items accessible to women. I suggest the following: “Soft Peanut Brittle … For Ladies”; “Crunch-Free She-Carrots”; “Cap’n-ette No-Crunch cereal”; and “Pringles in a Jar of Water.”
If any female readers need me to explain this issue in greater detail, just follow the enviable sound of robust chip crunching and fearless, manful finger licking. If you roll your eyes, I’ll know it’s a sign of great respect.