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We might even have backed this effort, had M&M’s managed to follow its own lecture.
The Mars Candy Company, having not learned from the lessons of so many other examples of failed/disastrous corporate virtue signaling efforts, is running a curious new promotion. The company sees a need to promote more women in workplaces and as a result, is issuing a new batch of “female only” M&M’s, complete with its own packaging. If you find yourself scratching your head with chocolate-coated fingers, just wait.
The first issue is the company designating specific versions of its candy as “female.” Yes, they have anthropomorphized their colored confections for the sake of advertising–so, by default, they have gendered candies. (We can only assume the Mars Company employs a number of biologists who can make this declaration.) But in this era of multi-genderism, making such a bold declaration could lead to challenges.
Recall the time the company implied directly that two of its female candies were in a same-sweets relationship?
It’s rare Ms. Brown and I get to spend time together without some colorful characters barging in. – Ms. Green pic.twitter.com/hnoktsAgAW
— M&M'S (@mmschocolate) June 28, 2015
That effort healed all the LGBT𝜋 problems facing this country, so now, they are moving to another inequity in our culture. The intention here, the company says, is to “flip” the status quo, by having more women enter into and find a footing in fields where they find themselves marginalized or challenged. This promotion is geared to raise funds for a few pro-female organizations, with proceeds from every pack sold in the dedicated packaging going to these groups.
$1 from every flipped pack will go to support the next generation of women flipping the script in creative industries.
This seems a bit of a misfire. The industries targeted in the promotion appear to be in the arts, and these are generally less patriarchal in nature. Fashion and music do not normally strike one as being exclusive to males. Another featured individual on their site is in the field of street art. They tell us that graffiti art is male-dominated, but this involves people scurrying through the urban streets at night alone; are women really being prevented from doing this?
Then there is another individual they highlight. She is in the business of doing cake art. We have to take this to mean that M&Ms has flipped the status quo by…finding a woman working in a field that is misogynistically thought of as the woman’s realm?
— Brad Slager: CNN+ Lifetime Subscriber (@MartiniShark) January 14, 2023
But then, the company also manages to undercut its own desired goal with another section alluding to its intent. In highlighting the music organization “We Are Moving The Needle,” they describe its mission statement, and then we run into one of the thorny problems seen in our new, woke culture. The outfit also wants to include those who are decidedly not women.
We are Moving the Needle, a non-profit organization creating a more diverse and equitable music industry by empowering women and gender-expansive creators.
Soooo…you are including those from the numerous other, proclaimed genders, which means you begin excluding the very women you are supposedly assisting. And just that quickly, Mars/M&M’s has kicked the legs out from under its own promotion by seeing fit to include those who are not women, continuing the very marginalization they seek to battle against.
The social minefield continues to lay tripwires in the name of wokeness–yet companies still seem to be rushing to enter that minefield.