by Maks Adach
Ch. 1 – Maks and the Adventure of the Misogynistic Crisps
I wandered into the MCR last Saturday for a drink with some friends. Whilst at the bar, I noticed a few members of W1 eating a sharing-sized packet of McCoys. I was perturbed by the writing on the reverse side of the packet ‘MAN CRISPS’. I advised Ms Bullivant that she was eating misogynistic crisps; horrified, she stopped. I then sat down in the MCR proper thinking about how disturbing it is that in 2015 you can still gender food stuffs a la style Yorkie (‘Its not for Girls’). Yorkie discontinued this tagline in 2011, apparently. This is not the first time I have encountered this particular brand of McCoy’s crisps – indeed, less than two weeks ago a clergy friend of mine and I shared a packet and we voiced our joint objections to the macho-ness of the product.
Observe the two photos of the front and back of this packet below. Aside from the fact that they taste terrible, I believe that they have been actively designed to look as ‘manly’ as possible. From the blue and black colour scheme to the crisp smashing its way through a wall, the packaging seems to ooze testosterone… Allow me to highlight several issues:
>>MCCOYS ULTIMATE IS ENGINEERED…BIG RIDGES<<
Observe the choice of words. Engineering imagery is rife throughout the packaging. On the front there is a cog emblazoned with the words ‘griddle cut’. I think this imagery is intended as a warning sign to women – the manufacturer is saying that these crisps are, like engineering, for men only.
What on earth is that supposed to mean? Real men get twice the flavour? Are they seriously saying that in their factory in Ashby-de-la-Zouch there is a room of ‘once-flavoured’ crisps waiting to be flavoured a second time? If they’re going to lengths like that, the people at McCoy’s should put down the dumbbells and go for ‘Thrice Flavoured’. Why don’t they just say, for example, ‘twice the flavour’? No, because it is not as manly – it is, like the cog, a warning: Women of the World watch out – the amount of flavour in this ‘Ultimate Taste Experience’ will blow your minds…
If one is in any doubt whether or not the target market of these crisps is male, just look at the banner that says ‘share with your mates’. I am surprised that they put allergy information on the back – surely, ‘REAL MEN’ don’t have allergies?!
Such a product has no place in today’s Britain and I am hopeful that these will soon be removed from the shelves. Such heavily gendered imagery and writing is, naturally, outdated however it is so incredibly bizarre to find it on foodstuffs. At the bottom of the packet, they suggest other flavours:
‘HAVE YOU OR YOUR MATES TRIED OUR OTHER FLAVOURS??’