For the first time in the restaurant’s history, McDonald‘s is turning its iconic golden arches upside down. This makeover is happening across social media and at one of its actual locations in Lynwood, Calif. They’re also doling out “W” packaging, crew shirts, and hats across 100 U.S. locations. It’s all in honor of International Woman’s Day, which takes place on March 8, because the flipped over “M” looks like a “W,” which stands for women, get it?!
Here’s what Wendy Lewis, McDonald’s chief diversity officer, had to say about this marketing stunt: “In celebration of women everywhere, and for the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women’s Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants.”
As far as hollow performative gestures go, this one is, well, pretty hollow. Hypothetically, there are a lot of ways McDonald’s could honor women. They could start by paying their workers a living wage and offering greater benefits. Or by bringing back the McPizza (in honor of this woman’s favorite discontinued item). But no, they decided to flip a sign! What an amazing way to create actionable change.
They might have well given us a female Ronald McDonald. Even a gender-swapped mascot would have required more guts and, not to mention, have the potential to offer up entertaining celebrity cameos. At least when KFC exploited feminism, we got a Reba McEntire drag performance out of it!
But no, we are living in the era of Lady Doritos, after all, and that means we’ll have to wipe the grease off our dainty little fingers in a world surrounded by “W.” Because the second sex is deemed only worthy of the 23rd letter of the alphabet. Never mind the wage gap or reproductive rights.
Header image courtesy of McDonald's.