Burger King’s Tweet Serves as a Reminder for Why We Need Feminism

Opinion

In+honor+of+International+Women%27s+Day%2C+%40BurgerKingUK+tweeted+a+statement+saying%2C+%22women+belong+in+the+kitchen.%22+They+then+followed+it+with+information+about+their+scholarship+program%2C+but+that+was+forgotten+as+people+both+shamed+them+for+bad+marketing+and+defended+the+statement.+Ultimately%2C+this+tweet+serves+as+a+reminder+of+why+we+need+events+like+Women%27s+History+Month+and+movements+such+as+feminism.+Graphic+by+Anouka+Saha+on+Canva.

Photo By Anouka Saha

In honor of International Women’s Day, @BurgerKingUK tweeted a statement saying, “women belong in the kitchen.” They then followed it with information about their scholarship program, but that was forgotten as people both shamed them for bad marketing and defended the statement. Ultimately, this tweet serves as a reminder of why we need events like Women’s History Month and movements such as feminism. Graphic by Anouka Saha on Canva.

By Anouka Saha, Opinions Editor

March 8 remains an important date across the world, a whole day dedicated to celebrating women and their accomplishments thanks to International Women’s Day. While many expressed their support on a personal level, many influencers and corporations stepped in as well, snapchat creating a special filter or celebrities posting on their social media. However, BurgerKingUK’s insensitive tweet stood out from the rest, sparking outrage and shaming from many. This brand’s gesture gives a shining example of why exactly International Women’s Day is necessary, and why we need to continue supporting women year round instead of just for a day.

Someone on Burger King UK’s marketing team thought it would be a good idea to tweet, “women belong in the kitchen.” They then followed this up with tweets about how women tend not to pursue culinary careers, and how this company was trying to change that with a scholarship program. While the initial tweet seemed like an attempt to bait people into reading the rest of the thread, it instead became a playing field for misogynists and a call for people to call out Burger King for their insensitive statement. The worst part is their initial reaction wasn’t to retract the statement- whoever was running the twitter account tried defending themselves by saying they were simply calling attention to an issue.

The fact remains that controversial statements like this one, which have been used to demean and harm in the past, should not be used in an instigatory manner like this. Many of the retweets were from prominent conservatives and misogynists simply agreeing that women do belong in the kitchen, without any regard to the context later provided. Furthermore, another twitter user proved the message about the scholarship could have fit into the tweet with this statement, as it was below the maximum character limit.

One of the most upsetting things was seeing people saying things like, “women can’t take a joke,” or simply defending Burger King by saying this tweet was a good strategy for exposure. While this tweet did get lots of engagement, it sent the wrong message and reminded many of why exactly there is a whole month dedicated to women’s history and a day simply dedicated to women. They have had to face sexism and oppression for centuries and continue to do so to this day, forced to do more just to reach the same spot as many men. Multiple studies and reports have proven that and while it’s easy to write this phenomenon off as women simply being less competent, that is not the case. Many times women have to balance the brunt of childcare with their jobs, and have to reconcile the fact that the way they look determines the positions they are in. Furthermore, they lack the networking opportunities many men have in general and have their accomplishments overlooked, just because of their gender. “Jokes” or comments like the one Burger King made simply make it okay to belittle women, showing individuals that they can get away with being misogynistic and insensitive. While sometimes humor simply is a joke with no ulterior motives, other times it masks people’s true feelings on a subject which raises the question- did the person on Burger King social media who tweeted this intend to be funny or hide their true thoughts on women? Since there is no way of knowing, given the internet doesn’t let us watch people’s tones or faces for social cues, this allows for wild misinterpretation and speculation. This tweet was better left unposted; even if it was said in good humor, there is no way to know and this simply normalizes behavior that makes people uncomfortable.

The replies to the tweet were also prime examples of why feminism is needed. Anytime a woman would say something along the lines of the tweet being sexist or unfunny, there would be a slew of replies claiming women didn’t know how to take a joke. Yet no one likes to feel belittled or looked down on, and it isn’t really asking much of people to simply refrain from being offensive in their effort to make others laugh or pay attention. The fact that the person behind the tweet genuinely thought there was nothing wrong with it proves the need for change and to teach people even basic decency.

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