Women can have it all these days: jobs, kids, failed presidential candidates for major parties, and now our own special chips. PepsiCo announced today that their subsidiary Frito-Lay will release a special kind of Dorito chip that is “lady-friendly.” Women, observed PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, “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.” Thus, she announced, the new Doritos will feature a quieter crunch and less of that crack-like flavor powder. Plus, they will fit better in purses.
This is one small step for feminism, but an enormous, stiletto-heeled stomp for womankind. Pristinely dressed and submissively sucking flavor from individual chips in funereal silence, we will squirrel away umpteen packets of Doritos into our bags and then glide on the wings of a Dorito-scented breeze towards the next commercial opportunity aimed at our sex. But as our lumbering corporations begin to evolve at last to provide women with snacking options that allow us to be spending-but-not-heard, Jewish women are once again left in the cold.
Where is lady-friendly Matzo?
Jewish women have never, ever asked for anything except to be allowed to silently eat matzo without losing our sensual edge. And yet, every year since the fateful departure from Egypt, women are asked to crunch on the deafening ritual food until covered in crumbs and full of carbs, essentially having experienced a kind of personal castration. We are no longer women but human crumb catchers. Since sheets of matzo do not fit in our purses, we are forced go appropriate matzo as fashion items, using sheets of Streits as statement necklaces, especially flat berets, and iPad covers. And this we do for our faith.
The solution, of course, is a thinner, more pliable matzo, the size of a cracker rather than the size of a “How Stuff Works” book. Lady-Matzo should come in flavors like “Miriam’s Gossip-Caused Leprosy” and “Zipporah’s Flint Knife” so that while we snack we can be mindful of what happens when women stop being lady-like. It should have fewer carbs. But mostly, we just want to be able to fulfill a mitzvah without giving up on our only claim to taking up so much oxygen: femininity.
This is America, and we are consumers like anyone else. Jewish women have the same right to have our oppression packaged and sold to us for profit as women anywhere. Streits, Manischewitz, Yehuda: earn our business.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny