“Hey Dad, can we get pizza for dinner to celebrate International Women’s Day?”
I heard this line on 102.7 FM when I was driving across campus yesterday morning. A young daughter of one of the hosts petitioned her father with this request on the morning of March 8.
National Women’s Day began in the U.S. Feb. 28, 1909 to honor the 1908 New York garment worker’s strike.
Flipping McDonald’s arches gets the conversation rolling, but it stops short of the conversation needing to be spring-boarded into transforming action.
In 1975, the UN began celebrating the day on March 8 because of the 1917 Russian women protest for Bread and Peace, which fell on March 8 of the Gregorian calendar.
According to the UN website, for 43 years, the U.S. has celebrated March 8 as a day “when women are recognized for their achievements without regard for divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.”
While some young girls just want pizza to celebrate, McDonald’s franchises across the country took a different approach to voice their stance on women’s issues and equality.
McDonald’s flipped their famous golden arches upside down at one restaurant, on social media platforms and on some of its food packaging, according to USA Today.
While this may be characterized by some as a bold statement about woman’s rights, the company received increased backlash for its lack of willingness to increase minimum wage. Changing your brands identifying factor for a short period of time fails to elicit social change. By flipping the arches, McDonalds failed to implement beyond a one-day marketing stunt.
Currently, according to the Labor Department, “women make up nearly two-thirds of all hourly minimum wage earners. At McDonalds alone, six out of 10 managers are women. Meaning, women have the opportunity to benefit most from an increase in minimum wage salary.
Flipping the arch changes little for women within the company.
My question is: does rebranding your company for a day really make a change?
National Women’s Day embodies a celebration of female achievements. The problem is showcasing a “W” does little to celebrate women. It just looks like someone made a mistake when installing the golden arch.
McDonald’s campaign promoted a national conversation, which, although positive, points the discussion to McDonald’s and not to the celebration of women and the many problems our nation that still need to be addressed.
Instead of discussing golden arches, let’s talk about Becky Hammon, the first woman to coach in the National Basketball Association. Hammon is also the top candidate for the men’s head coaching position at Colorado State University. If hired, Hammon would become the first woman to coach at a men’s Division I program.
Let’s talk about 80 women being included in a political table discussion alongside militant groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo, representing a win for equal political representation throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Flipping arches gets the conversation rolling, but it stops short of the conversation needing to be spring-boarded into transforming action.
Next time, on International Women’s Day, I suggest grabbing some pizza and having a conversation about the achievements of women and the change that still needs to happen.