Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Like many brands, Hershey’s has decided to honour International Women’s Day this year, dropping new wrappers for its chocolate bar which features five incredible female change-makers.
The campaign, named “HER for SHE,” is running in Canada, and celebrates “the women changing the future.” Pretty neat, right?
Sadly, trolls have come for the chocolate company in response to the wrapper change, and they’ve even threatened a social media boycott.
In response, the public have flocked to defend the chocolate brand from any criticism. But what’s actually going on?
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The drama is all because the brilliant trans activist Fae Johnstone is one of their five featured stars.
You can see her announcing her involvement here:
“I hope this campaign helps give more young women and girls role models and possibility models. And shows them how we can be change the world, together,” she tweeted.
In response to Johnstone announcing her involvement in the IWD campaign, heartbreakingly, the hashtag #BoycottHersheys begun trending number one on Twitter in the United States.
Johnstone added that it “shows just how far we still have to go in the fight for feminist liberation and trans rights.”
Whilst we won’t bother sharing a lot of the transphobic rhetoric behind this hashtag, it has been heartening to see a huge outpouring of support to counter all the hate.
— Lord Maru (@LordMarukio) March 2, 2023
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“Today continues the trend of rampant transphobia online! Now we have #BoycottHersheys because they dared put a trans woman on their advertising for international woman’s day. Fae just wants to be a role model. And now she’s being used to spread hate,” said one person in the comments.
Whilst another wrote: “Angry transphobes need a biology lesson. Trans Woman are women! And no, women are not being oppressed by trans women. #BoycottHersheys.”
As well as Fae, the new chocolate wrappers feature Autumn Peltier, an activist who fights for indigenous rights, Naila Moloo, a teenage climate campaigner, Rita Audi, an activist fighting for gender and education equality and Kélicia Massala, the founder of Girl up Québec.
The new chocolate bars are donating up to $40,000 (£24,516) to women’s equity charity, Girl Up.
They’re in stores across Canada now, having landed on shelves from March 1st.
In a statement, Hershey’s said: “We value togetherness and recognise the strength created by diversity.
“Over the past three years, our Women’s History Month programming has been an inclusive celebration of women and their impact. We appreciate the countless people and meaningful partnerships behind these efforts.”
Hey, why not stick a middle finger up to the haters and support Girl Up yourself? You can donate here.