McDonald’s flips its arches for International Women’s Day

Illustration for article titled McDonald’s flips its arches for International Women’s Day
Photo: Richard Levine (Corbis via Getty Images)

You’ll see many homages to women today for International Women’s Day, but few this physically large: McDonald’s has flipped the arches outside its franchise in Lynwood, California. As an accompanying video explains, the store is owned by Patricia Williams, a single mom who quit her job to own her first McDonald’s in 1987, and now owns 18 of them, along with her two daughters. McDonald’s also points out that six out or every 10 of its managers are women.

While McDonald’s built an entire new sign for this franchise to indicate the “W” for women (hoping this doesn’t mean that the old “M” was male-related), USA Today points out that other outlets will feature the inverted logo on “special packaging, including fry boxes, cold cups and bags, and the inverted Golden Arches on employees’ hats and T-shirts.”


As symbols go, it’s a pretty effective one. Honestly, one that seems like it should stick around for more than a single day. Still, the gesture has its detractors, with Huffington Post calling it “corporate feminism at its worst,” saying that the company should focus on better working conditions for its female employees over startling signage. Also, some SpongeBob fans are curious whether the “W” is supposed to stand for Patrick’s beloved “Wumbo.” Let us be clear: No.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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This from a company that refused to hire women until the late 60s (This was stated policy) because corporate thought they would be a distraction to customers and slow down food prep and turnaround. And then when they DID finally start hiring women, they required new hires be “flat chested,” and forbade them from working the grill.