Whole Foods Facebook Post Called Sexist By Some Commenters (PHOTO)

What do you think of this post on Whole Foods Davis's Facebook page? Tell us in the comments.

"It's half past seven, your man is asking what's for dinner. You completely spaced. No worries, we will meet you in the frozen aisle." 

That was shared on the Whole Foods Market Davis Facebook page Monday evening, and it quickly drew dozens of unhappy responses in the comments below the post.

"Why in the world would he be asking me that?" wrote one commenter. "We both work all day -- if he is hungry he knows where the kitchen is. Lol. Meet him there." 

"I'm the cook in the family," wrote another. "It's 2012 not 1955."  

Whole Foods replied to the thread the following morning, after it garnered dozens of similar comments and shares throughout the night. Here's the reply: 

  • Whole Foods Market Davis: This post was certianly not meant to offend anyone. We apologize it if did. Replace "man" in orgional post with "tummy".

Some commenters defended Whole Foods, especially after the post gained a lot of negative attention. 

"You do *not* have to apologize for your post here," wrote one. "The hypersensitive cry-babies have been stuck on themselves for as long as I can remember."

"My wife cooks for me," wrote another. "The horror!!" 

Later Tuesday morning, Whole Foods posted a photo of someone standing in the frozen food aisle (photo above) with two bags of frozen food in hand. The photo had the following caption: "Tripp's picking up fried rice and broccoli beef for his man. Date night any night!" 

One of the earlier comments said this: "Sexist? How? It only says "your man". It never implies that the it is a WOMAN [cooking] for HER MAN. It may be a MAN cooking for HIS MAN. Why are you guys so stuck in the 60's where the world is defined only by relationships between men and women. The majority of this thread is actually homophobic for claiming it's sexist." 

From what we can tell, the thread is no longer visible on the Whole Foods Market Davis wall as of Tuesday morning. 

What do you think of the post? Share your thoughts below? 

Justin Cox (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Quick thought, as a person who posts on social media all day long as part of my job: It's easy to strike the wrong tone with a post and draw a negative response. I've done it several times myself, without realizing my post would cause any kind of stir. It's the byproduct of engaging online constantly without having somebody look at what you've written first. I can't speak specifically to this Whole Foods post, but I think that's an important thing to keep in mind.
Elisa Allechant December 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Don't shop at Whole Paycheck!!! We have a lovely Food Co-Op, customer owned and full of local staff members who don't have far to go up the chain to honor your requests. Try getting that from a store based in Austin TX!
Megan December 11, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The picture of Tripp is a pretty transparent attempt for them to retroactively fix the meaning of their post, so kudos to the mansplainers on the thread who gave them the idea. They're now saying guys cook for guys too- fine. But sorry, it's still sexist - not because it implied that women are the cookers (which, let's be honest, it did) - but because it states that men are the ones to be served. Also- it's not about 'intention.' If they didn't mean anything by it, so what? That's how sexism is perpetuated; it's normalized. That's why it needs to be called out. If anybody wants to read the thread it's here: https://www.facebook.com/WFMDavis/posts/503926572964202
Jennifer Bernstein December 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM
One could argue that it is a actually a byproduct of social normalization. When people's subconscious biases and stereotypes operate outside of awareness, they can express those stereotypes without even realizing it, especially when they start losing their inhibitions. Justifying an offensive comment by calling it a byproduct of lack of editing is kind of like blaming alcohol after you've drunkenly told someone how you really feel - "It was just the alcohol talking, I don't really feel that way!" It's easier to be in denial about your subconscious biases, but it doesn't help anything. It's actually harmful because it allows those ideas to be perpetuated. I feel like when a person accidentally offends someone, the situation should be used as an opportunity to fix an implicit bias. But that won't happen unless the guilty party can accept and admit that the bias actually exists and is something that needs fixing.
Justin Cox (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
You're talking about something much bigger and more important than what I was going for in my comment. I just wanted to share a thought that I had while writing the article (as a person who sometimes posts impulsively). Obviously we all have some level of subconscious bias, including the Whole Foods social media person (and me and you). The social media/alcohol comparison is a good one: People are more likely to say stupid stuff on Twitter or Facebook because they can publish their thoughts and ideas instantly. I doubt this would have been published in a Whole Foods newsletter that passed through several people's eyes and took a few days to hit the presses, for example. In that sense, the rapid-fire publication had something to do with the fact that it ended up online. Was there subconscious bias? Probably. Opportunity to learn something? Always.
Megan December 12, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Just an added bonus, user "Nash Montana" who is posting prolifically on this facebook thread, has said on her own wall that those who don't agree with her should be shot. What a nice way to respond to people who disagree with her.
MrsC December 12, 2012 at 02:31 PM
You have to at least be honest and fair. I saw that post, too. My first thought was that it was sexist. Then I saw the photo and post about the guy who was picking up some food to make for his man. I believe your comments are unfair. You have to look at the whole picture.
Roberto December 12, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Ah Davis, you gotta love this place. Every little freakin think has to be so Right and Relevant. Geez, if this is all we have to bitch about......
Maha December 12, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Justin, I agree with you that writing online removes you from being able to see your tone, and how it is interpreted is beyond your control. However, I think for anyone who is going to market to the public at large or write for them, you have to be cognizant of how it could be interpreted. If you're a company trying to appeal to as wide a base as possible, as Whole Foods was trying to, you have to review what you write before posting it. Let it sit for a short time. Let others read it. While clearly the post doesn't offend some, it does offend many. This issue of the woman serving the man is old, but it still offends. Whole Foods should have foreseen that and chosen a different word: spouse, family. Both good choices and neutral. If they take the time to consider their words, well, they can deal with the fall out. And to poo-poo people who are offended by this post by saying they're too sensitive, well, I disagree. The post was clearly targeted at women (it's a nice try to back track and claim that it was targeted at men), and if you're a woman, it is offensive (if you're a man, I would think it's offensive too - are you incapable getting dinner on the table?). Women frequently are subjected to these crappy stereotypes and it's tiresome. Instead of saying I'm too sensitive, why not say, Whole Foods is too insensitive? I was there on Sunday for the first time: way over priced and I won't be shopping there. As someone said, I'd rather shop at the Food Co-op.
Maha December 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Correction: If they *can't* take time...
Megan December 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
The 'whole picture' you want us to look at, is that they only posted that photo of the guy cooking for his man AFTER the outcry. By the way, that photo is of an employee. I think it's pretty said that they were using him to cover their own asses.
Cate K. December 12, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I do not find it offensive at all. In fact, if it had been written in reverse role, men may think Whole Foods is a feminist organization (so what if it is?), if it is two men/women people may think Whole Foods is an LGBTQ support organization (so what if it is?), if it had been a transgender then people would think -- well, I do not want to say what I would expect to read. My point is that it is impossible to please all. I am a feminist and very familiar with feminist theory; that advertisement was not offensive. If you want to see offensive, go watch "Bewitched" from the 70's. THAT boils my feminist blood.
Cecelia December 13, 2012 at 04:05 AM
That's just Davis for you. If you don't do things exactly like I do, I'm offended. If your family doesn't look like mine, I'm offended. If you believe something different than I do, I'm offended. It's really so offensive.
Kendra Hill December 13, 2012 at 04:37 AM
LOL!!! The joys of living in Davis, where the most exciting and newsworthy thing happening today is a slightly off post by Whole Foods.
Maha December 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Yeah, because no other woman in the entire world would be bothered by statements like the one Whole Foods made. Only in Davis. NOT! If you live in Davis, you must realize how open most people are to diversity here. We embrace it not shun it. The Whole Foods statement has nothing to do with being diverse, but everything to do with perpetuating a tiresome stereotype.
MrsC December 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I will shop wherever I please. I find it offensive that Co-Op members would be so vicious against Whole Foods Market. When I found out Whole Foods was coming to Davis, I quickly rescinded my membership at the Co-Op. I've been a member of several natural foods co-ops. I found the mountain of conventional candy displayed during the holidays (Easter, Halloween, etc.) to be more than offensive. The candy is also manufactured using child labor. The employees and products at Whole Foods are superior and the morale is high, something the Co-Op is bereft of.
MrsC December 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Exactly, Kendra!
Mark Gold December 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Oh, good grief, this is not an offensive post. Whole Foods is making a tongue in cheek comment, poking fun at societal norms of the 1950's and 60's, where that statement would have been commonplace. What makes it funny is that it's such an outdated thing to say. It wouldn't have had the same zing and charm had they posted "It's half past seven, your man/woman/partner/spouse/roommate/significant other is asking what's for dinner."
Leandro Seoane December 16, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Congrats on your Food Co-Op. Actually this universe is plentiful and it has enough for people to shop at "WP" as you call it or at your FCO. So let's stop bashing and start sharing. Happy Holidays.
Elisa Allechant January 16, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Not sure how you got "vicious" out of calling the place "Whole Paycheck?" It's a pretty common nomenclature for this chain, which is factually based out of Austin TX. It seems to me your comment is more "vicious," calling the co-op staff out as having "low morale." What you call "bereft" is a matter of your opinion. I find the co-op staff to be friendly, helpful, generous and kind and I thought that before, during, and after working there.
MrsC January 16, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Elisa, to quote you: "Don't shop at Whole Paycheck!!!" Isn't trying to tell people where not to shop a bit self-righteous? Yes, you and those who try to tell people where not to shop have collectively lodged a vicious attack against Whole Foods Market. It is ugly. The people who work there deserve better. To state that I have observed low morale at the Co-Op is not "vicious." It is an observation. The fact that you have written your response to my post the day I wrote about something else you posted, makes you look vindictive. Enough is enough.
Elisa Allechant January 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I'm so sorry you're so very angry, MrsC. It seems you are as opinionated as I am, but perhaps you can dish it out and not take it? Truly, enough was not enough if you needed the last word?


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