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Fast food joints, ranked in terms of feminism for International Women’s Day

Where is the Burger Queen?

Are you a woman? Do you eat chips? Well, at long last the day of your emancipation has arrived. Today, on this very special International Women’s Day, the tireless decades of work towards representation by major fast food outlets have come to a head.

Yes. A McDonald’s in California has switched its M upside down, to make a kind of “W”. And Colonel Sanders’ wife Claudia is allowed one day in the spotlight, as KFC Malaysia switches its logo.

Good work, guys. It looks like some of the others have a lot of catching up to do:


Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart

Clearly the most feminist. Wendy is a fast food joint owner in her own right, and doesn’t only appear on shop signs on International Women’s Day wearing her husband’s necktie and glasses.

She probably doesn’t even have a husband.

You go girl!

Sam’s Chicken

Sam’s Chicken was founded by a man called Sam, but that’s ok because the gender of its chicken mascot wearing a stetson is ambiguous. Dragging the rest of the high street chicken shops into the 21st century. Well done, Sam the chicken! Even if you do sell the fried flesh of your own species for profit!

Photo: Twitter

Ben’s Cookies

OK, unless this is Benedicta, this has the fingerprints of the patriarchy all over it. But Ben himself eschews the false and damaging masculine ideal (he’s a skinny Quentin Blake illustration), so that’s ok, give me a white chocolate and cranberry chunk please.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


A terrible message. Shaming men for being “soft” just because they want a quick, unhealthy meal helps no one. Sexist stereotypes hurt us all. This is bad for feminism. Next.

Little Chef

Photo: Flickr/Elliott Brown

Same here. Giving men complexes about their height and build is sexist too. You’re big on the inside, chef. Plus some women like little chefs.

BUT also why do men get to be chefs and women have to be cooks? It’s time these gender norms hit the highway. After a quick greasy fry-up en route.

Burger King

Where’s the Burger Queen, I ask?

Silent again. For shame.

Five Guys

They couldn’t even let one woman into the boardroom, could they? Not even one. I bet they only celebrate International Men’s Day over at Five Guys. I bet they change their name and logo on that day to make it TEN Guys. FFS.

With the help of the mole’s esteemed colleagues.

I'm a mole, innit.

Photo: Getty
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Michael Carrick is the “Geordie Pirlo” that England misunderstood

The Manchester United legend’s retirement announcement should leave Three Lions fans wondering what if?

That it came in the months leading up to a World Cup arguably added an exclamation point to the announcement of Michael Carrick’s impending retirement. The Manchester United midfielder, who is expected to take up a coaching role with the club afterwards, will hang up his boots at the end of the season. And United boss Jose Mourinho’s keenness to keep Carrick at Old Trafford in some capacity only serves to emphasise how highly he rates the 36-year-old.

But Carrick’s curtain call in May will be caveated by one striking anomaly on an otherwise imperious CV: his international career. Although at club level Carrick has excelled – winning every top tier honour a player based in England possibly can – he looks set to retire with just 34 caps for his country, and just one of those was earned at a major tournament.

This, in part, is down to the quality of competition he has faced. Indeed, much of the conversation around England’s midfield in the early to mid-noughties centred on finding a system that could accommodate both box-to-box dynamos Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

As time went on, however, focus shifted towards trequartistas, advanced playmakers and those with more mobile, harrying playing styles. And the likes of Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli were brought into the frame more frequently than Carrick, whose deep-lying capabilities were not utilised to their full potential. That nearly 65 per cent of Carrick’s England caps have come in friendlies shows how undervalued he was. 

In fairness, Carrick does not embody similar characteristics to many of his England midfield contemporaries, including a laudable lack of ego. He is not blessed with lung-busting pace, nor is he enough of a ball-winner to shield a back four solo. Yet his passing and distribution satisfy world-class criteria, with a range only matched, as far as England internationals go, by his former United team-mate Paul Scholes, who was also misused when playing for his country.

Rather, the player Carrick resembles most isn’t English at all; it’s Andrea Pirlo, minus the free-kicks. When comparisons between the mild-mannered Geordie and Italian football’s coolest customer first emerged, they were dismissed in some quarters as hyperbole. Yet watching Carrick confirm his retirement plans this week, perfectly bearded and reflecting on a trophy-laden 12-year spell at one of world football’s grandest institutions, the parallels have become harder to deny.

Michael Carrick at a press event ahead of Manchester United's Champions League game this week. Photo: Getty.

Where other players would have been shown the door much sooner, both Pirlo and Carrick’s efficient style of play – built on patience, possession and precision – gifted them twilights as impressive as many others’ peaks. That at 36, Carrick is still playing for a team in the top two of the top division in English football, rather than in lower-league or moneyed foreign obscurity, speaks volumes. At the same age, Pirlo started for Juventus in the Champions League final of 2015.

It is ill health, not a decline in ability, which is finally bringing Carrick’s career to a close. After saying he “felt strange” during the second-half of United’s 4-1 win over Burton Albion earlier this season, he had a cardiac ablation procedure to treat an irregular heart rhythm. He has since been limited to just three more appearances this term, of which United won two. 

And just how key to United’s success Carrick has been since his £18m signing from Tottenham in 2006 cannot be overstated. He was United’s sole signing that summer, yielding only modest excitement, and there were some Red Devils fans displeased with then manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to assign Carrick the number 16 jersey previously worn by departed captain Roy Keane. Less than a year later, though, United won their first league title in four years. The following season, United won the league and Champions League double, with Carrick playing 49 times across all competitions.

Failing to regularly deploy Carrick in his favoured role – one that is nominally defensive in its position at the base of midfield, but also creative in providing through-balls to the players ahead – must be considered one of the most criminal oversights of successive England managers’ tenures. Unfortunately, Carrick’s heart condition means that current boss Gareth Southgate is unlikely to be able to make amends this summer.

By pressing space, rather than players, Carrick compensates for his lack of speed by marking passing channels and intercepting. He is forever watching the game around him and his unwillingness to commit passes prematurely and lose possession is as valuable an asset as when he does spot an opening.

Ultimately, while Carrick can have few regrets about his illustrious career, England fans and management alike can have plenty. Via West Ham, Spurs and United, the Wallsend-born émigré has earned his billing as one of the most gifted midfielders of his generation, but he’d never let on.

Rohan Banerjee is a Special Projects Writer at the New Statesman. He co-hosts the No Country For Brown Men podcast.