Cue the anger about identity politics

By Tim Nelson
Updated August 07, 2018
Credit: Photo via Getty Images

We’re only a week into August, and it’s already shaping up to be a stressful holiday season for the kind of people who love to wail about political correctness. The latest front in the ongoing culture wars: gingerbread and gender representation.

The opening salvo in what promises to be a protracted battle over biscuits comes courtesy of Pret a Manger, the sandwich and pastry chain popular among a professional class who views getting up from their desks for lunch as little more than a necessary inconvenience. Though they’ve long sold a gingerbread man named Godfrey, a letter sent to Pret CEO Clive Schee on behalf of a young girl led to the introduction of a second gingerbread character named “Annie."

But instead of calling Annie a gingerbread woman, for its UK stores Pret decided to do away with that sort of labeling and instead will refer to both Godfrey and Annie as “gingerbread biscuits,” doing away with gendered pronouns for the anthropomorphized cookies entirely.

“Since we’re introducing Annie, we thought it would be simpler to call them Gingerbread Biscuits,” said Pret a Manger food and coffee director Clare Clough to Big Hospitality.

Given that only an insane person wants to eat a gingerbread person at this time of year, the move hasn’t caused much of an uproar yet. But it’s sure to infuriate those with a fierce attachment to the gingerbread gender binary. Before the end of 2018, I’m sure we’ll see videos of Trump voters yelling at bakery clerks demanding to order a gingerbread man or woman and/or bringing gingerbread people with them into gender specific bathrooms to “own the libs.” Jordan Peterson is no doubt already planning a lecture in which the Canadian psychology professor tells a group of wayward young men about how the supposed genderless status of Godfrey and Annie somehow breeds chaos and eradicates the foundational myths on which an orderly society is built or something.

At the end of the day, the idea of gendering a cookie is ridiculous to begin with. And if you want to call a gingerbread man or woman by your preferred set of pronouns, it’s not like the SJWs are going to come to your home and physically prevent you from using your oven.