Hershey’s Chocolate Goes Woke for Women’s History Month

Transgender Activist Is Honored on Limited-Edition Wrappers

The entrance of the Hershey Company chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania
The entrance of the Hershey Company chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania (photo: George Sheldon / Shutterstock)

Americans love chocolate! In fact, according to one study, more than 9 million Americans consumed five or more servings of Hershey’s chocolate in 2020, and most of those satisfied customers were women between the ages of 35 and 54. So why would a corporate leader choose to alienate their largest demographic?

That is the question a lot of women have been asking, following Hershey Canada’s announcement of a special wrapper for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, featuring a man who says he’s a “transgender woman.”

There are actually five different wrappers for the celebratory Hershey’s She bars, as Hershey’s calls them. The four other women featured on those wrappers are a climate technology scientist, a gender- and education-equality activist, an indigenous rights activist, and the founder of Girl Up Quebec, a United Nations-sponsored equity activism organization. But it is the transgender activist, Fae Johnstone, who has most drawn the wrath of conservative women. Johnstone is a self-described 2SLGBTQ+ activist (“2S” standing for “two spirit” or “two spirited” — a gender designation that is sometimes associated with Native American peoples).

If Hershey’s had really wanted to honor Women’s History Month, critics complain, couldn’t they have found a real woman?

But while women decry Hershey’s wokeness and the hashtag #BoycottHershey took off on Twitter, the Hershey’s corporation doubled down, defending their decision to celebrate a male during the month honoring women. Hershey’s Canada, which originated the She bars, insisted that the company “value(s) togetherness and recognize(s) the strength created by diversity.” In a statement on Instagram, Hershey’s management said:

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.

Certainly, some of the women and men who enjoy Hershey bars are people who favor Hershey’s corporate wokeism, but many of their customers disagree, and those disappointed chocolate lovers will be checking out the alternatives on the store shelves. (Nestle, look forward to an increase in sales!)

What does the Catholic Church have to say about the wave of transgender activism? The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear in explaining sexuality as an inborn, irreversible characteristic:

Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out. (2333)
By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. (2393)