As women continue to fight for equal rights, it gets really frustrating when brands try to launch tone-deaf products in the name of women’s empowerment. We all saw how that lady Doritos thing went down, right? And earlier this week, when Johnnie Walker announced a scotch for women, their target audience couldn’t have been more annoyed. But as it turns out, it might actually be really good for women in the end. It seems Johnnie Walker’s “Jane Walker” line has a feminist mission, so maybe we should hear them out.
In an interview with Elle, Johnnie Walker Vice President Stephanie Jacoby tried to set the record straight about the so-called scotch for women. The brand isn’t trying to make a scotch specifically to appeal to women’s tastebuds — it’s just trying to put a woman on the label as a way to shake things up after decades of the brand being represented by a man.
In fact, says Jacoby, they would “never make something for ‘women’s palates'” since “tastebuds have no gender,” and instead, they’re on a mission to shine a light on women who have worked with Johnnie Walker in honor of Women’s History Month, which kicks off in March.
Jacoby also named a few women who have been instrumental to the brand, like John Walker’s wife, Elizabeth, as well as Elizabeth Cumming, who sold the Scotland distillery to Walker that made the brand possible in the first place.
In a press release, the company also said that it will donate $1 from each Jane Walker bottle sold to women’s rights organizations, up to $250,000, which could ultimately help to make progress for women.
Plus, Johnnie Walker is donating $150,000 to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, which is working to get a monument to the suffragists built in Central Park.
Women obviously don’t like to be patronized or talked down to, and the movement for women’s rights is so much more complicated than something food and alcohol can solve. But this? To us, this sounds like it might actually be a step in the right direction.
Maybe Jane Walker isn’t such a bad idea after all. If you’re into scotch, give it a try. It’s really just Johnnie Walker Black Label with a top-hatted woman on the bottle.