Fae Johnstone, a transgender activist, has become at the center of a Hershey boycott scandal sparked by the brand’s International Women’s Day campaign.
For the third year in a row, Hershey’s Chocolate Her for She campaign is launched in honor of the upcoming International Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday, March 8.
The campaign outraged the conservative Twitter community, which saw the inclusion of transgender women in women’s campaigns as misogynistic.
Her for She campaign features trans activist Fae Johnstone
According to a Hershey’s Canada post, the Her for She campaign will “shine a light on the women and girls who inspire us every day.”
Five Canadian women are featured in the ad, including Aboriginal rights and water activist Autumn Peltier, climate technology researcher Naila Moloo, founder of young women’s charity Girl Up Québec Kélicia Massala, and Fae Johnstone.
The confectionary giant will donate $10,000 to each cause represented in the ad and $30,000 to Girl Up.
Johnstone posted about the campaign in a tweet and said she was “honored” to be featured.
Who is Fae Johnstone?
Fae Johnstone is a trans woman, small business owner, feminist, author, and award-winning 2SLGBTQ+ and trans advocate. She is the executive director and co-owner of boutique advisory firm Wisdom2Action.
2SLGBTQ+ stands for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and other sexual orientations and gender identities.
The first openly trans person and first trans woman to serve on the board of the YWCA, a Canadian women’s organization, Fae uses her critical perspective and experience to improve women’s rights policy and organization in Canada.
She grew up in a middle-class military family and traveled frequently to work across Canada, but made her home in Ottawa.
Hershey’s Resisting Trend on Twitter
After the campaign launched, some conservative Twitter users were outraged by the candy company’s decision to include transgender women, leading to the trending of the “Boycott Hershey” hashtag in the United States.
“Why does Hershey hate women?” wrote one Twitter user. “It’s selfish for biological men claiming to be women to try to hijack the upcoming International Women’s Day and center them around them,” another claimed. “Hershey is killing women,” another user wrote.
However, other Twitter users fully supported Fae Johnstone’s role in the ad. One user said: “Closed-minded idiots outraged at a trans woman in a Hershey’s bar and want people to boycott it?!?” A second tweeted: “Lmao people are trying to Boycott Hershey put a woman on the wrapping paper.”
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