Craft brew, sexism - or should I just relax and have a beer?
What's a girl to do? Recently, the big push in the craft beer world is the inclusion of women. One glaring incident aside, I have always felt included in the wonderful world of craft beer.
Having said that though, I can see where there might be concern as beer has, at least in modern times, been considered a guy's thing. (It is worthwhile to note that, back in the day, the women were the brewers).
I really do not know how to react to this, and so I am putting this out there to solicit respectful comments and thoughts.
My one brain says it’s no big deal and that we women have bigger fish to fry.
But my other brain says, "What if girls see that and think that we are only valued for our bodies and looks?"
And yet my third brain says, but aren’t we? I mean, if I had no nose, a hump on my back and four eyes, would I have the life that I do?
My one brain says that craft brewers are only doing what the macros do (remember the “twins” commercial? It couldn’t have been more obvious if it had been called, “Juggs”).
But my other brain says but maybe the macros shouldn’t rely on sex to sell their beer. Maybe they could start respecting women.
And yet my third brain points out that our society permits sex to sell things and while I am magical, I can’t fix that.
My one brain asks what does it hurt if someone uses boobs or the B word to sell beer?
And then my other brain reminds me of all of the times I’ve been called a "B" (or worse) for daring to express an opinion stronger than “boy it’s hot out here today, isn’t it?” and I wonder if casual use of the word doesn’t lend to that sort of name calling.
And yet my third brain pipes up and reminds me that I call other people "B" all the time and certainly have worn a low cut shirt a time or 11.
My one brain tells me to chill out and have a sense of humor — it’s just beer. No one is going to decide to rape someone because they see the "B" word on a bottle of beer. And besides, a female dog is a bitch, right?
And then my other brain wonders if it is a slippery slope and does violence against women start with objectification of women in society?
And yet my third brain knowingly says that the slippery slope argument is not a good one to make because it can be dangerous.
My one brain says that women are equal in so many ways now, and we should just chill and drink the dang beer.
And then my other brain says right on — we don’t need that sort of protection and besides, if we really want to “protect” women, let’s maybe start with other issues that we face, such as risk of violence/rape, less pay for equal work, sexual harassment and access to reproductive freedom.
My third brain isn’t quite sure what to say to this, as it agrees with us both. It is now flummoxed and must find a quiet place to relax.
My one brain wonders how this issue would be treated if it were naked men on the beer bottles. Or if the stereotypes were offensive to a specific ethnic group (like if they put me on the bottle, made my nose bigger and had me picking a quarter up off the ground with a big, lecherous grin on my face)?
My other brain has a feeling that the issue would be treated somewhat differently, and probably no one would be accused of “not having a sense of humor” when he/she dared to question the marketing practices.
My third brain is still off recovering from the last question and has no comment.
So I still don’t know. Are hypersexualized images of women damaging? Do they cause long term negative effects on men and women? Where does disrespect for women start and where does it end? Does it really start with a beer bottle?!
Should I even be fretting about this or should I, in the words of a wise man, just relax, stop worrying and have a homebrew?
Patti Smith enjoys making really bad jokes and drinking really good beer! Read her personal blog at http://palateofpatti.wordpress.com.