Among other things, I consider myself somewhat of a feminist.
I know, I know. It might seem a little contradictory because I own a penis, but trust me: I’m all for equality among the sexes. Some of the most important people in my life are women and I want to see them treated fairly and, frankly, like people rather than some mystical, mysterious demographic. When I see something that I consider sexist, I tend to get up in arms. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the vagina uterus credentials to do it properly, and I’ve been known to get up in arms about things that I might be a little idealistic about, so there’s your warning for the rest of this article.
One of the first things I saw this morning via Twitter was this tweet referring to an blog post over on Smart Bitches about a “scientific” article about romance novels that was, essentially, very sexist toward women. The assumptions of said scientific article are basically long-perpetuated stereotypes about women and romance (and I won’t even get into the dodgy sampling/research).
That should give you a little bit of an idea about the kind of reading I do on a daily basis. Hi. I’m a complex individual.
Then, as I was trolling through Twitter this afternoon I came across a little discussion about Chick Beer.
Go ahead and click on that link, swallow a little bile, and come back. I’ll wait.
Got your eyes adjusted away from the pinksplosion? Right on.
I don’t even know where to begin with this. No – strike that, I do. I can start back about two years ago with the BitterSweet Partnership. (“Finally, a beer just for women!” – Nice market research!) Yeah-huh. This isn’t the first beer for women, but it does make the same basic assumptions:
Women are delicate creatures that need to be coddled. They can’t possibly determine what kind of beer they like out of such a complex array on the shelves, because hey: learning is hard! Not to mention, we all know that beer makes you fat, so slow down girl! You want something low in calories, low in carbonation, low in bloat! Something pink!
It’s the same damn thing as that article above. It’s women perpetuating ridiculous and insulting stereotypes about… women!
Here. Let me describe a beer for you that I think sounds disgusting. Women who read my blog, please let me know if you think this beer sounds appealing:
A slightly flat Light American lager.
Whooo-hoo! Can we serve it warm, too?
Does it sound more appealing if you know the six-pack looks chic, like you’re carrying a cute little purse? What about that the label is shiny? How do you think the six-pack carrier or label will change the flavor? Please frame your answer using as few expletives as possible.
Here’s the way I see it: If women really truly want a choice in beer that suits their taste and style, there are 1700+ craft breweries in the country to choose from and I guarantee that many of them will make something that suits someone’s individual taste and style … assuming they like beer. And if they don’t like beer? I suggest starting there instead of something they’ve probably already tried: slightly flat Light American Lager.
Where does this crap come from? Haven’t we been able to move past this in the industry? Women drink beer. A lot of women drink beer. And if my experience has taught me anything what they like is robust, flavorful beer. Not something designed for their delicate sensibilities, but ones that they enjoy because.. oh.. they like the taste of it, not because it comes in some fancy, shiny, carrying case.
It’s an exemplary example of something that I really like to argue: That when you separate women as a social group, regardless of your intent, you are being inherently sexist. What the underlying assumption to all of this is, is that women have to be treated differently than men. I see the intent: You want something that women will enjoy, that will make them feel special, etc. – but that underlying assumption, while well-intentioned, is also what allows this incredibly short-sighted and sexist example and will continue to provide many more as long as people continue to treat women as though they are inherently NOT people.
As a lot of people have said on the internets already today: I hope this is a joke. I hope this is designed as satire. But I doubt it.
Sorry, ladies. You’ll just have to drink it. After all, it’s designed just for you.