Thursday, July 02, 2009

as an empowered woman, i drink Real Beer

A well deserved thanks to the current issue of Beers of the World for bringing me the newest corporate machination, BitterSweet Partnership, from Molson/Coors. Beers of the World is a great magazine and the editor comment from Sally Toms along with the in-depth article by Melissa Cole breaks down the overwhelmingly sexist ploy of this new venture by Molson/Coors to “supposedly” empower female beer drinkers.

I am always highly amused by studies that are geared towards, about, and for my gender: Woman. Usually, I find myself an exasperated bundle of aggravation, cynicism, pessimism, irony, amusement, and disgust by just how un-female friendly the surveys actually are. Empowerment? Hah! Don’t make me laugh.

Real female empowerment would make any calculated ploys to cull our likes and dislikes through self-serving advertisement techniques absolutely worthless. Instead, women the world over would have the knowledge and freedom to make up their own minds, choose their own beer, and live by their own standards. This in turn would naturally generate a socio-economic demand for beer diversity and exploration brought about by an openly educated and informed environment which encourages exploration of all things different instead of discouraging them. Craft and import beers have been quenching this multi-gender thirst for beery adventure for generations.

But alas, it would seem that the BitterSweet Partnership by Molson/Coors, headed by an elite panel of women chosen and paid by Molson/Coors, are here to tell me exactly what I really enjoy in a beer, and woe-be-me should I disagree.

Sounds rather totalitarian and sexist to me, but what do I know, right? I’m just a lowly woman who, given the opportunity to openly explore the diverse and exciting world of beer and all its visceral pleasures, would be incapable of forming my own educated opinion of what I like and don’t like. Madness I say, madness! Surely I don’t have the capabilities, skills, and professionalism to explore in depth the history of beer, study the cultural and economical roles it has played throughout history, analyze and savor the best aromas and flavors and richness of palate that beer has to offer, and even better yet, explore the centuries old tradition of cuisine-a-la-bier.

Craziness! I mustn’t think such world-shattering thoughts. The sky shall turn to sackcloth and blood shall rain down upon thy sinful flesh.

~sarcasm OFF~

Remove the billion-dollar polish and what is left is exactly what Molson/Coors wants this panel to be: a panel of influential figures ready to cull the gullible masses into believing only what they tell them which in turn means that they will drink only what they tell them to drink.

What product would that be? Whose product would that be?

Hm… why, I do believe that would be the beer in question that these lovely ladies who have been hired by and are paid by Molson/Coors to sell to you and to me. Sounds like just another fancy sales-pitch to me that continues to perpetuate the sexist marketing of non-beer to women because we can’t handle real beer. By targeting an influential market long ignored, they can control as much of that untapped dollar through smooth-talk, marketing, and perpetuating a continual bastardization of the proud beverage, Beer.

This is no serious study of women and beer. This is just yet another shameless pitch in the great corporate game of who can sell more, brew more, and further their influence over a moldable new market: Women. Surely the BitterSweet Partnership, fellow sister’s-in-arms, must be right. They wouldn’t trick us or lie to us or perpetuate the same level of inequality where women should just be good little girls and let others handle life’s difficulties, even if those others are also women.

Are they saying that I, a female beer drinker, am too ignorant to appreciate the overall beauty of beer on my own? Why yes, I do believe that is what they are saying. Wow. I thought I left that kind of juvenile sexist tripe behind in high-school, but I guess I was wrong.

Women have quaffed beer in quantity and diversity of flavor, styles, and varying strengths for centuries. Yet, what is this expert panel’s answer: a clear fruit-flavored alcopop. It doesn’t come close to being neither beer nor deserving of the name Beer. Catherine The Great and Queen Elizabeth I are surely rolling around in their graves.

The only marketing campaign beer needs is a marketing campaign encouraging information, education, diversity, and fun.

I am as much a member of this nation of free thinkers as everyone else, and I say it is high time that women be given the proper credit and an equal place in the world of beer. In many countries where beer is a century’s old proud heritage, real beer is beloved by both men and women alike. Women drink what they like not because a flashy billion dollar advertising campaign told them to or because an on-again off-again celebrity told them to. No, they drink beer because it tastes good, having been brought up in a culture rich with diversity, pride, and fairness in regards to beer.

I hold beer tastings weekly at work along with hosting extracurricular tasting events and seminars all while sharing my love for beer every day of my life with as many people as I possibly can. We don’t talk just about hot chics, fast cars, big pick-up trucks, and fruity clear alcopops. Nay, we discuss with great enthusiasm the fun facts of beer, interesting historical tidbits, diversity and sheer variety of beer available (readily and not so readily). We enjoy the appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall achievements of the beers we drink. We explore and taste what beers go best with what foods and why. We socialize. We share pints, nonics, chalices, bollocks, tulips, pilsners, and glasses of all varieties for beers of all varieties. We share our life with beer and are the richer for it, creating memories to last a lifetime. If you brew it, I will drink it. If it is good, no matter how different wild crazy or eclectic, I will like it.

If I can do it, believe you me, every other woman can.

Beer is not exclusively a man’s beverage anymore than it is exclusively a woman’s beverage. Beer is Beer. Beer belongs to and has belonged to both men and women since the beginning of time. Man and woman alike have enjoyed the refreshing, revitalizing, and sociable aspects of beer since its discovery. Despite various attempts to subjugate women and deny them their beer rights, woman has always had a place in the world of beer, big and small.

There are billions of women, myself included, who have discovered the innumerable joys of real beer. The entire world over, we are united at all times in one purpose: the good quest for real beer. How do we do it? With the help of fellow beer friends, an open mind, a little luck, skill, adventure, and a lot of fun.

Beer is a journey. Do you want to sit back and let someone else live it for you, or do you want to grab the wheel in your own two hands and find your own way?

Once more, greedy corporations who have everything to gain by herding our beer drinking interests like sheep and everything to lose should those sheep choose to finally live on their own, have constructed another money-making scheme. The idea to make beer more woman-friendly is a good one with good intentions at heart. Molson/Coors, unfortunately, does not have good intentions at heart. That, my friends, is the difference between a good idea and a bad execution of said good idea. Beer was born woman friendly; it just needs a little help cleaning up a lot of misunderstandings.

My fellow ladies, beer is beautiful. Will you like all of it? Probably not. Is that OK? Of course. In the vein of fun, of exploration, of independence, of forming new friendships, new bonds, and creating new memories that will last a lifetime, come explore the wonderful world of beer with me and the billions of other women (and counting) who are seeing, smelling, and tasting the joys of really damn good beer the world over. Most of all, have an open mind and have fun. You may find you like the most what you thought you would like the least, and like the least what you thought you would like the most. You won’t know if you don’t try, and as adult women, we surely don’t need someone else leaning over our shoulder and telling us what we should like and why.

I know I sure don’t. I can think for myself, thankyouverymuch.

Life is short. Drink good beer.
Kristyn Lier

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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