I've always been perplexed by the stereotype that women just don't like beer very much. The stat I hear most often – which I quoted in my post about Teri Fahrendorf – is that only about 30 percent of American women prefer beer to either spirits or wine. Of course, if I were asked the question that way, I'm not sure which of the three I would choose myself. Wine has always intimidated me a little bit, because while good wines can be had at any price point, the quality and flavor varies year to year, and getting really, really into wine seems to require more disposable income than I have. Liquor is, well, quick, and a well-balanced cocktail is a beautiful thing, but can also come with a hefty price tag. With beer, there's enormous variety; while lots of breweries do special seasonals that vary year to year, or super small-batch brews that are both tasty and a little expensive, there's a remarkable consistency and affordability to beer, and it's likely I spend the bulk of my booze allowance on it.
I see plenty of other ladies at brewpubs, beer-forward bars and beer tastings I go to, but the conventional wisdom is that I'm a rarity. I wondered what, if any, actual research had been done on women's purchasing and tasting habits where suds are concerned. So I chatted with Ginger Johnson, the founder of Women Enjoying Beer, a southern Oregon-based business that does qualitative research and marketing for beer companies, as well as educational events for women interested in beer. Johnson told me she started the company because she ran across the same problem I did: “There's not a lot of stats. There's stereotypes,” she said.
Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Teri Fahrendorf, who started the Pink Boots Society in 2007 after a road trip to check out breweries all over the country. Again and again, she said, she encountered women who worked in craft breweries who had never before met another female brewer, let alone one with a couple decades' worth of experience. Immediately, they wanted to know who and where the other female brewers were, so the Pink Boots Society – named for the boots Fahrendorf wore on her road trip – was born as a list of women brewers throughout the country.
"They weren't getting something they wanted, which was communication with a woman in their field,” Fahrendorf said. “The fact that I had been a brewmaster for 19 years opened their eyes. Watching them get inspired by my story in turn inspired me to want to mentor all of them. I can't mentor all of them, as much as I try.”
That many nonhuman animals seem to have a taste for alcohol is often used as support for the claim that the desire for intoxication is universal, though some stories—like those about elephants getting drunk on fermented marula fruit—have been disputed by scientists, who note elephants actually eat marula fruits fresh, and that it would take a lot of fruits to give an elephant even a slight buzz.
Are you a woman who secretly enjoys beer yet can't find one girly enough to suit your needs? Would you enjoy beer more if it were pink, low in carbs, and super sweet? Well never fear, because Chick Beer is here!
Hear ye! Hear ye! There's a Douchebag for everything. Everything, including beer. But, sometimes it takes a regal event, say, The Royal Wedding, for Douches-in-waiting to make their mark and declare their oh-so royally Douche-baggy ways. Her Royal Highness would not be so proud.
Since I frequently share the TV with someone who loves NFL football, I've been watching a completely different set of offensive commercials as of late. (Typically I see the offensive ads directed at women, you know, the ones that make us feel like even even our armpits aren't pretty enough? Football ads are much dudelier but make me just as stabby, as it turns out.) Though ads during NFL games run the hypermasculine gamut, from objectifying women to implying that junk food is the only reason men have to get up in the morning, the campaign that prompts me to throw the most stuff at the television is Miller Lite's "Man Up" series.
Lend your ear to the first ever episode of Bitch Popaganda, Bitch Media's new bi-weekly pop culture podcast! Hear Annalee, Ashley, and Kelsey debate the merits of the trailer for New Moon and its subsequent reaction videos, Linda Holmes' open letter to Pixar about their lack of heroines, and Time's reaction to the porn-y Bud Light commercial. Plus, Bitch faves!
Listen here by clicking the audio player, or download it and listen on the go! And remember, we're just starting out, so be sure to give us your feedback in the comments section!
Belinda Luscombe over at Time Magazine sparked an online debate yesterday regarding an internet-only Budweiser commercial that makes light of pornography purchasing. Says Luscombe, because it [the commercial] comes from a highly respected American brand, it seems to mark some kind of cultural tipping point, where pornography has soaked so far into the fabric of mainstream culture that it's no longer seen as a stain.
In my humblest of humble opinions, the porn is not what's wrong with this commercial. Check it out and then we'll discuss: