The Firkin for January 2018

6 characters can make the privileged tremble: #MeToo.

First a bit of disclaimer – this is written from my white male point-of-view. Having never held a position of power or been a member of a popular clique, I don’t have much real-world experience in terms of overt “power” and/or “popularity.” All I have is my human revulsion of what far too many men think they can get away with just because of a one-chromosome difference. End of disclaimer; onto my entreaty.

It is past time for we beer fans and consumers to make it known that misogynistic, patronizing, and discrediting behavior towards women in tap rooms and beer bars is more than not acceptable. I offer a list of action items for men to put into actual action the next time they are at their favorite watering hole:

1. Don’t tell a woman what to order or what style “women” prefer. Surprisingly, just like men, women are individuals and don’t uniformly enjoy one type of beer – especially the one that you have decided they should.

2. Accept that a woman behind the bar is there for a reason. Don’t assume that she knows less about beer than you do or less than a male counterpart working with her. In fact, she very well could be a supertaster (while you, more than likely, are not).

3. It sounds very PSA, but if you See Something, Say Something. Don’t allow or enable sexism to happen in front of you. Your reproach doesn’t have to be confrontational, but, out of respect for your fellow female humans, you can and should let the sexist know that you, too, have just witnessed them crossing a line.

4. Do not audibly complain about pink hats or marches or rushes-to-judgement while sipping your hazy IPA. Zip it, Matt Damon. You likely have no true grasp of how much the women in earshot of you have put up with, so stow your tantrum.

5. Believe. When a women says she has been victimized, believe her. Then defend her and support her as needed.

We have an opportunity to actively make beer places safer and more fun for everyone. To anyone unwilling to contribute to creating that type of atmosphere: please remain in your cave with your non-evolved friends and drink there.

It is in all of our englightened self-interest to get as many people as possible from all walks of life into taprooms. The better business they do, the better and more beer we all get.

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