Back in my late teens, I was a bit of a dick to put it frankly. My fun involved going out Thursday, Friday and Saturday fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol and other “energy sources” with “the lads”. I used to get into a bit of trouble and my attitude towards members of the opposite sex is definitely not something I am proud of. I didn’t treat them with much respect.
I was ‘cool’. I was in a band; and I acted like it. Blackpool had one “indie” club and being the guy I was I had to ensure I hated all the band’s it played and only like bands nobody had ever heard of. By being a dick and by being outspoken, I thought I was impressing girls. My immaturity also held me back in work and education. Don’t get me wrong; I was intelligent. I just didn’t want to succeed or make much of myself.
That is until I met my now wife, Laura. She put me straight and matured me. She got me into good food, holidays, calmed me down and gave me some direction in life. She’s the strongest person I know. She clearly saw something else in me back then and now we are married and have our daughter some 10 years later. Without her I don’t know where I would be right now. I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog that’s for sure.
The reason for my aforementioned condensed life story is that I can see that change is possible through the hard work of those seeking it. Sadly the out-dated, chauvinistic and down-right sexist attitudes seen in many men involved in beer – whether that’s drinking it, or producing it – is something that is so embedded into their make-up and their world, that it’s unlikely it will ever change. That said, we absolutely should continue to challenge them because the downright abuse of women in both real life and commonly on social media is unacceptable. They can’t look past their beliefs that women can’t drink pints or beer doesn’t taste any good without a suggestive image/pun on the pumpclip. I think it’s just the way it is for that particular generation, there is no argument “for” in this situation.
Whilst my immaturity once held me back, I am however hopeful, that for a younger generation, attitudes towards equality will be a lot a more healthy and that not only in beer, but in all industries and walks of life we begin to see true equality and an end to sexism. And that we can look back at it at being as ridiculous as how we now look back at mullets. Failure to illustrate equality, fight the objectification and thwart the condescension of women in the industry will only seek to stifle and suffocate the creative, exciting and dynamic possibilities we can achieve.
Grow up guys
Also see this from Jim at Beers Mamchester