Friday 27 January 2017


Average sexist pumpclip, yesterday

What with Donald Trump being elected US President, sexism is in the news. Apparently,  Mr. Trump is not as progressive on consent issues as most people would like him to be. In fact, he's been quoted as saying that you can "grab some pussy", and "they'll let you do it if you're famous." As Victor Lewis-Smith would say, oh dear.

Over the last few days, the searingly honest Mark Johnson of Beer Compurgation has written a couple of blog posts about Sexism in the Beer World and how it's implicitly condoned by lack of contrary comment by a lot of the people involved. He's angry, and he has every right to be given his recent experiences. Whether calling out those responsible will change anything is another matter altogether. 

Sexism is problem in society in general, not just in the beer world. The Beer World (unfortunately) is a "boys club" and casual sexism, such as dodgy names and pumpclips, is allowed through without demur as the people in question don't see the problem. You can pretty much write off the generation that grew up in the 60s/70s/80s as they're products of a much more openly sexist age. The best you can hope for is to shame them into not behaving badly in public (this is probably what happened to Johnson at MBCF - people with sexist views considering a Beer Festival a "safe" place to say what they like and do as they please).

You can educate the younger generation of men not to do this by reasoning, but the problem with them is they grew in a time where porn (which demands women are treated as objects) is all too easily accessed by young minds incapable of dealing with it critically. Alas, again all you can really hope for is they don't express sexist views or behaviour in public.

So, no, I don't hold out a great deal of hope for the XY-chromosoned section of humanity changing any time soon, but I wish Mr. Johnson every success in his attempts.

1 comment:

  1. I have written about this subject on my own blog, most recently here. Remember the big fuss in 2012 when Slaters Top Totty was served in the Palace of Westminster? I think that reaction shows that some progress is being made, although not enough and too slowly.

    It's no good describing sexist humour as "only a joke" and throwing around accusations of humourlessness, which aren't actually true anyway as we all have different ideas of what's funny. Additionally, the perception of how funny a joke is depends on whether you're telling it or on the receiving end.

    I was once annoyed when some people in the pub began cracking racist jokes, so I took one and replaced the offensive terms with the word 'racist':
    Q: What do you call a Mini driving off a cliff with three racists in?
    A: A waste: you can get four racists in a Mini.

    It was only a joke, but they weren't laughing. Funny that.