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Happy International Womens Day (and the recent debate about pink beer)

I was reminded of the occasion by a female colleague as she wished me a happy IWD as I walked down the corridor. Do you wish a guy a happy International Womens Day? I am not sure. But she did and I didn’t mind at all.

I am not going to get into all the nitty gritty regarding equal pay or gender equality here. Obviously this is something we need to strive for. But I have another question or two that was brought on by an article I read on Independent online. BrewDog, a brewer that I really like, has released a pink labeled beer for girls, the pink label making fun of ‘sexist’ marketing. I thought this was a little strange to fight such fire with fire. Over on their website, they say:

At BrewDog, we have always believed that beer is for everyone, and equality is a fundamental right. So today we are launching a clarion call to end the discrimination of gender pay inequality. In the UK men earn on average 20% more than women. And that’s not ok.

So ahead of International Women’s Day this Thursday, we are launching Pink IPA. A beer for women. A beer for equality.

Satirically dubbed Beer for Girls, Pink IPA is BrewDog’s clarion call to close the gender pay gap in the UK and around the world and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry. This is our overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women.

PinkIPA_3

Pink IPA, image taken from BrewDog’s website linked above.

So to fight tone-deaf campaigns some have used in order to attract women, rather bizarrely they have used pink beer. I am all for a campaign to fight for equality. I am not sure how happy I am as a working class male to pay more for the same beer as many much, much wealthier females I see everyday in the city, but I guess that is the point they are trying to make. Another thing is this next segment of their page.

What’s more, people who identify as female will be able to pick up Pink IPA in any BrewDog bar for 20% less. The beer will launch in our bars this Thursday 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

So this means that if I go in and identify as female, I get the discount. But would I be taken seriously or be considered a scrooge by bar staff? They would have to accept my decision as anything else would not be politically correct. And what about females that identify as males? Would they be victims of ignorance and charged less, and would this cause offence? Who knows.

At the end of the day, any movement that strives for change is a good thing in my books. As long as it doesn’t do the opposite and create further divide or go about change in the wrong way. No doubt there will be many opinions on this and I know that many people I look up to will have differing opinions.

But regardless of all this, I wish everyone of my readers a great International Womens Day and I hope days like this bring positive change.

What are your thoughts on this, is it a good or bad move? Should only biological women get a discount or anyone identifying as a woman? Should there be a discount at all? As a female would you buy a pink beer if it was a sarcastic dig at companies that do this? As always I would love to know your thoughts.

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40 replies »

  1. Hi Sam!

    This post was really interesting and thought-provoking 🙂 I’m all for change and gender parity as well, but a part of me feels that men shouldn’t be punished in order to achieve equality (not that I think this campaign is punishing men! Just saying). I feel that when companies come up with campaigns like this, their intentions come from a good place and they see it purely as showing support for women, which is a really commendable thing to do on their part.

    The point you raised about biological females identifying as males was thought-provoking as well. It’s something I never thought of before. Overall, love this! 🙂 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know plenty of men will see this as punishment! Haha. I of course agree that we men shouldn’t be punished in order to achieve equality as that would just not work. I don’t know how to view it to be honest, I am in two minds… In a way it is highlighting the pay gap however I cannot help to feel a ‘See how you like it!’ vibe to it. I am pleased you enjoyed the read and that it was though provoking, it was certainly thought provoking when I first read the article. I hope you’re having a good day and thanks for reading!

      Like

  2. It’s an interesting move, charging those who identify as female 20% less. Stylist magazine did a similar stunt where they opened a restaurant/bar and charged females 20% less. If anything, it gets people talking about the wage gap in the UK and that can never be a bad thing. And I think that’s the point as well – rather than to create division or look down on men for being men, I think it’s simply a stunt that shows the public that BrewDog are aware of these issues and want to highlight it with this ‘new’ product.

    Personally, making any brand of beer pink wouldn’t encourage me to drink it, discount or no. I’ll drink whatever I like thank you very much haha!

    But as a marketing stunt, I guess it shows that they’re aware of the issues about the gender wage gap…but it might also just be a stunt to open themselves up to a new demographic. However, I hate the ‘beer for girls’ tag line. It makes it sound like it’s for little children to me, which I’m guessing isn’t what they want! Although in reality ‘Beer for Women’ doesn’t sound a lot better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I really don’t have one certain stance on this…. There are many things to consider. It in fact gives me more of a headache than a hangover does! Haha 😉

      Thanks for your input on this, great to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Personally I think it probably achieves exactly the opposite of what it claims to do in aggravating those who do not identify female. It is discriminatory and reinforces the oh so pink gender stereotype. I wouldn’t purchase one if you paid me.

    Liked by 1 person

      • So is alcohol banned, or simply looked down upon? Also, is this something you would love to have in your life, or does not having access to it mean that it is something that you can easily live without? I would love to know your perspective 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is banned here. I am a heavy drinker since my teenage years, alcohol has been a part of my system, specially beer. My first months here were the most difficult, I kinda felt weak after months without it but I know it was just all in my mind. I eventually cope up living without it. The next time I’d had beer and vodka was 4 years after I landed here. I drank as much as I could and it’s quite surprising because it seems nothing has changed in my body, I still don’t get drunk easily and could still drink as much as before! I would love to have alcohol in my life, sure, but I’ve realized I could easily live without it, too.😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like you have a body for alcohol :p But it is also good to read that you could live without it too. This can only be a good thing, as long as you are able to have one once in a while 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Sam,

    Parts of this beer campaign seem great (striving for further equality and keeping the conversation alive), but I can’t help feel other parts are a little miss guided (the pink label and the 20% off sale for women) .

    The pink label and what you claim to be a “fight fire with fire” approach may actually create further divide rather than the intended synthesis. Labeling any product, for men or for women, means that one side will always be left unwelcome by the label of the beer.

    Also, why is pink the go to color for all products geared towards women. Is it honestly reasonable to expect more women than men to identify with the color pink? Here, to me the “fight fire with fire” approach also doesn’t work and creates further gendered constraints.

    With all that being said, the stunt does show that BrewDog is aware of bigger issues in its community and the world. I just think that with more thought the company could of imagined a different scheme to market beer and promote women’s equality with a product that was a little less like a speed stick for women (wrapped in a pink label and gendered).

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Labeling any product, for men or for women, means that one side will always be left unwelcome by the label of the beer.’

      Exactly. Maybe it would be good for companies to instead of trying to overcompensate, just stick to being neutral? That way they aren’t harming anyone. And I do wonder whether pink is used for girls adverts, as girls have tended to like pink in numbers from a very early age? That would make a lot of sense.

      I am sure BrewDog will use a different strategy next time instead of trying to be sarcastic, thanks for your comments here!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha well this is an interesting comment. I did state above to a reader that I do wonder why pink is used. But wouldn’t it make sense that it is used because girls have taken to the colour from a young age? I could only assume so, although I am sure this changes in adulthood.
      Also, what are your thoughts on Mr Grey? As I am sure many feminists would not like to think women celebrated IWD by watching him in action! Not that I think you shouldn’t, but he is certainly a character that creates a divide.

      I hope you had a San Miguel for me! Very jealous as I was probably working at the time haha.

      Like

  5. I guess the devil’s in the details. “Identify with” complicated it all! Ironically, with this move, BrewDog kind of deviates from its ‘beer for all’ statement at the top… not that it’s something to really complain about, to cut them some slack, it’s the thought that counts!
    As a female, I guess I’d just buy a bottle and paint it purple later on. Heck, I don’t know, can’t even legally drink yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, your time will come :p

      True, it is their thought that counts. Anything that is trying to build bridges even if it does the opposite should be encouraged even if occasional instances like this can receive criticism.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting debate. I’m always so torn with stuff like this and appreciate that you bring up the question. I have the opportunity to try one of these Pink Beers this weekend and so I wanted to learn more about it. Now I will seem cool and thought provoking at the bar. haha. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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