The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to (virtually) converge on a single beer related topic, each bringing their own unique perspective. This month is hosted by Tasting Nitch, with our prompt being (in general): women & craft beer. I'm a little late on this month's Session post, as I've been waiting for The Biercast to release their latest episode on Women & Beer, where another lady and I sit down with the hosts to talk about this very subject. I'm going to try to keep this entry brief, simply because trying to unpack this subject and do it justice is a daunting task in any format. However, I had a blast talking to Eric & Andrew from The Biercast (and special guest Whitney) about women & craft beer, and I highly recommend you give this a listen. But first...
What made sitting down with these guys to talk about what could be a touchy subject, and where we could all end up saying something regrettable was how open and forgiving we all were (save a few eyebrow raises amongst ourselves..shhh...just kidding...kind of). Talking about the engagement of women in any cultural/societal area is tough, and can be a hot issue. It's really hard to hold the conversation in the first place, and on top of that, it can feel like the stakes are so high. It can feel as if you say the wrong thing (especially as a woman) then you'll have a wave of backlash coming your way. But even before we started recording this episode we all pretty much agreed that it's okay if that happens. It's okay to voice an opinion we all still may be working out. It's okay to let the conversation go down a hole, and have to dig ourselves out. It's okay to get stuck. If we're willing to hear constructive criticism, if we're willing to let others figure out what they think, if we're willing to admit we may have a flawed idea, then we can have a great talk. As long as we give each other the benefit of the doubt, as long as we're kind and forgiving, then we can move our elbows a little bit and feel this subject out.
And if you're similar to myself and haven't had much resistance to participating in the craft beer community, and feel that this is a superficial topic, then I still want to write down this point:
Even though we started off talking about craft beer...we think about advertising, we think about marketing, we think about women's roles and how women are portrayed in advertising. Okay, what does that mean for our society? What does that mean for our culture? What does that mean for how men view women? What does that mean for our interactions together? And what are the consequences in our interactions with each other?... If we want to go there, we can do that...we even touched on how women talk differently than men. Even though this is a relatively light subject, women speak differently. We have different ways of communicating, and that's a very deep subject at the heart of when we think about feminism and gender roles.
From this conversation tonight, at least in our experiences, if women in craft beer...if it's not equally balanced...this is a great platform to start getting there.
So give it a listen, be kind to us as we move through the conversation, pick up a beer, and keep this going.