Op Ed

Breaking News: Women Like Beer

First, a disclaimer: I know there are lots of women who don’t like beer. That’s fine! Since I’m an equal opportunity drinker, I have never judged someone for being into wine or spirits. This is not about women who don’t like beer. It’s about the assumption that NO women like beer.

Think about beer commercials. Try to think about every one you’ve seen that didn’t involve cute animals. They probably featured a bunch of bros doing bro things, cartoonishly drawn lines between Men and Women, or, at best, an amorphous group of co-ed partiers.  But they are speaking exclusively to men. True, women may be in the commercial, either as a conquest or as a side player, but beer commercials are never about women. Why?

I don’t believe that everyone on the TV has to look like me. I don’t think each and every segment of the population needs representation in every show or ad. It’s the absolute single-mindedness of beer and alcohol advertising that gets to me. If you took beer commercials as gospel, you would think that this was exclusively a niche market: men who absolutely LOVE SPORTS.

Sports-loving dudes are not rare, but they don’t comprise all of manhood. Mr. McDoogal loves beer so much that he made his own as part of his bachelor party, but he’s just not into sports. I know plenty of men who are like this.

But of course, it’s worse from the female perspective. Not only do we not get beer ads, or alcohol ads of any kind, that speak to us, but beer itself is used against us as some kind of litmus test. Don’t drink beer? You’re a high maintenance bitch. Love beer? You’re either a tomboy, or trying too hard to be the “cool chick.”

Part of the problem is the myth of Girls’ Night Out (which”¦ugh). It’s assumed to be an elaborate affair involving appletinis, screaming and dancing at a bar, and crying while texting guys on the ride home.  Not that I haven’t done this, but it’s not what defines what it’s like to go out and/or drink when you’re a woman.

When I get together with a bunch of friends, we either just go out to a bar we like, or we stay in with some booze and food. We just do what we want to; it’s not that we’re suddenly free from the beer-chugging constraints of socializing with men and can get back to the squealing and the girly drinks.

I like beer. There are times I absolutely crave a cold beer at the end of the day, and nothing else will hit the spot. I get really excited about seasonal brews, and thanks to beer tastings and craft brewery tours I’m learning what varieties I like. I’ve enjoyed trying out the special beer glasses I got off the wedding registry, and seeing if they make a difference (verdict’s still out).

It has nothing to do with men. I’m not trying to impress my friends OR my husband with my super cool beer drinking habits. Nor does it have anything to do with sports. While I like the low-key vibe and greasy food of sports bars, I really don’t care for any professional sports. I just like beer.

So, advertisers of America: women sometimes like beer. They also spend their own money on beer. Since you like money so much, maybe you should start paying attention.

Image Credit by defekto on Flickr

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