Like most men in my life, I’ve been known to love beer well past the point of it being healthy or reasonable. It has made me sick on more than one occasion and because of it, I will never lose about three pounds of pudge around my stomach. I once got thrown out of a taxi in Cairo just for smelling like beer.
But as much as I give to the beer industry in money and consumer loyalty, I think it’s time to recognize that beer is not playing on my team. I buy beer even though it’s commercials actively discourage me from doing so by flat-out ignoring me, treating me like a nothing but a pair of boobs, or implying I am a whiny buzz-kill that nags her fun-loving man to come home at night. I continue to lug home six-packs even while beer marketing teams encourage my boyfriend to think I’m boring and do asinine things behind my back, then laugh at me with his buddies when said things hurt or annoy me.
Beer ads never show me as strong or tough or fun (unless I am the object of a man’s fun, sexy fantasy). Instead, they seem to enjoy playing on women’s insecurities in the same way as Cosmo magazines and movies based on comic books, only they do so with a big wink at the men they are supposedly in on it with. “Look, aren’t women silly/sex objects? How Hi-lar-ious!”
Do the people who market most brands of beer think that as a woman, I couldn’t possibly grasp its complexities? Or do they think I don’t enjoy a beer buzz as much as the next guy? This sort of crap has bothered me for a while now, but it was this one from Dos Equis that pushed me over the edge recently.
That is so true! I have no problem being compared to a wild animal in the sense that if cornered by this man, I would most certainly bite him. (Aside from that, this has the racist undertones of an ad campaign dreamed up by the Dutch East Indian Company.)
As far as alienating women, you can’t do much better than this 2007 ad for Heineken’s Draughtkeg, which tells us it is not desirable for a woman to drink beer, but it is hot if she stores a keg in her uterus. Every man's dream? Creepy.
Can you imagine the reverse? What if an ad for chocolate, a substance almost always marketed toward women -- we need something to stress-eat while we wait for our man to come home from the bar, eh? -- turned a man’s private parts into Twix bars? I will be fine with robotic women serving a glass of beer pressurized somewhere in her loins just as soon as Hershey’s puts out an ad depicting a man’s penis-region as a squeezy bottle of chocolate syrup.
I have a soft spot for Bud Light, but their ad from last year’s Super Bowl made me feel empty inside.
You’re an idiot and a sexist pig. How about a nice cold one? Really, I’ll just stand here and let you mimic everything you don’t understand. Then we’ll have sex? HA! I don’t think so. Go away.
I have never boycotted a beer because I guess I thought, like some sort of Zima-swilling fool, that the offensive advertising would eventually end. That the beer people would see I was sitting here in my sundress sipping and smiling with the best of them and they would come to the realization they had miscategorized me. That I am not the woman yammering at her boyfriend to settle down, but the one asking him to toss her another can of beery goodness.
Mostly, I’ve thought beer companies would noticed the money I’ve spent on their products and all that profit to be made by marketing their beers to all the millions of other women out there. But since they haven’t and I still have to be the butt of some brilliant ad man’s 18th-century inside joke, I am, as of today, only buying beers that don’t condescend to me. Which means no Dos Equis, no Miller, no Budweiser or Coors, absolutely no Heineken.
Any thoughts? As a lady, what beers can I feel good about?