OK, here we go once more. My Session #81 post was originally published on November 20th 2013 and it provoked quite a stir.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it would, but I did not expect to be compared to the Unabomber or to be likened to a racist! The shrill hysteria from certain people, that clearly have their own agendas motivated by political correctness and extreme feminist thinking, was frankly bizarre, and in many cases it proved that they had not even read what I wrote. Even though I cannot vote in the US, remain politically inactive, and most of my political thinking is pretty much considered extremely liberal in this country, some of those comments had me reaching for a FOX news subscription in order to achieve balance! For example;
Rob W writes, “This is very easy to respond to. Stop telling women what they should and shouldn’t drink. Thanks.” - I didn’t (tell women what to drink); reading comprehension failure Mr. W.
Someone too scared to identify themsleves, writes; “And you better be careful about which beers you drink, because there’s some amazing beers out there being brewed by women right this very instant.” – Errrr…did you actually READ my second paragraph?
Ishmael Saak, writes (in part); “The problem is, dear author, that it is not your place to determine which gender drinking beer is “normal.” – Agreed, I am not DETERMINING that for anyone, BUT it is determined for ME. All I’m doing is telling you how I feel, NOT how others SHOULD think. This point is crucial, since the main difference between me and some of the hysterical commenters boils down to the the fact that they cannot see that the original post is associated with an opinion and NOT an agenda. I think it would be wholly wrong to be leading a campaign against ‘women and beer’. I KNOW that when I am drinking beer in the presence of women holding pint glasses (as happens routinely these days and in some cases these are pints that I have PURCHASED for them myself), they could not care less that I feel the way I do, in fact, they probably revel in the fact that they are breaking my stereotypes right in front of my face! As some of my detractors have said, the whole ‘attractiveness’ issue is irrelevant to the situation – I agree – OTHER than the fact that it remains a truism for me.
As for the Unabomber comment I can only speculate that it was some reference to me issuing some sort of manifesto! It seems strange to even be responding to such a comparison, but in reality it is somewhat important to address this. The point about this is that I have NO agenda; I have NO goal; I do not want women to be banned from bars; I do not want women to be banned from drinking beer; I do not want women to be barred from drinking from pint glasses; I have no campaign to turn the clock back to 1950! There, I said it. I find it extraordinary that I would have to say it, but there you go! In reality (and ironically), although I have some unbending opinions about this issue, I actually feel pretty much completely indifferent about this on a daily basis when I think about beer. If you want to see some REAL fire from me, try checking out my thoughts on Session Beer or Cask Ale in the USA!
The three comments above were a few of the more reasoned ones! Others got into a the usual abusive, profanity ridden name-calling (that I always associate with a ‘win’ for me) and as I say, some bizarre comparisons to racism that I found wholly disturbing. Those racism parallels are much more disturbing to me, and I resent them. Ideally I would not comment on them at all, (in order to avoid even acknowledging such nonsense) but I feel as though I must say one thing. There are umpteen reasons why the racism parallel is 100% unjustified, but the simplest one to understand is this; there are no laws that prevent women from doing any of the things that I find unattractive and a little culturally different. Such comparisons belittle the civil rights movement.
When it comes down to it, those without an agenda, when re-reading the original post, will see that I am only saying that for ME, the natural order of things is a certain way and that there are certain things that I find less attractive than others. They will also see that there are some very good reasons that my cultural background instills those feelings in me. To me, the whole posts adds up to no more than, ‘here’s my cultural reference point, and I prefer blondes over brunettes‘. The anger that some feel toward my cultural background and preferences is a nice example of bigotry itself!
Those that understood my position wrote the following to me both in private and in public;
Chad writes, “I don’t think it’s that terrible. It’s one person expressing a personal preference as to what isn’t attractive to him“.
Other comments from people whose identity I will not disclose say the following;
“You were really treated unfairly Ding – you shouldn’t be attacked for voicing your personal preferences”
“They decided to make a cause out of you”
“The hipster beer constituency tends to be very politically correct/sensitive I guess”
“While I personally don’t share your same tastes for what you find attractive in women, I have no issue with your opinion”
“I think they might not understand that it was simply you stating an opinion”
Here’s a little from Reddit which I think is helpful, even if not wholly supportive of me. My take on this is that people agree that I’m talking about a preference, but it’s just not one that they share. They also say that my idea about gender roles are outdated, another criticism I can live with;
And a little more;
For the record, my wife agrees whole-heartedly with me. The first reaction to that might be that she is hopelessly biased, but if you think about it for a second I feel that it speaks volumes. She knows me better than any other woman currently on the planet, and she absolutely knows that my thinking is not at all based on anything other than my relationship with beer and not a larger, less palatable (for some), outlook.
Finally, my opinions and tastes are not things that I feel I need to defend, they are simply what they are. I have zero problem with differing opinions. The irony being that those accusing me of intolerance are exhibiting precisely the same behavior. I never thought that any more than a handful of the craft beer crowd in the USA would support the content of my post (after all they are virtually all much younger than me, almost none of them have the cultural references that I have, and consequently they have a very different world view than me), but I did hope that a slightly higher percentage of them would have been able to actually understand what I wrote, been supportive of my right to have the opinion that I expressed, and to be able to understand the origin of it. I guess that’s not the nature of the interwebs, though!
Anyway, let’s get back to some REAL controversy for me and lets talk about cask ales under 4%!