Hello, I am an unashamed feminist – and I have a very big problem with anyone that thinks that’s cute or fun
Taking the Twittersphere by storm today is news that, ahead of International Women's Day this Thursday, Brewdog are tackling the gender pay gap the only way they know how: with beer. They have announced that for the next four weeks, they will be donating 20% of proceeds from their flagship beer, Punk IPA, to charities that support women and fight inequality.
What’s the significance of the 20%? Well, friends, that is what the gender pay gap currently stands at in the UK. Something that’s certainly neither cute, nor fun.
I think the fundamental idea behind the campaign is brilliant. Raising awareness for a really important issue, in a way that speaks to a large portion of society: drinking beer.
But, in spite of all the good that Brewdog is trying to do with this campaign, I am very proud to say that I have a big problem with it. Yes, that’s right, I hate it. And I’m not alone, either.
Oh DAMN, glad everyone else feels the same about this as I do.— Hannah Tucker (@h_tucks) March 6, 2018
I don't need a brand to create me a 'female only beer' to show their support for inequality URGH - this isn't even clever.https://t.co/BoCdAsbahO
Knock knock— Charlie (@craftybeeress) March 6, 2018
Pink IPA who?
Pink IPA is intended to be ironic jab at the sexist marketing women are subjected to every day. It's not a beer for girls, it's a beer for equality. We just couldn't fit that on the bottle.
It seems that Brewdog has made two fundamental errors. Not only have they changed the colour of their flagship beer to pink, but on the bottle you’ll also find the words that make my blood boil: “beer for girls”. Oh wow.
Cute message and fun packaging, right? #sarcasm
Their message is that, while Pink IPA might look different on the outside, it’s exactly the same product on the inside of the bottle. I think this is meant to be an analogy of the female workforce, but, like the rest of the female population, I’m a bit tired of being told what I can and can’t buy on reflection of the colour of its packaging.
I’m sorry, but what did they think they were really achieving by changing the bottles’ label colour to pink? All that signposts to me is a lack of forethought for gender stereotypes. I mean, the label could be black, rainbow-coloured, or even label-less for all I care - but don’t use the one colour that’s going to reinforce the underlying gender binary that we’re all trying to escape from.
In fact, they could have left the product alone - left it exactly the same, in its blue packaging - and the message for equality would have still stood.
Is this reminding anyone else of the Bic’s comfortable pink pens for women?
What I’d like to know is how a campaign with two fundamental flaws gets as far as releasing a product to the market? Call me a sceptic, but I think there’s some clever marketing going on here. Regardless of whether you think the campaign is good, bad or just plain average, the fact is, we’re talking about it. That’s some brand recognition. I told you, I’m a sceptic.
Things Pink IPA achieves:— WaRobin (@FatRedBird) March 6, 2018
1. raises money for a worthy cause
2. pissed off a lot of people who didn't get it
3. got people talking about gender equality
4. got people talking about brewdog
Something that I really have a problem with though, is the idea that this campaign is making a mockery of gender stereotypes, by reinforcing them. Not only that, but it’s trying to patronise me by telling me that it’s all a big joke. Well, I’m really sorry if I don’t find it funny, and please excuse me if I don’t buy your product. I’ll just be over here fighting my own battle for womankind, in a slightly less pink and cutesy way.