Happy International Womens Day (and the recent debate about pink beer)

I was reminded of the occasion by a female colleague as she wished me a happy IWD as I walked down the corridor. Do you wish a guy a happy International Womens Day? I am not sure. But she did and I didn’t mind at all.

I am not going to get into all the nitty gritty regarding equal pay or gender equality here. Obviously this is something we need to strive for. But I have another question or two that was brought on by an article I read on Independent online. BrewDog, a brewer that I really like, has released a pink labeled beer for girls, the pink label making fun of ‘sexist’ marketing. I thought this was a little strange to fight such fire with fire. Over on their website, they say:

At BrewDog, we have always believed that beer is for everyone, and equality is a fundamental right. So today we are launching a clarion call to end the discrimination of gender pay inequality. In the UK men earn on average 20% more than women. And that’s not ok.

So ahead of International Women’s Day this Thursday, we are launching Pink IPA. A beer for women. A beer for equality.

Satirically dubbed Beer for Girls, Pink IPA is BrewDog’s clarion call to close the gender pay gap in the UK and around the world and to expose sexist marketing to women, particularly within the beer industry. This is our overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women.

Pink IPA, image taken from BrewDog’s website linked above.

So to fight tone-deaf campaigns some have used in order to attract women, rather bizarrely they have used pink beer. I am all for a campaign to fight for equality. I am not sure how happy I am as a working class male to pay more for the same beer as many much, much wealthier females I see everyday in the city, but I guess that is the point they are trying to make. Another thing is this next segment of their page.

What’s more, people who identify as female will be able to pick up Pink IPA in any BrewDog bar for 20% less. The beer will launch in our bars this Thursday 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

So this means that if I go in and identify as female, I get the discount. But would I be taken seriously or be considered a scrooge by bar staff? They would have to accept my decision as anything else would not be politically correct. And what about females that identify as males? Would they be victims of ignorance and charged less, and would this cause offence? Who knows.

At the end of the day, any movement that strives for change is a good thing in my books. As long as it doesn’t do the opposite and create further divide or go about change in the wrong way. No doubt there will be many opinions on this and I know that many people I look up to will have differing opinions.

But regardless of all this, I wish everyone of my readers a great International Womens Day and I hope days like this bring positive change.

What are your thoughts on this, is it a good or bad move? Should only biological women get a discount or anyone identifying as a woman? Should there be a discount at all? As a female would you buy a pink beer if it was a sarcastic dig at companies that do this? As always I would love to know your thoughts.