That’s Technically Better, Yes.

Content Warning: Rape

So, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news is that Pig Minds Brewing took to heart the various criticisms of one of their beer names. When they release their blueberry seasonal ale later this year, it will not be one that implicitly encourages rape. This is absolutely a step forward, and that truly is very good. The beer will not be “PD” any more but “Happi Daze.” You can see the much less rapey label below.

Not rapey! Yay! Wait, what's the side copy? Damn it.

I don’t know if you guys know this, but I’m generally a pretty optimistic person. So while I didn’t expect that I’d ever have to write a post saying the previous label had changed, I sure as shit hoped I’d have to. I hoped the folks behind Pig Minds would, at some point, realize their label was problematic and change it.

So, the bad news is the caption to that picture is just about EXACTLY how I felt upon seeing the new label. Happiness and gratitude that they’d seen the light followed by “Oh, fuck. No, they didn’t.”

The side of the label reads:

“Happy days. Cuddly little puppy dogs. Unicorns and rainbows. Smiley faces, blue skies and chirping birds. Snuggly babies with rosy chubby cheeks Warm summer nights and walks in the park. Grandma’s birthday party. The family is all here. Sunday mass, boy the choir sure did sound good today. Picnic at the beach, gee Aunt Lou you nailed it on that potato salad. Hi neighbor, hot enough for you? The sun is shining, a smile on my face. Life is so darn tootin’ good. Ooops, please pardon my french. Don’t want to offend anyone. HappiDaze are here again with our seasonal blueberry ale.

I cannot arch my eyebrow high enough. The “fuck everyone who wanted this change” rings clear as a bell. When you combine it with the comments brewmaster, Carson Souza, made to Chicago Tribune’s Josh Noel that “It takes a twisted mind to say” the previous label had “something to do with rape.”, it’s even clearer.

He doubles down by then falling back on attempts to gaslight, claiming no sexism or misogyny when both old AND new labels play on harmful stereotypes or expectations of women. And triples back up with the old saw, “We’re husbands, we have daughters…”

That’s very nice.

Except! Turns out, husbands and fathers can rape too! And using alcohol to facilitate the incapacitation of their victims! Hope it’s not a motherfucking newsflash, Souza, that “related to a woman” isn’t some fucking magic talisman, it’s not mutually exclusive with “being a rapist.”

I further hope, Souza, that you see your female family members as fully human, and someday see the rest of the women in the world as fully human too. Because, see, that’s another piece of the problem that you seem to be missing. Women are people. People in their own right, even! Women don’t only become worth something because they have a relationship with a man. Having a relationship with a man isn’t a shield against abuse, up to and including rape. Hell, BEING a man isn’t a guarantee of protection against abuse and rape.

Maybe if you and everyone else at Pig Minds ever can wrap your brains around these concepts, you’ll be able to gather yourselves.

As for me, I’d secretly hoped to someday be able to raise a glass of Pig Minds’ beer to the evolution of Pig Minds’ thought, but I now see they have never considered me or my money were worth a good goddamn. I won’t secretly hope for better in the future. And I shall not spend my money, or any more time or effort, on them.

8 thoughts on “That’s Technically Better, Yes.

  1. Seems like Pig Minds is being, well, pretty sadly Pig Minded. =/ (Sorry for the awful pun…)

  2. I saw an article recently asking why some beer makers simply have to name them using sophomoric “jokes.” And when they get called on it, we get a “sorry, not sorry.” Grow up and own your mistake! It seems Sweetwater, at least, may be having some regrets about their “Happy Ending.”

    • Maybe they’re having regrets. I sure as shit hope so, given it manages to be both sexist and extremely racist. I won’t believe it until I see more than just “maybe we’ll rethink” though. Feeling rather cynical.

      As for not owning up, I suspect it comes from two, not mutually-exclusive, things. First, no one likes to be told they’re wrong or assholes or anything like that, even if it’s warranted. So defensiveness can result in a really disappointing reaction. Secondly, and more dishearteningly, there’s plenty of folks who LOVE the jokes reinforcing the status quo and will go out of their way to support that. The breweries may be taking a hope that “sorry if you were offended” or “sorry, not sorry” tactic may result in the most sales of all. And so then they get their cake and eat it too.

      It’s going to take a lot of people being very willing to say, “This is not ok.” And even in the face of comments like “what did you expect?” and “well, if you didn’t draw attention to it, it’d die down” and similar.

  3. Working theory: “I have a [female relative]” is the new “I have a [non-white] friend.”

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