Despite my apparent inability to pour a beer without spilling at our last meeting, I do love a good brew and enjoy trying new beers as often as I can find and afford them. As a family man, however, I have avoided certain beers based on the content of their labels. The brewing industry has long used sex to sell its product; I generally steer clear of the more risque, tasteless, or immoral labels. I simply don’t want these labels in the house, and given the volume of new beers being produced, I’m never at a loss to find something else to drink. I don’t buy from breweries I don’t want to support … easy-peasy.
At least one writer over at Slate thinks the misogyny on display on some beer labels needs to stop — and he has certainly found some the worst offenders. (For the record, I shop frequently for new beer and have not noticed many of these locally.) I don’t disagree that these labels are over the line, and I would not have these beers in my fridge. But this response from The Federalist resonates with me even more. I agree with the writer’s insistence that it is hypocritical and sexist for Slate to imply that female beer-drinkers can’t choose for themselves (if grown women can’t sort through beers, what makes the Left think they can choose whether or not to kill a baby) — and in particular, I wonder about Slate’s assumption that women find these beers offensive. I’ve seen bumper-stickers as bad as these on the back of women’s cars and heard worse from their mouths.
The writer for The Federalist and I agree on something else — something deeper — here. Our culture has successfully rebelled against sexual morality to the point that all that’s left is contradiction and legalism. As I’ve written in the past, “[W]e flaunt the female form, but reject its function; we cry out simultaneously for gender equality and genderlessness; we promote sexual freedom and disorder, but decry lust and dysfunction.” Add to that a paradox I missed: we celebrate immodesty and decry the culture’s obsession with unhealthy physical “perfection.” The bottom line: it’s all good, except when it’s not. Who can make sense of that?