Believe and Stand Up

Empowerment T-Shirt

Giving women the benefit of the doubt is just one part of being an ally. [Artist Shot]

With the world on the cusp of fully opening once again, I wanted to talk this month about the “new.” Breweries like Far Field, a bottle shop from the Stout restaurant team and a plethora of local beers (some of them not even in 16-ounce cans).

But, reality intruded, which means that this month the topic is – treating EVERYONE with dignity and respect. [Sub-topic: putting words in all caps,] Rewinding back into May, Brienne Allan, a production manager at Notch Brewing in Salem, Massachusetts posted a series on social media about sexual harassment and abuse. There was a flurry of testimonials, some very graphic and disturbing, that called the craft beer and the greater beverage and hospitality sectors to account.

This has led to some progress. Some of the accused have been truly apologetic, breweries have added more comprehensive training and reporting procedures. Others though have dug in their heels or put their head in the sand hoping that it will blow over. I am on record on hoping this storm keeps blowing.

The old adage of treating a woman like you would want your mother or sister treated doesn’t seem to be working with a LOT of men. Either they did not have sisters or they truly hate their mothers.

As in any good episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, action steps need to be detailed after stating the issue. Here are a few for ALL men to heed in three very simple understandable jobs:

Believe – Give women the benefit of the doubt. If they are talking to power about a problem, that really means something. Our society routinely tells women NOT to speak in so many ways so believe what they say.

Stand Up – Talk about the craft beer #MeToo movement, show your allyship on social media or at social gatherings. Anyone close to you should clearly know your stance on this.

Shut It Down – To steal another safety slogan, if you see something, SAY something. Do not let abuse go unquestioned. No need to start a physical altercation. Use your big boy words. Make it clear that respect is expected.

It may seem that I am attacking men. I can hear the faint defensive cry of cancel culture in the wind. Bear in mind, men have been attacking women for WAY longer and handling it better then men probably would have.

As we celebrate re-entering breweries and the ability to have a pint of draft beer let me break it down in even simpler terms: BE KIND.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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