I posted on my blog the other day about the problem of beer being perceived as a largely masculine drink by the majority of the population.
It caused offence. I wonder if that offence might have been as a result of misunderstanding and how widespread that offence was. However, it caused significant offence to enough people for me to decide to take down the posts. I am sorry for causing that offence and I am unhappy that it has. If I should write again on the subject I shall be far more careful.
What has worried me more than anything is that I feel I am closer in opinion to those whom I have offended when it comes to gender and beer, and probably wider gender issues too. Although I have a business driver for this, anyone who knows me well, will understand that I shape my business based on what I believe in, not the other way around.
I remain extremely interested in the issues surrounding gender and beer. I believe that the issues are complex and difficult to tackle. I believe they are influenced by wider gender issues in society, some of which are very difficult to tackle from a broad and honest perspective. I do think, if we are to understand it well, we have to look more broadly than just beer.
I think it might be awkward to discuss the issues if we can’t explore how the main body of society view such issues for fear of upsetting those who have very strong gender agendas. I believe it is important to explore these issues from various perspectives, including that of the most masculine in society, without fear of overreaction. As with all subjects that require opinions to be aired, there is a risk of polar opinions damaging an honest debate.
I am a heterosexual male and just because I sometimes fall foul of some of the stereotypical flaws I have, does not mean I can’t discuss the issues of gender. Indeed, I feel that the dichotomy within myself, which has consumed me over the last couple of days, has helped me to shed a little light on the subject
What bothers me most is that the subjects I was trying to air have barely been discussed at all. Mostly, the discussions which evolved ended up being related to the offence I caused rather then the topic for discussion. So, I am now wary of writing about the subject at all.
I wonder how many other people, similar to me, are scared of getting involved with discussion for fear of causing offence.
I’d love to know generally if I should now just leave this difficult subject alone and forget it, or if it is indeed something we should tackle in detail.
I’d be hopeful that it is the latter.