By: Jake Clark
*Editor's note: This post was originally shared on Jake's Instagram page which can be found here. With Jake's permission we are sharing it on our blog. Our thanks to Jake for consistently being a clear and strong voice advocating for women in craft beer.
WAYS THAT MEN IN THE BEER INDUSTRY CAN SUPPORT THEIR FEMALE PEERS RIGHT NOW...
LISTEN TO US
Hear our stories when and if we are ready to hear. Give us space and platform to speak without interruption or judgement. Ask us how you can help. It will be wildly uncomfortable at times but it is incredibly important for us to know that you support us.
Some of the accused are your friends; they are people you have brewed with, partied with, and traveled with. Your friendship with somebody does not make the stories untrue. Ask your peers some hard questions and have honest conversations.
SAY SOMETHING RIGHT NOW
It's hard and it's scary and you don't know if you'll say the right thing or not. But remaining silent is hurting so many of us even more. Say something, as imperfect as it might be. Declare your personal values, declare your belief in our stories, and declare yourself as willing to stand in solidarity with us.
SHUT IT DOWN
When you hear sexist, misogynistic, or otherwise inappropriate comments (even the perceived "harmless banter" and "jokes") whether we are present or not, put a stop to it and draw the line that it is inappropriate and unacceptable.
STOP SUPPORTING IT
Regardless of how "hype" or "good" the beer is, stop supporting breweries, agencies, importers, distributors, bars, and bottle shops who perpetuate problematic behaviour. Breweries, ask your distributors and importers hard questions and stop working with the ones who are sexist and misogynistic and who have harmed your peers.
STAND UP FOR US
Look out for us at beer festivals, at industry events, and at work. Stand up to bullies and misogynists on our social media posts. Don't pander to people in the tasting room or at the bar who won't take beer advice from us. Don't allow male peers to talk over us or take credit for our ideas. Don't allow us to be gaslit when we say there is a problem.
BE COMPASSIONATE TO THE FEAR
Nearly all of us have had at least one traumatic experience that has left scars. You can't possibly understand it but you can be sympathetic and supportive and help us heal and/or come forward without fear or reprisal or career suicide.