This one’s for the women who love a pint of beer. For the women who have been patronised in pubs with sticky high fives from inebriated males, as you try to carry your pint back to the safety of your seat. It’s for the women who love nothing better than that first, cold pint after a long day at work. Here’s to YOU. Cheers.
I’m not sure when it was exactly that I first enjoyed a beer, but I do remember rejecting any offerings of the stuff for years, for fear of ingesting its “mammoth” calorie count, or in case I received a comment from someone repulsed by the sight of a girl drinking lager. I’d grown up obliviously in my patriarchal surroundings, but allowed comments from friends and friend’s family member to infect my judgement. For example, abiding by that bonkers social rule that women only like halves of lager and only if they’ve been laced with lime cordial.
Lager has now become my drink of choice, and that’s purely for the taste, not its ability to get me trollied. I have in the past used alcohol in small doses to heal emotional wounds and to get a grip on my anxiety, once drinking a half bottle of white wine in a toilet cubicle at 9:30am because I was so nervous about performing a presentation at my new job, but now I’m thankfully more confident, and can drink as much of and of what I want, and what I want is a Coors Light.
Against my will, I began working in pubs and restaurants from the age of 16, rather than work in retail (which I think would’ve suited my personality better, but more on that in another self-psychoanalytical piece). I was quickly taught through this work, that women only drunk low calorie tonics with their spirits and that men wouldn’t be caught dead with less than a pint of any description, and if their glass had a handle on it, all the better. Perhaps where I am from is just a particularly regressive place to live, but I grew up believing that certain drinks were gendered and that my teenage nights out were to be dictated by such laws. Can you imagine if I had figured out I liked beer sooner? It would’ve saved me from a lot of nights drinking wine that tastes like the smell between my toes.
(Although, had I got my hands on beer at a younger age, I probably would’ve drunk too much of it all in one go, and would’ve become revolted by the sight of it today. Swings and roundabouts.)
I believe there is a two pronged explanation to why many aren’t used to seeing women drinking pints of beer, and that’s because women are always expected to be on a diet, and also because women are to appear more feeble than men, not possibly being able to lift a whole pint without both arms and breaking a sweat! I have a friend whose dad won’t order her more than half a pint, but never gave her an explanation as to why. He just “won’t!” she explains, when I tell her to ask him for a bigger one. I reckon I might have it cracked.
In fact, when I think of it, the only woman I ever saw growing up drinking pints of lager was my own mom. She would have no shame in drinking a pint of lager at a bar, wearing walking boots and makeup-less face, while my dad stood next to her sipping on a glass of red wine. This is not because my mom is more wolfish in her consumption than most other women of her age, and yet she is happy to be seen with double the volume of liquid. I would guess that this is partly down to my mom famously not giving a shit about other people’s opinions, but also because she is a frugal woman and often times pubs and bars will mark up the price of a half in comparison to its pint sibling so that you end up paying more. 5p of so. But still. Fancy that? Charging women more for their drinks while still paying them less…
As much as I wish I was be back travelling around Europe and drinking the best pints that Belgium, Holland, Germany and Slovenia has to offer, I am not. Unfortunately, my dusty purse means I’ll have to settle whatever I can get my hands on, in whichever pub is open near my home in Dudley for the near future, and tonight will be no exception. I plan to (after spending far too long writing this short yet winding piece) go out and sit down with a pint of lager, and I will happily spit in the eye of any person who laughs at me for it.
You should too.