A Call To Action

More pain, more tears, more nauseating news continues to fly out of the brewing industry every week. What is Pink Boots Society doing? What is the Brewer’s Association doing? The standard representative statement, “This is not our lane.”, is getting played out.

Once again another woman has been forced to leave the brewing industry. It is as though the brewing industry has been taking laxatives with this never ending stream of shit coming out. 2021 begins by just letting all the shit out. Maybe what the industry needs, is a good purging?

However, unlike a cleansing detox juice, the shit that is coming out are the good women working to provide representation in the industry; rather than the men and women responsible for toxicity, gender bias, ageism, sexism, racism and down right inhuman and unlawful treatment of staff members and partners. Once again we learn the story too late, of a woman who has been discriminated against, forced out out and who has lost her livelihood. She now has to start over in a brand new industry, because the men that she worked with wanted to probe in areas that were not their business. Those men felt empowered to make her feel uncomfortable about working in a space with men, because she was pregnant.

Now there are women who are coming against this woman saying “it’s not our place to say anything we can’t do that“, or complaining “she’s wrong for speaking up, because it affects another woman at the establishment where she used to work“. The thing is if WE collectively don’t speak up about these things, the cycle continues. The problem continues to happen, because the people who are the givers in this situation, feel like they are justified. The givers feel entitled and in the right to treat women how they want. THIS IS CALLED GENDER DISCRIMINATION.

The me too movement died down too fast. Because it focused in on one industry in particular, and didn’t trickle out to all the other industries where women are being negatively affected; where they’re being sexually harassed & sexually abuse; where there’s gender inequity; where there’s discrimination for them being pregnant; for them being women; for them having a voice of any kind. As if we don’t have basic inalienable rights; like we don’t have the EEOC and labor laws; like it’s okay to just go around treating women like rag dolls in whatever industry they might be in. I for one am tired of the Bullshit!

I’m a person who has left the workforce. I don’t work for men anymore, because I can probably guarantee 10 times out of, 9, that some dude is going to try and discriminate me and think that he’s in the right. And how can I say 10 out of 9? Because even being out of the employee pool as an owner, it still happens, in business. It happens when I’m volunteering, when I’m collaborating, it still happens even when I am not being paid. There are women who are getting paid and it’s happening to them. No one is doing anything. No guilds, no associations, no non-profits especially dedicated to supporting the unique needs of women in the fermentation industries.

Where is Pink Boots? Where is the Brewers Association? Where are these large establishments taking dues from working women that are there to help lead the industry, to help give guidance on how to act how not to act what to do and what not to do, how to sell how not to sell, how to train employees how not to train employees. Where are these organizations?

After all they are being funded. “Event 2020” is no excuse as programs have been created and the rich got richer needing more tax deductions like charitable giving. What were 2019 funds used for if not events took place in 2020 and staff was laid off? They are making money and they are doing nothing to serve the people who are making this industry, go round.

I am advocating for women without funding. I’m introducing a whole new way of thinking. I’m introducing an advocacy program. I’m introducing a task force, and I invite you to take part in this BEERSGIVING initiative Pathways Towards Professionalism and Advocacy. It is time to stand for all the people who are making the engine go. It is time WE stand up and speak up for ourselves, WE stand up and advocate for ourselves. I’ve been retaliated against for being pregnant. I’ve been retaliated against for speaking up about women’s issues. I’ve been not paid. My IP has been used for the smoke and mirror earning of profits of other businesses use it to make money, and not pay out, as promised.

I’ve seen women who have been ousted from the industry because they were trying to do the right thing and their coworkers didn’t like it. So you know what their coworkers did? They called them embarrassments to the company. They put snakes in their office. They told them they didn’t belong working in a business with men. They told them they weren’t welcome in festivals, in leadership or industry at large. They punched them in the face. They threaten to kill them. They told them they weren’t worth paying equally or worthy of receiving payment at all. They told them there is no place for “blacks” in craft beer.

No one would have ever thought that this fun loving industry, called craft beer and adult beverage production, would be one where women were subjected to death threats, yet here we are learning of these incidences months later, months after the dust has settled. After statute of limitations have passed. These women are out here telling their story, because they’re at the point where they have nothing left to lose. It’s all been taken from them. So now they speak. But now, they can’t do anything. It seems like every time I stop grieving from one incident, another one comes up.

By the time I stop grieving, I can’t do anything about it, because the time to speak up has passed. Why is there a time frame we are able to speak up for ourselves? Why is there a time limit? Why is there no time to allow us to heal? Why are we forced to jump at it right away, neglecting the fact that we might in that moment still have a job, still have children to take care of still have responsibilities that don’t allow us to take on another thing?

Laws that are suppose the protect from retaliation DON’T STOP OR PREVENT RETALIATION nor quell hostile work environments created after claims and warnings are issued. Even the methods available to us to seek legal action are still discriminatory because they take away from our ability to get it done in a timely fashion. Let us also not forget Legal pathways require willing lawyers, funding and knowledge of laws, rights and privileges.

As far as I know and as far as anyone has informed me. There is no advocacy programs at this point in time for these women. At this point in time if a brewery owner or male employee were to beat up a woman and she did not have the money to get a lawyer and no one wanted to take on her case and she needed time to heal before she could go into proceedings, those men would get away with their abuses.

HOW CAN WE ATTRACT A MORE DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE IF WE ARE ALLOWING THOSE IN THE WORKFORCE TO BE ABUSED?

As far as I know, there’s nothing to help any woman. This could happen over and over and over. There would be no repercussions as of 2020. This is sad and it’s disgusting. The fact that these companies are allowed to continue to make money. Make money using the name of organizations that supposedly stand for diversity, equity inclusion is even more disgusting.

By not be willing to hold these companies accountable, it shows how complicit these organizations are in the status quo and how much they about nothing more than being out to gain money on trends, smoke and mirrors and volunteer slave labor. Putting out an infographic is not standing up. Putting out an infographic is not supporting people who need it most. Not having a legal defense fund is not supportive of the challenges women face in an industry they aren’t paid enough to save for legal fees.

There are too many beer infographics, posters, stickers, bullshit collaborations that are just based on showing face. It’s all media hype! These overused PR stunts say we care about a cause so much that we didn’t think it best for us to come up with our own way to show solidarity, we’re just gonna jump on the bandwagon; do the bare minimum, take photograph and go back to business as usual.

It’s embarrassing as a woman in leadership. I have to hear these stories over and over and over. And when I try to speak up to my peers, I’m told, “We don’t handle that. That’s not our responsibility. We don’t have the capacity.” I challenge every woman who has said that boldly to me to think, what if it was you? What if it was you that this happened to? Would you still be so complacent? Would you still feel like, there’s nothing we can do about it? Would you accept that sexual harassment? Would you still accept that gender bias? Would you accept that physical abuse? Would you? Is this the stance that we are supposed to take to show women who we want to enter the industry that this is the golden standard?

We are sharing messages that say, “Hey ladies come on down to the brewery, we want more women in the industry, so you can be punched in the face stabbed in the back, told your an embarrassment, be sexually harassed, and have your life threatened!” Who answers, a job call like that? Who in their right mind would answer a job, call, like that? This industry really needs to take a look at itself and realize that, that is what it’s doing. It’s putting up a big poster that says, “Gender and Racial Abuse Allowed.”

Transcript still being edited and has been published due to the writer's desire to no longer code-switch.

Come get a job with us. heard something that someone said, You chose to work with. So therefore, you need to be okay. Because we choose to follow our passion, because we choose to do something we care about something we’ve studied for, and there happen to be men present. We are expected to accept the abuse that men dish out. Is that really what we are teaching women. Is that really what we’re teaching girls who are going to school. Coming out of school looking for a job. Is that really what we’re teaching people, because that’s what it sounds like. That is disgusting and shame on anyone who tells a woman that you are working with men. So you better expect it, and get on board. Shame on you for staying quiet. Shame on you for not rallying. Shame on you for not boycotting protesting sitting out for work. That’s what we need a national day of walkouts for all women in the brewing industry, and I say brewing not beer brewing all, whether you brewing grapes to turn into wine me honey into me apples into cider beer into wine sugar into seltzer bacteria into kombucha. We need a national solidarity moment, one where no one is gaining money. Okay. f ds bullshit collaboration where people are gaining money for causes that they are not donating to, or that they are blindly just throwing money at and going back to business as usual F. Cuz, how has it moved the dial. Tell me how has it moved the dial. It hasn’t because the same shit is happening, and somebody is Richard for somebody is more famous for it more popular for getting more donors and investors for it. Getting more notoriety for it. The last incident that happened to me when I spoke out about it. I wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular, I was speaking about my experiences as a whole. But the more recent. Give her a bias took it upon themselves to assume that I was talking about them. When in fact I felt like the relationship between myself and them was good. I walked into the brewery that next day, only to find that not only was my contract called no payment issued. And no donation is that the reason why I was being asked that because I was an embarrassment to their company for speaking up about women’s issues. Every single incident where a woman is abused or treated subjected to gender bias. It doesn’t go it justice has not been dished out or they’ve not been they’ve not been any reparations. It just. How can you be, how can you heal from that. Because we have been taught industry wide adult beverage industry. That is okay to abuse. Just like we use nationwide. It is okay to like a woman because it’s. Is this really the world that we want to continue to live in post event 2020.

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