Event is a testament to rampent sexism and gender-norming within our society

BRATTLEBORO — It was brought to my attention recently that the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) is hosting an event on May 22 called “Pink Pint Night.”

I love BMAC and am an ardent supporter of independent artists and the excellent events that are held at our local museum. The framing of this event, however, is a major misstep.

The BMAC website says the event is “designed to expose women to the world of beer. It's perfect for the new beer consumer or the beer lover. The event also helps women be better prepared to shop for beer.

“At each beer table, brewery representatives walk attendees through tasting different types of beer and what makes their brewery and beer unique.

“Although Pink Pint Night is designed for women, men are always welcome to attend.”

The message I just received? Beer is a man's territory, and pink is for women. Seriously what decade are we in?

Now, don't get me wrong. Pink is awesome. So is beer. However, this type of framing around an event, although it may on the surface seem benign, is a testament to the rampant sexism and gender-norming within our society that has been going on for decades. It is most profitable when it comes to marketing.

Take even just the name of the event – “Pink Pint Night.” This color coding - associating pink only with those who identify as women and girls - is a prime example of the harmful gender socialization that begins the minute babies are born.

Associating the color only with women is archaic and extremely harmful to everyone; I would like to say it's a bit 1950s, but that sounds like it was okay back then, which it clearly wasn't.

People might feel that the event is fun, catchy, and totally innocent, but it is this exact marketing that keeps people marginalized and confined to a gender binary that only recognizes those who identify as male or female.

However well-intentioned this event, it is reproducing this narrow gender construction that tells people that they must conform into gender boxes. This construction ultimately contributes to much gender-based violence and bigotry within our society.

There's a better, more inclusive and creative way to raise money for our fabulous art center than a ladies' Pink Pint Night. Why not just have it be a fab beer-tasting event for everyone in town?

That sounds awesome.

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