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NOT OK: Beer Label Shows a Woman Being Killed!

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: The flames rise up around her skirts as she stands, tied to a pillar, surrounded by an approving audience. She represents the tragedies of thousands of women who were tortured and murdered during the infamous witch hunts in Europe and the Americas. My first problem with the image is this: She's on a beer bottle! My second problem with it: Men whose judgment is impaired by alcohol will catch her image out of the corner of their eye. What a visual cue!

Witch's Wit
The beer in question is called Witch's Wit, a limited-edition pale ale produced by the Port Brewing Company in California. The company has been producing a boutique line of Catholic-themed beers with names like "Inferno Ale" and "Judgment Day." The label depicting a woman being burned at the stake was intended as a satire by one of the brewery's owners, who calls himself a "recovering Catholic." Obviously, he has yet to recover from stupidity.

Let me put the image into a better perspective. Imagine a beer label depicting an African-American being lynched, or a Jewish person being put in an oven! Yikes! Fortunately, the mistake was rectified by a modern-day "witch-goddess," a California woman well-known in Wiccan communities for her astrology readings, natural healing and teachings about goddess spirituality. She saw the ale in a liquor store. An e-mail campaign ensued and then went viral once the whole matter was mentioned on Facebook. Women everywhere e-mailed the beer makers to tell them how offensive the label was.

This week, the makers of Witch's Wit, realizing the folly of their ways, chose to remove the label. They then announced a label-design contest to find a replacement image. Whew!

What were they thinking?!


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40 comments so far | Post a comment now
Annoyed October 28, 2010, 8:36 AM

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Why waste time complaining?

Der October 28, 2010, 8:43 AM

Really??? Who cares! It’s BEER!!!

Renae  October 28, 2010, 9:48 AM

This is the dumbest post ever.

writershear October 28, 2010, 9:53 AM

They weren’t thinking - that’s the problem.

Kendra October 28, 2010, 9:56 AM

This post and many of the posts I read on this website are just plain ridiculous. A large part of the problems today can be directley attributed to the fact that people have lost their sense of humor and are so quick to be offended by something! I mean give me a break. Its a bottle of beer! People can find something wrong with just about anythign today! Why dont we just demand that all companies stop artisticaly designed advertisements and just use plain label and text! The same can be said for the clothing industry, I have read more than one post on here about offensive tshirt designs! I guess we just need to be a black and white plain jane nation so we dont hurt anybodies little feelings!

Jennifer October 28, 2010, 11:59 AM

I like the label, I value free speech, and I support anyone who encourages people not to become slaves to an invisible sky magician. Stop trying to ruin other people’s fun. Would your reaction have been the same if it had been a Knight Templar being burned at the stake? That’s what happened to them. It wasn’t only women that had hideous things happen to them in history. Or would you not care, Ms Walsh, because that would be a man?

Anonymous October 28, 2010, 2:45 PM

I also don’t have a problem with it. It’s a part of our history and no matter how ugly it was, you can’t just wish it away.

Gail Cooke October 28, 2010, 7:14 PM

If you despise it so much why are you giving them free advertising?

Jennifer L. October 29, 2010, 8:44 AM

I would like to know, Ms. Walsh, what your reaction would have been had a Knight Templar been shown to have been burned at the stake instead of a woman? I say woman because you don’t actually know she’s a witch. You assume she is because of the name of the beer and the fact that she’s wearing black. However, just as we can’t call someone a witch just because they’re ugly, we also can’t assume them to be a witch because they’re wearing black.

The Knight Templars, as I’m sure you must know, were burned at the stake in medieval times. The accusations against them were many and varied, aimed, mainly, by people who wanted to claim their riches for themselves. Had this beer featured a Knight Templar being burned, would you have been just as outraged on behalf of men everywhere? Would you have talked about how a woman, who’s been drinking, would have seen this out of the corner of her eye and then gone off and killed a man? Would you have talked about the stereotypes, rampant at the time, of men of god being nothing but money grabbers and hypocrites? I ask you these questions because I want an answer. Please Ms. Walsh, be honest both with me and with your readers. Thank you.

EK October 29, 2010, 2:39 PM

I have to say that I agree this is kind of a ridiculous post. I wouldn’t have thought twice about the label, especially being that it is beer, and I have seen numerous labels on beer, wine and liquor that could be considered risque but again, it’s alcohol and satire reigns.

Jennifer L. October 30, 2010, 1:13 PM

Ms Walsh, I’m still here. I’m not going to go away just because you think I’ll get bored. I’m not going to go away because of a dodgy internet connection. I’m not even going to go away because I have better things to do. I will go away when you’ve answered my questions. I think by now we’re both intellitent enough to understand the essence of them: Would you have been just as shocked MS WALSh, had the people who are being depicted been male rather than female? That’s all I need to know, Ms Walsh. I shall look forward to your answer.

Chris November 1, 2010, 4:26 PM

Really! Talk about a slow news day. When will all this political correctness end?

Mary November 3, 2010, 8:36 AM

People can and will complain about anything. Really, a Mommy site complaining about beer? When the time comes that you’re going to slap a nipple on the bottle and give it to a baby, then it will be time for it to be debated here. Everyone is so worried about being so Politically Correct and they’re fast to throw out their comments. How many people (or should I say children) worked in sweat shops to produce those clothes you’re wearing or the latest-my-baby-needs-it-now product you just bought? Even the computer you’re using. My point is, choose your battles. People complain so much it gets to the point that we’re all numb to the complaining. A beer label is a silly thing to debate on a parenting website.

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