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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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