Let me get this off my chest ONCE, in the pages of this blog, and then I can just use this page as a link whenever the subject comes up:
If you harbor or practice disrespect or sexual innuendo for or with women, you are no friend of mine and your actions, thoughts, and attitudes have NO place in this society, anymore. There is no flexibility in this at all; no rationales that will serve as an explanation or an excuse. It’s just like with those people who text while driving, kill people, rape people, steal, smoke, drive drunk, or abuse positions of authority to either rob those beneath them on the Ladder or elevate themselves. Our airwaves and magazines are flooded with daily messages about how this is unacceptable. Using the excuse, “Well, I’m just a little old fashioned, I guess” does not fly. Unless you live in a freakin’ fallout shelter, with no contact with the outside world, you know full well that leering at, making suggestive remarks to, stalking, or in any way objectifying women is just dead wrong. What you have actually done is say to yourself that you like being a throw-back jackass and creeping out everyone who witnesses it and you just don’t care to take the trouble to change.
It’s just fine for a man to look at a woman – LOOK, not leer – and think whatever you like. Your own sexual kinks and hang-ups are your business. It’s when you make your rudeness, thoughtlessness, and perversion anybody’s else’s problem that you’ve crossed the line. And, as is covered in what follows here, this sort of shoddy behavior is not just a “guy thing” and you will not recruit me or any other man with a working brain by pulling that nudge, nudge/wink wink baloney and saying, “You know what I’m talking about, right?” I do know what you’re talking about. And I think you’re a total rectangular anal drip for even thinking it.
This morning, I read a post on Facebook – the kind of valuable information that makes me a tad short on patience with all those people who use Facebook and bitch about it all the time – about a guy I had already heard of. His name is Jordan Gleason and he owns a brewery called Black Acre Brewing Company, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through my little network of beer geeks across America, I have actually tried BABC’s Saucy Intruder Rye IPA ans Vertical Wit, a lovely, nuanced Wheat Ale, both of which prompted me to make a note that, when I get to IN to visit Three Floyds, I need to package in a stop at Black Acre, too.
As so often happens, Jordan has to deal with a certain percentage of his male customers who stubbornly refuse to grow out of their frat-boy stage or to adopt any forms of behavior past what their dads and uncles thought was okay back in the Fifties. He recently had a 60-ish customer who was exhibiting this sort of Troglodyte crap with his female servers, actually telling them directly that he “liked looking at their tits while they washed dishes, and their asses while they were pouring drinks” and suggested that, if this was a problem, the servers could dress and act differently because, in his warped reasoning, women who dress anything less modestly than his grandmother are asking for what idiots like him give them.
Jordan Gleason is my hero, today, and will continue to be for as long as he stands his ground and refuses to accept these debased, discredited attitudes and the reprehensible actions they spawn. He had already had a discussion with this same knothead, who apparently had the pub owner’s words bounce off his forehead like duck piss off a tin shed. So, after the second offense, he tossed the guy; a neighborhood regular who intimated that his not coming back to the pub would be “bad for business” and would create “bad publicity“.
I’m here as one guy who writes a blog that is read by an irrationally large number of people, every month, to do what I can do let one 60-something jackass in Indiana know that not only will Jordan Gleason not suffer a negative impact on his business, but it will probably drive his sales figures through the roof, as word of his bravery gets out. And I would hardly call this little iota of pub in The Pour Fool “bad“. This, for me, is about as high a brand of praise as I am capable of giving.
Guys…I know that the vast majority of you who read this do not behave like total dickheads toward or around women. But I BEG YOU, do not tolerate it from those around you, either. I usually reserve my interpersonal wrath for people who park in handicapped spaces without a placard or handicapped license plates. And I quit being nice about it years ago. If they’re not in the car when I find it, they get a blunt, unkind preprinted message that I keep copies of with me, tucked under their wiper blade. If I happen to catch them at it, I offer to call a cop to explain handicapped parking to them and then lay into ’em, to boot. Just as with sexism, the messages are out there about handicapped parking and who can use it. No one can claim they didn’t know it’s wrong. There is no excuse. And lately, as I get older and lose the ability to give a shit about repercussions, I lay into piggish assholes who speak inappropriately to women in the same way. I urge you to never again watch unacceptable behavior in public – or even in your own house! – and just shrug it off. You can make a HUGE difference by giving these caveman assholes the Word that the world has changed and just having a dick no longer means you will automatically give them a free pass for acting like a total imbecile.
Here’s Jordan’s actual Facebook post about this incident. Jordan, my friend, I don’t know what I could ever do for you but, if there may happen to be anything, you need only ask. That is the very least I can do for a certified Hero…
Jordan Gleason, from Facebook…
“This is a longer post, so bear with me…
Today I had to explain to a 60-year-old man why he was banned from the pub.
In January he made several sexist remarks about the female staff that were working. He told them to their faces that he liked looking at their tits while they washed dishes, and their asses while they were pouring drinks. He was told to leave and not come back. He came back last month, and was told we wouldn’t serve him. He came back yet again today, and when told he wouldn’t be served demanded to talk to a manager.
I sat with him for a few minutes as he explained that what he said would have been okay 20 years ago, and that it was just some off colour remarks. He told me he had apologized, and that he guessed my servers were too sensitive. He then told me that if what he said was a problem, then I should tell them not to wear low-cut shirts, and that I should face the dish washing sink away from customers. But since he apologized, he should be allowed to drink in my establishment because he lives in the neighborhood and will bring in business.
I told him flatly that wasn’t happening, and that what he said to those ladies was incredibly offensive. The simple fact that he couldn’t understand that just because they were working didn’t mean they deserve his disrespectful language. That these ladies were part of my family, and were human beings that deserved respect. They aren’t objects, and they certainly shouldn’t have to wear different clothes because he can’t be bothered with showing them any decency or respect. “But we’re men and they’re females. Is cleavage just not a thing anymore?”
I told him yeah buddy, it’s not, and I won’t be changing my mind about having him served. He threatened bad publicity, I told him I didn’t care, and he left.
I work in the service industry, and we get the sheer joy and pleasure of meeting and talking to so many great people in our city. I’ve met some of my best friends here behind the bar. I live for it man. Connecting people who haven’t met, making sure people can relax from a shitty day, or celebrate a great one, or just to simply enjoy a few beers with friends. I’ve seen wedding proposals, birthday parties, political discussions, deep philosophical debates, neighborhood organization, the absolute works. The best of humanity coming together and bonding. That’s my JAM. It’s one of the biggest reasons I get out of bed in the morning to come in to work day after day.
As absolutely insanely fun as that is, the dark side of this business is we run into some pretty horrible goblin people. Folks who think that just because we’re serving, we don’t deserve any basic decency or respect. I’ve been snapped at, mocked, threatened, and insulted about not having a real job. Anybody in this line of work gets used to a degree of it and develops a thicker skin. Here’s the thing though, women in this field get infinitely more disgustingly treated. The sheer number of times they get groped, or harassed, or treated like objects would blow your mind. The worst of it is how normal their harassers think their behavior is. Every single lady in here handles it with grace and aplomb, and I applaud them for it. I’ve had their backs as we’ve bounced people out for that trash, but countless times they just deal with it before it even gets to me.
Sometimes the dudes get so worked up that they demand to see a manager, and I get called in to speak with them. Every single fucking time they attempt to appeal to me solely because I’m a man. They try to weasel in with me about how the women are asking for it. That women shouldn’t dress that way if they don’t want to be stared at. They attempt to explain it away as just “dudes being dudes.” It’s expected for men to stare at women’s breasts and make jokes about how much they want to fuck them. Wink Wink. Of course you’ll understand they think, because you also have a dick. What terrifies and enrages me is how every one of them thinks that this is normal behavior, but also that other men will agree with them.
Men, we often don’t see the level of filth that our friends, sisters, and mothers go through every day. We hope to surround ourselves with people who would never treat a woman like that. We live in a safe little bubble. But the reality of this thing? It’s an insidious disease that’s happening every single day, several times a day and it turns my fucking stomach.
So why am I writing this? I want to acknowledge the struggle of every single woman who will read this. You deserve our respect and to be treated with decency. I want to stand up and say, I’m fucking sick of this. To every dude out there, we need to fucking combat this disease like it’s the god damned plague that it is. If one of your friends says something shitty about a woman, tell him to shut his fucking mouth. Don’t just laugh it off or ignore it. We need to listen when our sisters talk about this, and not just blame it on some bad apples. Not just say “not all dudes do that” or “well no one I know would ever do that.” Nah man. This is an endemic cultural problem. If we want to start taking our status as gentlemen seriously we need to do more than just avoiding being a sexist prick ourselves. We need to open our eyes and fight it everywhere we see it, because the only way this thing gets better is to start calling it out for what it is.
Edit: Sorry for so many edits. I keep finding typos. Writing in anger isn’t so conducive to well typed responses.”
Could not possibly have said it better, myself. Bravo to Jordan Gleason and Black Acre Brewing Company!