Archive for October, 2010

A fellow Pagan Priestess brought to my attention the following label:

Yes, folks…there’s a woman being burned at the stake here.

This label can be found on bottles of Witches Wit beer, brewed by The Lost Abbey Beers, under the auspices of Port Brewing Company in Southern California.

Needless to say, I am totally disgusted by it.

First of all, it’s an insult to me as an ordained Pagan minister and long-time practicing witch. If you want to capitalize on the beer’s name in order to sell more brews, at least use a more tasteful image. Hex, I could accept a picture of the stereotypical wart-nosed, green-skinned ugly old hag over this.

But to show a buxom woman standing helplessly as the flames engulf her… while a group of onlookers (presumably male monks) surround her gawking at the sight is simply degrading.

With all due respect, Lost Abbey – are you implying that you condone such heinous acts?

“But it’s history!” you cry.

Yes…it’s history. Yes, we should not forget that the Inquisition happened, any more than we should forget that the Holocaust happened. These were dark periods in our history, and the victims of such should be honored and remembered.

Not used to sell beer.

Such a label makes a mockery of this event, and serves as a painful reminder of a time when thousands of innocent people – both male and female – were falsely accused of witchcraft and lost their lives. Most were charged with various “wrongful acts” brought about by revengeful neighbors, greedy officials, and power-hungry church representatives.

They didn’t deserve to die then, and they don’t deserve to be “memorialized” in this fashion now.

But more than this… such a label is an insult to women.

As my friend stated in a Facebook comment

This continues, my friends, because women aren’t perceived as dangerous or threatening. One hare-brained preacher in a tiny Florida church threatens to burn a Koran and all Hel breaks loose. Throw rocks at a Jewish soldier at risk of your life and property. Women, however, are not dangerous. They can do this because we won’t bomb the brewery or kidnap the hipster designer or kill random beer-drinkers in pubs. We are weak and ineffectual. They can do what they like because we offer no threat whatsoever…

Newsflash, folks – we may be the “fairer sex”…but we are not the weaker sex.

And yet so many women continue to be degraded, demoralized, and devalued. They are forced to endure such acts as rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and gender discrimination.

Sometimes these acts are downright blatant, at other times they are more insidious… and the perpetuators get away with it because nobody speaks up and does anything.

It’s time we speak up. If you agree that this label is tasteless and offensive, then contact the Lost Abbey brewing company and share your thoughts.


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