I believe there are many strands of intention at play in the JM/BP saga.
Or Biblegate, as I’m now calling it.
We need to differentiate between talking about whisky as sexy and/or talking about whisky and women as being interchangeable.
At the moment, due to all this fuss with The other Bible and JM’s whisky notes, people don’t seem to be untangling the two aspects.
I have no problem with whisky being compared to sex – they are very similar – great smells, great tastes, you become relaxed, lose your inhibitions… things get messy, and sometimes you regret it in the morning… I am sure everyone relates to this – female or male.
But, I don’t want women to be objectified in the mind of some men, and written about as interchangeable with whisky. So, I have a problem with language that reinforces this awful way of thinking about women.
Sexism has no place in the whisky industry – or anywhere. Sexism is a consciousness and a behaviour that I reject.
Sexism is not one old dude who likes to dress up and shock with his whisky choices.
To change anything, we must build new. Then the old falls away – by itself. There is no longer a place for it. A basic example of this is that we do not stop smoking, we rebuild ourselves as non-smokers.
The author in the hat was already an anachronism. Sales of his book were dwindling. Each year as he lost sales, he picked more and more “shocking whiskies” as winners, to get attention, to get people talking and buying his book. No true whisky geeks paid him attention, we all knew it was a ploy to generate sales. His time was naturally over. And he would have become obsolete within a couple of years.
And then there was Biblegate…
To be focused and concerned about the issue of sexism in the whisky industry and within whisky circles means tackling mainstream players and the unidentifiable masses, this is hard to do.
Firing a shot from afar at a single individual is much easier, but, does not greatly help the cause. It generates attention – which may well have been the whole point. But attention for whom?
Certainly for both protagonists in this drama.
But, now the great irony of Biblegate is that JM’s faded star was repolished as it fell to earth. As the sniper light individually picked him out people began looking at him again…
Many are purchasing his new book. He is now more (in)famous than ever and sales of his book look to be greater this year than in the last 5 years!
And there is an entrenched divide in the whisky world re woke v cancel culture – words that act as symbols for our thoughts and actions.
Sure there is talk about sexism, which there wasn’t before, but there are also a lot of entrenched positions being taken.
The issue of sexism has not much to do with two singular individuals involved in Biblegate – it is far bigger than they.
Dialogue and discussion are the only ways forward.
We can’t tell JM why his tasting notes can’t objectify women – we need to show him. One of the first lessons for all writers is that you illustrate your point until people see for themselves.
Taking pot shots at individuals only starts a war – look at Franz Ferdinand…
The moral of this story is when taking a pot shot upon a star, always do so for the right reasons…