Booze has a gender, didn’t you know?

We’ve all heard–and probably even used–the derogatory slang of “girlie drinks” to refer to anything that is not all that alcoholic, or very sweet, or fruity, or whatever.

I’m a pretty big fan of locally owned businesses and I’m particularly fond of DownTown Wine and Spirits in Somerville. They recently came out with what I thought was a cute and funny idea–a brown paper bag full of nips, for a low price. They’re calling it the “Bag O’ Nips” and they’ve been pretty entertaining with their publicity for it.

Today, however, they revealed that they would be selling a MEN’S Bag O’ Nips and a WOMEN’S Bag O’ Nips. When they alluded to the fact that such a thing was in the works, they said that men’s bags would contain whiskey whereas women’s bags would most likely contain Midori. So, it was obvious where this was going. Then they announced the lineups:

As we’ve told you, our Bag O’ Nips come in both a Mens and Womens variety. Here’s what’s in the Mens bag this week: Fighting Cock (naturally), Seagrams, Harlem, Herradura, Jack, Jager

As this was on their facebook feed, a few women pointed out that they didn’t like this being gendered and that really, women might like those alcohols too. So this was their rebuttal when they posted the women’s bag contents:

And here’s the Ladies Bag O’ Nips lineup: Parrot bay, Van Gogh Chocolate, Segrams, Honey, Pocket Shot of Gin, Cuervo Silver And yes, you are welcome to take offense at what we project as nips enjoyed by the ladies….and no, we don’t really care that much

What happened to liberal Davis Square?

I’m really, really disappointed. It’s stupid little shit like this–both the gendering of the bags and then their flippant disregard for what people had to say about it–that can get so frustrating. It’s when thing when I see idiocy on TV. It’s another thing to see it right here in front of me, in my community, by people who seemed otherwise so cool.

Ultimately, there’s so many liquor stores in Boston. In a way, they did me a favor by crossing themselves off my list.


02/26/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized.


  1. downTown wine & spirits replied:

    Wow, we’re sorry you feel that way. The promotion is obviously self-effacing and we thought it made sense to have themed varieties…so we went with gender. We’re all for equality and respect…but c’mon…we’re talking about a product called “Bag O’ Nips”…is this really worth getting offended over?

    • Cuppy van der Cake replied:

      I found the gendering of the bags themselves mildly irking, but I shrugged it off–there’s a lot of mildly irking things out there, and I’d be horribly miserable if I got upset and offended over all of them. To be honest, I think the Bag O’ Nips is a fun, cute idea, and I was looking forward to snagging a bag myself sometime. What really bothered me was that when women spoke up to say that they didn’t like the gendering, even though I was not one of said people, it was the response of “we don’t care” that upset me. It would’ve been so easy to say, “It’s just a joke and we didn’t mean to upset anyone. Sorry if this bothers you! We like the idea, so we’re going to stick with it, but go ahead and offer us suggestions for other variations of the Bag O’ Nips that you’d like to see.” I don’t think that would’ve harmed anyone in the long run, it wouldn’t be making any sacrifices to your integrity because you’re not giving up the idea that you had, but you’re letting people have an opportunity to jump in and add their point of view.

      Anyways, I appreciate you stopping by to leave a civil comment. It’s all too easy to get defensive when we get into things like this, so thanks for staying friendly and polite 🙂

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