From women brewers to witches
I stumbled across this article entitled Women used to dominate the beer industry – until the witch accusations started pouring in. Of course I had to read it.
Beer has been a common, inexpensive beverage drunk throughout time. For many women beermaking was one of their regular tasks around the house.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, fermenting beer was a way for single women (and for married couples) to earn money. They transported their brew to market in cauldrons and helped their customers find them by wearing tall pointed hats that could be seen above the crowd in the marketplace. Those who made and sold their beer from stores, had cats to keep the mice out of their grain.
Before long, women had a strong presence in the beermaking markets across England and much of the rest of Europe. Also during that time, along came the fundamentalist religious movement which enforced stricter gender norms, eventually leading to anyone who didn’t conform being punished, even put to death.
Male competitors in the beermaking industry apparently saw an opportunity to narrow the competition for customers. They started using the pointed, cauldron, and cat to identify “witches” and accused female beer sellers of brewing potions, not beer. In some places laws were enacted that prohibited women from brewing beer, assuring women would adhere to traditional roles.
Well, that’s one way to eliminate the [female] competition. There's so much to think about here. I'll refer you to the full article published in The Conversation. It was authored by Laken Brooks, Doctoral Student of English, University of Florida, March 5, 2021.
For more on the topic you can listen to the podcast Witches Brew: How the Patriarchy Ruins Everything for Women, Even Beer, researched, written, and posted by Averill Earls, PhD on Dig: A History Podcast. You can also continue down the rabbit hole with The dark history of women, witches, and beer, by Scotty Henricks on Big Think.
Before giving up...
When I first saw the title, I had to read it: Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up.
I've used these questions many times in the last 15 months. I know I will continue to refer back to this list.
Positivity is good. But trying to ignore how we feel can often just make us feel worse than we already do. The author's post acknowledges that sometimes we don't feel like things are going to get better and at the same time gives us ways to "check-in" with our body, mind, and spirit to help us move through that feeling.
I can scan the list and do whatever I feel like doing - which is one step toward feeling just a little more in control.
And I go back to this list whenever I need to remind myself that I have the power to change my mindset.
Check it out whenever you need a boost. There's even a link to a downloadable PDF. Mine's saved on my desktop. ♥
LinkedIn is a great professional space to market our talents and connect with other professionals. I've been sitting in on webinars about making your profile more visible and increasing the number of connections. The good news is that I've definitely had more views. One week I was up 167% from the prior week! The other side of that is I’ve gotten a few what I call “stranger requests” – i.e. requests from folks that I don’t know, that aren’t part of any of my LinkedIn groups, and aren't connected to anyone in my network.
Full disclosure – I’m a skeptic by nature, so I’m not falling for a bot or anyone looking for another kind of connection. 🙄
So I started researching. I immediately found three articles on LinkedIn that were helpful: Andy Lopata's 8 Things to Consider Before Sending a Connection Request on LinkedIn and 7 Things to Consider Before Accepting or Rejecting a Connection Request on LinkedIn and LinkedIn Etiquette: 20 Do's and Don'ts by Melonie Dodaro. I highly recommend these articles if you want to clarify your reason for connecting and/or learn how to be polite when requesting to connect or responding to a request.
I decided my purpose for connecting is to be helpful and to help others. So I want to make sure that I can nurture these relationships by sending a message periodically to check in, recognize an accomplishment, or throw out a link to something someone might be interested in. I know I can't do that if my network too large.
Based on what I've learned, I started a list of questions I try to answer while viewing the profile. Here’s what I have so far…
Andy’s article gave me two ideas if I want to give someone a chance before hitting ignore. First, I can InMail with a message that says something like 'I usually only connect with people I already have a relationship with, but I don’t want to ignore anyone. Can you tell me why you want to connect?' Andy says that 50% won’t even respond. I experimented with this approach four days ago. To date, I haven't gotten a response from either of the two 'stranger requests'. Second, if I think there might be an affinity, the alternative is to 'Follow". So I can ask in the InMail if we can ‘Follow’ each other for a while to see if there’s an alignment.
Elle is my nickname. I love learning new things. I can't help it.