Popular Scotch brand Johnnie Walker is rolling out a female version of its iconic logo, called Jane Walker. A limited U.S. edition of the whisky will feature a striding woman on the label, instead of its famous striding top-hatted man. As per Stephanie Jacoby, Vice President Johnnie Walker, “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women. It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand”.

The brand acknowledges a broader push towards gender equality, with this move.

Be it whisky, scotch, beer or rum, the common stigma associated with these golden or brown spirits is that of being manly drinks.

Women are perceived to be fond of either wine or fancy cocktails. Just recently in India, we witnessed a chief minister saying that he found women drinking beer concerning. But he was not alone.

There are many men and women in our society who will not bat an eyelid if you have a glass of red in your hand. But clink a glass of beer or scotch and suddenly you become an uncouth and well, unfeminine.

What is it that makes these drinks manly? The powerful after breath, or the colour? Or is it the society which drew the line of gender across alcoholic products, because they think of women as dainty and sophisticated, who are incapable of handling the drink?

Thank you so much for the official acknowledgement

Jane Walker is an acknowledgement, that women do drink scotch.

Now seems like the perfect time to put it out to the world that yes, women drink golden/brown alcoholic drinks as well. We could care less about the colour, or the after breath. As for the grace, it comes naturally when you respect your body’s limits, both for men and women.

The sceptic in me though, also questions the timing and intent of this initiative. Feminism has become a marketing ploy for many brands, who want to cash in on its tide. The gender equality thus has been reduced to mere words on billboards and strategies of marketing teams. Even in this case, the brand hopes that Jane Walker “widens the appeal of the product while celebrating women”.

Women are not intimidated by scotch, it is the society which becomes uncomfortable with our choice of spirit.

Hence, it seems unlikely that there will be a change in their outlook courtesy this initiative. So we are glad for the acknowledgement that women do drink scotch.  We pick our drink based on our palate and not on whether there is a woman, a bagpipe or a stag on its label. The day we manage to not be intimidated by the labels, printed or cultural, that is when we will achieve true gender equality.

Picture Credit: Rediff.com

Also Read: Bottoms Up! Girls Drinking Beer is not that Big a Deal

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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