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Allegations of sexual misconduct land Melvin Brewing in hot water

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By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

 

In December of 2017, Washington Beer Blog was informed of an incident that occurred at Menace Brewing in Bellingham, Washington involving an employee from a neighboring brewery. According to our source, an employee of Melvin Brewing was at the Menace Brewing taproom when he inappropriately touched a female employee. We later learned that the alleged incident occurred on November 20, 2017.

Our source, who works in the beer industry in Bellingham and had reason to be familiar with the incident, reported that a Melvin Brewing employee was at the Menace Brewing taproom along with other Melvin Brewing employees when he grabbed the female server in a way that could not be reasonably condoned.

Recognizing that this was a serious accusation, one that could lead to legal actions, Washington Beer Blog decided not to report the alleged incident at that time. Instead, we decided to wait for the parties involved to contact us or otherwise make public comments.

On January 11, 2018 an internal email was sent to Melvin Brewing employees acknowledging that the incident had in fact occurred. That email also informed employees of the company’s position on such conduct and reported on how the company was addressing the issue. That email was leaked outside of the company and a source provided a copy to Washington Beer Blog on January 17.

In that email, Melvin Brewing described the incident as follows: “The employee of Menace Brewing stated that while addressing guests at [the Melvin Brewing emplyee’s] table, [the Melvin Brewing employee] put his hand around her waist, then moved his hand lower and touched her butt and upper thigh area.”

Subsequent conversations with other sources familiar with the incident suggested that the Melvin Brewing employee brought his own beer, Melvin Brewing’s beer, into the Menace Brewing taproom and was essentially sneaking drinks, which is not allowed. When confronted by his server about the situation, the Melvin Brewing employee allegedly reached for the woman and touched her as described above.

On March 8, 2018, more than three months after the initial event, Melvin Brewing issued a seemingly unrelated statement on its Facebook page regarding the contact page on its website that some people found offensive. Instead of a typical contact us page, the Melvin Brewing website featured a page that presented the act of contacting Melvin Brewing in a way that many people found offensive. In the statement on Facebook the company announced that it had remedied the situation and apologized to anyone who was offended.

Below is a screenshot of the page in question, which has now been taken down. As we understand it, this page existed on the website long before the incident in Bellingham last November.

melvin-contact

“…we made a poor decision on our website in regard to contacting Melvin Brewing. The Touch Us header was meant to be a silly joke but in hindsight it was inappropriate, and we want to extend a heartfelt apology. Please know that we may be irreverent and like to have a good time but in this case, we crossed the line…”

“…At Melvin Brewing we do not condone bro-culture or tolerate any sort of sexual harassment.

“Melvin Brewing strives to support women in all facets of our operations. Many of our employees at the breweries and in upper-management are women. We will continue to review our policies to ensure that our workplace, website and breweries are harassment-free.”

The statement created a firestorm of comments, most of which were not in support of Melvin Brewing, some of which were deleted by Melvin Brewing.  Since it is now obvious that this is no longer a private matter and that the Bellingham beer community at large, as well as the public in general, are very well aware of the situation, Washington Beer Blog decided to share what we know.

Today, March 9, 2018, Melvin Brewing posted another statement on Facebook, this time acknowledging the original incident that occurred on November 20, 2017.

“First and foremost – thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and voiced their opinion; it has not fallen on deaf ears. Our company in no way supports sexual violence in any form and we deeply regret our poor judgement. The local staff here in Bellingham are taking the situation very seriously and hope we can work together to address the issues that our community faces.”

“To clear the air, in November one of our Wyoming based employees went to one of our neighboring establishments and acted inappropriately. This has been dealt with internally with our employees and an official apology was issued to the individual involved.”

“We at Melvin Brewing Bellingham would like to extend our sincerest apologies and thank you for your honesty and time. We look forward to the opportunity to work with our community to make a positive impact.”

If anything else develops with this story, Washington Beer Blog will continue to report what we know.

 

For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

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CrystalDave
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Drizzle

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https://www.oglaf.com/drizzle/

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CrystalDave
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a hero to us all

4 Ways Men Can Take On More Emotional Labor In Relationships (And Why We Should)

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Whether it’s romantic, sexual, platonic, or professional, emotions will always play a large part in how successful or unsuccessful any relationship ends up. Relationships, by definition, require two or more parties to put forth some amount of emotional effort in order to keep the relationship afloat. Oftentimes one person takes on the brunt of the emotions—especially the negative or stressful emotions—that are produced in their relationships. This collective emotional give-and-take is called emotional labor; it’s the work and effort we put into making sure relationships don’t fall apart. This labor can be extremely taxing on a person, especially if they’re a) the only one putting significant work into the relationship or b) constantly being inundated with other parties’ stress and negativity without the other people taking on any of that responsibility.

What we often see in relationships, for example straight romantic and sexual relationships, is that cis men have a much harder time accepting the responsibilities of emotional labor in their relationships. I personally have struggled with taking on such responsibilities, as much of a sensitive person I perceive myself to be. Whether it’s complaining too much about issues at work (and by too much, I really mean too much), or shutting down when faced with emotional adversity, my fiancée ends up taking on that burden of my emotions in ways that she doesn’t put on me. And even though I’ve gotten better over the years, especially compared to our high school days, there’s still a lot of work for me to do in that arena.

This difficulty that cis men often have with emotional labor in their relationships mean that women and other partners are forced to take on its more burdensome aspects. That means they not only have to process their own feelings and thoughts as they apply to the relationship but that they also have to accept any issues within the relationship as their responsibility to fix. There are many reasons why cis men might not feel capable or responsible for accepting this responsibility, although much of it most likely revolves around the desire or necessity cis men feel for not facing their emotions and not being vulnerable, since those actions are seen as un-masculine.

Whether cis men would like to admit it or not, it is inherently important for any person in any relationship to understand the give-and-take of emotional labor and why it needs to be equal between partners. Below we will be going into more detail about what emotional labor is, how it affects relationships, how men can learn to be more emotionally responsible, and why it’s so important for them and their partners.

More Radical Reads: 8 Lessons That Show How Emotional Labor Defines Women’s Lives

Emotional Labor 101: What Is It?

Although the primary definition for emotional labor on Wikipedia concerns the workplace, it still applies to any other emotional situation one can find themselves in. The Wikipedia entries defines emotional labor as:

[…] the process of managing feelings and expressions in order to fulfill emotional requirements as part of the job role. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors.

Basically, emotional labor is the ability to regulate how one expresses their emotions in order to keep their job. In the context of this article, that “job” is a relationship. Relationships work best when all folks involved do their part in both a) expressing themselves in ways that support honesty, trust, and growth, and b) suppressing negativity or finding productive ways to turn negative feelings into positive outcomes. If someone in a relationship is unable to take on those responsibilities, relationships are bound to end painfully.

Jess Zimmerman wrote for The Toast last year about how women often find themselves doing the majority of emotional labor in their relationships—romantic or platonic—with cis straight men. In a discussion of the idea of a woman getting paid for all of the emotional labor she does, she lists a few of the common emotional demands put upon women by cis straight men:

Imagine a menu of emotional labor:

  • Acknowledge your thirsty posturing, $50.
  • Pretend to find you fascinating, $100.
  • Soothe your ego so you don’t get angry, $150.
  • Smile hollowly while you make a worse version of their joke, $200.
  • Explain 101-level feminism to you like you’re five years old, $300.
  • Listen to your rant about “bitches,” $infinity.

Although there is some satire underlying this idea (I mean, you pay way more for 101-level feminism in college so $300 seems comically underpriced), there is an inherent truth to this list: women are expected to put in the emotional work to make sure that men are satisfied and unperturbed, despite men being able to let their emotions go with reckless abandon. Not only that, but women are expected to take on this emotional labor no matter how exhausting or debilitating it ends up being. If a woman doesn’t take on that emotional burden, men often become angry and violent, and that woman, who may be a friend, relative, or romantic interest, quickly becomes one of those “bitches” he’ll inevitably rant about (to the tune of $infinity, no less).

More Radical Reads: Beyond the ‘Nice Guy’: Creating a New Masculinity in the 21st Century

How Can Men Be More Fair With Emotional Labor

  1. Understand that the labor is necessary.

As I’ve been saying throughout this article, emotional labor is required for any relationship to work. A relationship without some aspect of emotional labor can’t be a healthy relationship—it would be more along the lines of abusive. If you’re a man in a relationship and you often have emotional outbursts of anger, for example, it’s up to your partner to try to regulate the situation, which can be extremely exhausting, especially if it’s a common occurrence. It is pertinent for men to understand that their partners can’t be held responsible for men’s emotions all of the time, and it’s up to men to learn how to regulate and work on their own emotional issues first and foremost.

  1. Learn to listen, instead of having an answer for everything.

This is important for the emotional labor that you put into your relationships as well as the emotional labor your partner puts into it. As Jess Zimmerman wrote about in her article for The Toast, a lot of the emotional labor that women put into their relationships with men has to do with making sure they don’t blow up or get upset. A lot of that comes from men, especially cis straight men, thinking only they understand their situation, and instead of actually seeking help or guidance, they would rather hear what they want to hear. Men need to learn that anything their partner says that doesn’t sound inherently positive isn’t an attack on the man’s ego, but it is usually meant to be a depiction of their point of view on whatever situation you both are in or whatever problem you have come to them with. You have to learn how to listen, regulating your emotional response, allowing an actual conversation to take place as opposed to a forced therapy session.

  1. Take responsibility for your emotions—and your actions.

Similar to the first point, it is necessary for men to learn how to take on their own emotions head on and understand why having overbearing and violent emotional outbursts are not just a part of being a “man.” Men have to learn how to take responsibility for how their emotions come out in their relationships and look at how to manage them. This typically means taking the time to come to terms with the fact that, as a man, you are typically not challenged on your negative emotional output in positive, productive ways, as there are fewer stigmas against men being angry or overemotional than there are for women, trans* folks, and gender nonconforming folks. Because of that lack of challenging and lack of stigma, it is up to men to question themselves and be more reflexive with how their emotions affect others, becoming more sensitive to others’ emotions in the process, and allowing emotional labor to become an easier process.

  1. Learn to be comfortable with being vulnerable

One of the hardest parts of taking on emotional labor for men is the unwillingness to be vulnerable with their emotions. Part of the reflexivity that is necessary for emotional labor to take place is the ability to be vulnerable. But as I’ve discussed in previous articles, actually achieving vulnerability is hard for a lot of men because it goes against the norm of what it means to “be a man.” What it comes down to is basically this: you either have to come to terms with your emotions and the stress you put on others by not participating in the emotional labor, or continue to be cold and invulnerable while your relationships continue to suffer for it.

What Can Taking On Emotional Labor Actually Do For Relationships?

  1. Good relationships can thrive and bad relationships can end

When men learn to take on some of the burden that emotional labor can create, it can lead couples and other relationships to thrive. Understanding the give-and-take of emotions in a relationship means you’re more open to your partner’s emotions and concerns and you can better process your own emotions so they don’t come out in waves of anger or frustration. This also means that bad relationships can end without one party taking full responsibility for the emotional end of the deal. When both or all partners are putting in the emotional labor, it’s easier to figure out the true issues that underlie the relationship. That means the differences people have among each other become points of growth, even if it’s through separating from those other people, as opposed to points of contention that ruin partners’ mental health.

  1. Honesty can be a priority not just an assumption

Relationships with a good balance of emotional labor are inherently more honest relationships. In the same way as I mentioned above that the give-and-take of emotions can come to more of an equilibrium, fair emotional labor means that partners can be more honest with each other. Not just about positive things like compliments and recognition, but with less positive things like constructive criticism or aspects of the relationship you wish were different. This also means that partners can be more open with what they actually want in their relationship. Rather than feeling like they need to keep secrets or feeling like they need to get into arguments whenever a partner feels they’re being lied to.

  1. You can help change what it means to be a man

Finally, one of the most important aspects of men contributing more to the emotional labor in their relationships is changing what it means to “be a man” altogether. This is something that is nearly completely up to men to take on themselves. The emotional labor of redefining masculinity is not something that should be put on the shoulders of women, just like everything else that men have forced women and other partners and friends to deal with. It falls on the shoulders of men themselves to understand the importance of emotional labor and the need for vulnerability in order to truly achieve some sense of mutual respect and love amongst genders.

***

In order to continue producing high quality content and expanding the message of radical, unapologetic self-love, we need to build a sustainable organization. To meet these efforts, we’re thrilled to share the launch of our #NoBodiesInvisible subscription service. This service will provide our community with access to additional content and rewards for your monthly investment in furthering our radical self-love work.

[Feature Image: A dark skin individual with dreadlocks pulled back into a ponytail wears a black short while standing outdoors. The person has a light mustache and beard and is staring ahead at the camera with. Flickr.com/David Salafia]

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CrystalDave
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tsemaz:childhood memories of chinatown

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tsemaz:

childhood memories of chinatown

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jepler
88 days ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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“Get Out of Jail Free” Cards

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In the movies I’ve seen people who try to get out of a traffic ticket by telling the police officer they made a donation to the policeman’s ball, but those were comedies. I had no idea that not only does this exist there are official cards. In fact, the police in New York are livid that the number of cards is being limited:

The city’s police-officers union is cracking down on the number of “get out of jail free” courtesy cards distributed to cops to give to family and friends.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch slashed the maximum number of cards that could be issued to current cops from 30 to 20, and to retirees from 20 to 10, sources told The Post.

The cards are often used to wiggle out of minor trouble such as speeding tickets, the theory being that presenting one suggests you know someone in the NYPD.

The rank and file is livid.

“They are treating active members like s–t, and retired members even worse than s–t,” griped an NYPD cop who retired on disability. “All the cops I spoke to were . . . very disappointed they couldn’t hand them out as Christmas gifts.”

A Christmas gift of institutionalized corruption.

Here’s another article on these cards which just gets all the more stunning.

First, there are tiers of cards. Silver cards are the highest honor given to citizens. It’s almost universally honored by officers, and can also help save money on insurance. Gold PBA cards are only given to police officers and their families. You’d be hard-pressed finding a cop who won’t honor a gold card.

Gold and silver cards! It gets better. You can buy these cards on eBay. Here’s a gold New Jersey card on sale for $114. A silver “family member” shield goes for $299. Some of these are probably fake. The gold and silver are rare but remember, cops get 20 to 30 regular cards so you can see why they might be upset at losing them.

The regular cards have become more common as NYC hires more police. The union may in fact be trying to bump up its monopoly profit by restricting supply.

The cards don’t just go to family members. The rot is deep:

Union officials say the cards are also public relations tools and tokens of appreciation handed out to politicians, judges, lawyers, businessmen, civil service workers and members of the news media.

A retired police officer on Quora explains how the privilege is enforced:

The officer who is presented with one of these cards will normally tell the violator to be more careful, give the card back, and send them on their way.

…The other option is potentially more perilous. The enforcement officer can issue the ticket or make the arrest in spite of the courtesy card. This is called “writing over the card.” There is a chance that the officer who issued the card will understand why the enforcement officer did what he did, and nothing will come of it. However, it is equally possible that the enforcement officer’s zeal will not be appreciated, and the enforcement officer will come to work one day to find his locker has been moved to the parking lot and filled with dog excrement.

He’s not kidding. Here is what seems like a real police officer on a cop chat room (from Mimesis law)

It’s important for me to get in touch with shield [omitted] and ask him why he felt it necessary to say “I’m not even going to look at that” to my PBA card and proceed [sic] to write a speeding ticket on the Bronx River Parkway yesterday afternoon to my fukking WIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll show him the courtesy he so sorely lacks by not posting his name on a public forum.

Any help would be appreciated.  Please inbox me.

I will find you.

I find these cards especially odious as more and more police are funding themselves through fines and forfeitures. Discriminatory taxation increases the tax rate. It’s one rule for the ruler and another for the ruled.

The cards are not a secret but I agree with my colleague Mark Koyama who remarked:

Sometimes you find out something about the country you live in that makes it appear little better than a corrupt, tinpot, banana republic.

The post “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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CrystalDave
88 days ago
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satadru
85 days ago
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The hard bigotry of high associations.
New York, NY
skorgu
89 days ago
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What surprises me is that this surprises people. PBA cards have been well known in my circles since the 80s.
karmakaze
88 days ago
Someone in my circles has had one of the gold ones since the 80's (though he no longer lives in state).
satadru
85 days ago
I think this is mostly an East Coast thing in the US, no? These weren't on our radar in the midwest, but I came out here and heard doctors bragging about how they would put their PBA cards on their dashes when they got pulled over by the cops. I was flabbergasted.
StunGod
89 days ago
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Of course this is a thing. We don't have equal justice, we have discretionary justice for sale.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
JimB
89 days ago
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You have to hope that this is fake news. Corruption is bad news.
wmorrell
89 days ago
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Police are just another gang, part 8179.
duerig
89 days ago
Too often, people in power are held to a lower standard than others. But in a just society, they must be held to a higher standard instead. Whether it is cops and traffic tickets or bosses and workplace romance. The price of power should be increased scrutiny and decreased freedom of action.

To Serve Man, with Software

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I didn't chose to be a programmer. Somehow, it seemed, the computers chose me. For a long time, that was fine, that was enough; that was all I needed. But along the way I never felt that being a programmer was this unambiguously great-for-everyone career field with zero downsides. There are absolutely occupational hazards of being a programmer, and one of my favorite programming quotes is an allusion to one of them:

It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter.

Which reminds me of another joke that people were telling in 2015:

Donald Trump is basically a comment section running for president

Technically, technically I run a company that builds comment sections. Here at the tail end of 2017, from where I sit neither of these jokes seem particularly funny to me any more. Perhaps I have lost the capacity to feel joy as a human being? Haha just kidding! ... kinda.

Remember in 2011 when Marc Andreeseen said that "Software is eating the world?"

software is eating the world, Marc Andreessen

That used to sound cool and inspirational, like "Wow! We software developers really are making a difference in the world!" and now for the life of me I can't read it as anything other than an ominous warning that we just weren't smart enough to translate properly at the time. But maybe now we are.

to-serve-man

I've said many, many times that the key to becoming an experienced software developer is to understand that you are, at all times, your own worst enemy. I don't mean this in a negative way – you have to constantly plan for and design around your inevitable human mistakes and fallibility. It's fundamental to good software engineering because, well, we're all human. The good-slash-bad news is that you're only accidentally out to get yourself. But what happens when we're infinitely connected and software is suddenly everywhere, in everyone's pockets every moment of the day, starting to approximate a natural extension of our bodies? All of a sudden those software accidents become considerably more dangerous:

The issue is bigger than any single scandal, I told him. As headlines have exposed the troubling inner workings of company after company, startup culture no longer feels like fodder for gentle parodies about ping pong and hoodies. It feels ugly and rotten. Facebook, the greatest startup success story of this era, isn’t a merry band of hackers building cutesy tools that allow you to digitally Poke your friends. It’s a powerful and potentially sinister collector of personal data, a propaganda partner to government censors, and an enabler of discriminatory advertising.

I'm reminded of a particular Mitchell and Webb skit: "Are we the baddies?"

On the topic of unanticipated downsides to technology, there is no show more essential than Black Mirror. If you haven't watched Black Mirror yet, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go immediately to Netflix and watch it. Go on! Go ahead!

⚠ Fair warning: please DO NOT start with season 1 episode 1 of Black Mirror! Start with season 3, and go forward. If you like those, dip into season 2 and the just-released season 4, then the rest. But humor me and please at least watch the first episode of season 3.

The technology described in Black Mirror can be fanciful at times, but I can think of several episodes that portray disturbingly plausible scenarios with today's science and tech, much less what we'll have 20 to 50 years from now. These are very real cautionary tales, and some of this stuff is well on its way toward being realized.

Programmers don't think of themselves as people with power. Most programmers I know, including myself, grew up as nerds, geeks, social outcasts. Did I ever tell you about the time I wrote a self-destructing Apple // boot disk program to let a girl in middle school know that I liked her? I was (and still am) a terrible programmer, but oh man did I ever test the heck out of that code before copying on to her school floppy disc. But I digress. What do you do when you wake up one day and software has kind of eaten the world, and it is no longer clear if software is in fact an unambiguously good thing, like we thought, like everyone told us … like we wanted it to be?

Months ago I submitted a brief interview for a children's book about coding.

I recently recieved a complimentary copy of the book in the mail. I paged to my short interview, alongside the very cool Kiki Prottsman. I had no real recollection of the interview questions after the months of lead time it takes to print a physical book, but reading the printed page, I suddenly hit myself over the head with the very answer I had been searching my soul for these past 6 months:

Jeff Atwood quote: what do you love most about coding?

In attempting to simplify my answers for an audience of kids, I had concisely articulated the one thing that keeps me coming back to software: to serve man. Not on a platter, for bullshit monetization – but software that helps people be the best version of themselves.

And you know why I do it? I need that help, too. I get tired, angry, upset, emotional, cranky, irritable, frustrated and I need to be reminded from time to time to choose to be the better version of myself. I don't always succeed. But I want to. And I believe everyone else – for some reasonable statistical value of everyone else – fundamentally does, too.

That was the not-so-secret design philosophy behind Stack Overflow, that by helping others become better programmers, you too would become a better programmer. It's unavoidable. And, even better, if we leave enough helpful breadcrumbs behind for those that follow us, we collectively advance the whole of programming for everyone.

I apologize for not blogging much at all in 2017. I've certainly been busy with Discourse which is actually going great; we grew to 21 people and gave $55,000 back this year to the open source ecosystem we build on. But that's no excuse. The truth is that it's been hard to write because this has been a deeply troubling year in so many dimensions — for men, for tech, for American democracy. I'm ashamed of much that happened, and I think one of the first and most important steps we can take is to embrace explicit codes of conduct throughout our industry. I also continue to believe, if we start to think more holistically about what our software can do to serve all people, not just ourselves personally — that software can and should be part of the solution.

I tried to amplify on these thoughts in recent podcasts:

 Community Engineering Report with Kim Crayton
 Developer on Fire with Dave Rael
 Dorm Room Tycoon with William Channer

Software is easy to change, but people ... aren't. So in the new year, as software developers, let's make a resolution to focus on the part we can change, and keep asking ourselves one very important question: how can our software help people be the best version of themselves?

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