MISSION, B.C.–March 8, 2010
Today is International Women's Day (IWD). Exactly 35 years since I first became aware that there was such a thing.
IWD had, of course, been established in 1911 and was finally officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975, which it declared as International Women's Year. That's the year I first knew of it.
I came of age in the 70s while attending Cariboo Hill Secondary School in Burnaby, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver and, in those days, truly a bedroom community.
When I first started there in 1970, we girls were not allowed to wear long pants at school. If it was a snowy day, then we could wear long pants to school, but had to take them off once in school. Certainly it was okay for us to wear mini, midi, and maxi skirts and hot pants and crop tops any time of year. Oh yeah, and we could smoke (anything), too.
That's the year I met my first Ms, who happened to be a teacher, a guidance counsellor, to be exact. That's the year this teacher, Ms. Goulden, helped us put together a petition to allow us to wear long pants in school. That's the year we girls (society was still calling young women girls then) finally won the right to wear pants in school. (Cue choir) Hallelujah.
1972 is the year I learned that opportunities weren't the same for boys and girls or for men and women. So I became active. I became vocal. I became a feminist. And that made people angry.
The 70s were stormy, for women and the world. So many people feared feminism; they actually thought that in order to be a feminist, one had to hate men or take their power away, when really it just meant one was actively working to provide equal opportunity for women to be whole sexual (not sex objects), intellectual beings able to control our own bodies while we think, learn, practice, try, and even fail. Fear can make people do crazy things…
So here I am in 2010, one year before the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, and you're wondering what the hell any of this has to do with wine.
Well, not much, I suppose. Except that these three bottles of Strut wine—Well-Heeled White, Risqué Rosé, and Red over Heels—and their labels depicting women's disembodied parts (legs), are leaving me with a sense of déjà vu: women objectified, not respected.
Sure, I understand the rationale from the marketing department. I'm certainly not arguing that the marketing's not working. Hell, I know it is. And that's what's making me sad.
I received these three wines as samples in December, 2009, and originally tasted them in early January. Unfortunately, I misplaced my notes so, rather than try to remember, I went and bought another three bottles. Last night I tasted them. Again.
Here are my notes:
2008 Strut Well-Heeled White($13.99/13.4% ABV)
Lots of tropical fruit and citrus on both the nose and the palate with this entry-level white wine. For the price, it will serve perfectly as that Tuesday-after-work patio wine. And, when someone wants to add ice cubes in the glass or mix it with soda, you won’t flip out.
2008 Strut Risqué Rosé($13.99/13.1% ABV)
The strawberry and banana penny candy on the nose is a sure give away of the Gamay component of this wine. The rest of it—aromas and flavours of strawberries, sour cherries, and rhubarb—work together for an enjoyable value-priced BC rosé. Juicy and nicely balanced, I’d buy this one again.
2008 Strut Red Over Heels($13.99/14.4% ABV)
I found plums, blackberries, black olives, and spice on the nose, with plums and ripe cherries on the palate. This simple, pleasant wine is value priced and ready to drink now. It worked just fine with tonight’s meat loaf and would probably match up with any meat dish that wasn’t too rare or rich.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.