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Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century$
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David W. Gutzke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719052644

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719052644.001.0001

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Bikinis, boots and booze

Bikinis, boots and booze

(p.91) 4 Bikinis, boots and booze
Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century

David W. Gutzke

Manchester University Press

Drink manufacturers saw sex as the pathway to enticing males in the 1970s, and exploited women’s sexual attractions to promote beer sales. Dressed in provocative, titillating clothing, women in advertisements assumed the guise of alluring but submissive wives, entirely dependent financially on their husbands. Inside pubs and clubs sexist images firmly established this era as the chauvinistic seventies, with snack manufacturer Big D and its scantily clad, buxom models and Tennent Brewery with its photographs of lager lovelies imprinted on beer cans exemplifying the pervasive male attitudes of those who sold and consumed alcohol. Through these portrayals, brewers reassured men of the persistence of the status quo in gender relations. Drinking etiquette sustained masculine culture and dominance well into the 1980s, contradicting assertions of a sea-change in gender drinking habits. Ironically, women drinkers, especially from the middle classes, played an important role in rising beer consumption. Three pub types—rough, respectable and posh middle-class establishments—endured into the 1980s.

Keywords:   Chauvinistic seventies, Drinking etiquette, Unescorted females, “Lager lovelies”, Market research, Masculinity, Brewers’ advertising, CAMRA, Spirits manufacturers, Pub types

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