Sexism, Wine and Politics

sexism winePennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett finds himself in hot water for what is being deemed a sexist statement about women and wine. In a recent interview in which the Governor was touting his attempt to privatize the Pennsylvania’s government-run alcohol sales system, allow private stores including grocery stores to sell wine and other alcohol rather than having to go to a state store, he said women would support his reforms because it would save them time preparing dinner:

“I think a lot of people want to be able to walk into a grocery store, particularly, a lot of the women, want to go and buy a bottle of wine for dinner, go down, buy a six-pack or two six-packs, buy dinner and go home rather than what I described as three stops in Pennsylvania.”

Critics and political opponents are saying that the governor is sexist in assuming that, as the Huffington Post and his political opponents put it, “Apparently, only women make dinner.” The implication is that the Governor believes a women’s place is in the kitchen.

I don’t know if the Governor is sexist. However, I do know his is in the middle of a political campaign and that his logic concerning wine, state liquor system reform, grocery shopping and women in the kitchen is correct. Consider the following:

According to the Wine Market Council as reported in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Women buy 60 percent of all wine in this country and 85 percent of wines priced under $18.

In addition, women cook 78% of dinners, make 93% of food purchases and spend 3 times as many hours in the kitchen as men.

If there is a likelihood of support for liquor reform based on the time it would save to be able to purchase wine when you purchase groceries, then women would certainly seem more likely to support these reforms.


7 Responses

  1. Chris Kassel - August 28, 2014

    Good column. A dose of logic for the PC police; a glass of Sauternes should help the medicine go down.

  2. Marcia Macomber - August 28, 2014

    And the governor’s political opponents will likely seize upon anything they think might diminish the governor’s support and success. Let’s just raise a glass to support all the residents of PA (men and women) who would like to buy the wine of their choice (domestic, imported, local….) when and where they choose as most convenient to them!

    As long as the governor is not proposing that it is ONLY women who will be able make their wine purchases at privately owned stores, I don’t see a problem with his comment.

  3. Bill Mciver - August 28, 2014

    Yeah, Tom, we tried promoting direct shipping with those kind of stats back in the 1990s…interesting to see that women still buy most of the wine, should be able to do it while shopping for groceries, and do it all in one stop at the food market. I don’t think this country will ever get over our puritanism and prohibition.

  4. Amy Christine MW - August 28, 2014

    My mom doesn’t drink wine AT ALL, yet she still does the wine buying for my dad because she’s the one that goes to the grocery store. I think, anecdotally at least, we can all relate in some way to those stats!

  5. Tom Wark - August 28, 2014

    Bill, I was reading about the 1701 Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties and learned that even back then, the Pennsylvania government had to approve of who could and could not operate a tavern. You are correct, the suspicion of drink runs deep. However, now alcohol regulation is also is a rent seeking operation.

    • Ron Marsilio - August 29, 2014

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the State Government in just about every State has to approve, in one form or another through licensing, as to whom could operate a tavern. I hardly think it is puritanical for a society to want to control the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages, when they control just about every other mind altering substance, including those that are less dangerous than alcohol.

  6. Tom Wark - August 29, 2014


    There is Control, and then their is CONTROL!!!!!

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