Dear Bube's Brewery Angels:
Picture yourself as a woman........a woman in the year 1919. You live in a row home in a city. Your husband works as a foreman at a factory, and makes enough money to feed you and your five children, with a little left over for an occasional indulgence. Each day you wear a dress, as all ladies of your day do, that does not expose an inch of your leg. You don't work, you've got enough to do minding the house and the children. In most ways, your life is unremarkable. But you feel a remarkable connection to the other ladies of your era. You and all the other women in America just got the right to vote.
At that moment in history a circle had become completed. In the day that this country was founded, equal rights meant equal rights for white, property-owning men. By the end of the civil war, even a poor black man could vote, but not a woman. By 1915, as a society, we had cast off feudalism and monarchy, we had shed the institution of slavery, we had begun to control abusive monopolies and establish fair labor practices, all by turning the gears of democracy, but a democracy that women weren't a part of. It is hard for us to appreciate how much a woman in 1919 appeciated her first time voting. She would have felt very aware of her place in history. None of us have ever voted with anything close to that feeling. The woman of 1919 felt that she was part of winning a long and hard fought battle. For centuries women generally had no political power, and now in an instant, they had doubled the voting population of this country. For centuries, women could not discuss taboo subjects such as birth control. In 1919, for the first time, women discussed birth contol openly, and began to challenge their traditionally subservient position in relation to men. But the changes were mostly social and political, not personal, and they still wore the long dresses.
Now fast foward ten years. You're that woman again. Your daughter that was 14 in 1919 is now 24 years old. You find out that she's been wearing dresses that stop at her knee and expose her entire calf. She's been listening to jazz music and worst of all, she's been hanging out in speakeasies, drinking illegal liquor with men. You're not the least bit happy. You and the other women of America didn't go to all that trouble for this. As far as you're concerned, your daughter's generation is taking your hard fought victory and throwing it in the trash. Your daughter doesn't even vote. Your disappointment runs deep, but you are powerless to change where things are headed and little do you realize that your daughter's generation is continuing the liberalization of women's limits in our society. Just not in ways that you would have done it if you got to pick such things. But you don't.
There is a tie-in here to Bube's Brewery, believe it or not. When next you come visit us, take a close look at the bar in the Alois Restaurant. It is a pre-Prohibition bar design. You can tell this in an instant by the simple fact that the only rest room available from the bar is the men's room. Ladies never set foot in a bar before Prohibition, it was then a man-only domain. Men drank and smoked cigars there. They played poker, discussed politics, and spit their chewing tobacco spit into a trough that ran conveniently all along the front of the bar. Late at night, when the men had more than a few drinks in them, they used the trough for another purpose that saved them from treading the four or five steps to the bathroom. If a wife happened to accompany her husband to the Central Hotel (the name of the building that the Alois restaurant is in), she may have had dinner with him in the dining room of the hotel. After dinner, however, while the husband went off to the bar to drink with the men, the wife would remain in the dining room, possibly having a conversation with Mrs. Bube. If she had to go to the bathroom, she had to trudge up the stairs into the hotel in order to do so. During Prohibition ladies went into speakeasies to drink illegal liquor with the men. After Prohibition, new bars installed ladies' rooms next to the mens' rooms, and the use of the spitting trough quickly faded away. Some bars continued to not allow women patrons even after Prohibition, but they soon became the exception. Today it would be very hard to find a bar that only allowed men patrons, and if you did find one, most woman probably wouldn't want to go in that bar anyway. We encourage women to go into the bar at Bube's Brewery today.
Have a great autumn and please put us on your schedule for a visit!
---The Staff at Bube's Brewery
© 2004 Bube's Brewery