Monday, December 08, 2008

Booze And Women

I bet you thought that might mean the same as 'drugs and hookers', something that men talk about while listing the main food groups. But no, sadly, it's all about the increased alcoholism among women. A New York Magazine article tells us about this by citing a few statistical facts concerning increased drinking among young women. Then the article goes on to interview all sorts of women who drink too much and then it tells us that the main reason for their drinking is feminism. Yeah. You don't need to actually ask women why they drink; it's clearly the cause of the striving towards gender equality, and the message is that Equality Is Bad For Women. Of course equality and feminism are defined very oddly in this article. The writers of the blog Jezebel are quoted as experts, for instance.

Is it not sad? Remember that there is no actual study about why women who drink too much do so. The feminism bit was just inserted into the story to make it sell more and perhaps incidentally to tell women that, nope, equality is not really possible. Look what happens when you try to drink like a guy?

I'd like to know what proportion of all alcoholics are female. It would be a good thing to know just so that we can set this female drinking epidemic into some kind of proportion with the general drinking epidemic. I'd also like to know whether 'drinking like a guy' means to drink the same number of glasses or pints or whether it means drinking the same amount in some proportional sense.

Reading the article made me think if I want to eat as much as my much-taller brother, just so as to feel equal. Some introspection reveals that I don't. Which makes me suspect that women don't actually drink as much as men with different body chemistries, just to feel equal in some odd way. If there is any equality-related aspect to excess drinking it's probably more a desire to fit in with the guys, to be accepted as one of them?

The article is really sad, because it could have taken a different avenue and actually talked about the dangers of excess drinking and the reasons people do it and the alternatives that might exist. That opportunity was lost, in favor of the argument that women really were better off when they couldn't drink in public and so had to drink less. Or get Valium from their family doctors.

You may have figured out by now that I'm a feminist. Yet I've never advocated increased alcoholism as The Path Towards Gender Equality. How odd the mainstream media sometimes is in its primal views about feminism.