Friday, September 2, 2016

Are Men Driving Women to Drink?

Yeah, probably, turn about is fair play. But feminists are fighting about it: Women Drink Because of Sexism
 A recent essay on Quartz by Kristi Coulter has been making waves on social media, with a (now-sober) Coulter saying she thinks 21st-century women guzzle too much hooch to forget about the sexist world we live in. Ann Friedman offers her own take, writing for the Washington Post that even though she takes some of Coulter's "well-written" points to heart, she's not completely on board with Coulter's conclusion, noting it's "difficult to separate what is and isn't related to the patriarchy." "Did I get drunk last night because of the patriarchy? Who knows," she says, listing other woman-related issues (e.g., a penchant for short hair, picking at one's cuticles) that could theoretically be linked to a male-dominated society.
Well, you could read the article linked to above, and try to find out why Kristi thinks it's all men's fault that women drink. I tried, Lord knows, I tried. The article is wandering, whiny and and nearly incomprehensible. But as near as I can figure out she's a feminist, and like a hammer needs a nail, a feminist needs a problem to blame a man for.
Friedman lays out why she's reluctant to fully toast Coulter's thesis, noting many men also drink to deal with the day-to-day, and that pop culture—especially via boozy women protagonists on TV and in the movies—has much to do with it, too, presenting alcohol "as both a coping mechanism and a bonding tool." And she cites her own personal imbibing, relaying how her boozing sessions tend to serve a more active "plotting" purpose to direct her "outrage," with her drinking buddies serving as sounding boards. "Maybe patriarchy does drive us to drink, just as patriarchy drives us to shave our legs and wear bright lipstick," she concludes. "Or maybe it doesn’t, and we get drunk for the same reasons that men do. Either way, I'm less concerned about what draws women together over a bottle of wine, and more interested in what we do once we get there." (Her entire essay here.)
 No, ladies, it’s not men ‘making’ us drink
According to Coulter, we drink because men don’t always listen to what we say and because some of them can be jerks at work, as if men always listen to each other and never behave like jerks to other men.

We drink because the patriarchy pressures us into being a “24-hour woman” and because we’re expected to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let him forget he’s a man.

Apparently men don’t have the same 24-hour schedule for their manhood.

Blaming the patriarchy doesn’t help explain why men drink at a higher rate than women.

A 2015 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 56 percent of men drink vs 48 percent of women.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than women and have nearly double the rate of alcohol dependence.

Hand-wringing about women drinking more than they used to is misplaced, too. Women are drinking more not because the patriarchy oppresses them but because the patriarchy includes them.

They’re having after-work drinks with their co-workers in what used to be a boys-only club. Women face a lot of pressures, that’s true. But it’s not “society” applying those pressures, it’s often women themselves.

There’s article after article about women trying to have it all. I’ve written such articles myself.

We want to be perfect mothers, perfect wives, perfect friends all while excelling at our jobs and looking amazing. We feel like failures when we don’t win at all of that. It’s a tough haul.

It’s not the patriarchy judging us, or forcing us to judge each other. It’s not men telling us we have to try having it “all.”
. . .
What I took away from Coulter’s piece is that apparently other women have a lot more time to socialize than I do. I could blame the patriarchy for that or I could work on making plans with my friends more often. There are solutions to problems that don’t involve blaming men.

Women should look into those first.
Have a drink while you do it.

This post made Blog of the Day at Pirate's Cove. Thanks, Teach! Wombat-socho has the  "Rule Five Sunday: Labor Day Weekend Edition" up and running at The Other McCain.

1 comment:

  1. Coulter makes me need a drink. No matter how good they have it, even the good is a micro-aggression. Man, that term gives em cause to bitch about ANYthing.

    Maker's Mark, two fingers, please, hold the rocks.