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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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31 Responses

  1. preying mantis
    preying mantis December 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm |

    “But I’m getting mighty annoyed at journalists who are outraged when women start engaging in the same “bad behaviors” that men have always engaged in with little comment”

    What’s there to comment on? Everybody knows it’s totally cool when dudes drink themselves into the ICU trying to impress their frat brothers or get so hammered that they hurt themselves in ways that are just one over-used America’s Funniest Home Videos sound-effect away from hilarity. Penises are like magic wands–one wave of the dick and everything’s back to normal, right?

  2. missdk
    missdk December 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm |

    What a ridiculous article.

    Take two people. Both have the equal opportunity to drink as little or as much as they want. In the end, they both come out to drink about the same.

    Nothing strange there, right? But one happens to be male, and the other female and suddenly it becomes an issue.

    Feminism is the root of women drinking like men, because we are people and finally able to act like it.

  3. Cactus Wren
    Cactus Wren December 8, 2008 at 7:47 pm |

    From the article: “For the bulk of history, women have skewed toward the teetotaler end of the spectrum”.

    Man, would I like a cite for that. But Morris has included quite a number of unsourced assertions and pure anecdotes, as if “I heard once” or “A friend of mine said” could be counted as evidence.

  4. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses December 8, 2008 at 7:51 pm |

    Here’s another conversation between two feminists about drinking:

    Feminist Friend: You taught me to think differently about drinking. I’m more conscious of my alcohol intake when I’m drinking now.

    Feminist Me: How did I do that?

    Feminist Friend: When you told me about the effects of alcohol on the brain. When you told me the order in which the different parts of the brain start to fail during a night of drinking. How the faster you drink, the quicker the different parts of your brain fail, and how blacking out is your brain’s way of keeping you from drinking yourself to death. And if you drink too fast, you can get alcohol poisoning before your brain gets a chance to black out. So now I can pace myself and be more aware of the effect the alcohol is having on my brain.

    Feminist Me: Oh yeah.

    When is someone going to write an article about that?

  5. miwome
    miwome December 8, 2008 at 7:53 pm |

    The other thing that kept getting a big ol’ “ha-WHAAA?” from me was when the author got into the statistics–the increased chances of getting oogedy or boogedy from drinking–and just tosses off “four drinks a day will blah blah blah” and I’m sitting here thinking, “four drinks a DAY?” I mean, Christ, I’m a college student and I drink more than a lot of my peers but there is no chance that would ever happen. Four drinks IN A DAY, sure, but on the regular?

    I mean, who the hell is he or she talking about?

  6. Isabel
    Isabel December 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm |

    Jill, you are so patient in areas where I would be just like, hey SHUT UP AND STOP BEING AN IDIOT, and for that, I both thank and applaud you.

  7. preying mantis
    preying mantis December 8, 2008 at 8:26 pm |

    “From the article: “For the bulk of history, women have skewed toward the teetotaler end of the spectrum”.

    Man, would I like a cite for that.”

    Well, you just have to assume that everything written about women re: drinking before the 18th century was scribbled down on Opposite Day, and that moralists who railed against women’s insatiable gluttony and animalistic natures–which men had to be constantly on guard against in order to restrain and remain uncorrupted by–were really griping about how their wives refused to have even the smallest sip of wine with them.

  8. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey December 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm |

    We can take Alex Morris’s argument to it’s logical conclusion.

    Lost is a shitty show: blame feminism.

    The author, Alex Morris, points out that “more women are drinking” — as evidenced by the fact that 48 percent of women acknowledge having had at least one drink in the past month, and an increasing number of women admit to being moderate to heavy drinkers.

    I’m betting people are drinking more during the recession. Being evicted has a way of doing that to people.

  9. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil December 8, 2008 at 9:03 pm |

    From the article: “For the bulk of history, women have skewed toward the teetotaler end of the spectrum”.

    Man, would I like a cite for that.

    “Um, so I seem to remember something about this Carrie Nation chick…so all women must be teetotalers!”

    That said, I think he’s confusing women’s prominence in the temperance movement with an overall tendency towards abstaining from alcohol.

  10. Lina Kirkwood
    Lina Kirkwood December 8, 2008 at 9:06 pm |

    I was amazingly upset to discover that choosing to have responsible, protected sex outside of the “he’s your boyfriend of x amount of time” paradigm somehow tossed me into the drunken slut category. Had I a penis, what I was doing would be applauded.

    Instead women and men both regarded me as less. I know that it will take a long time (if it happens at all) for a Starbuck a la Battlestar Galactica to emerge (drinking and snogging like a guy, but still respected for her skills/credentials, etc.) and have it be an acceptable theory, but it still frustrates me that special rules apply.

  11. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey December 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm |

    Instead women and men both regarded me as less. I know that it will take a long time (if it happens at all) for a Starbuck a la Battlestar Galactica to emerge (drinking and snogging like a guy, but still respected for her skills/credentials, etc.) and have it be an acceptable theory, but it still frustrates me that special rules apply.

    Lina, I love BSG, but Starbuck is also crazy. I mean kill people crazy.

  12. Peter
    Peter December 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm |

    The article, titled “Should Gender Equality Extend to Drinking?,” basically argues that drinking is bad for us ladies, and that increased alcohol consumption among women is the fault of feminism and college.

    I blame those ridiculous “Girls Gone Wild” videos.

    *sarcasm

  13. lt
    lt December 8, 2008 at 10:50 pm |

    The best part was that the whole beginning of the article was about a woman who drank to fit in *in her male-dominated workplace.* Guess feminism created the culture of banking, too. Or, more likely, it’s her fault for going where she didn’t belong.

    Blegh.

  14. Alice
    Alice December 8, 2008 at 10:55 pm |

    That whole article is really the stupidest thing… I am now stupider having read it.

  15. RacyT
    RacyT December 9, 2008 at 12:11 am |

    I love how they mention Bridget Jones on the first page — the Drinking Story answer to the usually-obligatory Sex and the City reference in scaremongering articles.

    Fifty-five percent of college students who meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse are female.

    I’m going to go out on a crazy limb and guess that maybe, just maybe, the fact that about fifty-five percent of college students overall are female might have some effect on this figure.

    Good grief.

  16. RacyT
    RacyT December 9, 2008 at 12:12 am |

    BTW Jill, you’ve been so ON lately. When are you getting a book deal? (I guess maybe that should read, when do you think you’ll have time to write one?)

  17. Standtall
    Standtall December 9, 2008 at 6:15 am |

    It baffles me why anything a woman does need be use against her and her belief system especially in feminism.

  18. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan December 9, 2008 at 8:42 am |

    That whole article is really the stupidest thing… I am now stupider having read it.

    I blame my incipient drinking problem on this article.

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  20. Dreamweasel
    Dreamweasel December 9, 2008 at 9:09 am |

    You want to write about binge drinking? Fine. Want to write about the increase in female binge-drinking? Fine with me. But there’s a way to do it that isn’t paternalistic and hand-wringing.

    I don’t know, I’ve always found that the vast majority of commentary on the subject of “binge drinking” could easily be described as paternalistic and hand-wringing, regardless of the gender of the subjects involved. Rather, any analysis of drinking habits on college campuses is forced into the false dichotomy of “binge drinking” vs. “alcohol-free”. The 18 to 20-year-olds who are capable of drinking in moderation (like most adults) barely merit a mention in such diatribes, presumably because It’s Illegal and It’s Wrong and We Must Never Implicitly Condone Such a Thing.

    I think everything else you said was right on the money.

  21. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe December 9, 2008 at 10:31 am |

    LOL….yes, dem feminists. Must be why I love this site:

    http://www.mommyneedsacocktail.com

    Such flagrant alcohol abuse among women is a result of letting us into college. Women never drank before that. Betty ford was a victim of the women’s movement.

    Any possibility women drink for fun – or because of the men in their lives???? Nope – must be because of feminism. And hey – why not global warming too? *rolls eyes*

  22. DAS
    DAS December 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm |

    Feminism is to be blamed for women drinking because we all know that back in the good old days of the 1950s women didn’t drink?

  23. alphabitch
    alphabitch December 9, 2008 at 1:13 pm |

    ” … back in the good old days of the 1950s women didn’t drink?”

    ha!!!

    sorry, that made my lunch-time martini spray right out my nose.

  24. llewelly
    llewelly December 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm |

    This article has inspired me to add a new Feministe category: Blame Feminism.


    Now wait a minute here – you’ve had this blog for how many years, and you just now adding a Blame Feminism category?
    talk about rose-coloured glasses.

  25. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler December 9, 2008 at 2:55 pm |

    What percentage of men have had a drink in the past month?

    Fashionably Evil, the temperance movement in this country was associated with women because it was a moral crusade (and because the women who drank weren’t rich WASPs and no one cared). Men abandoned their families when they drank, they forced their wives and children into poverty when they drank, they raped their wives when they drank (at a time when that was legal in every sense of the word); if eliminating alcohol from society really would stop all those things I might start thinking about it.

  26. William
    William December 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm |

    Fifty-five percent of college students who meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse are female.

    Quoting this number, on it’s own, is utterly useless. As one poster has already pointed out this number is meaningless is 55% of college students or more is female. I know that at my undergraduate institution the ratio of men to women was about 2:1, at my graduate institution its closer to 8:1. Without the context of the gender break down of college students these kinds of numbers are at best irrelevant and at worst misleading.

    A second problem with citing a statistic like this is that it gives us little information as to the actual prevalence of alcohol abuse on college campuses by members of any gender. If rates are low then a gender breakdown number like that is essentially useless because it is highly susceptible to idiosyncratic factors within the relatively small sample size being examined. This is a particular concern given the fact that most studies of this sort are not broad population studies but studies of smaller sample groups that are assumed to represent the population as a whole. If you have 10,000 students on campus, and 500 of them participate in the study (an extraordinary feat), you have a pretty good sample size. If you’re only considering the people who meet a given clinical criteria within that 500 people, however, you run into a problem. If, say, 10% of the college population fits the criteria for alcohol abuse (a generous estimate) then your real sample is only 50 individuals for a population of 10,000.

    Now that we have the stats out of the way, what is this “clinical criteria for alcohol abuse?” The DSM-IV-TR definition is as follows:

    * A. A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

    1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)
    2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
    3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct)
    4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)

    * B. The symptoms have never met the criteria for Substance Dependence for this class of substance.

    Thats the actual clinical criteria for alcohol abuse that would go in your chart, but that doesn’t mean its an objective criteria. Depending on the questions, cut-off levels, and definitions you can game the statistic to fit any hypothesis. What working definitions were used, how was data collected, and what effect did patient privacy have on restricting the collection of this data? Who was making the call as to whether or not students fit the criteria? How did gender factor into perceptions about things like “failure to fulfill social obligations” or “social or interpersonal problems?”

    Why doesn’t the author just save us all the time in the future and say what he means: drinking is for the menfolk?

  27. Nicole
    Nicole December 9, 2008 at 8:24 pm |

    That’s by far the weirdest article I’ve ever read.

    It’s kinda like

    “Slavery happened: Blame the Civil Rights Movement”

    …wtf

  28. jane
    jane December 10, 2008 at 1:57 pm |

    i know this is off-topic, but gender is not the same is sex. my sex is female, my gender is feminine. i have a friend whose sex is female, but whose gender is masculine. it seems nit-picky, but incorrect usage is a subtle reinforcement of sex/gender roles, and it’s actually confusing for me to read: “how did gender factor into perceptions…” means something totally different than intended, when one assumes the actual meaning of the word “gender”.

    thanks!

  29. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault December 10, 2008 at 6:53 pm |

    Funny, because my appreciation of beer was inspired by my husband, not my Women’s Studies degree ;)

  30. matttbastard
    matttbastard December 10, 2008 at 8:43 pm |

    Feminism is to be blamed for women drinking because we all know that back in the good old days of the 1950s women didn’t drink?

    Duh.

    They popped Valium back then. A far more lady-like substance to abuse, natch.

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