Women Drink Because of Sexism—or Not

Ann Friedman ponders women's boozy side
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2016 1:54 PM CDT
Women Drink Because of Sexism—or Not
Did she have five margaritas because she just watched reruns of "Sex and the City" or because of the patriarchy?   (Pixabay)

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.

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.)

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