Chairman Wow!

October 22, 2009

Booze Blues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Carly J Hallman @ 9:38 am

my-boozeBoozing it up is one of the oldest, and most beloved, forms of entertainment in the world. But British newspaper the Daily Mail reports that binge drinking, particularly among young women, is among the major social problems polluting the UK’s streets. Due to increases in violent crime and generally “unacceptable” behavior, police in Cardiff have now become responsible for enforcing a city-wide ban on public drinking– a ban which doesn’t make the act of drinking itself illegal, but provides police the power to confiscate alcohol and order abusers to immediately stop consumption. While these attempts to curtail sloppy drunkenness are admirable and will probably prove somewhat effective in lowering crime levels, they certainly won’t solve the real problem.

The Daily Mail focuses on the new laws and enforcement thereof, but the more interesting story is, of course, the startlingly high rate of binge drinking among college-aged British women. In 2005, Koren Zailckas‘s “Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood” drew attention to the problem within the US, but nearly five years later, little has been done to explore (or prevent) the causes of the alcoholism prevalent among young women first-worldwide. In her memoir, Zailckas points to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem induced by unrealistic expectations of what it means to be female (delivered daily via TV, the Internet, magazines, billboards, etc.) and the pressure to meet these expectations within a male-centric world. While this argument may or may not hold up, it’s worth noting that in Hollywood, where many of these expectations originate, celebrity wrecks Paris Hilton, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay-vodka-in-a-water-bottle-Lohan, and thosegirlsfromTheHills have done little more than romanticize the sauce’s appeal.

So, how do little girls go from watching wholesome Hannah Montana to stumbling over themselves in the streets? Why has the media chosen to largely ignore this problem, perhaps hoping in vain that it would simply solve itself? What is it that steers girls away from enjoying a drink or two among friends and head-on toward losing their dinners in gutters? For the sake of sisters, friends, mothers, and daughters everywhere, these are surely questions worth exploring.

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