Thinking back to our roots, we hover over the question:  Who are women and girls talking to about their personal security?  We started this blog with the intention of discussing all issues that relate to protection from harm.  That includes all things cyber security thru domestic abuse. One of the issues that seems to come up in almost every post we research, is alcohol.  In our January 2016 post we talked about alcohol’s devastating impact on weight-loss efforts and in last May’s post we offered up tips on Music Festival Safety we warned you not to over indulge in booze.  The issue of alcohol consumption comes up over and over again.  It wasn’t until we read Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston that it occurred to us that alcohol is literally a legal drug and it’s hurting our women and girls more than we realized.

In her book Drink, Ann Dowsett Johnston examines the relationship between women and high risk drinking and what she unearths is disturbing to say the least.  Dowsett Johnston candidly shares her own experience growing up with an alcoholic mother before facing alcoholism in her own adulthood all the while conducting a rather impressive career.  Through her investigation into the down-side of gender equality she sheds light on the alarming aim taken by the alcohol industry on the female consumer as well the reality of campus drinking culture and the consequences of drinking young.

Here are a few highlights from what the winner of five National Magazine Awards had to say about the intimate relationship between women and alcohol…

  • The alcohol market has become female-focused. The author identifies when we starting seeing booze labels that read: “Skinny Girl”, “Mommy Juice” and “Girls Night Out” and points out that marketers realized that 85% of purchase decisions in the $12 – $15 range were “female-driven” (page 64 – 65).
  • University accelerates drinking rather than initiating it for young people. The campus culture of binge drinking now has a female version of the beer-guzzling frat boy stereotype and she’s going one for one with boys despite her weight and more lesser ability to physically break down ethanol (page 90).
  • Ask most women and girls with a serious drinking problem why they drink and they’ll tell you this… “I drink to numb. I drink to forget. I drink not to feel. I drink not to be me” (page 107), the author digs into the role that abuse and post-traumatic stress play in drinking to numb.
  • The author seeks to understand how a woman’s past trauma can recycle if it is left untreated and how a woman can be re-traumatized while under the influence of alcohol. There is an excellent explanation of becoming trauma-informed and how that may aid in the journey to sobriety (page 223).

This book will resonate differently for different people as it reaches each end of the drinking spectrum and everything in-between… the mom who has a glass of wine (or 3) after putting the kids to bed, the weekend warrior, and, the Surgeon who drinks before operating. So, getting back to the question:  Who are women and girls talking to about their personal security?  We sure hope Ann Dowsett Johntson is named in the answer to that!

After some soulful reflection on our own drinking habits we will say this, everyone who drinks has a relationship with alcohol and no one has a “healthy” relationship with alcohol.  We highly recommend this book to all women who drink any amount of alcohol.