What It Means To Be A Woman Who Drinks

Someone’s looking at me and my friends and judging us for how many drinks we decided to buy. A man just bought my friend a drink and is now harassing her because she doesn’t want to drink it. Another friend was just called a “slut” because she’s wearing high heels and is dancing by herself. A guy we we’re seemingly having a good time with assumed that one of us would go home with him because of the amount of drinks we have had. These are the kinds of nights I have experienced and so has any woman who chooses to drink.


I recently stumbled across an article from about a year ago, which is clearly a farce to the person who wrote it. In a nutshell it breaks down women who drink and their worth based on what they are choosing to drink. For example, the article says, to the girl drinking vodka soda  “vodka soda drinkers aren’t eating. She’s not, even if you are, and she’s going to get wasted. She’s worried about the calories in beer, the grape she ate for lunch, and probably the lemon wedge in said vodka soda. She also doesn’t know enough about alcohol to know how to order anything else, so she just sticks to Old Faithful – the Vodka Soda.” You want to know the worst part about this article? It was written by a woman, only a year ago. Even though it was written in somewhat jest, these are the types of things people actually believe.


The article goes on to rate a woman’s worth in three different categories, “Bang-ability, Date-ability, and Crazy Chance”. Which, if you couldn’t guess, means the worth of having sex with her, whether she’s girlfriend material or not, and the chances that she will act in a crazy manner.


To the woman who wrote this article I would say, “You are not a drink. You are not a number. You are a person of worth and should be treated as such, no matter what you’re drinking. No one should be allowed to look at you and rank the chances that you will sleep with them. The very idea of it is degrading and disheartening. You’re worth more than that.” However, this brings up an extremely valid point. If we are judging each other this way, how do we expect men not to?


To answer my original question, what does it mean to be a woman who drinks? It means you no longer have the right to feel safe in a bar, walking down the street, or getting into your car. Not that we had those luxuries during the day, without alcohol, but you get my point. Choosing to simply partake in a substance that all genders should be able to enjoy without fear, makes a woman more vulnerable to slut shaming, physical attack, and even rape.


Of course, it has been proven that prolonged alcohol abuse does have a serious effect on our bodies, which in turn could make women even more powerless to drunken attacks. However, alcoholism is an entirely separate, but very serious, issue within itself. Ergo, it’s immensely important to be aware of how much you are drinking and how often you are drinking, just for your own personal physical health and happiness (nothing to do with being attacked).


Which brings me to my next point, have you ever heard the phrases, “maybe she was asking for it” or “well, look what she was wearing”? These are common misunderstandings uttered by many folks after a victim was taken advantage of, because alcohol was involved. A supremely genius video has just emerged which paints my point perfectly. Two women illustrated a scenario in which they are discussing the “murder” of a mutual friend. They have purposefully replaced the word “rape” with “murder” in order to convey how large of an issue victim-blaming has become. No one would ever blame a person for their own murder. Rape or any other attack should be treated just the same.


Why is it that it’s suddenly okay to judge a woman’s worth based on these choices when alcohol is involved? Furthermore, to me, the blatant no-win scenario that women have been placed under just baffles my mind. It seems to go something like this, if a woman chooses not to drink then she is no fun and most likely uptight and a “prude”. Or if she does drink, then she is clearly a slut and is asking to be assaulted or raped. Where in the world is the justice in that?


The fact of the matter is we didn’t dress up for anyone else. We didn’t put on makeup for anyone else. We didn’t drink our drink for the enjoyment of anyone else. So, the next time you see a woman out drinking, having a good time, raise your glass to her. Let’s have each other’s backs and not judge the woman next to us. And most of all let’s band together, look out for each other, and place the blame on those who really deserve it – slut-shamers, victim blamers, attackers, and rapists.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation