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All inclusive gender equality, not one-sided hypocrisy

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Yes, I Drink Girl Drinks – So What?

Posted by Curt on Monday, 31 May 2010

I’m not much of a drinker.  I don’t like any beer.  I’m not too fond of ales.  I can do wine, but I have absolutely no taste, which is probably why I tend to prefer blushes.  I can’t stand vodka, tequila, gin, rum, or any of that by itself, unless it’s just as a shot (but then my throat will close up like you wouldn’t believe if I try to drink more than two or so).  It’s the same way with hard liquor – I can only stand this stuff if it’s mixed, otherwise it all tastes like gasoline to me.  I have a difficult time consuming large quantities of any alcohol in a single night, making me more of a casual or social drinker.  The only exception is if I’m already drunk, where at that point I have no problem drinking all I want and just about any drink tastes good to me (except butterscotch, that shit makes me throw up, drunk or sober).  But at 22, I can still count the number of times I’ve been noticeably drunk, though I’ve been buzzed countless times, so it isn’t like I don’t ever drink or go out.  Just about the only way I can enjoy drinking is if I get something so mixed that you can barely taste the alcohol.  It just so happens that a lot of those drinks are considered “girl drinks”.

It makes sense.  If being a “man” is all about being tough, I suppose getting used to a drink that most people initially find disgusting and drinking lots of it would be a show of that.  To go for something yummier, therefore, would be taking the easy way out, a sign of weakness in that context, and thus attributable to the feminine which is perceived as more gentle and fastidious (or, as said, weak if you want to look at it in such a way and attach a negative connotation to it).  You can see such things expressed in articles like “10 Drinks Men Should Never Order”.

It doesn't get much girlier than a Smirnoff ice.

Such ideas are obviously rooted in notions of masculinity and femininity, although they aren’t applied to each gender equally.  No woman is going to be looked down upon by most for getting a Jager Bomb, but you know I will be if I try getting a Smirnoff ice.  I’ve actually done this before and the barmaid gave me an amusing look for it and shook her head to herself as she got it, implying there was something wrong about my choice and what it may suggest about my character as a male.  Women crossing over into masculine attributes has become more widely accepted (and thus more common) than before and few women face a negative reaction concerning their character for their choice.  And yes, I do credit feminism in the last 50 years for much of that and believe it’s a good thing.

But where it has failed at is changing peoples’ notions about more feminine attributes.  For this reason, men, unlike women, can’t cross over into feminine attributes without being looked down upon.  I can’t go drink a White Zinfandel at a party without somebody cracking some joke about my impotence as a “man”.  In normal circumstances, I’d ask them what exactly is a “man” and why should it matter, particularly when it’s all about the show as drinking particular drinks are, although a party is obviously not the time and place for that, so I usually laugh it off and go “oh, you got me”.

I’m sure most feminists would characterize that as patriarchy hurting men too, although I’ve already made clear about my skepticism about patriarchy.  In any case, one shouldn’t blame feminism for not trying to make feminine attributes appear more appealing – in fact, I’d argue that even before feminism, masculine attributes appeared more appealing to women than feminine attributes did to men.  And that should be an obvious argument given that one of the feminism’s first big issues, women’s suffrage, was about getting women involved in politics while politics has historically been attributed to the masculine.  So feminism ought not to be seen as anything other than acting upon such foundations laid out for them, and of course taking it as far as the feminism in the last 50 years has, it would almost seem as if they denigrate feminine attributes (given their word choice of “liberating” women from it, even though I know they’re referring to allowing women to make a more complete choice, hence why I say “almost” as I know it is often misconstrued and appears that way to many men and women and I can certainly see how).

Either way, the underlying point is that this is yet another representation of a way in which women have been empowered where men have not and all the more reason why more focus needs to be given to the empowerment of men.  It may seem like a minor issue, and for the most part it is – any guy can order those so called “girl drinks” around his friends and it’s doubtful his friends will look down upon him for it or think of him differently.  But that’s only for those who know him – for first or general impressions with strangers and acquaintances, he will face some backlash for it.  It is a small issue, but it’s representative of a much larger one.


2 Responses to “Yes, I Drink Girl Drinks – So What?”

  1. Doug S. said

    How do you know what gasoline tastes like? ;)

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