Good girls don't drink

By Sujata Rajpal in Daily Musings
Updated 12:41 IST Feb 16, 2018

Views » 1169 | 2 min read

Can women and beer go together? The current beer debate reminds me of a particular incident at my book event where after the book talk, a young woman came up to me and said kind words about my book that how much she had liked my book and how strong I have portrayed the character of Leela. ‘But there is something which I didn’t like?’ she said.

‘What is it? Please tell me,’ I was all ears to get some constructive feedback from a reader.

‘Why did you show that Leela drinks beer? Alcohol is bad for girls.’ (For the uninitiated Leela is my protagonist in The Other End of the Corridor)

I’ve always believed I can absorb any kind of feedback positively but didn’t know how to take this one. All I could do was give a half smile. Everyone is free to have their own opinion about Leela, the book or the beer. If excessive alcohol is bad for the liver, it is bad for both men and women. Is woman’s body wired differently that alcohol can be bad for her but not for him? It doesn’t surprise me anymore when men are judgmental about what women should do and what they shouldn’t but how to react when it’s not a man but a woman. If keeping fit is essential for men so it is for women. If eating junk is unhealthy, it is unhealthy for both the genders. I wonder who decides that the  acceptable standards should be different for men and women.

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Aditya 16-Feb-2018 13:17

My granny used to love Wine, my mother loves Whisky and my sister loves Beer. My grandpa and my father never made the distinction and hence I never felt it is any big deal for my wife, cousins or female friends to join me for a drink.
Having said that, I do not endorse drinking or see this as an indicator of being liberal or modern or whatever it is supposed to be. It is idiotic of men to be judgemental about whether women should drink, how much they should drink and what they should drink (Gin is supposed to be a female drink according to a lot of men I know).
In my opinion and I might be wrong, problem lies in women making social drinking or right to drink (and smoke, and other such stuff) as an indicator of equality. It is silly to do so and stupid for men to contest it.
Enjoy the occasional drink, why make it a point of gender debate?

Sujata Rajpal 16-Feb-2018 13:39

Thanks Aditya for reading and commenting. I agree drinking is not liberating, same way not drinking doesn't indicate being regressive. Each to their own.

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