Alcoholism is one of the most prevalent sicknesses in modern America. Throughout the history of the country we, the people, have had a fascination with alcohol that borders on obsession. From the stills during Prohibition in the deep South to the criminal activity in the bigger cities, as displayed on the hit TV show “Boardwalk Empire“, we’ve seen alcohol weave a destructive but interesting path throughout our time. One thing that most people will notice, subconsciously or not, is that alcohol seems to be the affliction of choice for masculine men. The image of a man with a bottle of liquor at his elbow is one that is almost universal.
Pop culture likes to treat alcoholism as a mans disease. We can look at characters like the modern James Bond and see his alcohol problems as well as his ability to overcome them. We can look at shows like “Boardwalk Empire” where every man in a suit slings liquor or has a bottle of whiskey underneath his pillow. There seems to be the prevailing notion that only men drink and when they do only men get drunk. But that is not a realistic notion.
In fact women are just as at risk when it comes to the danger of alcohol as men are. If you were to visit an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in any urban city you will see the group divided just as equally as anything. So why is this an important topic to discuss?
The reason we need to shed light on alcoholism in the female gender is that without notice of it there can be no acceptance. A man who drinks all of the time is a drunk and needs help. A woman who drinks all of the time is someone who likes to party and she’ll grow out of it. This dichotomy in world view does not allow for womens alcohol treatment to be sought after as easily.
When the mainstream culture can finally see women as at risk in the world of alcohol there will finally be more progress in treating the two genders equally. This is a fight that most people will not acknowledge exists but it does exist all the same. In my mind there needs to be a concentrated effort to make support more accessible for women at risk of alcoholism. We need to see all men and women as equals that are subject to the same weaknesses and strengths. Only then will we be equal.