Cognition & Reality

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Women & Drinkin’

Filed under: Date Rape,Sex & Love — drtone @ 12:31 pm

Despite the many changes that have occurred in the role of women, men are still expected to initiate “romantic” interactions. That can mean asking a woman for a date, or it can mean approaching a woman in a social situation. Of course, there are exceptions to the normal rule, but the more things have changed the more they’ve stayed the same in this department. For that reason alone, alcohol cannot have the same valence for men and women. A couple of drinks gives a man a little “liquid courage,” to ask a woman out or ask her to come home with him. The same two drinks, as has been well known literally forever, will lower a woman’s “sales resistance,” making it easier to get her into bed–and also easier to rape her.

As I have discussed here and here, there is a disconnect between the formal and informal rules our society has adopted regarding the freedom of a woman to go anywhere she wishes, including into a bar, and the relationship of alcohol and sexual behavior. That disconnect goes deep into the structure of modern society: The moral strictures that protected women when women literally belonged to men hang around like ghosts in a culture that has liberated women. One reason for this is certainly that, in a wide range of circumstances, women are in more danger than are men. Beyond that practical concern, however, there remain open questions about the role of women in the modern world, one that nobody wants to look at because of the forementioned ghosts, which are pretty darn scary.

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