Alcohol is a feminist issue because it has been sold to us as the elixir of the modern, emancipated women and yet it rids us of our power, keeping us underachieving our goals, keeps our ambition and self-esteem low, it keeps us stuck. It’s a feminist issue as it is our job to fight back, to fight for our equality and we need sobriety to do that.
When I was that « modern, emancipated women » I had a highly paid job (for me!), I could afford to have a cleaner, have childcare and buy nice clothes, eat take out. However, when the kids were up in the night, it was still me who went to them, because despite my « success » it always came down to economics. It is less financially damaging for me to miss work than my husband, because yes you guessed it, I still earned half what he earned. In fact when we started to unpick my contribution to the household, despite the shiny exterior if I cut out the childcare and the cleaner then I might as well give up my career. Despite my « success » working financially was a vanity project. I was teaching at a University, which is a stressful and tiring job; you switch from being the entertainer/disciplinarian in the classroom to the same role at home. That when you « enjoy » all those holidays, they are not holidays they are periods of school closure when you are a mum.
I was thinking about roles that are proportionally women’s like teacher, nurse and care worker, and how undervalued and exhausting they are. I was thinking about solo parenting and managing learning difficulties in children. So yes these are women’s problems, how imbalanced and inflexible and unsupportive the system is for the talents and frankly VITAL role women play in society – so what’s that got to do with alcohol?
Because we have been sold a lie that alcohol makes this better, and it makes it worse.
When I was drinking, I was stuck and felt incapable of change, not very revolutionary.
When I was drinking, I blamed myself, I believed I should have been achieving everything with a glass of wine in my hand, yet that glass of wine was stifling my creativity, ambition and drive.
When I was drinking, I was a worse Mum, teacher and housewife.
I am so tired today, aren’t we all? When we are tired we feel bad about ourselves we doubt, we are self-critical, we catastrophise. We blame ourselves. How will I ever lose those 3kilos I gained? How will I be able to be in a swimsuit in the summer, to fit into the patriarchal led beauty standards, yet be able to show my daughter to be body confident and yet not actually enjoy living because she may have a tendency to like cake? All this is on me, and it’s my responsibility – because I am Mum.
So let’s now add a known DEPRESSANT to this mix of fatigue and low self-esteem, let’s add in the toxin filled, calorie heavy, addictive substance and call it a treat.
Most ad agency’s are run by men – shocker I know! But why this is a feminist issue is that all this bullshit mummy wine/wine o’clock/wine is life marketing is consumer led. YOU SHARE IT, YOU PERPETUATE these messages.
Do you not see what happens? Then women do develop problems with alcohol and what happens? They get ridiculed and demonized in the press, they get stigmatized and rejected. They get from being able to thrive:
Mummy’s wine or being a ladette is not part of the emancipated women’s life it’s part of her suppression.
So the more women start living truly revolutionarily without alcohol to break them down, to keep them quiet and belittled the stronger the feminist movement will be.
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