Happy International Women Day to all the ladies out there!
I know there seems to be a lot writen about women and alcoholism. I have downloaded Drinking Diaries to my iPod and thinking of downloading Her Best Kept Secret next. I listen to them in traffic. I am not sure why it has to be a separate subject. It almost seems that is it more shameful for women than men to have an addiction. Is that because women are meant to be seen as pure and motherly?
I will admit when I see a news story about a death of a woman and they add “and she was a mother of 2”, I get bitter. I think “oh so that makes it worse? If I die it won’t be as bad as a mother dying?” I feel I am less worth. I feel no matter what good I have done compared to that mother, she will be seen as more valuable because she reproduced. Maybe I just feel anrgy about my messed up family.
It some countries, women drinking is definitely look down upon. And I never cared. Usually. I drank plenty in Muslim countries and almost got in trouble a few times for it.
A few years back, I spent one to two weeks traveling the state of Kerala in India. It is a beautiful place known for it’s spices and beaches. This is the first elected communist state in the world. It has the highest rate of literacy in all of India. It also has the highest rate of alcoholism. And I just googled an article that the alcoholism and crime are increasing in Kerala. I remember seeing long lines of men at the government liquor stores before the stores opened. I pulled into one town on a bus at 10am and a line was down the block and around a corner. I saw mostly women working everywhere because the men were usually too drunk. I did not drink while traveling in Kerala because 1) I was tryiing to lose a few pounds before the beaches of Goa and 2) I did not want to be the only female in the liquor store line.
(This was a line at a different store later in the day.)
Mistake # 39- I went to Chicago in March 2008 for International Women’s Day. I was meeting up with a group of international nomadic women. It was a good weekend and I met several interesting women. We all talked about difficulties exploring the world as women alone and gave each other travel tips. There was a dinner the first night to introduce ourselves to each other. The second day there was a lunch and a tour of the city. (Freezing cold tour!) I also took some time to visit the Art Institute because it is my favorite art museum in the United States. And that night we were meeting for dinner at Uno’s followed by a bar crawl. We were going out to party Chi town style!
I started drinking at lunch. I think I was tasting each kind of Goose Island beer, the local brew, they had on tap. Again, trying to help the local economy. I wasn’t driving so I didn’t care and the booze would help keep me warm. I drank a lot at lunch. The large glasses only, please. I was tipsy on my visit the the art museum. I stopped in bar after for a few drinks before dinner. I was drunk by the time we got to the bar crawl. I have photos of me and some of the women. We looked like we were having a fun time. There was a lot of dancing. I think some men were swinging around a stripper pole? I do not remember which bars or to how many we went. But I know I got kicked out of the last one. I do not know what happened or what I did. But all I really remember, that is not in the photos, is me crying outside of a bar and apologizing and a bounce telling me I am not allowed back inside. I don’t know if one of the women helped me get a taxi or if I managed to do that on my own. But the women I met that weekend never spoke to me again.