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Does The Lack Of A Penis Make Me More Prone To Drunken Mistakes?

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By Nishita Gupta:

Yesterday, I went out with my sister to celebrate her birthday. We had heard of a new place with a very interesting concept of pricing, sort of like the sensex, and wanted to try it out. When we reached, the place was as empty as a graveyard is at night, with the waiters acting like the keepers asking the naughty children not to sneak in to smoke (stuff) in the premises, because terrible things could happen to them. Well, smoking (stuff) in graveyards might just land you in supposed supernatural occurrings, real fines for smoking are worse. We looked at each others’ face for a few seconds, trying to decide whether to stay or leave, and then my eyes landed on the screen displaying the charges of the drinks. Hoegaarden was for Rs. 110. Was this God’s way of making up for the no-smoking regime his keepers made us civilians follow? Well, maybe. We didn’t want to miss a chance to imbibe heaven’s gift, so we decided to not light our ‘torch of freedom’. Jeeeez, and then Lucifer, stepped in and asked us how old we were. But Satan is Satan after all. We were served as many pints we ordered without any complaints.

girls drinking

Anyway, while checking the place out, my eyes fell on one of the boards that had been put on the wall which read out in bold letters: ‘CAUTION: WOMEN DRINKING’. When the manager came to ask us how we liked the food, I asked him what exactly the board meant. All I got as a reply was an awkward laugh, followed by a two teeth missing from a million dollar smile. I was shocked for a split-second, for I didn’t know how to react. I was angry, but I also wanted to laugh at his confusion.

I am 21 years old. I wrote my final year papers this year and plan to shift to Mumbai for my PG. I casted my first vote last year in the Delhi assembly elections. My sister, who is 24 years old, got married to her school-time lover last year, and they had a healthy baby recently. She didn’t take maternity leaves, she just opted to work from home. Our parents think we are mature. And parents are harder to please than any Government!

By the age of 21, I am allowed to vote, procure a driver’s license, get married, start a family, earn, pay taxes and get returns. But I can’t drink and stand for elections. Latter, I don’t want to. Former, everyone knows how that goes around. Whenever there’s checking by the excise department, all the bars and restaurants of the area refuse to play a part in ‘illegal underage drinking’, even if you regularly go to the place and waiters know you, because the license for an year is worth 8-9 lakh Rs. and its renewal means a lot more to them than the regular customers. The point is, they do not really care about us “underage” kids. What they care about is the money involved. 9 lakhs is a big amount, so, no beer for under-25s while India elects the Prime Minister.

I can take as big a decision as changing cities and living alone, or choosing who is going to decide how well I earn, or how much I spend for the next 5 years; but I cannot drink legally. My sister, who, at the age of 24, is a mother and is doing wonders at her workplace, can also legally not be a consumer of alcoholic drinks. I am sure decisions of my career and my voting right, and my sister’s family planning are much more important than the glass of whiskey in my hand. Is the government then suggesting that I can do everything except drink? ‘You kids cannot handle drinks. Handle your children!’

On top of all this, the society thinks that women, especially, cannot handle drinks. Caution: Women drinking! Why do I have to see such boards? Is it to make the men laugh and pass sexist jokes about drunken women? Is this board to remind me that ‘I am a woman and I am drinking, OMG?’ Hypocrisy is etched so deeply in the society that it makes me sick! The manager slyly giggled and walked away after our little confrontation over the board message, but never did he stop the waiter from taking my order. I mean why serve me at all if I am such a danger to you and your sexism? And the social stigma that follows!

They say women who drink are the opposite of everything virtuous and can’t be good at anything. My occasional drinks don’t make me an alcoholic, then how in seven hells would it affect my life? Yes, it’s true people end up making stupid mistakes when drunk sometimes, but gender has no role in it! Who are we kidding, haven’t you sent drunk texts to people? And as far as I know, a few pints of beer would give me the same buzz as they would to a man. Then how does my lack of a penis make me prone to drunken mistakes more than my friend lacking a uterus?

Over and above that, the age limit on drinking is not uniform in India. A person who is 18 years of age has to wait for another 7 years to drink legally in New Delhi, but if visiting Goa, can enjoy as much alcohol as they like. What does the land and air of Goa has that the capital is deprived of? What sorcery is this? I think Delhi lacks liberal minds!

I really do not know how many of you can handle your drinks and how many of you even think about the age limit arguments. The point is, if you believe 21 should be the legal age of drinking, then liquor should not be sold to underage kids illegally at all. The industry does not care about you, they care about the money in your pockets. If you believe that 25 should not be the legal age, then please say something to the government about it.

And, lastly, why should you be cautioned that a woman is drinking? Think and comment. I want to know.

You must be to comment.
  1. Monistaf

    There is no gender discrimination when it comes to the legal age for drinking. I am surprised that an educated, outgoing woman like yourself cannot see the harmless humor in a sign that cautions “women drinking”. Why is everyone so sensitive these days? I was at a bar where the bartender was a woman and she had a sign on a chalkboard that said “Men: Be patient with the bartender. Even a toilet can only serve one asshole at a time”. Instead of thinking that was derogatory and demeaning, you learn to enjoy the humor and have some fun. We cannot afford to be a hypersensitive society where every one has to watch every thing they say and do. There was an article on YKA where another woman was complaining about the sexism depicted on the show called the “Big Bang Theory”. Almost, anything, these days can be considered sexist or offensive to someone, even more so to women, it seems.

    1. Avik

      Totally agree.. I think everything in this world can be sexualisation and made serious. Rather, we should learn to take things in good humor and move on! The more sensitive a person is to these things, the more they will lack self esteem and more easily they will be “bullied” and hence victimized. We should not let these things affect us, female or male. True equality will be served only when victimization is truly seen as an act against humanity instead of a particular ANYTHING (sex, race, religion, etc)

  2. Templetwins

    What is the difference between men and women when they drink?
    1.On average women weigh less than men.
    2. Alcohol disperses in body water, and pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men do.
    3. So after a man and woman of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration will tend to be higher – this puts women at greater risk of harm.

    The other main reason is that the idea of consent is still valid for men who are drunk but a drunken woman is absolved of her ‘consent to sex’ under the influence of alcohol and often portrayed as a ‘victim’ by default.

    1. Avinesh Saini

      I wonder if the above comment is deemed sexist by Youth Ki Awaaz.

  3. Prashant Kaushik

    1) I don’t understand d compelling reasons for you to use the word ‘Penis’ in the heading of this article. That’s the most illogical and unfit usage I have seen. Was it just to shout aloud for attention and more readings of this article ??

    Now Here is your answer-

    2) Drinking is bad, not because it is a Sin but because it kills your liver and kidneys, spoils your family life, increases road accidents and heinous crimes.
    Yes it brings a momentary pleasure and income for Gov, but the harms far out weighs the gains.

    Ideally, no one should be allowed to drink, but since that cant be done, so they have made the rule, no one below 25 should drink – logic – to keep maximum people out of reach of alcohol esp in initial years of life.

    1. Avinesh Saini

      The word penis in the title signifies the righteous anger of the author, I guess.

  4. Babar

    Many women have been raped when they were drunk, not being able to protect themselves due the influence of alcohol.

    1. Nona

      Hi Babar
      let me rephrase that for you. Women do not “get raped”; MEN rape women.

      You seem to suggest that since men rape women who are under the influence of alcohol, women should therefore not drink.

      But here’s another solution. Lock up all men at home after 5 in the evening while the women get to go out, drink and party. If you don’t let men out of the house at all, leave alone step anywhere near the women and the alcohol, rapes cant happen while women drink, right?

      I was also wondering, are you implying that women who are not under the influence of alcohol can invariably protect themselves from getting raped by men?

    2. Babar

      My comment was in favour of women, but since you disagree lets think of it logically. Women also commit heinous crimes left, right, and center. Locking everyone up is not the solution. Furthermore, would you agree that if women don’t drink, they would be better able to defend themselves? Even better, women should stay at home after dark. This will ensure that they are safe.

      Thank you.

    3. mahigala7

      Babar. What nonsense is this? Are you completely out of your mind? What you have just proposed will further enhance the patriarchal norm of the society. Why should we put restrictions only on women? Why can’t we do something to men which will lead us to prevent heinous crimes against women?

    4. Babar

      Staying out till late at night is dangerous for everyone. The danger exceeds for women since they are at a risk of getting raped, hence until we find a solution they should be at home right after dark as most rapes take place at night.

    5. Fem

      Hey Babar! Here is your solution. Respect women. Understand that this is her world as well as men’s. Do not take advantage. And if someone does, stop it or stand with her in getting her justice. Just change your twisted thinking, that is. Its that simple.

  5. The Joker

    Women always need something to whine about.

  6. Damien Hanet

    Industries don’t care about your age, they just want to sell their products. Same goes for merchant, they just want to make money. It is everywhere the same. I don’t know when people in India start drinking but I guess once they are in college most of them already had a drink. I guess when someone is deem old enough to vote and crash a car, they are old enough to drink.

    Drinking is nice just do it responsibly. We have a saying where I come from that can be translated like this “A beer crafted with mastership should be drunk with wisdom”.

    Now about women drinking. Well, yeah they drink and like everybody should be careful. Unfortunately for them there are some “men” that like to take advantage of the situation so they have to be extra careful…
    I never drink alone, I find it unhealthy, I always drink with friends and I always make sure that if one or more of them are too drunk that they reach their home safely. That means being with them until they are in their home, in their beds if possible. If they do not wish to be seen by the parental authority I gladly offer them my bed to sleep in (and force them to drink water before sleeping to avoid the headache, a shower and a PJ if possible. Also a text to the parents if it’s necessary).

  7. Nona

    Hi. Please get your facts right. In Delhi, you can’t be served hard liquor if you are under 25 years of age, but you can be served beer. It is legal to serve beer to anyone over 18 years of age in Delhi. Also, it is a scientific fact that the male body has a greater tolerance for alcohol than the female body. This is because women have less of the enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol in the stomach contributing to higher Blood-Alcohol-Concentration) than men drinking the same amount of alcohol. Hormone levels also affect the body’s ability to process alcohol, and women will experience higher BACs drinking their regular amount of alcohol right before menstruation. Women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat and a lower percentage of water, again affecting BAC.). This doesn’t of course detract from the rest of your points about drinks and sexism.

  8. Gaurav

    did you really write all this because of that message on the board. well if it bothers you so much, why dont you remove it or ask the mgmt of the hotel to explain themselves. so simple.

  9. vikas

    I think we as indian have grown much from 1947 to 2014 but one thing is not changed yet mentality that what harming us. If we changed that then their will be a equilibrium between men and women relationship.

  10. Raven

    Anyone can drink at anytime but you just remember one thing it not real you when you are drunk its just hours of time in your “long” life. when you are high you feels you own this world and you do whatever you like to do which you controlled in real mind. even if you are a boy or a girl when you did a wrong thing its just done its not reversible So just stop “drinking”. so you got one cure for inequity in gender while there is no reason

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