I have a daughter. She is young. She won’t be young forever. One day she will leave the nest, to go to college or some other place where she will be around many young people. She will likely ignore the drinking laws of this country with the alacrity and skill that her parents did. What will be my advice to her?
Probably something like this:
Be careful. Keep things within balance. Don’t try to go shot for shot with frat boys. They don’t have your best interests at heart. Make your own drinks and know what you’re putting into your body. And when you’ve had enough, STOP. Keep an eye on what’s going on and an eye on yourself. It’s dangerous out there for a young woman.
Apparently this makes me the Patriarchal Monster of the Year. Because, reifying rape culture.
Telling women to be careful precludes the moral education or punishment of men, you see.
So my advice to my daughter ought to be more like:
Honey, if you’re not completely shellacked by six o’clock every evening, then the patriarchy will win. So start with your basic cheap lagers before graduating to some liqueurs, Goldschlager or something, and then end the night knocking back Jaeger bombs with the rugby team. That can only end well.
And I should go further than this. I should manfully resist any suggestion of looking both ways before crossing the street, because it is the responsibility of drivers not to run her over. I should denounce bike locks as an execrable attempt to reify Bike Theft Culture. I should extol the right to leave my wallet and keys on top of my care whenever I leave them, because to do otherwise makes it impossible to arrest someone for grand theft auto.
Sarcasm aside, what about the other side of the equation? What would be my advice to my son?
Probably something like this:
Be careful. Keep things within balance. Don’t try to prove your manhood by binge drinking. Don’t be that one freshman who dies every year of alcohol poisoning. Make your own drinks and know what you’re putting into your body. And when you’ve had enough, STOP. Remember, you are responsible for everything that you do, whether drunk or sober. If you do something stupid, no one will sympathize with you. They’ll call you an idiot, and they’ll prosecute you. And they’ll be right.
I leave you with my thoughts from the Steubenville Rape Case:
Let’s break this down. A girl gets so drunk that people start making fun of her, then proceeds to go to another “party”, where she spends 20 minutes puking and then gets kicked out. Hey, we’ve all been there. The sensible thing to do is cut your losses and go home. Instead, she rallies for the third party, where two goons are charged with raping her.
Is it her fault she got raped? No, by definition it can’t be. Is it her fault she’s stupid? Yes. Because getting raped is not the only bad outcome of her state. She might have driven a car and crashed it, killing herself or someone else. For that matter, she might have died from alcohol poisoning. Nothing good comes from getting blackout drunk, and even a 16-year-old girl should be expected to know that.
But never mind, I’m sure feminists hope and pray that their daughters become exactly the kind of girls who consider the party not over if they can still remember it. That’s almost exactly what Susan B. Anthony had in mind.