Women and Alcohol: May 2018

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I had every intention of making this a weekly roundup, but look, here we are in the second week of May. So I'm going to fast forward and give some highlights of things that have happened the first two weeks of the month in regards to women and alcohol. 

Between Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day, there were plenty examples of content that perpetuated the thought that one has to drink to a)celebrate b)be a mom.

Of course neither is true, and we invite you to check out the conversations around this content on our Instagram. By the way, this image below has become our most liked IG post. It speaks to the heart of our work, which is really not about wine memes, but acknowledging the many, many women who are struggling with their relationship to alcohol and other substances:

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Here are some other highlights of what we've been watching the past two weeks.

Headlines

The Most Innovative Spot at The Summer's Food And Wine Festival? The No Booze Space, Forbes, May 4: We are excited to see more discussion of spaces at food and wine events for food professionals to take a break and unplug -- including with non-alcoholic beverage options. This story by Cathy Huyghe points to a trend we want to see more of, especially as issues about health and wellness come more to the forefront in the restaurant/hospitality industry.

"The Chill Space is designed as a way for the festival’s talent – the chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and mixologists that the guests have come to see – to step back from the crowds, to take time for themselves, and to find quiet and reprieve away from the pressure and performance 'out there.'"

This Mother's Day, No Mimosas, Brain Child Magazine, May 10, 2018

Helen Chernikoff shares a beautiful essay about choosing not to drink, the impact of grief on drinking, and her first sober Mother's Day:

As an introvert who’d always rather be curled up reading, I drew on his example to help me get through the scary social aspects of college life. Dad had Willamette Valley pinot noirs; I had beer, perfect for turning parties into a pleasant blur. Post-graduation, I did the same on dates until I met and then married my husband. When our kids were small, I reached again for alcohol, neutralizing the stress of office and home with a generous pour or two or more. I stood at our kitchen counter as my husband ate and children slept, fancying myself Juliana Margulies in 'The Good Wife.' I didn’t have her enviable wardrobe, but I could sling a bottle of red with the same world-weary conviction. I had stopped drinking when I was pregnant. It was when we were trying and failing to have another child that I couldn’t stop. I lost three pregnancies in as many years

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/05/10/alcohol-breast-cancer-risk

Alcohol and tobacco by far the worst drugs for human health, global review finds, The Independent, May 11

Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human health around the world, while illegal drug harms “don’t even come close”, a major report on addictive substances has found.

The Global Statistics on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Illicit Drug Use: 2017 Status Report found a quarter of a billion hours of healthy human life are lost each year because of smoking and drinking, ten times more than is lost to illicit drug use.

Schneiderman's Downfall Puts The Spotlight on Men, Alcohol, and Violence

This piece on the downfall of Eric Schneiderman and his alleged history of violence that may be connected with alcohol makes some good points. But it also casts a side eye at those who are questioning women's alcohol use: 

"For the past several years, a certain cultural panic around the drinking habits of affluent, educated women has taken hold, with no obvious corollary for men from a similar demographic position, even though the men seem to be causing all the trouble. Recently the magazine Mother Jones ran a piece that circulated widely online titled 'Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?'

Generating a lot of anxiety, it argued that women ought to be gravely worried about the health effects of moderate drinking, even though the author of the article had no proof that drinking caused her illness."

Alcohol Is A Major Risk Factor For Breast Cancer. Why Don't More Women Know?

WBUR's Here and Now interviewed Mother Jones' writer  Stephanie Mencimer about her Mother Jones story on the connection between alcohol and breast cancer, her own cancer, and the alcohol industry's use of health claims in marketing. 

As always, if you see something we should be aware of, please let us know. Find us on IG @tellbetterstories2018 or drop me a note.