Alcohol: Age Limit, Gender Limit, Class Limit…

Some of the comments in the last post pointed out that easy availability of liquor in some states could be the reason why these states have higher rates of violent crimes against women.

Domestic violence definitely increases with alcohol abuse. Nearly all my domestic helpers have had husbands who were not able to stick to regular jobs because they (sometimes as young as in their early twenties) were completely addicted to alcohol. Many started their days with a drink, many couldn’t eat but needed to drink, all were violent and the desperation for the next drink drove them to harm their families. These men’s dependence on alcohol generally destroyed all peace, happiness, health and hope in their families. [Read how here, here and here]

If there was one single thing that could change their lives, it would be without doubt de-addiction from alcohol (which is not much different from addiction to drugs I feel).

Also, is there any doubt that alcohol abuse leads to violence by men against other men, against women, against their own children, against family members and even against themselves?

But somebody who identifies themselves as Moral Police, sends me links to newer theories and latest research that show (amongst other things) that  alcohol consumption is more harmful when women are doing it.

…Researchers recruited 27 binge-drinking males and 13 females and gave them neurophsychological tests and “spatial working memory” tests to complete.”

…Male binge drinkers showed some, but less, abnormality as compared to male non-drinkers. This suggests that female teens may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of heavy alcohol use.”

 Moral Police would have approved of the outrage against drunk driver Nooria Haveliwala when she killed two and injured four when she lost control of her Honda CRV. Take a look at this comment delighting in a not-worth-linking article that claimed women needed to prove they could drink responsibly (unlike the rest of the world) before they could be allowed to drink.

The commenter seemed glad there were ‘tragic consequences’.

…women there want to ape men in their drinking habits, and don’t prefer a soft ladies’ drink as an alternative… When women drink, they are simply aping men, for they want to join the liberated class and be away from societal shackles – with tragic consequences.

Does it matter that the drunk driver was a woman? Another comment made much more sense,

“The question here is ‘Drunk driving’ pure and simple. Anyone who does it hopes to not get caught or killed or to kill someone. Little black dress, suit, dhoti, pajama etc are all irrelevant.”

Women aren’t the only ones who are seen as incapable of deciding what’s good for them. Bombay has raised the alcohol age from 21 to 25 – aiming to stop young adults from underage drinking. Is this restriction likely to be followed and respected? What are the chances that this would become one more way for the police to harass young Indian adults? (Remember Muthalik? And Constable Sunil More misusing the Obscenity law?)

I have no idea if these politicians are going to ensure the age limit is respected amongst the slums and villages where my domestic helpers live. Will younger men having to ask older friends to buy their drinks benefit the families mentioned above (here, here and here)? Does it look like the government is serious about tackling crimes related to alcohol abuse?

Should the government have a say in the legal drinking age, or should adult citizens be seen as capable of deciding when and how much to drink?

Why is drug addiction a crime but alcohol is not?

Related Posts:

Alcohol affects Husband – visionlightcolour

What do you call this relationship?

Have you seen such relationships?
What do you call this relationship?
Supposed to be husband, but don’t know what he is. .
  • Responds to his wife only where there are no controversial issues.
  • He talks only when he wants to say something, but never listens to what his wife says.
  • Does not blame his wife for anything and does not like to blamed also.
  • Does whatever he feels like, do not mind if wife also does whatever she feels like.
  • Speaks big about career women, longs to have a wife who is more enterprising.  Feels for children whose mothers are at work.
  • Like to have well kept house, says maids are too expensive.
  • Loves to have financial support, but loves wife when she cooks good food.
  • Sits hours infront of TV, but diet and exercises find time, if not for children and family.
  • Too tired to give hand in household work, but relaxation is must as he works hard.
  • Thinks Wives can be multitasking,, but himself is an earning member and that is all he has to do.
  • Expensive hobbies, but house hold needs are unnecessary expenditure.
  • Believe in taking responsibility, but never commit to responsibility.
  • Love and respect towards wife is mutual and conditional. Give and take policy.
  • No advices given, what if it backfires on him.
  • No empathy or sympathy.
  • Always says “you are not the only biggest gift to the mankind”
Mr.Whatever, Your life is a biggest mismatch with your wife.
Wife says,” Life has to go on for next 10 years with same man, atleast for kid’s sake so let me adjust this Mr.whatever”

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

I have blogged about “How important is it for a girl to get married?” and was following the comments in this very interesting discussion on, “Marriage : An over-rated institution?”

Desi Girl argues,

Marriages are sold to women in a glossy cover, remember once a woman got married she got to wear good clothes and jewelry that was forbidden for single women.

It gave her a free license to talk about sex and sleep with a man who everyone assumed would love her.

For all these benefits all she had to do was cook, clean, make babies and keep every one happy.

Yes in lieu of her services she is provided a roof over her head, food and protection from other predatory men.

We also know women could be killed if they tried having relationships or children without getting married (they can still be killed for this). If they had children they were not allowed to put them in schools or open bank accounts for them.

So basically the society made it difficult for women to stay unmarried.

Once there was no choice, there was desperation.

“From the careers they choose, the clothes they wear, the way they walk, talk, everything they do, is done keeping in mind the only future they have – Getting Married (and Staying Married).”

It was also decided that the bride must ‘relocate’ upon getting married. (She couldn’t disagree because nobody asked her).

…it is the daughter in law who agrees to enter into matrimony who has to establish herself and win hearts. Once mutual trust is established her in-laws are going to go out of the way to pamper her.”

Pamper her so much that remaining in touch with her family becomes ‘freedom’.

“…in-laws give the new bride time to adjust and allow her freedom to remain in touch …instead of treating her as an acquired property.”

When being treated as ‘acquired property’ is an option, freedom becomes immoral.

“…if we take Indian marriages in general, whose freedom is curtailed and whose isn’t? Will your (a man’s) in-laws ever tell you what clothes are appropriate or what your working hours should be?”

Marriage gives special privileges to women?

“Hindu married women are covered head to toe in “marriage symbols” (men don’t bother to show their status), … women fast, pray etc etc for this male figure who continues to stay in his own house, being mama’s little boy, doesn’t have to sacrifice career for kids.. …what do women get in return?
And lets not get started on the dowry angle…?”

Once ‘sacrifice’ became a ‘custom’, no more ‘pampering’ was required.

“…about a woman going to stay with in-laws. That very idea should change. Married couple should stay wherever they choose: by themselves, in HER house or HIS house with mutual understanding..
Since none of these things (and many more) are not even given a thought to as of now, marriage is indeed over-rated.”

My question:

If Indian society saw marriage as an option, and not as the only goal in a woman’s life, do you think some of our social problems (like female feticide, dowry, domestic violence or fear of social stigma in case of sexual crimes) might become easier to deal with?


Edited to add:

I would love to read what you feel, please consider yourself tagged! Do let me know if you write a post in response to this question.

Here is what some other bloggers feel,

1. Phoenixritu – Marriage: The great Indian scam.

2. Ruchira – Yes I am single. So?

3. Pixie – My answer to IHM’s question

4. Shilpa Deshpande – Marriage

5. Sandhya – Marriage: Obligatory or Voluntary?

6. Shail – Is marriage an overrated institution?

7. Alankrita – Greener Pastures.

8. Richa – On marriage and such.

9. Siddhesh ‘Ravan’ Kabe – Oh for the love of marriages!

So are the men offended?

Believe it or not, there are many who think the Star Plus anthem is great because the woman is being allowed to work, to have a girl-child, fly kites, jog, wear track pants, dance, blow kisses at her husband from her terrace; her husband finds her worthy of his attentions, her in laws don’t object to this, (because) her mother in law is not abusive, and her family cares to celebrate her birthday.  What more can a woman ask for?

And in return of all these privileges (which the rest of the family always had anyway) all she has to do is be a never tiring, ever smiling, uncomplaining super woman.

GB explains why it’s okay for a woman to not be perfect and still expect to be loved.

I’m really tired of seeing women who don’t get tired. Or pissed. On some days, I just wake up feeling pissed. I make carping statements, I invite fights, I act like my hair is on fire. In short, I make life difficult for people around me.

But I also believe that I’m effing worth the trouble.

I don’t need to be an angel to be wanted or loved. Because the people around me are not angels either. And I put up with their drama because I care about them. So why in god’s name do I have to keep smiling … in order to be the perfect woman? (Click to read the entire post.)

Preeti Shenoy wants to know,

“Why is she so happy that she has to wake up before everyone else while that lazy lump of her husband sleeps blissfully and then she also has to give him his towel in the shower between cooking her children’s lunches!” (More on Buzz)

Amrita of IndieQuill wonders,

What’s the kid going to grow up thinking – “My mom works and cooks and cleans and dances and sings and is nice to all the birdies in the sky. My dad… um… he drinks tea and goes to work.” Way to be a hero to your kid….

Seriously, it’s men who should be offended.

I wonder what the men think.


To read my interview with ‘Spark’ click here.