News__ Binge and Punch
November 30, 2010
A new study by the British Association for Anger Management has chalked up the 81% increase (since 1998) of girls involved in murder, assault and other vicious attacks to binge drinking. Anger management psychotherapist, Mike Fisher told The Daily Mail that, "Girls are generally better at dealing with their feelings, whereas boys keep it inside. However, when girls drink they are anesthetizing their feelings. Suddenly they are not able to cope with their emotions appropriately, but that anger has to go somewhere. Unlike their mothers, who perhaps did not drink as much, they become violent." Fisher also notes that girls are being tormented by boys and they are now fighting back with aggression. "They are fed up with being the passive sex." As Margaret at Jezebel pointed out, why are the school systems focused on the girls response to the boys tormenting instead of the tormenting itself? "Boys will be boys."
"Girls face a new generation of potential triggers for problems such as premature sexualization, commercialization and alcohol misuse, and also some of the more long-standing issues like bullying and family breakdown," he noted. "All these things can be triggers for anger."
These should be the issued that are assessed instead of simply vilifying young women who use binge drinking as an unhealthy form of escapism. Women can not indulge in alcohol the same way that men can. Remember last year when New York Magazine tried to blame feminism on the so-called problem of women who drink too much? The topic of sexual self-confidence bobbed through the article like an olive in a martini. "If men come into the picture at all, it’s only because what women sometimes want is sex, the final frontier of gender equality, and the socially sanctified follies of alcohol set the stage perfectly for the type of sex women may want but fear is unacceptable to seek." Most girls said that drinking gave them confidence to make advances they would not normally feel comfortable doing. Could this have something to do with the stereotypical notions of who is to be socially accepted as passive or aggressive in the game of heterosexual relations? Yep. This "issue" is a complicated one, but Tracie Egan hit the nail on the head:"The fact that women like to knock a few back is not a pro-feminism statement. Sure, it may be a result of feminism, but not, in itself, a feminist act. (Personally, I don't drink to fight sexism. I drink to forget about it.) However, making the argument that now that women are lucky enough to have the freedoms earned by earlier feminists, we should forever be indebted to them and pay homage by being responsible and striving for social perfection is, in fact, an anti-feminist statement. Because we're not "lucky" to have such rights. We're owed them. And so, what, now that we have them we better behave? It's the same fucking thing that feminists/women have always faced: being told "you can't." But now it's been switched up—within our own ranks—to "you can, but you shouldn't," as this smart lady pointed out. So who exactly is the Aunt Tom here?"
In a similar vein, the problem of violent young women should not be just anger management counseling, but should look deeper into the issue. Why are so many young girls angry? Why are they binge drinking differently then they were ten years ago? What has changed recently that might provoke this? Fisher notes that young girls are sick of being the passive sex, yet suggests we fix this by telling them that their rage is wrong? This is frustrating. I need a drink.