The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol

Book - 2013
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What is behind the rise in alcohol consumption and abuse among women in recent years?

While the feminist revolution has allowed women to close the gender gap professionally and educationally, it has also witnessed a disturbing rise in equality in more troubling areas of life. In most of the developed world, the rates of binge drinking among women have skyrocketed in the past decade. DUIs, "drunkorexia" and health conditions connected to alcohol abuse are all on the rise, especially among younger women--a problem exacerbated by the alcohol industry itself. Battling for women's dollars and leisure time, corporations have developed marketing strategies and products targeted exclusively to women, including Girls' Night Out, MommyJuice and Mommy's Time Out wines, berry-flavoured vodkas and fruit coolers.

Award-winning journalist Ann Dowsett Johnston illuminates this startling epidemic, dissects the psychological, social and financial factors that have contributed to its rise, and explores its long-lasting impact on our society and individual lives, including her own. In Drink , she interweaves in-depth research and interviews with leading researchers with the moving story of her own struggle with alcohol, as well as those of many other women aged seventeen to seventy. The result is an unprecedented and bold inquiry that is both informative and shocking.

Publisher: Toronto :, HarperCollins Publishers Limited,, 2013, ©2013.
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443418799
Branch Call Number: 362. 292082 JOH
Characteristics: 305 pages


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Jul 20, 2014

Brilliant clarity, both in personal stories & considering the real role of alcohol in women's lives. The advertizers are lyong about the glamour, if we can grow up enough to stop kidding ourselves. Highly, highly recommended reading, for young women especially.

ksoles Jan 02, 2014

In her compelling sociological study-meets-memoir, Canadian journalist Johnson expands her "Toronto Star" series on women and alcohol. Coming of age in the 1970s, Johnson played her part in closing the gender gap by acting as both a devoted wife/mother and a career-driven editor at "Maclean's." And, more centrally to her book, she fell into the trap of using alcohol as a crutch to ease the stress of this balancing act.

Johnson uses her own experience of alcoholism to viscerally illustrate a broader, worsening trend among young North American women: out-of-control, binge drinking. One in five high school girls binge drinks, and, among women of childbearing age, the number only increases. Young women who drink to excess not only make themselves vulnerable to sexual abuse; they also endanger themselves physiologically.

According to "Drink," a misplaced idea of female entitlement takes partial blame for this disturbing trend but the alcohol industry also plays its part by marketing trendy cocktails for women with names such as “MommyJuice" and “Skinnygirl." Ultimately, Johnston writes a lucid, gripping account that asks, “has alcohol become the modern woman's steroid, enabling her to do the heavy lifting necessary in an endlessly complex world?”

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