Over the limit

by

Today is one of my friend, S’s 21st birthday. We live in the US, so that means she’s finally legally able to drink. Her mom posted a comment on her Facebook page saying S is a blessing and that she should have fun and have a glass of wine when she goes out to dinner tonight. Sweet, right?

Then S’s aunt responded to that comment. “Don’t start her on that path…heard the glass of wine is really two when given in restaurants and too many calories, plus alcohol content far surpasses what a woman should be drinking.”

So S shouldn’t have fun on her freaking birthday because a) alcohol will make her fat and that’s the worst thing in the world and b) S isn’t allowed to decide for herself (as an adult!) what to do with her body because it might not be ladylike or something.

Guess it’s #HFSF

AN, USA

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17 Responses to “Over the limit”

  1. fiona888 Says:

    Oh, where to start on what’s wrong with the aunt’s comment!

    “heard” – so that makes it indisputable fact then!

    “start her on that path” ?! – oh yes, because she’s so weak-willed and unable to control herself that if she has one glass that will inevitably lead to her becoming some sort of alcoholic. (and “start her” – because she can’t possibly decide to do something of her own free will, she needs someone to tell her to, obviously!)

    “too many calories” – for what? in whose opinion? And never mind the potential calorie content of the food, it’s the WINE that’s evil!

    “plus alcohol content far surpasses what a woman should be drinking” – really?! She’s an expert on the alcohol content of wines is she, and on the recommended safe daily alcohol limits? (There’s no other valid reason, that I can think of, to define what women ‘should’ drink.)
    One glass, even a restaurant glass that, allegedly, is “two glasses”, is to my knowledge within the recommended health limits for women.

    And of course women must always behave as they “should”, rather than being free to make their own life choices like men are. If a man exceeds his recommended daily alcohol intake, people laugh and he is seen as cheeky and fun and ‘naughty’ in a good way; but if a woman does the same – well!

    • jenniferengland Says:

      I’d take that comment as the aunt showing admirable concern for her nieces health and safety. Binge drinking is a huge problem, particularly amongst young people, many of whom don’t realise just how much alcohol is contained within a typical drink.

      • jesurgislac Says:

        I think you may be unfamiliar with what “binge drinking” actually consists of. Having a glass of wine with a meal is not “binge drinking”, and claiming it is, is unhelpful scaremongering on the same lines as claiming that hash is instantly addictive and as dangerous as heroin. People need to learn to drink responsibly, not to be told “Drinking is bad! Don’t do it!” because that’s as unhelpful as abstinence-only sex education. Yes knowing how many alcohol units are in what size of wine glass is useful: as is becoming aware of how many units of alcohol you can or you should drink.

      • jenniferengland Says:

        I didn’t claim that it was binge-drinking, or that she shouldn’t drink. I said that it’s important to be aware of how much you’re drinking, that I don’t think her aunt said anything about being ladylike. The calorie comment is a bit out there, but the unit one is something that anyone who drinks should be aware of.

        An article from the BBC (here -> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3303805.stm ) states that, although most people assume a glass of wine is equal to one unit, it can often be closer to three. The recommended daily intake for a woman is two units, three for a man (fourteen a week as opposed to twenty-one a week).

      • amberisthecolor Says:

        wine: 17.5%

        rum: 60%

        know your alcohol content. was that so hard? one glass of wine is not going to make a poor fragile girl falling down drunk.

  2. jenniferengland Says:

    I think the “woman should be drinking” comment is referring to the units which are deemed to be a safe amount, which do differ between men and women. The amount of units may be ‘safe’ for the typical male, but cross the line for the typical female. I don’t believe she said anything about being ladylike. I think you may be reaching, there.

    • blackrose01 Says:

      There’s only a one unit difference between men and women!

      • jenniferengland Says:

        Yup. Two units as opposed to three units.

        A bit of googling found a BBC article (here -> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3303805.stm ). Although it’s often stated that one glass of wine is equal to one unit, that can vary, depending on size and alcohol content, and can often be closer to three than one. As I said, within the RDA for a man, but not for a woman.

    • blackrose01 Says:

      Yeah, but sex doesn’t affect units as much as you seem to think, a 6ft woman could drink more without getting hammered that a 5ft3 man. Weight plays a bit part too, regardless of sex, an 18stone male would out drink a 12stone male, the same goes for females,

      Race can also play a part, japanese men and women can drink far more than british and american men and woman despite being smaller (on average), it has something to do with their biological make-up, sorry I can’t explain it more clearly than that, GCSE biology was a long time ago,

      But back to my point, units based on sex alone is useless because there are more varied factors that can alter how quickly you become drunk

  3. rillion Says:

    One glass of wine– even two glasses of wine– is not by any stretch of the imagination “binge drinking,” and the alcohol content doesn’t “far surpass” what a woman should be drinking unless you’re a joyless prig, which is what it sounds like Auntie is.

    • xchx Says:

      Agreed, two glasses of wine doesn’t reach the maximum amount of drinks recommended for women in the smallest weight category, which to my understanding is 3.

      Also, her mother told her to “have a glass of wine with dinner,” not go get rowdy. This is what the aunt is responding to, not binge drinking.

      My interpretation is that she doesn’t like this “path” of drinking a glass of wine with dinner because it will be too many calories per night and therefore make her fat. Its only an after thought (“plus”) that the alcohol itself might pose a problem.

    • jenniferengland Says:

      I come from a family of alcoholics. I guess I’m just more likely to err too far on the side of caution.

      • jesurgislac Says:

        I appreciate that a history of alcoholism (or working with alcoholics) will make a person err on the side of caution. Alcohol is a dangerous & can be addictive drug. But, many/most people can and do drink a glass of wine with a meal (or even two glasses!) without being alcoholics or suffering any ill effects.

        While the aunt MAY be reacting as she did because she has a history of dealing with alcoholism, I think it more likely that she’s reacting to the spectre of “women shouldn’t drink!” given how it was phrased.

  4. popesuburban Says:

    When they started marketing half-cal booze (I think it’s one of the rum makers doing it), it occurred to me that if you’re having enough calories to be problematic from booze alone, you probably have a drinking problem that should be seen to first, because damn. The potential cirrhosis would be a much bigger deal than “getting fat” or whatever nonsense.

  5. Sarah Says:

    Where is this magical restaurant where one glass of wine is actually two? I want to go to there!

  6. Sarah Says:

    Seriously though, I think encouraging a woman to have one glass of wine with her meal on her 21st birthday is encouraging a responsible attitude towards drinking. In more enlightened parts of the world children are given wine with dinner while they are still under their parents’ roofs, providing a safe, controlled environment thus demystifying alcohol and removing its illicit appeal. But what do I know, I’m a woman after all!

  7. corridor7f Says:

    There’s a woman like this in my family – but her husband was a lecherous drunk, so she thinks alcohol (in any quantity) is evil.

    Many people are this way, due to bad experiences, but having a glass of wine in a restaurant is probably one of the better ways to be introduced to drinking.

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