Hey Kristi, thanks for your post. A friend posted it to Facebook with the comment, “This piece is beautiful. Whether you drink, don’t drink, are in recovery…read it.” I had a critical [and intending to be constructive] response, and I figured instead of just putting it out into the Facebook ether, I’d share it with you too. I’m a 32-year-old sports reporter and photographer who lives in Baltimore. I’m not trolling or attacking you for the sake of it. I do have critical commentary, however. Here’s the response I wrote:
“Would I be anything other than an insensitive mansplainer if I were to opine on this? Beautiful is not the word I would use to describe it. I’d use bitter, angry, judgmental, resentful. The author acknowledges this much. Moreover I’d be curious to pick apart why her central question — “Is there nothing so inherently absorbing or high-stakes or pleasurable that we won’t try to alter our natural response to it?” — is unique to women, as she frames it. I’ve been asking this question since everyone started drinking in high school. What, straight-up hanging out isn’t good enough anymore? Being 16 isn’t fun without beer? I still say the same thing about all the yuppies in the park getting hammered while playing football and tearing their ACL’s. Dry flag football just doesn’t cut it? Same with sledding at the Pagoda, a once- or twice-a-year event that in my opinion should be an occasion to be kid-like and do something that’s fun for all ages, but for some reason gets twisted into a yuppie drinkfest. Why do we need to bring beer into this? Isn’t sledding fun on its own? Now that I’m sounding all angry and judgmental and resentful myself, I’ll make my final point: I’d never diminish the struggles of an alcoholic or belittle someone for staying sober, because that’s something I could never really understand. I drink. However, I think this woman’s problem (and blog post) is more about how impressionable she is, and how marketing towards women is relentless and harmful. She’s incensed by the various marketing she’s subjected to, complicit in its efficacy (like how she casually mentions her face injections), and, instead of taking any kind of stand against it, decides instead to shit on all women who drink. Seems kind of unfair (and bitter and angry and resentful and judgmental) and misguided to me.”
Fair? Unfair? I’m genuinely curious. I appreciate you as a writer and creator.