Kristi Coulter

As a white guy, I’ve grown somewhat weary of being the continuous object of boiling feminist anger (as frequently exhibited in this article), and I do look forward to a time in which the feminist gestalt can move past this anger stage, and into something more inclusive and constructive.

As a recently sober individual, I can identify with the author’s perceptions and experiences quite closely. I’m not completely sworn off alcohol, but about six months ago it occurred to me that I no longer enjoyed it, and that it was in fact messing up my life quite a bit. Since then I’ve drastically cut my drinking, I’d estimate by 95%, which meant going from several drinks a day to a drink or two every other week.

In that time I’ve moved through a startling range of emotions and states of being: anger, sadness, manic episodes, depression, apathy, intensity, and so on. I believe that all of these were latent expressions that I had been suppressing for years and years with alcohol. Only recently have things have started to settle down a bit. All along the way I was painfully aware of how much alcohol informs our daily life, and how confusing it could be at times when it was no longer an integral part of mine. Sidelined from the ritual numbing-down, I felt like an outsider, an alien. Briefly, there was a sense of superiority, but that subsided rather quickly and what replaced it was this odd sadness and sense of loss. Everybody seems to be hell-bent on burying their pain, and avoiding the challenge of *really* living their lives, and booze is a convenient and legal way to go about it, the number one choice of avoiders everywhere.

At the risk of sounding like I’m flaunting that sense of superiority again, which is not my intention, I do think that facing life sober is the more difficult path, and like most difficult things, the payoff is well worth it for those who persevere. It’s good fun to treat us white guys like subhuman monsters in the public sphere, but the reality is that we are people too. We have fears and frailties, we have baggage, we break, and we’re inclined to numb our pain like everyone else. I’m older now and I can’t handle regular drinking physiologically; that fact had has much to do with my decision to back off as anything else. If I could still rock the booze like a younger person, I have to be honest with myself in admitting that I’d probably have slipped up at least a couple of times by now.

Props to Ms Coulter for taking the difficult path, and I sincerely hopes that it sticks. Looking past the men-bashing, I very much enjoyed this piece.