Wow. This made me so deeply sad.
Although I enjoy a cocktail now and again I’m so happy I don’t feel the need to numb my senses with alcohol on a regular basis.
The patriarchy is real, but it doesn’t have to drive you to drink. It’s like all the women in your life have *bought into* the patriarchy. You are frustrated because you need a certain kind of validation so badly you are daunted and unhappy when you don’t get it. I am turned off by this twisting around of self-medicating into some kind of “you go girl” power/solidarity, as if the patriarchy is somehow co-opted by doing so.
Be yourself, courageous in expressing your needs and opinions, and be willing to take 100% responsibility for your actions. Have some appreciation for your life! If your coworker/man/child is an asshole find a way to communicate creatively, stick to your goal and don’t be intimidated by their assholitude. Then maybe your whole life will be “girl time” (I can’t stand when women over 21 refer to each other that way) and you can create the life you desire. Sorry your friends are suffering, but I can’t be all “girl power” with you — I’m weary of stories like yours; to me it’s all women making problems for themselves where none need exist.