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Why are women judged more harshly for drunk behaviour than men?

  • Media reports involving drunk women are presented differently than men, says study. 
  • These reports make young women the face of binge drinking and distort facts. 
  • They encourage stereotyping a woman's role in the society. 
Women drinking India

A study by researchers from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University reveals media reports on 'binge' drinking habits in men and women. The study was conducted by examining media reports and analysing roughly 308 articles that were published over the two years in UK's seven national newspapers. The study highlights that women binge drinking was given more coverage despite men drinking more in reality.


The articles showed women in the negative light for drinking, presenting them as vulnerable, transgressive and likewise. The reports seemed like moralising and talking about how the patriarchal society expects women to behave in public. On the other hand, reports about drunk men didn't add the moral touch. No words like haggard, ruined were used, which were used to describe the women. Women are made the face of binge drinking and are more harshly judged for drunken behaviour.


In India, the thinking is no different, rather far more regressive. While we talk about the progressive Indian woman and the numerous things that she has aced, drinking alcohol seems to be a topic that has stirred interest too. We've seen reports talking about how the number of Indian women drinking is on a rise, and some even highlights how it affects a women's health more than men. 


The social butterflies too enjoy watching/sharing videos of drunk women, and we've seen these videos being shared and re-shared until they make it to the headlines as 'viral video', 'watch' and so on. It is infuriating that someone has chosen to shoot a video rather than help the inebriated woman.


The Glasgow study has highlighted how the public views 'binge' drinking as a masculine activity. Statistically, men drink more than women in reality. However, the media seems to be depicting another story, and one that may not be true. The experts add that portrayal of the stories may give readers inaccurate understanding of binge drinking and how it affects your health.


Now, binge drinking means consuming a lot of alcohol in a short span. Increase in consumption of alcohol is of high risk to both women and men. If the truth is distorted, the report says, people may think binge drinking is just about women and threatens their appearance and health, while men would believe they are responsible drinkers who may not question themselves about their drinking habits and its effect on health.


Let's get one thing clear here, we aren't encouraging drinking. The point of discussion is how such news is presented by media and consumed by viewers. Afterall, we live in a world of equals, or at least most us believe we do. 

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