«

»

May 18 2006

Study of the Week: The Faster, Easier Sex

It has long chapped the Twisty hide that media reports on alarmist boys vs. girls studies constantly portray women as abnormal. Following in this grand tradition, Fox News yesterday announced, in case there were some date rapists out there who’d forgotten, Women Get Drunk, High, and Addicted More Easily Than Men Do.

In the first place, this is hardly a newsflash. In the second place, whatever the impetus for the original study (the title of which is mildly sensational: “Women Under The Influence”), Fox is only reporting it because Dude Nation can’t resist the idea of a drunken addict chick.

I do not dispute the science that suggests that men and women metabolize alcohol differently. I do take issue with the convention in mainstream reportage that assumes males as the default from which women, as freaks of nature, more or less ceaselessly deviate, much to the head-scratching consternation of sexperts. Since patriarchy is so big on characterizing women as aberrant weaklings, and since Fox News is the piehole of patriarchy, the language in the Fox report is a veritable ticker-tape parade for male normativity.

They do not say, for example, that “men, because of their anomalous body chemistry, have an unusually high tolerance for mind-altering chemicals.” Instead they frame it in terms of how women are naturally feeble:

“The study documents how women, pound for pound, not only get drunk or high faster then men, but also become addicted more easily.”

In other words, now at last there is scientific evidence to explain why the world is overrun with stumbling crack whores: women have a biological predilection toward junkiedom which “may be psychological or hormonal.” I.e. “nutso.”

27 comments

1 ping

  1. CafeSiren

    “Piehole of the patriarchy.” Dang. I’m going to be using variations on that one as often as possible.

  2. Amber

    Well, yeah, men ARE the default.

    After years and years of seeing male bodies illustrated as “the human body” in every science class, commercial for allergy medicine, hospital signage, etc., I was pleasantly shocked to walk into the women-only gym I’ve just joined and see a poster showing muscle groups and proper body positioning that actually depicts the female body.

    Being “the other” sucks. Sucks double to be a fat woman, cause then you’re the OTHER other. Whatever, I blame you know who.

  3. Keeshond

    I just find it a source of continual fascination that FUX News promotoes the man-as-default, woman-as-aberration perspective given that it is the network that brings us aberrant, other-worldly man-freaks such as the inexplicably splotchy and chronically rabid Bill O’Reilly, and the sexless, impossibly smug, nearly unibrowed Sean Hannity. If only FUX could recruit other network man-freaks like the schlubby, bow-tied Tucker Carlson, and the anachronisticly hair-doed and porn-stached John Stossel to its lair, it would become a rich source of study and experimentation for evolutionary biology grad students wanting to study species that really should have been selected out of the gene pool long ago.

  4. Sylvanite

    Well, the patriarchy isn’t inclined to “trumpet” studies that show males to be different from women in a way which isn’t flattering to male egos, i.e., “Males more likely to be sociopaths than women” or “Males likely to have more difficulty learning to read than females.” That seeems to be when the patriarchy either gets really quiet or really whiny, making excuses for poor male performance. “Boys would be the best readers if it weren’t for you girls!” Well, duh.

  5. keely

    How about this for a headline: “Media flaks likely to trumpet defective ‘scientific’ studies that reinforce cultural stereotypes.”
    It makes everyone feel all is right in their tiny little worlds when everything conforms to their expectations. Ah, I feel warm already.
    Oh wait, that’s me peeing myself laughing. Thanks for this!

  6. aldahlia

    Wait. This means that as a woman I get more bang for my crack-smoking buck! This is an outrage! It’s totally unfair to men! It’s obviously the fault of man-hating feminists! Someone alert Christina Hoff Sommers!

  7. Hattie

    I’ll drink to that!

  8. anne

    I think you’ll be happy to hear that I am writing a missive to the textbook company through which I took my recent anatomy and physiology classes. They clearly wrote with male perspectives in mind. I have bookmarked examples, which I will be sending to the publishers.

    Male lung volumes. Male heart rates. Male bladders.

    And , oh yeah, women, too.

    Crappity crap crap.

    I love you, Twisty. Your incisive commentary warms my heart.

  9. kathy a

    quite a lot of crimes are associated with substance abuse and addiction — everything from your basic “creating a nuisance” to DUI to assaults, robberies, and homicide.

    i don’t have figures handy, and concede that more women are in the criminal justice system than used to be the case. there are, for example, about 55 women on death row across the country, which comes out to about 1.5% of the death row population. but — google any source you like, criminals in any system are far, far more likely to be male. huge numbers of crimes are likely linked to substance problems [although, there is no comprehensive reporting system for that factor, so far as i know].

  10. Mandy

    Me too, “piehole of the patriarchy” – that has to be one of the classic original characterizations of all time, Twisty. Loved all of it of course, as always. But will definitely be using this baby.

  11. Sara

    You know, I have to say that before I read your blog I neither noticed nor considered that women were thought to be abnormal in or by virtue of these studies. Goodness gracious, there are more of us than them; if there is a norm, we are it by default!

    I always thought the purpose of these studies was to prove to whatever idiots would swallow such conclusions that we are indeed the weaker sex, obviously in need of protectors and/or conservancies, every one of us, and not one of us to be trusted with anything important, like a nation, or a uterus.

  12. AoT

    “The focus has always been on men,”

    They actually say that they have ignored women, quite amazing.

  13. e fulton

    Of course we women are faster and more efficient in getting wasted than men! What woman has the time and money to spend on getting drunk or high when she has to work harder for the same pay and then go home and do a disproportionate amount of the housework? Betcha we recover from our quickie benders faster too, but as that hypothesis doesn’t scream out for more social control of women I’m doubting it will attract the attention of grant award boards or Faux News dipshits (speaking of, Keeshond — how could you leave out Brit Hume? Yeegads! His cranial features have the highest Special Bus Factor of them all!).

  14. Catie

    Ontologoically speaking, female is the default gender. You actually need an extra signal for the fetus to begin developing male characteristics.

  15. Keeshond

    You’re right, e fulton, I did creepy, perpetually dour-faced, Lurch-look-alike bloviator Brit Hume a disservice by not listing him along side his esteemed FUX colleagues. I should probably give Michael Savage at least an honorable mention even though he doesn’t have his own FUX show, but the appellation of ‘poisonous toad’ is just so generic a description for a man-freak that spits such uniquely spiteful venom.

  16. AoT

    “Of course we women are faster and more efficient in getting wasted than men! What woman has the time and money to spend on getting drunk or high when she has to work harder for the same pay and then go home and do a disproportionate amount of the housework?”

    See, all that less pay and more work stuff was just affirmative action for men’s lack of being able to get drunk quickly.

  17. Ms Kate

    This phenomenon must certainly explain why there are so many more addiction treatment beds for women, particularly pregnant women.

    [/sarcasm]

  18. jc.

    Of course Fox was just reinforcing the whole “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker” school of dating which is your standard high school “tactic”.
    Given that women are perhaps easier drunks and adicts it still seems to me that the majority non functioning alcoholics and addicts are male, this of course is probaly just subjective but none the less.

  19. Catherine Martell

    This is one of the patriarchy’s most tired old themes. Leafing through some Victorian newspapers the other day (I mean, why not?), I was struck by the number of articles deploring the ‘epidemic’ of gin-drinking among women, especially those of the lower classes. Because male drinking results in nothing more harmful than laddish high jinks, whereas female drinking threatens to destroy society. Who will look after the children if we’re all rolling around drunk? And how will we guard our sexual purity? Eh?

    Plus ca fucking change, Fox. You are the Empire Telegraph circa 1885. For your next trick, please explain why it falls to we westerners to conquer the ‘coloured’ people for their own good. Oh, hold on. You already have.

    For my money, it’s tough enough living under the thumb of the patriarchy without them threatening to take our booze away into the bargain.

  20. cm

    And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, the CDC is now suggesting all women consider themselves pre-pregnant. Pre-pregnant? WTF?

  21. orourkem

    “Fox is only reporting it because Dude Nation can’t resist the idea of a drunken addict chick.”

    I agree with you 100%. I truly believe that they report on topics like this and call it breaking news and flash it in all caps red letter alert bullshit, because deep down in their sick twisted minds and hearts that I’ll never EVER want to understand, they get off on it and think it’s hot that they are talking about drunk women, i.e. vulnerable women that they can put in desperate situations in their sick thoughts while they try to pretend like they care. They never report on anything with good intentions. And they love it. I hate Fox so much. SO MUCH.

    I love your blog by the way. And I love that the little button to submit comments says “Blame.”

  22. Sara

    “For my money, it’s tough enough living under the thumb of the patriarchy without them threatening to take our booze away into the bargain.”

    Oh, it’s a thumb! I didn’t realize it was a thumb.

    Big, flaccid thumb.

    (sorry; not a grown-up this morning)

  23. teffie-phd

    All will be right in the world when Fox news has a banner at the bottom of the screen that says: Piehole of Patriarchy.

    I’ll drink to that.

  24. No Blood for Hubris

    Patriarchally-projected inferiority breeds contempt.

  25. L. Cougar

    “After years and years of seeing male bodies illustrated as “the human body” in every science class, commercial for allergy medicine, hospital signage, etc., I was pleasantly shocked to walk into the women-only gym I’ve just joined and see a poster showing muscle groups and proper body positioning that actually depicts the female body.”

    In my 7th grade science classroom (1968!) we had a “female” model of a torso– that is, to say, the “breasts” were merely suggested and the “vulva” was just a pink triangle molded gently into the legs– you could swing open the abdomen and see the heart, lungs, digestive organs, etc., but the reproductive organs were handily obscured by the lower intestines. Nevertheless, the boys managed to make it an object of ridicule, pointing and jeering, and pretending to touch the nearly-parts. My male science teacher allowed this. I would’ve given anything for it to have suggested a male torso, because I’m pretty sure the girls wouldn’t have made a mockery of it day after day.

    ps, I had to come out of lurkdom not so much to post this story but to push the “blame” button; ta, orourkem.

  26. scratchy888

    Ontologoically speaking, female is the default gender. You actually need an extra signal for the fetus to begin developing male characteristics.

    Obviously, like everything, though, this fact can also be turned against a symbolic female advantage. I vaguely recall seeing the biological-ideological video ‘The fight to be male’, which sort of managed to tacitly suggest that women are women because they just sit there and do nothing very much, whereas men are men because they fight for something more.

  27. hedonistic

    “Ontologoically speaking, female is the default gender. You actually need an extra signal for the fetus to begin developing male characteristics.”

    (How do I italicize someone else’s quote?)

    Anyway, the words “PATRIARCHAL REVERSAL” are reverberating in my mind. Where did I get this term? Dworkin? It’s been a good 20 years since I dabbled in feminist theory, sorry. Was it Beyond God the Father?

  1. Feministe » Talk About a Double Standard.

    [...] And she’s willing to use just about any bit of information to further her views about what women really shouldn’t be doing. I’ll just say, Twisty called it. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>