Lifestyle

Why are women embarrassed to say they drink?

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Don’t we often come across women who drink but don’t want to be tagged on Facebook with their beer mugs or wine glasses? Well, most of them hide their drinking habits from their relatives and only open up in front of a handful of people they are comfortable with. And, in all probability that has everything to do with the much hyped and superficial Bhartiya sanskriti. Ever wondered why a drunk woman still scandalises people and not a drunk man. Well, we got in touch with some of these women (name changed upon request) who love to drink but hate to accept it and asked them the reason behind maintaining the ‘dual’ image. Here’s what they had to say!

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Ridhima Gupta, a 28-year-old media professional parties every fortnight but tells her parents that she’s going out for coffee with friends, every time the gut asks for some booze and here’s why she does it, “I have reached marriageable age and haven’t had the fortune of falling in love. I feel if people around me get to know about my drinking habits, the word might spread and it may jeopardize my future relationship. What if my future husband doesn’t drink? It’s best to continue living this dual life, why fall in a pit deliberately.”
If you think women like Ridhima are exceptions, you need to know what 20-year-old DU student Pratibha Tiwari has to say about hiding her drinking habit from her near and dear ones. “Don’t men hide their cigarettes from their parents? Then, what’s the harm in women drinking in disguise, it’s plain respect for our parents, who are still bound by the great societal divide, which separates women from men. But according to Sanchita Majumdar, head of a Gurgaon based NGO, Abhay Nari, it’s time women come out of the closet about drinking for it’s not a crime and should not be looked as one. “What are we trying to prove to our posterity here that drinking is a taboo for women? Well, it’s worrying because these are the women who set their feet out of their homes to protest against an issue of inequality raised in the society. Haven’t they realised that they are fanning a non-issue and making an issue out of it?” quips Majumdar.

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According to image consultant Zohra Chitalwala, the problem of secret drinking lies in the fact that Indian women are used to putting on a facade of various roles that are expected from them by the society. “In India, the cultural and religious barriers restrict a woman to express her pleasures and comforts in the open, due to which she tries hard to prove herself as an ideal Bharatiya nari even though she does not want to be one,” says Zohra.
As per Zohra, lack of acceptance amongst women drinkers crops from that sect of the society where women drinking alcohol are discouraged not only at family gatherings but also at business luncheons. But, what’s worse is the fact that due to this disparity, women in open societies have become more cautious of themselves when drinking liquor socially than the people around them.

But then, we aren’t guilty about wearing short clothes though we are ogled at all day long by rickshaw-wallahs to office peons, then why such hesitance about holding the glass full of poison? Well, as per capital-based sommelier Viraj Singh the trend has little to do with questionable societal norms but more to do with self-image. “Women might be earning as much or even more than men, but only a fraction of them have been able to support the fact that drinking socially or privately is as normal as a woman heading out for dinner with her friends. On the contrary, most of the men take pride in the fact that they drink openly and have no regrets about it. It’s time they pick up that glass of wine, in fact whisky and take it in their stride because wearing jeans hasn’t turned them into men, so drinking whisky won’t either.”
Well ladies, it’s time to let go of all the inhibitions regarding alcohol because you are only a drink away from telling people what you really think!

Source: TOI

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