Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drunk Girls Gone Wild in Britain



Is equality always a good thing? Women have been legally entitled to vote and to work in a harassment free workplace. It is hard to find fault with that. If barriers between men and women result in less violent behavior by men, I would not quarrel with that. There is no question that society has changed its view of gender roles a lot in the last 30 years or so.


I remember back in the early 60's when Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn costarred in "My Fair Lady, in which an upper crust British professor tried to teach high society manners to a woman of lower class. In one sequence of the musical, he sang the famous song which at the time seemed quaintly absurd. The song was titled "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like A Man?" It showed an idealised picture of manly virtue and a caricatured version of feminine shortcomings. The song would never make it in our times.

Forty five years after "My Fair Lady" we have an answer to the famous song title. It seems that young British women are in significant numbers adopting some of the behavioral norms that have given the Y chromosome a bad name. The British press has come up with the term "ladette", which is a feminisation of "lad" a term used to refer to women who get falling down drunk and become sick and disorderly in public. Apparently these young women have become numerous enough to constitute a trackable phenomenon. The Daily Mail reports as follows on this sociological mutation.


"....experts warned that British schoolgirls are the worst for binge drinking in Europe. The problem is likely to become worse as it becomes more socially acceptable, a conference heard.

Some 648 children under ten were admitted to hospital due to drink between 2003 and 2008.

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: 'We are more than double our nearest rivals when it comes to women binge drinking. We stand out like sore thumbs.'

He added that many career women were drinking to 'hold their own' with male colleagues at after-work drinking sessions.

Binge drinking among young women hit the headlines again last week when university students across the country took part in organised marathon pub crawls.

Many familiar scenes of debauchery were seen, including half-naked women collapsing on the street."


Is this what equality looks like? What do we become when we attempt to mold human behavior into the contours of a political manifesto? We have tinkered with gender roles and the biochemistry of women. The Catholic News Agency reports as follows on Carl Djerassi, one of the researchers whose discoveries in the early '50's were instrumental in the invention of the modern birth control pill.


The chemist who made a key discovery leading to the invention of the birth control pill has written a commentary calling demographic decline in Europe a “horror scenario” and a “catastrophe” brought on in part by the pill’s invention.

Mr. Carl Djerassi, now 85 years old, was one of three researchers whose formulation of the synthetic progestagen Norethisterone marked a key step in the creation of the first oral contraceptive pill, the Guardian reports.

In a personal commentary in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, Djerassi said his invention is partly to blame for demographic imbalance in Europe. On the continent, he argued, there is now “no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction.”

“This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete,” he wrote.



Djerassi focused in the interview on the demographic explosion in Austria. The effects on human behavior and gender roles are an entire unexplored topic.

The pictures from British streets are a wakeup call to the world. What are we becoming? If you would have predicted such behavior back in the 1970's, most people would have laughed it off. But here we are in 2009. Do we like where we are heading? Do we like what we are becoming?

If equality means rising together to higher levels of moral and societal evolution, then I have no problem. If it means equality in the gutter, then count me out.





video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Doz5w2W-jAY Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Robert Carnegie [email protected] said...

The Carl Djerassi part is problematic. He was actually writing last December ('08) - and is now 86 (since October 29th) - and apparently The Guardian had to apologise and retract their story at the time, although not before unintentionally starting a "Father of Contraception Repents His Invention" story that is STILL running around the world, which is why I'm reading your article that puts yet another twist on it.

But worldwide, pregnancy is more dangerous than swine flu.

My factual response to the spurious birth control controversy is at
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.abortion/msg/21908eeea8cc08eb (actually read in a science fiction reader group), and includes a link to what Carl Djerassi actually said, and also to him complaining about what people made of it.

As for alcohol abuse, that is a British disease especially (although U.S. sports fans of both sexes can be pretty bad in this and other ways) and we should do more about it, along with all other narcotics. Getting dead drunk by closing time was a reason for abolishing closing time or at least for - er - staggering it, so that pubs empty out onto the streets one at a time, not all together. But the greater problem (e.g. murder) is mostly with drunken men, not women.