It's last call here at Lady Liquor. Which is bad news for me, because I feel like I'm just getting started.
Like: I talked about concern trolling regarding crack babies, but I didn't get into the mixed science on fetal alcohol syndrome (and how the identification of the syndrome concurred with more aggressive policing of the behavior of pregnant women). I talked about women in the beer industry, but I just barely touched on the history of women and brewing. Or "raunch culture" and how current hand-wringing about it sounds an awful lot like folks clucking their tongues at the untoward behavior of flappers almost a hundred years ago.
So: I'm going to keep it up, at a new blog where I'll continue to blog about women, alcohol and social justice, and other topics under the general heading of intoxicants and social justice.
I've contributed to Bitch's print edition in the past, and the staff is always an absolute delight to work with. This is the first time I've written for the website, and I'm grateful to have been given a chance to dive into a topic I care about, and to address it from a variety of perspectives (both the goofier, lighter aspects of drinking and culture and alcohol's more serious implications for our lives, from the perspectives of both health and policy). Much of the work I do is straight news reporting, and getting the chance to share my own point of view on things was fun and sometimes scary, in the way that putting your own thoughts on the line is always scary—but educational for precisely the same reason.
Stories of self-censorship in the media are sadly common; here's one that's relevant to what I tried to do with this series. Years ago, Barry Lopez addressed an environmental philosophy class at my alma mater and I cornered him later to ask him some questions about journalism. He said it can be a constant fight to get good, varied content published, and as an example told me that a writer friend had had an essay pulled from a mainstream magazine that's well-respected for its reporting and commentary, and which has a pretty highbrow, progressive slant. The essay talked about alcoholism from a personal perspective; it was yanked because one of the magazine's major sponsors, a vodka distiller, was none too thrilled with the writer's discussion of the dark side of drinking. Bitch's commitment to providing a forum for non-mainstream voices and perspectives meant that I was allowed to talk about alcohol from whatever perspective I chose—good, bad, indifferent, or amused—and I am enormously grateful for that.
I hope at least a few of you will follow me to the new blog, and that all of you will continue to read and support Bitch. Cheers.
Previously: Race, Femininity and Moral Panics in History