Social critics say we live in a totalitarian therapeutic state. Many common folks know we live in a victim culture. We are awash in pharmaceutical drugs that replicate the effects of illegal drugs. It's an ugly web of problems, therapies and pills to make you 'normal' again. Oh no, you're not an addict. You are a victim of abuse, stress, pressure, etc., and you have a disease. It happened to you. The bottle just repeatedly called your name. The coke was just running towards your nose. I'm not going to be a hard ass on addiction. Besides every Intervention episode ever produced, I know enough recovering addicts and alcoholics to see the pattern of what a terrible trauma can lead to later in life. The damage that parents can do whether before birth by not planning ahead or during a child's formative years through abuse is huge and a core problem within our negative society. We will never really reduce the problem of drug abuse and alcoholism until we address those core causes, and our welfare, therapy state has too much invested not just in their voting coalition but in their employment to address those issues. Consulting 101: why fix what you can prolong? Instead, we will get articles (here, here, NPR douches here) that dance around the cause of our problems because one side doesn't want to talk about their hand in creating them.
A recent talk with a long term recovering alcoholic revealed the changes in addiction and alcoholism that have happened in the country that some news articles discuss, but the PC code of silence prevents proper discussion. While it is anecdotal evidence, my alcoholic relative has attended meetings almost daily for 20 years in various regions of the country. His observations on the changes in the last 20 years:
1. Meetings went from 90-10 male-female to 60-40 female-male. Changes nature of meetings.
2. Few people in AA now are purely alcoholics. Many are either narcotics and alcohol or they went from narcotics to alcohol.
3. Teachers flood AA meetings in the summer.
4. Nurses are much more common now in AA meetings and veterans less common.
5. All men who come in from Narcotics Anonymous say that they eventually sucked dick for drugs.
We laughed about the nurses and teachers because they handle everyone's kids. We also laughed about the men sucking dick for hard drugs because it is a cliche old enough to have been a joke in "Half Baked" roughly 15 years ago. The parts that we discussed at length were the NA-AA connection and the gender change. My uncle blamed the depressive nature of so many prescription drugs now leading the addicts to eventually drop the narcotics for another depressant (alcohol) and just continue their addictive habits. For them, it is first destroying the physical craving and then the mental obsession of doing the drug, which can be dragged out if you have a similar acting substitute. Interesting to hear from someone who has dealt with alcoholism for two decades.
When we got talking about the increase in the number of women in AA meetings, I asked a bunch of questions. Answers were as expected especially with his Archie Bunker personality. Women love AA as its a don't judge zone, everyone else there is a fuck up too, ladies get to tell a sob story, women bond through sharing their experiences (especially bad experiences), and there's free coffee. The causes of their alcoholism sound as if written by manosphere writers: single moms, women entering the workforce and not coping with work stress, and for older women at AA meetings, the initial joy of divorce wore off leading to loneliness. Sure, men can have similar circumstances, but as my uncle said, it is the rare man that cites those reasons. Those reasons appear to be uniquely female as the reasons they themselves give for abusing alcohol.
Those reasons are the unexpected fruits of women's liberation and the post-68 changes in social norms and family law. Women's relative happiness is down compared to men since the '70s. While they are achieving more at work and college, they are unhappy, marrying less, raising kids alone and drinking more. One article that mentions the rise in alcoholic women contorts itself to say that more women in the workforce means greater access to alcohol. Quote: ""The gender gap is narrowing, and this may have a lot to do with the numbers of women entering the work force," he says. This financial independence increases their access to alcohol." (emphasis mine). Poor women don't drink? Beer and wine have been legal since the '30s and might be the cheapest drugs for coping on the block, so I call shenanigans on access as a new problem. The writer couldn't admit that women entering the workforce, especially in higher pressure jobs which they had not formerly worked in great numbers (if at all), overloaded their built through evolution stress tolerance system. The writers can't admit that all of the choices given to women through the post-68 social changes have removed whatever guidelines or norms for a life path. No woman can have it all. At some point, a woman will have to sacrifice some facet of her life to get something else. A hard charging female worker might have corporate success only to find her kids resent her when she retires at 65 if she has kids at all. A good worker bee might have sacrificed a chance at moving up in management because she had 3 kids and took time off to raise them. We should be telling young women that no one has it all. If they do, they are lying.
Some of these women in AA now might be in AA because they feel they aren't living up to a false ideal that feminist marketing has pushed since 1968. If the media-entertainment complex wanted to do something positive for women, they would write a show called "The Good Wife" about a stay at home mom who puts her family life first as a good wife and mom but has no career. The media would not softly criticize women for 'opting out' and wasting their college degrees, but proclaim it as a positive example of women choosing on their own to take that path (NY Times article here, Forbes here). The Time article contains plenty of phrases expressing contempt. Television characters could have more kids, and the family with more than 1 child would not be comic relief. These would be traditional representations of women's roles, therefore they cannot be glorified. This isn't what the progressive cathedral wants. They want you to have no intimate relationships and connections except with the state. One state to raise you in day care, educate you at school, feed you, employ you (if you choose), house you, provide for you if you make a mistake, and eventually take care of you in old age. One state to rule them all.