Growing up, I remember watching movies about teen house parties showing the quintessential high school experience, and almost all of them follow the same format. Let me paint it for you:
The camera pans the middle-income house, often two stories, across crowds of teenagers who seem to be having a great time, laughing and making jokes with adult beverages in hand. We see the class clowns, the wallflowers, the girls with dresses too short and the "cool" boys playing some type drinking guy, more often than not, beer pong. It looks like a blast when the camera first enters the room, but we all know too well that everything is too good to be true.
A couple of rowdy jocks will eventually get into a fight, we'll probably see some boy throwing up into a bush outside the front door and some girl is being helped by her friends because she's too drunk to stand or say anything too clearly. No matter how much alcohol is being consumed, eventually, the camera will begin to focus on the girl who's too drunk and whose boyfriend is probably cheating or she's angry in some way.
Every time, she becomes the eyesore in the room full of chaos. She will get singled out for being too drunk. She should know better than to get that drunk, right? In some movies and TV shows, we see her just make a fool of herself by saying something stupid to her friends or the girl she hates and that's that. Still, all the guys there are off the hook for throwing up or having their own fights because they were drunk and that's what guys do. But if a girl gets drunk and that's what she does, it's shameful.
But in the scenarios that her actions are not left alone, some guy is going to have to swoop in to save the damsel in distress and he might even take advantage of her. She's going to fall into his arms because, well, she can't stand up so it's either into him or onto the floor. He's going to take it as a sign that she's interested in him and he's going to try to make some move on her when he gets her in the dark car, whether it's a kiss or a hand on her upper thigh. Some movies leave it at that and others show the sexual assault.
For guys, alcohol is an excuse for their actions. It's just "guys being guys" and their testosterone will run high so getting into verbal or physical altercation is inevitable. They'll vomit, they might break a vase from the house's mantel, and then everyone will forget anything happened.
But for girls, alcohol becomes a sword pointed at them. Girls should know their limits. They should know when enough is enough and how to act if they've drunk too much. They need to be able to take care of themselves and certainly not make a fool of themselves, not like boys do.
Not only does this issue affect girls on an everyday, moral level when they're tormented in school by the photos that were taken of them blacked out on the couch, but it also affects them on a deeper, more legal level.
In court, when a woman is undergoing a sexual assault trial, she is asked what she was wearing, how drunk she was and how she acted. If a guy is asked how much he drank, it's more of a game or reason for excuse.
He was almost blacked out so there was no possible way he could have done what is being claimed against him. Not only does the suspect then hold the sword against the girl, but so does the judge and everyone else in that room who believes alcohol can be an excusable reason for a boy not to be found guilty.
It's a double standard and an issue women face across this nation daily. We just saw it in the Brett Kavanaugh case who kept reminding the court over and over again that he likes to drink a couple of beers. When he does this, he's painted as the "All-American" boy who enjoys drinking a cold one with the boys and who loves his nation. It's seen as this sense of national pride for his country, an example of his freedom as a man.
But God forbid a woman EVER did that. If she sat in front of the court saying over and over and over again that she was there for some beers, get a little drunk, hang out with friends, and see where the night would lead her, she'd be seen as a slut. A whore. Incapable of being trusted. Dirty. Shameful. Because that's not how girls are supposed to act.
A woman must always second guess her every move and rethink all of her actions. A man can act like a boy and see it as excusable.
I read something the other day that really opened my eyes again to see just how messed up our nation's thinking is. The post reminded us that when Brock Turner was in court, people were defending him, claiming that he was young, wouldn't do anything to a woman, and if he was found guilty, the court shouldn't ruin his future by being too hard on him. Now, when Brett Kavanaugh was under investigation, the same exact things were said about him. That nothing should be done about a situation that happened a lifetime ago because we shouldn't ruin his future.
We shouldn't ruin the future of a 53-year-old man, but we should dismiss the treachery and turmoil a 51-year-old woman experienced for the last 30 years of her life.
Not only is this mindset hurtful to the women involved but also to the state of our country. If we don't hold each other accountable, there will never be true justice or trust. I for one am tired of living in a broken system and the only way to fix it is to understand the root of the problem.
We need to teach our sons and daughters the difference between right and wrong. We can't have two separate definitions for a single thing, one of those being for a girl and one for a boy. We need to have a clear understanding and moral grounds on subjects.
It's time to rewrite the narrative and paint a new picture. I'm sick of being stuck on a treadmill and I don't want my future children to jump on the same one that we've been on.