In honor of our recent "holiday," 4/20, we're going to be talking about weed. And girls.
Today, and perhaps forever, it is (to an extent) acceptable for guys to smoke weed, while a stigma exists when it comes to girls smoking weed. Immediately, people are quick to point fingers and label our marijuana smoking girl as a "stoner chick."
Let's get some statistics before you take my word for it. I got this information from AlterNet, in which there's also an article that explores this double standard. In 2010, a survey found boys aged 12 to 17 were more likely than girls to be marijuana users (8.3 vs 6.4 percent.) That's not an extremely startling gender gap, but the statistics increase when we look at the use of marijuana in public arenas like medical dispensaries. For example, in Colorado, 70 percent of medical marijuana registrants are males, while in California 73 percent of people applying for medical marijuana cards are men.
So, clearly, there's something going on here.
First of all, women obviously do face the same stigmas that male marijuana smokers face--the perception that they are unmotivated, lazy, passive, and that smoking is all they do.
That's the first layer female marijuana smokers deal with, which are stereotypes all marijuana smokers face regardless of gender, and is another topic for another time.
However, we women face another layer of stigma: smoking pot strips us of our femininity.
I know, I know...if I said I smoked pot, you wouldn't immediately be like, "You aren't feminine!" But, indirectly, this is the message we are sending to female marijuana smokers, and the ultimate misconception you are forming unintentionally.
Why? Why does society think smoking marijuana makes a woman less feminine?
We as women are constantly shamed for expressing our sexualities--we're a slut for doing so, right? No. The shaming that exists with women smoking weed is in the same arena as slut-shaming because they come from the same source. Anything that defies the age-old belief that a woman must be pure and virtuous becomes something that decreases our qualification for respect as a woman and as an individual. Smoking weed as a woman makes us less "pure." Perhaps it goes back to the traditional household roles in which the woman must constantly be on the grind by cleaning up, taking care of the kids, pleasing her husband, and so on. Anything that alters a woman's consciousness, even if temporarily, is thus a threat to this idea that a woman will hold the responsibility and to the idea that the man is supposed to enjoy his substance-use while the woman caters to him.
I touched briefly on sexuality in regards to women and smoking, but I'm going to hone in on a different aspect: people view female marijuana smokers as less "sexy" and, thus, less feminine. I don't have any statistics on this, and, of course, all my support as to why smoking weed makes us less womanly to others is my own perspective. That being said, let's discuss why girls smoking weed makes them less "sexy." During my last point, I was thinking of the difference between girls drinking alcohol and smoking weed. I think this is where the difference comes in: when a girl is drinking or doing a party drug, she is paired with the image of a skimpily dressed, done-up girl dancing and bouncing around, full of energy and sexuality. Meanwhile, when a girl is smoking pot, she is paired with the image of no make-up on, wearing sweatpants (at least Drake likes her?) and sitting on the couch. Not so much sexiness going on there. And that shouldn't be wrong or unappealing. It shouldn't make a girl less sexy if she is partaking in a substance that isn't paired with sex.
It's important to state that neither of these views are limited to men! In fact, I have personally felt more accepted by males as a female marijuana smoker while I have felt ostracized multiple times by other non-smoking females.
That's all I got. But these two reasons are heavy reasons--ones that address what society thinks "makes" a woman.
So, think again and check your thoughts when you find out a girl smokes. Happy blazing, loves.