Rise in alcohol deaths of young women: Don’t tell me it’s last orders for ladies born in the Seventies

We were encouraged to do everything the boys did, including elbowing our way to the bar. But our liddle bodies can’t cope and now we're dropping like drunk wasps

Share

It’s the type of research that has me reaching for a nip from the bottle of Hendrick’s gin I touch only on a Thursday. (Yeah, RIGHT.)

We women aged in our late thirties and early forties have enjoyed too “large ones” of white wine over the years, and now our livers are paying for it. Born in the 1970s, my generation of girls was raised by parents who, whether they knew it or not, transmitted the ideas of second-wave feminism. We were encouraged to do everything the boys did – including elbowing our way to the bar to buy rounds of V&Ts. But apparently our liddle bodies couldn’t cope with alcoholic equality and now we are dropping like cider‑drunk wasps.

Now we've been admonished for “embracing male behaviours – one of which was excessive drinking”, by Sally Marlow of King’s College London, who conducted a study of deaths caused by alcohol-related disease. While men born in the 1970s suffered fewer deaths due to drink than in the previous decade (down 25 per cent), women born in the same 10 years seemed to be paying for it (deaths up by nearly 50 per cent). Rather than congratulating men on their relative restraint at the bar, this was another excuse to mention “ladette culture”. Women matched men drink for drink, and it’s our own silly fault.

But should we blame the way in which women have progressed over the past 20 years? Because being out, drinking more, socialising at work are all part of progress. In our country, drinking – often hard drinking – has been concomitant with playing an active role within your peer group, being part of the “fun”, not just the good girl who sips cola.

Lingering in the pub is what liberated single women in their twenties do instead of being a bored housewife. Now we’re approaching middle age, most of the girls of the 1970s I know are competitive teetotallers, whether to lose weight, enhance fertility or simply because the mix of hangover plus small child is about as palatable as a Jägerbomb. But more of us learnt the lessons of excess in our twenties and try to mix pleasure with moderation – most of the time. Unless it’s a heatwave, of course…

Twitter: @SusieRushton

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIRED - Humbe...

Chemistry Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are looking for a Qualified C...

Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...

Year 1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 1 Primary Supply Teachers ne...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Take a moment to imagine you're Ed Miliband...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

Letters: No vote poses difficult questions – so why rush?

Independent Voices
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits