16 June, 2019

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“We Need To Talk About Women’s Drinking”

By Chitra Bopage

Chitra Bopage

That is the approach Australian authorities use in their health and safety messages to women.

There are some similarities in the way alcohol affects humans, both men and women; there are differences too. Drink the same amount of alcohol, yet the woman’s blood alcohol level will be almost always higher than that of a man. Yet, many women are in denial with regard to how alcohol affects their bodies. Nonetheless, this is not a concern limited to women only.

The above logic shows a much better approach for convincing women to stay away from alcohol, by their own choice as it is based on scientific evidence, rather than due to religious, moral or cultural reasons or by compulsions. In that light I confess to being almost a teetotaller. I am one by choice, not due to someone else’s compulsion or discrimination.

The argument of protecting Buddhist culture and the morality as raised by conservatives like the President of Sri Lanka and the argument that women drinking contributes to disintegration of family cohesion and social morality as raised by some ‘left leaders’ are not only dishonest but also hypocritical.

In a country where some politicians and bureaucrats appear to turn a blind eye, help and abet the sexual harassment of women and gang rapes; and where women candidates are attacked because they are afforded a quota system at the elections, could one expect from them anything other than protecting such archaic laws?

Is family and social cohesion only affected by women drinking? What about thousands of women suffering from being abused at the hands of drunken men? Does not that drunken behaviour of the men folk affect family and social cohesion? So why does the alcohol ban not also be relevant to men?

If women are prohibited from drinking on Buddhist moral grounds, then how can these so-called progressive leaders protest against any other nasty practices that other faiths are asking women to adhere by due to their social, cultural and moral norms, for example, from genital mutilation of women in Africa to many malpractices against women in the certain Islamic traditions? Or condemn the disturbing judicial fact that even in some ‘civilised’ countries, a man can rape his spouse?

Humanity is created in and born from the womb of a woman. She deserves equality, respect and dignity to the same extent or even more than what men enjoy, not disrespect, discrimination and indignity.

How can some leaders including those of the left support such misogyny?

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Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    This subject of women’s drinking is important to all of us, but, right now we have bigger and urgent issues in SL. Just a reminder:
    “The president had let down former president Mahinda Rajapaksa after partaking in a hopper meal with him… The President accused us of being thieves. We call him the pickpocket President. We are asking him not to back-stab the UNP like what he did to Mahinda Rajapaksa. He called us pickpocket ‘karayas’. Yes we are pick pocket karayas, but the President should not forget that we pick-pocketed him out of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pocket. He should not forget that it was the UNP which made him the President. He is a pickpocket President.”
    When the foundation is being cracked and falling apart, don’t think of deliberating the price of an expensive sofa set for the living room!

    • 0
      0

      Irrational comparison. He is thinking of us women. Nothing more.

  • 6
    2

    I do not understand the reason for displaying a photograph of the ‘King of alcohol’ and a pathetic figure of ‘Percy Mahendran Jarapassa’s’ for this article. Has ‘Colombo Telegraph’ being bribed to display many photos of the crook as possible since people don’t see his evil figure with the fake smile on every lamp post, roundabout and public toilets anymore?

  • 3
    1

    We don’t need to follow the Health and Safety message approach from Australia, we already have. As a result, do you see any decline in alcohol/cigarette consumption in SL year after year? On the other hand, Govt says it spends more on health issues related to these habits than the profits it makes out of selling liquor/cigarettes.

  • 6
    2

    Women as well as men drinking too much alcohol leads to disaster in Australia, Sri Lanka or any other place in the planet. ‘The need to talk about’ women drinking came about as the need not to talk about the Bond Scam came about. So here we go into n election hiding behind some lush!!!

  • 7
    3

    I fully endorse this writer’s position that we are governed by hypocritical, biased, deceiving politicians. To this also add, “corrupt, bullying, biased, and evry other adjective.

  • 4
    2

    This writer is a brave woman who saved comrade lionel bopage from death when she was a nun at a convent in Panadura during 1971 terrorist insurrection. it is stated the Police could not enter to take up lionel bopage as it was a catholic seminary. They went on to marry and bore 2 kids. Thank you chithra!

  • 4
    2

    There is no harm in women having a glass of wine or a cocktail when they go out with their families, friends or to hen parties. Why restrict that pleasure to only to the men

  • 2
    1

    It is Better if Sri lanka can cancel the licences of Alcohol mixing manufacturing plants too. It is mostly politicians, they buy alcohol for saying perfumes and bottle it. I heard one politicians even wanted to mix it with Kasippu. Sri lanka is suing tourism and Kasippu to promote alcohol consumption. Some one should publish statistics to related to Alcohol. It is family violence, accidents, deaths, injuries and the cost to the public, etc., It is simply selfishness and lack of some discipline who uses fundamental rights to buy alcohol. there should be limits to individual rights and there buy taking away societal rights, children rights etc., The names of those women should be published, there family histories etc, should be published. Come to the west and see how how druggie mothers, drunkard mothers ruin families particularly children. When we say women it does not excludes fathers ruining famlies. Why people are blind. those 20 women who went to courts are very selfish and self-centered.Simply there can not be unlimited freedom to do what ever they want. HEre some women are fighting to go breast-naked. What do they say, after some time they will ask for it too. ?

  • 5
    0

    Chitra Bopage, our dry periods are getting a bit moist.
    The Mangala Excise Notification disturbed a hornet nest. The cabinet unanimously rescinding the notification showed the illiteracy prevailing there.
    The silver lining is the aftermath. Human rights has become an issue. The case before SC will test the independence of the judiciary.
    Misogyny is up for discussion. The wrongs and wrongs of powerful men demanding women to kneel is discussed. Of course MMDA1951.

  • 4
    1

    Why does the cover page of this article show MR’s pic? Does he have a women drinking problem at home?

    Same amount of alcohol in men and women gives a different affect. I am no medical professional but could it be because of their weight? Generally women are lighter than men.

    Anything in moderation should be could but if one cannot control whether men or women you cannot blame it on the product or society.

    • 0
      0

      Correction:
      Should be good

    • 0
      1

      Burt: “Generally women are lighter than men”. Are you mad or blind.I walk six miles a day along the public highway.The number of fat women over ride the men by 1:50. Some women seems to have thighs about twice the size of my bundia. my bundia is no small one either..

      • 0
        0

        Upali:
        Most probably I was thinking about the women I used to date. My bad!
        Anyway you should find another stretch of HW to walk, reading what you are saying is depressing, you having to look at it day in and out is awful.

  • 2
    3

    yes lets talk about women’d drinking……
    They hold the glass in a sexy manner….
    if its a flute lass they stroke the stem of the glass while glancing at the man they want to attract
    when they get the mans attention they clasp the glass/stem with both their palms
    and the take a slow sip of their drink
    their lips open up slowly
    they put the glass in a sexy in their mouth
    and sips the jiuce
    sending a message to the man
    mind you they don’t need just alcohol…to perform this act of seduction

    • 1
      0

      Rajash: Where have i been all this time. See what a fat lot I have missed.

      They do another thing, when they bend down to worship, if they like the person who is being worshipped they touch the toe nails.Set for a long summer / winter?

      • 0
        0

        yes where have you been …never seen you in CT :)
        busy chasing women?
        or touching toes?

  • 2
    0

    Recently this Yahapalanaya group brought a law on consensual sex between spouses. We did not oppose the bill, but did not support it as we thought it was only to fool EU and protect the GSP+. We doubted a Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim woman (Muslim women cannot under MMDA) going in front judge and say her spouse forced her. This is progressive bill, enacted in developed countries, where women are legally and in economy free to take advantage of laws like that. So the only use for that kind of bill is obtaining GSP+. Many drunkards’ wives life is nightmare. They cannot take those addicts to hospital or court, not just because that is impractical, but if they take them to correction facility, the wives will be let alone in the homes, additional have to carry food for their men to the Facilities. That alone warrants enough to take all males’ freedom to drink. It was suggested that women 25% would be abused by the political parties. There was actress protesting in front of election commission saying Joint Comedy Club demanded from her sexual currency bribes. Women cannot enter Parliament. It is place physically very unsafe for those who cannot protect themselves. The language used by even the educated donkeys like Vasu is not hearable even to adult males. I do not know what the Women can do there?
    90,000 women in the North-East are widowed. Their lands are occupied by Rapist Army. Just because they are not Buddhist, neither Crook New King nor Mr. Clean Ranil is not ready pay attention to them.
    Just like Tamil Language Equal Use Acts, none of the enacted women rights law is in workable condition. There is a saying in Tamil “Went to take bath, but came back rolled in mud”. EU said it will have Sharia MMDA replaced, but have had enacted this Jihadi Buddhist law restricting women’s employment.

  • 0
    1

    Fifth precept in Buddhism, is regarding intoxicating drinks. Think carefully, a religion will not put this in such an important place if this is a very rare practice! So, it might have been a very common practice, with all the preaching for more than 2500 years this could not be controlled. Any sane person should understand this will be there for another 2500 years or till the end of the human race(I don’t think it will last more than 2500 years. If North Korea or US don’t destroy by nuke, asteroid will destroy us) so why bother about it, why women are not allowed to get it legally. These are really pretty things we waste our time. Time is limited as I said earlier use it wisely.

  • 2
    0

    Madam Chitra Bopage,

    You boast yourself a teetotaller and fighting for something that gives women the right to buy alcohol? Women in SL need equality among women first. You fight for women and then categorize and classify within you? Why don’t you spend your time in fighting for poor maids and poor women’s education? Or just want to show the word that you’re an upper class and educated one who concerns about women rights?

    For me, the most useless women in SL society are the ones those call themselves activists and run away from responsibilities as a wife and mother.

  • 2
    0

    total discrimination of Christian tradition of women right to drink /buy /wine even in elderly homes run by nuns they sell wine to earn and look after elders, as this buddist president like MR playing political games for election

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
    0

    chitra and lionel living in utmost luxury – they can afford feminism, but, for poverty striken sri Lankan woman, the most important issue is putting food on the table

    • 1
      0

      Konara

      Very well said . I don’t think a lady has ever been refused a drink at a Club /Restaurant ,or a Tourist Hotel . No one is talking about why the trading hours of liquor outlets were also going to be extended .Was is to increase revenue for a bankrupt government or to promote alcoholism among the population ?

      • 1
        0

        Nosey, I think so too.All govts from 1977 destroyed our economy, mae the low income groups subservient.This is the way to collect taxes from the hoi polloi.

  • 1
    1

    Lal Silva, you are another believer of the falsity propagated by the safron clothed.
    What Surameraya means is that on should not get intoxicated.

    Even in the past the carrier for medicine – hebal or otherwise – was
    alcohol. Unless the Buddha expected his disciples to commit suicide by not taking medicine the question of consumption of alcohol did not arise. Not only Buddha, all religious leaders – the saintly people- preached against drunkedness.

  • 1
    0

    Nosey, I think so too.All govts from 1977 destroyed our economy, mae the low income groups subservient.This is the way to collect taxes from the hoi polloi.

    • 2
      0

      Upali Wickramasinghe

      Actually all governments from 1948 destroyed the island, not just the economy. Its like “Wandurata Deli Pihiya Dunna Wage” (A razor in the hands of a monkey that goes berserk’).,

  • 2
    0

    As a fellow Melbournain and on behalf of all Tamils, I salute the enormous campaign the Bopages have led in Australia for Tamil Self Determination in Sri Lanka (separate state)

    • 0
      0

      Nadesan,

      Why don’t you people ask for a self determination in Australia. They have enormous lands and they might consider sharing some with you lot as you Tamils are the most progressive people in the world.

      • 2
        0

        Shenali the very very ………………

        “Why don’t you people ask for a self determination in Australia.”

        Why don’t the Sinhala/Buddhists go back to their ancestral homeland in Tamilnadu where they could provide their (celebrated) expertise in hydraulic civilisation which could turn arid land into arable land. Tamil Nadu has large unoccupied land.

        If you are not happy you can always travel further North to the Aryan country of whence High Commissioner Kariawasam believed your ancestors hailed. Like your public racists Anagarika Aryan Homeless Dharmapala North India also had its share of old fascists, namely M. S. Golwalkar. You must take time to read his rant, “We or Our Nationhood Defined”. There is not much difference between Anagarika’s rant and Golwalkar’s one.

        Read sample quote from his book:
        To the memory or those noble martyrs who,
        despite ignominy, calumny and contempt
        at the hands of their own undeserving brethren,
        have kept the flame of true Nationality
        burning in our Land

      • 1
        0

        Shenal:
        You should first have an understanding of WHY people ask for self determination, I am not calling you dumb or stupid but without that understanding trying to explain will like explaining the beauty of something to a blind person. For sure its possible but difficult.

  • 0
    1

    CT continues to patronise alcohol and tobacco industries by giving space for these articles. Money speaks louder than ethics. Especially when its bothal pattara ethics, who cares.
    Bogus comments and paid commentators continue to put out the necessary support. This is not an issue of rights. This is how rights, right groups and the public are taken for a ride by the industry. We saw a similar thin in the past,
    If you can spare three minutes, please read the following:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torches_of_Freedom

  • 0
    0

    In Srilanka , it is people that lead and the govt only follows ! Now look ,
    people give bribe and officials take bribe ! And the politics bless it with
    seasonal offers which is election times ! The whole nation these days
    are flooded with bribe from top to toe ! Some are instant and others are
    instalment basis . Now , keeping that in mind , come to the point ,
    Women in Srilanka , even in villges , drink liquor and involved in illegal
    brewery. There are liquor addicts among them which led to untimely
    death in some cases. I saw once a mother and father was training their
    five year old boy to drink toddy ! I don’t drink or smoke but that doesn’t
    stop me going into the circle of friends who drink and smoke !However ,
    what Mangala tried to do was giving women more freedom to go public .
    Miracle of Asia will have to do it one day sooner or later as part of
    development everybody is striving to achieve . And licencing Brothels
    will have to follow suit to be like Singapore or Bangkok . It is reported
    we already have forty five thousand prostitutes in the country ! Is My3
    suddenly out of the blue ? His 40 yrs politics never saw this ? We have
    all kinds of gambling and he knows nothing ? You can not send confusing
    signals to the world and build investor confidence . And the same is true
    to local investments . All I am saying is , if you want to be another Singapore
    or Bangkok , you take the package , it’s a bundle .

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