Is "Leaning In" Making Alcoholics Of Us?



17_S97A3407_AliceGaoPhotographed by Alice Gao.
How often have we come home from a stressful day at work, our minds still spinning, and opted for a glass or two, just to take the edge off?

In her new book, Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, Ann Dowsett Johnston explores the complex relationship between feminism, professional stress, and hardline perfectionism with...you guessed it — the rising rates of female alcoholism. As women experience more and more pressure to be the best and to "lean in," are we turning to substances to ease off said pressure?

In an excerpt of her recent book appearing today on The Atlantic, Johnston poignantly recounts a lifetime of setting high standards for herself — having and doing so much — and the glass or two of wine that perennially accompanied her evenings.

She argues that women use wine as a crutch, because their lives are bursting at the seams. There is always something more to accomplish: another email, another meeting, another doctor's appointment for your child. And, that glass of wine helps to smooth a transition from the professional day and its stresses to a more calming evening away from work. We drink wine, in essence, because it's become a powerful symbol. It's the switch that gives us permission to turn "off."

It's a powerful narrative and an important commentary on what happens when women demand so much for themselves, but, like anything, there has to be limits. Weigh in on your thoughts below. The Atlantic)