This Guy Redid The CDC's Guidelines For Women's Alcohol Use To Address Men

Photographed By Phoebe Chuason.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set off a firestorm of controversy last week when it released a report recommending that sexually active women not on birth control avoid drinking alcohol. Cautioning against the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the event of unplanned pregnancy, the report pointed out that half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and that "even if planned, most women won't know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking."

Many (rightfully) interpreted the CDC's tone and presentation of its data as shaming and paternalistic, and the agency scrambled to clarify that its recommendation was intended for women who report wanting to get pregnant but continue to drink.

"We definitely didn't make any recommendations for women who are pre-pregnant," Lela McKnight-Eily, PhD, an epidemiologist and psychologist on the CDC's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team, told The Huffington Post. "It's more a matter of women knowing and being informed that if they are drinking alcohol, sexually active and not using birth control, that they could be exposing a baby to a teratogen, and that could cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders."

That said, getting pregnant requires two parties. The CDC's report and accompanying infographic, however, address only women, health providers, and governments. It informs women that alcohol use puts them at risk for not only unintentional pregnancy, but also "injuries/violence" and "sexually transmitted diseases." The word "men" (you know, the term for the people who are ostensibly getting women pregnant, giving them STIs, and committing gender-based violence against them) is nowhere to be found — which is why designer Chris Giganti decided to create a infographic parody, especially for the male half of the species, which Brokelyn shared yesterday on its site.

"Maybe it's not the CDC's job to focus on social issues over medical ones." Giganti told Refinery29. "But it's probably also not their job to take an infographic about the dangers of alcohol for pregnant women and turn it into a moral crusade against all those whiskey-chugging floozies getting themselves raped, picking up the herp, and having to get drive-through abortions because they're so irresponsible."

His infographic looks like the CDC's, but it speaks to the male role in health outcomes, which the CDC seemed to treat as a sole female responsibility.

"After reading a few articles on the original CDC guidance, and talking about it with my girlfriend Emily," he told us, "we went back and forth a while with the idea and what would really be parallel to women and pregnancy for men... While this was a parody, I noticed after I made it that if you read it out of context, it's really not funny at all."

He's right: It's hard to argue with or laugh at his infographic's statement that, "The best advice is to stop drinking when you start getting violent."

"At the end of the day," Giganti adds, "the issue is that the CDC is warning us that 'Women shouldn't drink because men can do bad things to them,' instead of the real issue — 'People shouldn't do bad things to other people.'"

See his full infographic below.
Image: Courtesy Of Chris Giganti/Brokelyn.

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