Declaration of Freedom not to Drink
Declaration of Freedom not to Drink
  • Reported by Lee Kim Jeong-Hee
  • 승인 2001.12.13 00:00
  • 수정 2013-07-12 16:27
  • 댓글 0
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"Is being a weak drinker a sin?" "Why am I being forced to drink?"

Lines uttered by the male and female models in a TV commercial who are not good at drinking.

The year-end festivities are around the corner once again, and like it or not, drinking has become a fixture in socializing.

Rules of the game when drinking

I. Drinking is always accompanied by dirty jokes and women

I. It is an act of betrayal not to get drunk

I. All these rules are made by men

Even occasions when the drinks started flowing in a merry mood often turn into a battlefield where people seem intent on pitting their skills against alcohol. Many do not stop at drinking themselves but force others to follow suit, concocting dangerous "cocktail bombs" and forcing them down others' throats. Not only that, there are those who claim that dirty jokes and women always go with drinking binges.

It seems that as someone crosses the threshold of adulthood, the right to drink is part of the initiation rites. Drinking has become an inevitable part of social life and careers. It is as if no one can be part of the social network without depending on drinking as a medium. On top of that, drinking has already become an everyday affair in Korean society, not to mention the 'unpleasantries' that occur while drinking. Most working people have experienced such situations through the wine-and-dine parties thrown regularly by their companies. 

In the 19th century, American women launched an anti-drinking campaign in defiance of masculine culture. It may seem puritan by today's standards, but back then, drinking had dire results on women. The root of violence - alcoholism, wife beating, child abuse and family abandonment - was none other than drink.

We are not insisting on the revival of the anti-drinking campaign. There are many women today who enjoy drinking and are good at it. Alcohol itself is not evil. It is the people who abuse alcohol that are evil.

But leaving women out or exposing them to violence, or causing misery and embarrassment to men who cannot drink - all on the pretext of having a swell time drinking - is the kind of drinking culture we should say "NO" to.

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