To Drink or Not to Drink

One of my biggest pet peeves is myth that “pregnant women shalt not drink a drop of alcohol lest the child surely turn out retardeth”. Well, you know, looking around at the general population, if that’s true, I’d guess 90% of mothers must be drinking during pregnancy because I’m surrounded by idiots! Maybe that’s what this whole autism epidemic is about – not vaccines, but drunken mothers! Yea, let’s spread that rumor around. The other one caught on, maybe this one, will too!!

Do you honestly think a glass of wine will retard the fetus? I totally understand that one shouldn’t drink to excess for their own sake as well as of their child, but drinking in moderation isn’t that bad. This whole temperance movement has got to go. They are spreading lies and misinformation just as much as the anti-choice* movement. Neither group cares about fetuses or babies! I sometimes even wonder if they put out these lies just to see how many women they can find who are dumb enough to fall for them!

Pretty much everyone in the United States has jumped on this bullshit bandwagon. It’s difficult to find a news publication or doctor in this country that will tell you the truth, lest they be condemned by the anti-drinking police. Do you realize that women are more demonized for drinking during pregnancy than smoking? True, people don’t generally find smoking during pregnancy to be acceptable, but few believe that the risk for low birth weight or future asthma problems is nearly as horrific as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The FAS propaganda machine has been far more successful. In fact, many people want you to believe that smokers are helpless, unjustly persecuted victims who can’t give up their peer-pressure induced addiction, but a pregnant woman who imbibes even the slightest amount is just plain evil.

The folks at babycenter claim that any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is “too much”. In fact, they go so far as to claim that women who are even thinking about getting pregnant shouldn’t drink, because apparently that, too, will retard the not-yet-conceived fetus. Gee, that’s a neat trick since alcohol doesn’t stay in your system that long.

I did find someone on the internet willing to tell the truth: that a glass or two of wine isn’t going to hurt anything and might even have some health benefits. But first I had to wade through umpteen articles about how anyone who drinks will miscarry and if that doesn’t happen, for sure the baby will either be born dead or he’ll be an alcoholic ‘tard. FOR SURE! (Note to childfree people, apparently we don’t need abortion! If you find yourself accidentally pregnant, drink lots of coffee and alcohol! Automatic miscarriage**! YAY!)

Yea, that’s interesting, since excerpts from this article say the complete opposite (emphasis mine):

the American government, medical authorities and media have not been telling American women the entire truth. Although the official message is “don’t drink at all during pregnancy”, a great deal of recent research and a re-examination of the alcohol-pregnancy issue show that there is no conclusive evidence to demonstrate that moderate drinking during pregnancy can harm the fetus.

…According to Doctors David Whitten and Martin Lipp of the University of California at San Francisco, “the campaign against drinking during pregnancy started in 1973 when several studies showed that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause the condition known as the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These studies demonstrated that the children of many alcoholic mothers were born with a cluster of severe birth defects. “What the government conveniently chose to ignore” say Whitten and Lipp, is that this syndrome is extremely rare, occurring only 3 times in 100,000 births, and then only when the mother drinks abusively throughout her pregnancy.”

Later in the article, they even suggested that moderate alcohol consumption might actually be (gasp) beneficial!

I’m going to go with these guys. I have an alcoholic relative who managed to have a handful of kids that were born healthy despite her single-handedly keeping Anheuser-Busch in business, and while her kids are somewhat fucked up personally, that’s because they were raised in a morality-free zone by an alcoholic. Who wouldn’t turn out with issues in that situation? But they didn’t have serious physical problems or retardation due to her drinking, despite everyone in the family being completely sure they would. We used to WISH alcohol caused miscarriage because we felt sorry for anyone born to her, and yet, it didn’t work. While this drunken relative was just plain lucky her kids weren’t fucked up, it’s very interesting that women are told not to even have a sip of champagne because that will seriously harm their fetus. Yet this drunken relative had a lot more than a sip and she didn’t even run into such problems.

My goal here isn’t to tell all preggos to start drinking. If a woman doesn’t want to drink – for whatever reason – that’s her business! I just don’t want her blindly believing the lies being spread by the lying liars who lie to control women.

I absolutely hate how in movies and TV shows, everyone finds out that Betty Bimbo is pregnant because she puts her hand over her wine glass to stop someone for pouring her a drink. Everyone goes, “(gasp!) Betty, you’re not drinking? Oh my god, does this mean what I think it means?” and Betty sheepishly grins and giggles and THE SECRET IS OUT, cue gushing of all the women and congratulations all around. Oh, groan! That scene always drives me crazy. It’s so cliché and stupid. If she wanted to tell people she was pregnant, why not just tell them? Who writes this crap?

Meanwhile, millions of women who most definitely aren’tpregnant are looked at suspiciously if they pass up a drink. There are many reasons why someone might not want a drink. They might be a recovering alcoholic. They might be related to alcoholics and don’t even want to risk turning into one. They could be on some medication that isn’t supposed to be mixed with alcohol. They could be the designated driver. They might not like what is being served, or maybe they just don’t like alcohol. They could be some teetotalling right-winger who thinks alcohol is evil. Who knows? But I really hate that if a woman isn’t drinking, society has been conditioned (largely by Hollywood) to automatically jump to the (often incorrect) conclusion she’s pregnant! No, actually, I hate that society is obsessed with analyzing women’s alcohol consumption at all.

Women should not have to defend her choice to drink or not to drink! Society needs to stop constantly trying to control women’s behavior!

Of course, we all know that alcohol and coffee aren’t the only things that will supposedly kill the fetus. As the article continues, it explains how pretty much anything women might enjoy is allegedly a danger to her unborn child:

In her recently published book “The Myths of Motherhood”, Shary Turner indicates that alcohol is far from the only risk factor pregnant women are warned against. Other items on the list include caffeine, chocolate, raw oysters, unpasteurized cheese, tropical fruits, drugs that alleviate cold symptoms, nail polish, suntan lotion and hair dye, all of which in some amount may harm the fetus. Turner’s conclusion is that “the only risk free pregnancy is one that is meant less to benefit the baby than to imprison the mother in anxiety and self-reproach.

Tropical fruits? Notice McDonald’s isn’t off-limits, but healthy things like fruit are forbidden? Honestly, shouldn’t there be more concerned about these severely-overweight pregnant women than we are about fruit and a glass of wine? How can obesity be healthy for the fetus?!

But never mind that. Isn’t the bolded statement above exactly what the whole right-wing, anti-choice, temperance movement wants? To control and imprison women, make them full of self-doubt and anxieties, and most importantly, stuck at the home, with children, unemployed, breastfeeding, and unable to cause a stink? As they say, “Well behaved women rarely make history!” All these people really want is for women to have no choices, no fun, be completely subservient and dependent on men! The scary part is that so many women are falling for it and turning on other women.

*speaking of the anti-choice movement, they have started a facebook group called ” I’m Pro-Life, and no, that does NOT mean anti-choice, that means anti-DEATH” Well, let’s see, here. Telling women we have no option but to give birth to an unwanted child is the very definition of no choice. Apparently the anti-choice group is full of such idiots they don’t even know what the word “choice” means!!

**This is not valid medical advice, so don’t take it! Despite the fact that these idiots insist any woman who drinks coffee or alcohol will likely miscarry, it’s unlikely to work.