Alcohol abuse among young women on US campuses quadrupled

There is an essay in this month’s The Atlantic called “The Hazards of Duke: A now infamous PowerPoint presentation exposes a lot about men, women, sex, and alcohol—and about how universities are letting their female students down” by Caitlin Flanagan, likely of interest to feminist philosophers.

There a few themes in the article but one of them is the increased rates of drinking among college aged women. I haven’t heard much about this before and I’m interested to know what blog readers make of the article. Flanagan cites Girls on the Edge, by a physician and psychologist named Leonard Sax, which is said to offer “astonishing and troubling new insight into the role and consequences of binge drinking in so many girls’ lives.” It’s Sax who gives the data on men’s drinking remaining constant over the past 40 years, while women’s on campus drinking has roughly quadrupled. Sax also claims that among college students who meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse, women now outnumber men, and drinking affects the women “in a different and more pernicious way than it does men.” According to Sax, alcohol is more dangerous to young women than it is to young men, even after adjusting for differences in height and weight. He writes that alcohol abuse appears to damage girls’ brains differently and more severely than the same degree of alcohol abuse affects same-age boys.

Flanagan’s article also describes young women as “liberated from the curfews and parietals that were once the bane of co-eds, but one in which they have also shaken off the general suspicion of male sexuality that was the hallmark of Andrea Dworkin–style campus activism; they prefer bikini waxes and spray tans to overalls and invective. So they have ended up with the protections of neither the patriarchy nor those old-school, man-hating radical feminists.”

Does this sound right to you?

Co-ed team co-ed in name only

An article in the Toronto Star details the struggles of 12 year old Kayla Watkin to play hockey. The only girl on a co-ed team, Watkins was asked to agree to restrictions on her ice time or agree to improve her skills. Instead, she did the only thing she thought she could: She quit.

Notable is the fact that the team, the Toronto Ice Dogs PeeWee “A” club, is the lowest level of competitive play, intended to be inclusive of all levels and abilities. Except for girls, I guess…

That isn’t fair.

Girl who wants to play hockey

CFP: SWIP UK at Joint Session

SWIP UK – Call for Papers
SWIP UK Panel at the Joint Session of the Mind Association and Aristotelian Society, University of Sussex, 8th-10th July 2011

At the 2011 Joint Session there will be a SWIP UK panel of papers devoted to topics in any area of interest to women in philosophy. We solicit full papers,(2000 words) plus 250 word abstract, suitable to be delivered in no more than 20 minutes with a further 10 minutes for discussion. We encourage submissions from graduate students. (As with all the open sessions, papers accepted for this session will not be published in the Supplementary Volume of the Aristotelian Society.)

The closing date for submissions is *1st March 2011*. We expect to confirm which papers have been accepted by the end of March.

Papers that are not accepted for the SWIP panel may be considered for the Open Sessions. If you wish your paper to be considered for the Open Sessions, you must submit your paper by the earlier closing date of *1st February 2011*. You should also indicate when submitting the paper whether you wish the paper to be considered for the Open Sessions.

Please make sure that your submission is suitable for anonymous reviewing and attach a separate document with your name and contact details. Email submissions are preferred; please send your full paper, with an abstract, as either .doc or .pdf attachment to Fiona Woollard (f.woollard AT or send a hard copy to: Dr Fiona Woollard, Philosophy, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ, UK.

To speak at this event you will need to register as a delegate for the Joint Session. See the University of Sussex webpage for information (


Dr Meena Dhanda, Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics, School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LY, UK. Email: M.Dhanda AT

Dr Fiona Woollard, Philosophy, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ, UK.
Email: f.woollard AT

Pregnant woman told to leave bar

You might think this is another one of those stories about pregnant women (that is, competent adults) having what they put in their bodies regulated by others. But it’s not that. She wasn’t even drinking alcohol.

Michelle Lee was enjoying a glass of water and a chat with a friend at a Chicago-area bar on Friday night when a bouncer asked to speak with her privately.

The bouncer immediately questioned Lee as to whether she was pregnant. Upon confirming that she was indeed eight months pregnant, the bouncer ordered her to leave the bar immediately, claiming that should a fight break out in the bar and something happen to her, the bar could be held responsible and they were unwilling to take that risk.

For more, go here.