Let’s raise our glasses to the end of the hypocrisy – women can drink, serve, get high as much as men

Coming out of a busy bar in Gurgaon recently, I noticed something I had never seen in any security guard posted at the entrance: a bouncer. Dressed in the same charcoal-grey safari suit associated with muscular, intimidating dudes working as professional guards, she was equally inscrutable and kindly satisfied my curiosity for her job – basically, dumping the drunken, misbehaved girls whose tribe, seems he is increasing rapidly. The tacit label of power dynamics demands that only women can crowd out women. Plus, the inevitable altercations that occur at the doors of hip nightclubs require a female presence to restrict “entry” and help with that most inexact science of deciding who has the right behavior (and the biggest wallet), before to let them in. In this waking age, where denying someone access means risking loud cries of discrimination on Twitter, out-of-control partygoers should be approached gently, and never by men.

Rowdy women are such an anomaly in Indian society that the slightest unbalanced behavior would terrify the heaviest of male bouncers. Typically, on the weekends, one or two all-female tables get particularly rowdy, but usually just a stern (warning) look from her is enough to sober them up. Occasionally, however, a heated, alcohol-fueled argument ensues. The club’s policy in such situations, she said, is for the male management to back down and for the female manager and bouncer to step in. Before I’m accused of being a traitor to my sex, focusing on that statistically tiny number of Indian women privileged enough to act with reckless abandon – let me say that in a twisted way, alcoholic women doing their own thing with defiance is progress.

Men have been creating a row and brawling in bars for centuries, women have been held back by frustrating societal expectations of shrinking feminine modesty.

Of course, it’s a scary idea of ​​where India is headed if women start behaving like men (don’t worry, we’re still far behind) – 95% of road rage cases, murders, thefts and online fraud are committed by men, but if we aspire to gender equality, we must also expect a catch-up in delinquency. It was news in September when a woman, a university professor, was arrested for slapping and abusing a guard at a housing company in Noida. A man doing this is nothing new (and would be relegated to a footnote on the town page, if at all).

In our imagination, beating up people, or shoving in a water point automatically signifies (toxic) masculinity. Women won’t wear this behavior as a badge of honor, but unlike an earlier generation, they aren’t afraid to take up space and be aggressive when needed.

Changes in young people’s attitudes can be felt in the fashion sections of www.myntra.com and www.flipkart.com, which are full of T-shirts spouting feminist quotes like “I choose my dress”, “No means no, yes means yes”. ‘. And my favorite, chup kar, a long-awaited revolt against the national pastime of judgement, the bane of female existence in India.

Historically, women around the world have been persecuted for consuming alcohol. Women were executed for drinking wine in Roman times, the presumption being that it defeated inhibitions and threatened their chastity. In the Middle Ages, women who brewed beer were accused of witchcraft. India’s moral universe is as complicated as ever, and the images of drinking girls are loaded with primitive symbolism.

Going through Hindi cinema, until the 1970s only vampires held glasses and swayed to cabaret numbers. It took until 2007 for the Supreme Court to strike down Delhi’s rule banning female bartenders, on the flimsy grounds that they should be protected from lewd and intoxicated men. Let’s raise our glasses to the end of tedious hypocrisy – women can drink, serve, get high just as much as men. And kudos to that.

Writer is director, Hutkay Films

Luz W. German