Lubbock Women Go Off on WHO’s Sexist Claims on Alcohol Consumption
I'm absolutely sick and tired of people thinking they have a right to dictate what women can and can’t do with their bodies. This has been something I've had pent up for a while now, and I was finally pushed over the edge to say something about it by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO claimed in their recent draft of the global action plan on drinking that "women of childbearing age" should be restricted from consuming alcohol. I know there's been some major buzz around this, and there has also been miscommunication. People thought the WHO was suggesting a complete ban on women between the ages of 15 and 50 from drinking alcohol, but they claim that's not the case.
The WHO said they're simply suggesting that woman who might be pregnant should be encouraged to stop alcohol consumption during their pregnancy. That's entirely reasonable and something I thought everyone was already aware of, but that isn't what bothers me.
What bothers me is the fact that nowhere in the proposal draft does it mention the relation of men consuming alcohol and its effects on pregnancy. It's been proven that alcohol intake is detrimental to semen production, and that there's a 35 percent increase in birth defect risks when the father regularly consumes alcohol.
I'm disgusted by this concept of criminalizing women’s bodies and being reduced to nothing but our reproductive organs. There are no regulations on a man’s reproductive rights. Encouraging women to not consume alcohol and neglecting to mention any issue with a man's contribution is only feeding into this issue. This needs to change, and I'm not alone in thinking that.
I spoke with two women who were born and raised in the Lubbock area. I first spoke with Kimberly Hernandez about the regulations.
She stated, "There should be an equal amount of regulation for men and women. They should both put effort in." This is something that the WHO’s global action plan is missing. If there's going to be a discussion about reproduction, then both men and women must be accountable.
I also spoke with Samantha Holmes, who said: "Men should be just as responsible as women are when it comes to having children," adding that "it takes two parties to create a child."
Holmes also mentioned that there are issues within the equality of parenting once a child is born, and that the mother and father should be viewed as equals in their ability to parent a child.
The concept of only placing reproductive responsibility on women is not a new concept, but I hope that there are some major changes soon.