On the Rocks
Straight Talk about Women and Drinking
Susan D. Stewart
Existing portrayals of women who drink typically fall into two categories: disturbing stories of women hitting “rock bottom,” resulting in ruined careers, families, and futures, or amusing stories of fun and harmless “girls’ nights out,” with women drinking and overindulging as a temporary escape from a never-ending list of work and family demands. Drawing on original research and extensive interviews with a diverse group of women, author Susan Stewart challenges these stereotypes, revealing women’s complex relationships with alcohol and factors associated with its use.
In On the Rocks Stewart asks a question others might prefer stay buried: what about women's lives have changed such that they drink more alcohol? Stewart’s participants share stories of the many social forces that encourage women to drink: increased marketing of alcohol to women, the growing presence of alcohol in the workplace, pressure to drink from friends and family, and that drinking provides an easy “time-out” from children and housework. Stewarts' unvarnished examination of women and drinking challenges readers to think through its implications to individuals, families, and society.