This is the latest instalment to the Drinking Studies Showcase feature. Back in June, 2022, the ‘Women and Alcohol’ and ‘Sobriety, Abstinence and Moderation‘ DSN clusters hosted a joint lunchtime seminar. Dr Sally Sanger and Claire Davey provided short talks about their research on online alcohol recovery and sobriety groups. It’s a pleasure to be able to share the (edited) recording with you all.
I was recently reading Dr Jessica Taylor’s latest book Sexy but Psycho: How the Patriarchy Uses Women’s Trauma Against Them. Taylor is a working class, radical, lesbian feminist who has a proven track-record working with traumatised women and girls. In this book she argues for a trauma-informed approach to working with women and girls and documents the long-standing tendency by the patriarchy (systems that uphold male power) to pathologise them as a result of their traumas, reframe them as mental illness, and unnecessarily medicate them for these ‘disorders’.
Pre-existing research shows that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and somatic disorders, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, phobias, suicide ideation and attempts, postpartum depression and psychosis, eating disorders and PTSD (Riecher-Rossler, 2016). Furthermore, women are more likely to be diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders at one time (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2019).
Editor’s Note: In light of the forthcoming US Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v Jackson, Maeleigh Tidd provides her third contribution to the Pharmaceutical Inequalities series which considers its implications for women’s access to reproductive healthcare. In doing so, she reaches back to the 19th century to explore American women’s historical access to, and use of, contraception and abortion. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court ruling a women’s liberty to have an abortion, we were struck with a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion of overturning this Constitutional right for women. But, perhaps, this is only the beginning of the regression of women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health.
Picking up where we left off, Elizabeth Bass was appointed as district nine supervisor of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in Chicago in 1933. Even if we consider what we know about the role of women during the Prohibition phase in the war on drugs, and the context of the Roosevelt Administration’s efforts to break political taboos in appointing women to prominent roles during his term, the appointment of a woman to this position seems rather remarkable.
Her age, 71 when she took her position, was perhaps more remarkable. It was over the limit for federal employees in the Civil Service, but was waived by one of Roosevelt’s many executive orders, allowing her and other aged political allies to join his administration. Her glaring disqualification as a lifelong political operative was her complete lack of law enforcement experience. This concern was exacerbated by deeply embedded assumptions about gender (not to mention age) in the world of law enforcement.
The Drinking Studies Network is an interdisciplinary and international research group that connects scholars working on drink and drinking culture across different societies and time periods.
Founded in 2010 – initially as the Warwick Drinking Studies Network – the DSN has since grown to have over 350 members (Network Members) from around the world. The DSN acts as a point of contact for anyone with an interest in the role of alcohol in any society, past or present, and they provide members with news and updates about significant events in the field of drinking studies via their mailing list and twitter account. We also routinely organise our own events (Past Events and Future Events) and publications (Publications). In 2015, the DSN introduced a number of ‘Research Clusters’ within the network, designed to bring together members with similar interests to organise events together and to foster collaborative research projects (Research Clusters). And most recently, in 2021, the DSN established a partnership with the journal The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs , and by proxy Points.
Editor’s Note: This post by Ejura Salihu is the third in our Pharmaceutical Inequalities series. Ejura’s experience of a disrupted menstrual cycle post-COVID19 vaccination prompted her to write a much-needed commentary on why medical trials repeatedly overlook women’s needs and health. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
This post is the first in a three-part series on laws related to drugs, women, and families, written in observation of Women’s History Month. The series is based on original research conducted by three talented women who graced my historical seminar in law at Ohio State University during autumn 2021.
Today’s post summarizes the excellent work of Karen Augenstein. As she writes, the inherent value of family is deeply rooted in U.S. law; yet in legislating drug control over the past 50 years, “the importance of family was forgotten in favor of punishing those with substance abuse issues in the worst way possible: taking away their children.” The paper covers three major acts of Congress (in 1974, 1980, and 1997) that form the basis of child welfare law. These laws prescribed punishments for parental drug use that led to unprecedented rates of family separation and an “explosion of the foster care system,” while parental incarceration resulted in “harsh, impossible requirements for reunification.”