“Right now, he’s probably buying her some fruity little drink ’cause she can’t shoot whiskey…”
— “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
As I took shots from a bottle of Jack outside last Saturday night, I suddenly came to the realization that I was acting like a man — at least according to Ms. Underwood. And I could understand what she was talking about. There’s nothing particularly wrong with drinking straight from a bottle with no chaser: It’s just that “girls” tend to put their poison of choice in a flask first. Did my swilling of whiskey in the open make me somehow less feminine? Should I have worn a short skirt and kitten heels to (over)compensate?
Even in a post-sexual revolution society, we still associate certain behaviors, and clothing, with one gender or another. Shooting whiskey is masculine; sipping cosmopolitans is girly. Chugging beer is manly; slurping Goldschlager is feminine.
And forgive me for the generalization, but sluts are usually feminine and studs are usually masculine. Even if Zeta Psi had held their now-infamous sign outside of the Center for British Art or the PubLickUp we would still assume that they were referring to women. I am specifically not implying that men can’t be sluts nor women studs, rather that sexual behaviors are still attached to one binary gender or the other. I’m not sure how necessary — or accurate — these binaries are, but I do know that the implications they carry are ridiculously complicated.
When my honorable California governator called part of the state legislature “girlie-men” the summer after I graduated high school, I had three revelations. One: Ahnold still thinks he’s in a movie, and he’s in charge of the seventh largest economy in the world. Scary. Two: Legislators have genders. Weird. Three: “Girlie” automatically implies weak! Where was I when this was decided? Can I opt out of the “girlie” clause in my gender contract?
I choose to be female, not just because I was “born this way” but also because I’m usually too lazy to come up with something more creative. The current gender paradigms don’t especially bother me — except for certain clauses like those related to sex and drinking. Why is there is no Yale Men’s Center where a group of rowdy women can hold up a sign and harass some poor man who wants to get in? There isn’t even an equivalent word for slut-who-happens-to-be-a-man that has the same connotation.
More importantly, why is it that girls “can’t” shoot whiskey? I’ve shot whiskey with men and women of various gender persuasions and whiskey always seems to be an equal-opportunity poison. Does it somehow affect “girlie” girls more?
I’m entirely unsure how societal norms of sexual behaviors will shift — there will always be those pesky biological differences. But I see no reason why alcohol should stay divided along such simple lines; after all, liquor was made for mixing.
Subverting the gender-drinking binary, the following fruity whiskey drink is named after a friend’s poster that lists “things you can do to eradicate gender or multiply it exponentially,” and “Love Potion #9” — just in time for post V-day.
Exponential Love Potion
(A modified Algonquin dedicated to Carrie Underwood)
2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into glasses. The Rose’s Lime Juice can be substituted with regular lime juice, if you want it to be sour.