Advice To Pregnant Women To Avoid Alcohol Denounced As “Sexist”

Dame_Sally_Davies_FMedSci_DBE_FRS
Dame Sally Davies (Royal Society)

We have often discussed how controversial views or positions are often expressed in terms of discrimination as opposed to good-faith disagreements.  A case in point is found in a debate over the consumption of alcohol by pregnant women. The view of the medical profession has certainly changed where some doctors are suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption might not be harmful to a baby.  However, when Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, stated that the rule against any alcohol consumption was still advised, she was denounced as “sexist” and “alarmist.”

Dr Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre of Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, is quoted as saying that the “exclusion of women from an ordinary activity on the basis of a precaution” was “sexist”. 

There is a fair basis for this debate on both sides but I fail to see how advocating a highly protective rule is sexist.  Many women believe that they should not put anything in their bodies that they do not want shared with their baby during pregnancy.   Obviously, people will disagree with any number of practices by parents.  However, to call it “stigmatising” of women ignores the public health concerns underlying the position.

 

What do you think?

30 thoughts on “Advice To Pregnant Women To Avoid Alcohol Denounced As “Sexist”

  1. I am a feminist – I also believe in science and facts- I also work in the addiction field and know that FASD is real. It is not sexist to modify your behavior to meet your physical conditions, whether that be pregnancy, addiction, or diabetes.

  2. Cannot be sexist as women who are not pregnant are still women and the advice does not include them.

    Based on liver function, in general women should only drink half as much as men. But during pregnancy many matters might not go well so doctors often recommend abstinence without be teetotaling about it.

  3. On disputes like this that come down to “amount” or “degree”, people of good civics skill keep the dispute within a narrow envelope. “If we had some evidence to prove the optimum amount, we could agree to resolve the dispute there”.

    To expand the dispute into an ad hominem attack (labelling a protagonist as “sexist”) shows a lack of civility, and unschooled approach to conflict resolution. Disputes that are bracketed by a range of numbers become easier to resolve by negotiation, as all lawyers know. Disputes that posit some accusation based on immutable identity factors (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age) cannot be solved. Therefore, when someone lashes out with an accusation of “sexism”, I assume the person just wants to argue identity and not to resolve the dispute.

    • Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer for England, who stood by the recommendation that pregnant women avoid alcohol. The nutjob who’s calling that discrimination is Ellie Lee.

      • Excellent point, Wonderer. The medical doctor (Dame Sally) understands physiology and pathophysiology; the loon (NOT a medical doctor) understands and promulgates emotional posturing. What a quack job.

      • Thanks for correcting me. I seldom read Jon Turley’s articles in detail and quickly focus only on the salient points. However, because Turley is such an awful writer and cannot express cogent thoughts in a persuasive or intelligent manner, I (inappropriately as it turned out) assumed the photo was of the person who made the stupid statement because I inappropriately assumed that Turley at least included a relevant photo of the person expressing the idea in the headline of his poorly written article. I should not make such assumptions about Turley.

  4. I was born in 1942. My mother smoked and drank martinis during the whole pregnancy. At 75, in good health (as I have been throughout my life) I don’t understand the fuss. A friend in her eighth month asked her doctor if she could have a glass of champagne for her anniversary dinner that night. He said one would be fine, not to worry. As she sipped her champagne a woman came to her and said “do you know that’s bad for your baby”? They were so embarrassed, and even though her husband said the doctor approved, the woman had been so annoying, they left with their bottle, went home and had a glass of champagne. The beautiful baby girl, born a month later, has had a wonderful life, finishing college and on to a career. A simple, old adage “mind your own business” should be reinstated!

  5. Of course it’s sexist.
    After all, you wouldn’t tell a MAN not to drink alcohol while he is having a baby !

  6. Perhaps this Dame could put her feminism advocacy to good use and stand up for the rights of women treated as chattel in Muslim-dominated cultures. With the bombing yesterday in Manchester, she won’t need to travel far.

  7. Yes, because fetal alcohol syndrome is a tool of control conceived by the patriarchy. Give me a break. I suppose brain damaged people do make the best neo-feminists, though. So many of these women are venemous morons, the graves of the suffragists must be positively *rumbling*.

  8. It’s very sad to see that the biggest threat to women continues to be feminists that insist on infantilizing grown women and then trying to dictate what they think and do.
    Feminsts aren’t pro woman, they’re simply trying to replace paternalism with maternalism.

  9. A few truisms worth remembering:

    1. Everyone discriminates. It’s in our DNA.
    2. Not every act of discrimination is illegal or even wrongful. That’s why we “discriminate” against felons by locking them up. Only irrational discrimination based on race, gender, etc is unlawful.
    3. Calling names isn’t proof.
    4. Some people will say anything for attention since it’s easier than having the talent or work ethic to get noticed.

    • How to lose friends and negatively influence people: oppress and insult everyone who isn’t exactly like yourself.

  10. This “no alcohol” is not sexist but is a product of our litigious culture. A woman can have a glass on wine, THAT’S 4 OUNCES, daily w/o any problems. However, some women will consider a pint of wine “a glass.”

  11. “…Director of the Centre of Parenting Culture Studies…”
    ~+~
    When a person has a job title such as this, one should expect the type of ridiculous rhetoric they project.

    There are times when having to suffer being stigmatized is best. Knowing now the problems manifest in consuming alcohol and resulting conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, that others object to pregnant mothers drinking is an expected response.

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