Men Drinking Versus Women Drinking: The Rules Don’t Apply Equally

Diwali is around the corner and alcohol with-card parties are going to be the toast of the season. Just a reminder to women who have to clean up after, please rest, sit back and don’t forget that it’s your Diwali too. 

Mohua Chinappa
New Update

A still from the film Piku

Inebriated women to date are considered fallen women. She is referred to as the one without a moral compass; someone who can’t be trusted to raise a family, be a mother, a wife or a girlfriend. Yet the very men who judge her never have to suffer such indignity. A man has the freedom to be an ill-mannered tippler. They are often found planning to do “the boy thing” of getting drunk and doing men's things, all sealed with the bro code. 


Sometimes, women on the other hand judge another woman if she makes wild alcohol plans. So, it’s safer to save her reputation and not make plans of this kind. Therefore, many women don’t know how to loosen up or have a girl code, of going wild. 

The wildest a woman can do is buy something beyond her means, stay guilty yet secretly enjoy the absolute no-judgment perks of retail therapy. Now this is permissible. As long as your character with alcohol isn’t out in the open for people to judge. 

How Men Get Away With Uncontrolled Alcohol Consumption

But pleasure is a sin for women. So many women to combat their love for retail, hide this side too of their personality. As they don’t want to run the risk of being labelled as “basic”. A woman who is vain and enjoys things that are not viewed as being cerebral or sacrificial enough, makes her look less serious and not important in society and also in her extended girl gang. 

Uncontrolled alcohol consumption, we all know, is not a virtue, for any gender, however much the West sells us the idea of a glass of red everyday with our meals. 

Medically alcohol consumption is harmful to the body. Also, it offers no cardiovascular protection for Indians. So there again goes the accepted dainty one-red glass of wine, out of the window. 


India was shaken by the airline incident. The overly drunk man, on free alcohol on the business class flight, mistook a woman for the flight commode and peed on her. The woman was furious and did the exact right thing by taking it up with the higher authorities. When the drunk passenger realised it was a mistake, he offered her money to not register a complaint. But the woman wasn’t the one to take this down easily and rightfully so. No woman in her sane mind would be okay or so forgiving to overlook a stranger’s piss all over herself. It is a thought unbearably difficult to digest. So, the complaint was registered and Mr Drunk was barred from flying for a few months. So, this either must have stopped his alcohol consumption or maybe he is wearing a diaper now, under his pants. 

According to me, he got the appropriate punishment. He lost his employment, and his reputation and will be serving a sentence for abusing a woman’s modesty inflight. But many incidents of this nature happen inside homes, where wives can’t speak up about such kind of vile abuse. 

If we are to scrutinise the many entitlements that men enjoy, this incident brings to the fore, the two points. The fact that men are comfortable pulling off the zip, and dropping their pants, without blinking an eyelid in public. 

The second is the judgement that they are spared because of their gender for obnoxious drunken behaviour. 

Men getting out of control, being drunk, getting abusive and conducting themselves inappropriately without the fear of consequences is a known fact. Society never pulls out its harsh magnifying glasses to look into such conduct for a man. With such incidents, one is forced to think if we have ever heard of any woman being so drunk, that she has been caught drunk and peeing on a man, known or unknown. 

This isn’t about equal rights to inebriation for women. It is about responsible conduct in public and private spaces. It is also about the innumerable men who haven’t given much of thought about drinking behavioural attitudes. 


According to a survey conducted between 2019 and 2021 in India, alcohol consumption was significantly higher among men than women. About 30% of men aged 35 to 49 reported having consumed alcohol compared to over 1% of women in the same age group. 

Talking to Sneha, who resides in Bangalore said “This airline incident is disgusting to say the least. I know married friends of mine and some of their husbands narrate crazy stories of being drunk. One friend’s husband was so drunk that he passed out and peed in his pants. I often wonder if this would be okay if their wives did the same. But most of us laugh at these stories as it’s viewed as being silly and not abusive”. 

Diwali is around the corner and alcohol with-card parties are going to be the toast of the season. Just a reminder to women who have to clean up after their incompetent, childlike men who will drink like there is no tomorrow, please rest, sit back and don’t forget that it’s your Diwali too. 

Views expressed are the author's own.

Mohua Chinappa is an author and runs a successful podcast called The Mohua Show.

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