MWWC#9: Wine, Women and [a little bit] Wrong *

MWWCI’m a woman.  And I love wine.  But you will never hear me refer to myself as a wino.  And definitely never a wineaux.  [Palm to face].

We’ve all seen the wine jokes that fly around Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Some of them are cute, some of them are funny.  Then came the avalanche of wine jokes, and a scary trend — more and more of the jokes are about women, and (even scarier), wine. At first, I jumped on the bandwagon.  Hahaha!  That’s so funny (she says, unconvincingly).  LOL (eye-roll). But then I started thinking (maybe over-thinking).  And now I’m just cringing.

Important Disclaimer:  I realize there are tons of folks out there who find these jokes gut-stitch funny.  If you’re one of them, promise me we can still be friends after you’ve finished reading this.

Why aren’t I laughing?  Because, more and more of the jokes send this message: Women who drink wine are uncontrollable booze hounds who can’t survive the rigors of life without climbing into a bottle of wine.  A woman who drinks wine isn’t drinking to enjoy life, a woman who drinks wine is drinking to numb life.

What in the name of Bacchus is going on here?

Exhibit #1:  Kathie Lee and Hoda (not so much joke as schtick).  Kathie Lee and Hoda aren’t funny — they’re gross.  Those two have turned the joy of drinking wine into an eternal, early-morning frat party.  Pssst!  Chugging wine with a crazy straw at 10am every morning doesn’t make you a wine lover.  It makes you a lush. I realize some people find them hil-AR-ious, but not me.  I don’t ever want to be lumped in with their kind of ass-hattery.

True Confessions:  Unless I’m sick, I drink wine every day.  But a glass of wine, maybe two.
Not six.  I drink wine for many reasons, but “get drunk” isn’t one of them.  I’m 43 years old — I’ve self-actualized.  And I know this much is true:  being drunk isn’t fun.  Or funny.  And having a hangover sucks.  Have I ever watched the clock all day waiting for “wine time”?  Frequently guilty.  Have I ever not stopped at two glasses?  Extremely frequently guilty.  But then I started getting headaches after two glasses of wine, which I took as my body’s way of saying, “knock that shit off”.  So I did.

Because I love wine.

I respect the grape.

I’ve never considered myself a feminist.  Honestly, feminists scare me a little.  But this is the first time I’ve thought that as women, we shouldn’t find this crap funny.  Compounding the issue:  I suspect most of these jokes are written by women for women — we’re doing this to ourselves.

So I’m begging you, ladies.  Stop it with the let’s drink wine and get drunk jokes.  If you need to get drunk, drink something else.  Stop dragging my beloved wine down with you.

Exhibits #2-12 (in no particular order):

women 3Stumble where, exactly?  The Emergency Room?  An AA meeting?
Also, this slogan would look much better on a martini glass.

wine 4 Alright.  Quick math lesson.  One “glass” of wine is supposed to be 5 ounces.  But let’s go with 6 ounces for the sake of honesty.  So 6 x 6 = 36.  Guess how many ounces of wine are in a standard 750ml bottle?  Just over 25.  So you’ve just had an entire bottle + another third. Unless you are a 300 pound man with the tolerance of Ernest Hemingway, your night is about to go something like this:  Wheeeee!  Whoa!  Bed spins!  Vomit!  Death-inducing headache!  Kill me!  No wait.  You’re right.  Six glasses sounds awesome.

women 1If you need to get drunk in a bathroom at work, I hear vodka is excellent in that capacity.
Put the wine down, get out of the handicap stall, and get back to work before you get fired.

women 2You couldn’t just leave it at “All Those in Favor of a Glass of Wine”??

women 18 You don’t need wine as much as you need an intervention.  And therapy.

women 8College kids love it when mom shows up to play wine-pong with them.
You’re gonna be Instagram famous!

women 8And we’re all judging you for your poor life choices.

375wine Your standards for both wine and humor may need a little tweak.

orthoWhat kind of wine are you buying?
Your kids obviously never needed braces . . . or shoes.

women 15This woman is a Stephen King character waiting to happen.  Be afraid.

women 17If wine makes you super drunk, just wait’ll you try Everclear.
The Avengers are gonna put you on speed dial.

women 11[Yes, I know this is photo-shopped].  And I hope someone trips over the “stem” of this
glass and sends a tsunami of wine up this lady’s nose . . . that would be funny.

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this bandwagon is a little bit scary — and I’m OK with that. But these jokes don’t make women look good, and they certainly aren’t doing wine any favors. I don’t want to be any of these women.  Ever.  I’m getting off this bandwagon.  And also my soapbox.

Because I love wine.

I respect the grape.

*This is my entry for the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #9.  The theme for this month is:  Fear!   This was a scary essay to write.  My fear is I’m going to get deluged with “Chill out – can’t you take a joke?” comments.  And so I’ll give you my answer now:  Yes.  As long as the joke is funny.  And these jokes are funny’s cousin . . . not funny.

Salud!

 

55 comments

  1. I guess I’m not very observant or really am not reading twitter feed but I hadn’t noticed this trend and I am glad I didn’t because it sounds disturbing. I would not find it cute or funny, I also have never seen Hoda and Kathy Lee thank God, drinking wine at 10 AM is not cute or funny either. I enjoy wine I love a glass or two often, but it sounds like a terribly dangerous, demeaning trend which I would want no part of. That was a great essay, well written and a really good read.

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  2. Very nice play on the theme. I never saw any of the ee cards you showed here, and I can tell you, woman or a man, all that stuff about getting drunk, is simply wrong. It sheds the wrong light on all of the oenophiles, without any regards to the gender, and I definitely don’t like it. Cheers!

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  3. I’ve seen many of the ee the wine cards and firstly they raised a smile but now are a bit tedious – I want to see pics of my friends life not a trite statement. But the ones you share here are extreme and very worrying. It’s as though they are a promotion for alcoholism. My drinking habits (a glass of wine a day) and learning to drink journey are pretty much the same as yours. I also keep an eye on it because I love wine (and a close member of my family was an alcoholic) – alcoholism and drinking to excess wrecks lives…make no mistake….male or female. Thoughtful and brilliantly written post.

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  4. Nicely done and I am glad you are leading the charge to head this stuff off. That kind of crap is degrading to the majority of the women wine drinkers of the world.especially the ones I know.

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  5. Love, love, love your post! I’m in total agreement with you – wine is to be enjoyed and loved in every true, elevated, experiential way, I’ll admit to enjoying a little humor with it, but within reason. If “drunk” is someone’s greatest achievement, perhaps they should rethink their goals. Thank you for your insight!

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  6. Great entry ! I always feel a little uncomfortable when people forward me those. It’s not so much the “women” thing it’s just the confusion between drinking wine and getting drunk because your life sucks that I find a little unnerving,… Again, great entry !

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  7. Damn this is terrific… Any time I go to Facebook, I see at least half a dozen variations of the theme “I’m a cool funny mommy and therefore I get inappropriately drunk.” There’s been a couple books about stay at home mothers getting together for playdates with martinis and wine involved. The glorification of alcohol abuse is bad in and of itself, but it’s also tired. It’s like they decided that, to be funny, they had to become an 80s comedy a la Animal House and Porky’s. Worse yet are the “suburban housewife hardcore rap” videos. Excellent post!

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    1. Thanks so much!! And I agree completely . . . I’m not sure when being a cool fun mom morphed into drinking wine out of a box in a closet!! The tiredness of it all is what gets me, too. Sidebar: I’m really AFRAID to Google “suburban housewife hardcore rap” . . . Salud!!

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  8. Excellent interpretation of fear for this challenge. I have to admit, that I do see a lot of these notices on Facebook and a couple that you have displayed are new to me. I only “like” the ones that I think are cute, some as you have mentioned are over the top. I think that all of us that are into our wine blogs have a deep admiration for the wine maker’s craft and we don’t over indulge. In my youth I may have been guilty, your honor. Bravo and your writing makes me realize how much more I have to practice to hone this new endeavor of mine.

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  9. An absolute cracker of a post! It’s so refreshing to read this point of view and I’m with you on this. Right now I can imagine you are raising an eyebrow and thinking “hang-on, this is the worst offender commenting right here right now”. Well here’s my story and my point of view:

    Firstly, wine is all about fun to most people and most wine drinkers aren’t much into the serious aspects of wine. They just want to, well, have fun with wine. They aren’t wine bloggers with a desire to describe wine in a serious manner, they are simply passionate wine drinkers. So wine humor absolutely appeals to them. It reinforces their fun view of wine.

    We at The Wine Wankers are just passionate wine drinkers ourselves who decided to start blogging about our passion. Although we take wine itself seriously we are just fun loving wine drinkers like the majority of people who drink wine. So the simple joys of wine and the humor of wine appeal to us too and this has been our natural expression. Clearly, it has been a successful one.

    So to me wine humor is extremely important and circulating wine humor is paramount to who we are (and, again, to our success). BUT, I’ve seen almost all of those images you’ve posted and chosen not to share or retweet the vast majority. We’ve become a hub for this stuff, and have 100’s of it directed at us daily, but there’s actually a lot we don’t let through the gates. In the early days I wasn’t as restrained but I began to realise that some of this stuff was just wrong and gave a bad impression about wine so pretty soon I began to hold a lot of it back.

    In saying all this my line is no where near as strict as yours. Most of the somee cards you’ve shown cross the line and any mention of drunkenness has gone way too far. BUT the camera angle image of the big glass still gets a chuckle out of me even if it’s just for the imagery. I don’t think that one needs to be taken so seriously. To me it falls into “just a bit of fun”.

    So, anyway, there’s my point of view on it. Yep, I believe you are right in your position, although our lines may be drawn differently. BUT, just remember, to a lot of wine drinkers the humorous stuff just represents what wine is all about to them. This is why the wine meme is so big!

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful and very civilized comment, Conrad! And for not saying, “Chill out, can’t you take a joke?”. 😉 Also for calling my post an “absolute cracker”, which made me smile (Americans don’t get to see the word cracker used in a good way very often)! 😉 I’ve certainly posted my share of wine jokes, too. Some I look back on now and think, maybe that wasn’t so funny. At the end of the day, I think it’s all about finding a balance. A balance between the cute, fun and harmless wine jokes that are all a little bit funny because they’re a little bit true, and the wine jokes that encourage and endorse being drunk. I certainly don’t want to be the prude wine snob who can’t find humor in a glass of wine, so perhaps I will write a follow-up post on the wine jokes that make me laugh. Cheers, Conrad!!

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  10. I received an email of these jokes just today, and I deleted it before I could have scrolled down and read more. I agreed with you before you put down the words, and now I just hope you win and your blog goes global. We need to get the word out.

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  11. I am now finding myself very proud of my circle of friends as they aren’t contributors to your trend. I had never seen any of those so-called wine jokes. And, I have to admit, I read your whole-nicely written post because of your choice of Exhibit 1. Those wine glasses are just awful! They speak to me not only with what is wrong with this latest trend but what is wrong with daytime American television! Oy! So glad I am too busy to watch! Thanks for sharing. 😉

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  12. I often find myself laughing at many of these myself… But by no means, as a woman or a mother, am I drink because I can’t coop with life. I love wine, in fact my family operates a small boutique vineyard, but after reading this I will think twice before perpetuating this trend! Thanks

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  13. Too true. I’d be happy if all those stupid cards would just go away. I don’t ever see morning TV, so I’m happily immune to Kathy Lee and Hoda, except as lampooned on SNL.

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  14. I’ve had the same thoughts on the fb wine humor. While some of them have been a little funny, most of them are downright distasteful and as you so eloquently point out disrespectful to wine and women, and, might I add, motherhood. Everything in moderation. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I think the mother angle is the one that irks me the most. We’ve all had “those” parenting days . . . the ones where we really need wine at the end. Just not in a closet and with a spigot. 😉 Salud!!

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  15. OK, I will be the dissenting voice here (after debating for a while). I do not see these cards or this type of humor that way at all. Perhaps I am being naïve, but I see them as satire. I see them as defenders of those of us who drink wine, not as offensive. For so long, those who consume wine on a daily basis have been seen as outside the societal norm. Be it this country’s protestant beginnings or the more recent M.A.D.D./S.A.D.D. approach that verges on declaring all alcohol evil, people who drink daily were (are?) seen as people who have a problem. Frankly, I am tired of THAT.

    Thus, I see these cards as an attempt to take back the dialogue.

    Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    Is this not what is going on? Using exaggeration (satire) to criticize the stance that women (or people) should not be drinking on a regular basis.

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    1. Dissent away, Jeff! But, clearly you aren’t spending enough time with the Real Housewives of Suburbia. 😉😉

      I think you’re giving way too much credit to the writers of these jokes. I could maybe see satire if the jokes were written by The Onion or The South Park Guys, but I just don’t think the genesis of these jokes is that inspired. I think the intent is comedy — glomming onto the “big glass”. People thought the “big glass” was funny, so drinking wine out of a “big glass” in a closet must be hilarious. And let’s face it, when I think of sophisticated satire, Hoda and Kathie Lee aren’t what comes to mind. At least not my mind.

      I’ll keep shamelessly drinking wine every day . . . I just won’t drink it out of a glass that says, “Mommy’s Sippy Cup”.

      Salud!

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  16. I’m conflicted on the wine jokes. I think most of the ones you posted cross the line into glorifying alcoholism or making light of just being a terrible parent. But there are some that I have seen that have made me chuckle. And I have also seen the same types of memes with beer and hard liquor (more typically), so I don’t think that wine is being singled out. But frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of all the memes showing up on Facebook… I don’t twitter so that’s where I see them. I just really want to know what’s happening in my friend’s lives, rather than scroll through hundreds of posts of the 2014 version of the “joke email forward.” I’m sure the trend will pass soon enough, and we’ll be on to the next irritating fad! Cheers!

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    1. There are definitely funny (or cute) wine jokes out there . . . but it’s rare that I see one I haven’t already seen posted to my Facebook or Twitter feed 2 billion times, which goes to your point about all the memes flooding the Internet! Knock on wood, I haven’t seen as many lately . . . perhaps (wishful thinking) they have jumped the shark? Cheers to you!

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