Because it’s always better to police women

Australian wine makers don’t want to put “ugly” health warnings on bottles of wine. They’ve made a submission to the federal government, arguing that they shouldn’t have to use warning labels, because they are ugly, and ineffective in any case.

It is quite unclear how the addition of a warning label will somehow stop an idiot getting in their car and driving whilst intoxicated.

Wine makers are unhappy with what they see as ‘ugly’ health warnings

But they are, of course, reasonable people. So in their submission, they offer a trade-off. While they are not prepared to uglify their bottles, they are quite happy to police women.

WINEMAKERS have offered to label bottles with a don’t-drink-during-pregnancy logo…

Winemakers Federation chief executive Stephen Strachan yesterday said the industry had volunteered to start using the pregnancy logo. “At best, it can raise awareness but it doesn’t do anything in relation to behaviour.”

The logo they have offered up is a silhouette of a pregnant woman, holding a wine glass. Looking at the silhouette, and assuming that this is a singleton pregnancy, I’d guess that the woman is about seven or eight months pregnant. She is of course, slim. The standard “No” symbol, a red circle with a red bar, is stamped across the silhouette.*

Because it’s always just fine to police pregnant women.

See Blue Milk for some excellent posts about policing women during pregnancy:
Whenever people start talking about the “unborn child”
Compare and contrast

… and see Lauredhel’s excellent post about the (non) science behind all the scary tales about alcohol that are peddled to pregnant women:
Bad science on booze in pregnancy: Women infantilised with absolutist messages

*I’m sorry about the low image quality. It was taken from the dead-tree version of The Australian, using my camera.

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7 responses to “Because it’s always better to police women

  1. And the Oz has a photo of two young women drinking wine. Because the hazards of drinking too much only apply to women. Oh, that’s right, (real) men don’t drink wine.

  2. Check out the latest media discussion about pregnancy and alcohol – after a finding that on average the children of women who were light to moderate drinkers in pregnancy scored better on some behavioural test or other. (Less depression and aggression, apparently, but the state of science reporting is so poor that I wouldn’t put any particular stake in that.)

    The reporting is accompanied with the usual scare-mongering about how this doesn’t mean there is a safe dose! And about how teh wimminz don’t know what 100 ml means anyhow! Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile! Pure abstinence is the only way to go!

  3. Is there a line between policing and advice?

    i.e. Can you give women the facts they need to make informed choices without playing police?

  4. @ homepaddock – yes if you can verify what you say is a fact. The problem is that there is no research on women and alcohol and pregnancy which is used as an excuse to say – don’t do it at all. Anecdotal evidence from pregnant women who have ignored warnings of doom and had the occassional glass of wine while pregnant and/or breastfeeding has shown that it makes absolutely no difference to the child. Using an absence of fact to make a declaration that drinking while pregnant is an abomination is policing the behaviour of women.

  5. Mindy: There is quite a lot of research on women and alcohol and pregnancy. It all adds up to “light-moderate drinking has not been shown to carry risk; heavy and very heavy drinking has”. However, these data are being now used by certain government agencies to say “There is no proven safe dose, therefore women should completely abstain throughout pregnancy”.

  6. I bow to your greater knowledge Lauredhel.