Women behaving badly

Today has been an unbelievably frustrating day in the hospital, but I don't want to bring anyone down. In an effort to promote peace, harmony, and blogular happiness, I'm going to instead write about something everyone can get excited about: the patriarchy.

Earlier this year, the venerable American Medical Association (the AMA) put out this press release, which describes the findings of a recent study of young women's behaviors on Spring Break and their subsequent gnawing regrets.

I found the press release appalling. For starters, by leaving men out of the story, it tacitly sent the message that women drive the bad behavior that happens on Spring Break. I mean, come ON.

Even worse, by not addressing men's behaviors or feelings, the release seemed to imply that only women regret doing dumb things while drunk, and that only women use alcohol as an excuse to do outrageous things. In doing this, the AMA neglected both the roles and the health care concerns of college-aged men in these scenarios. It's almost as if they were saying that there's nothing that we as health care providers can or should recommend for our dudely patients in this age group-that raping and pillaging while hammered is just what they do.

I wrote to my regional student representative to the AMA: "Presenting data on women behaving badly in a situation where men are also behaving badly suggests that women should shape up, while men should...well, keep doing what they're doing."

He huffily dissented and proceeded to shower me with factoids about the AMA, as well as a bunch of verbiage about the context in which the study was done. It was all part of a study on advertising; it was funded by a grant whose purpose is to help all college students make good choices; yadda yadda yadda. None of this really mattered to me: the press release was context-free, and it still sent the message it sent.

There were more emails. More from him, more from one of his dumpy little underlings, and then a final, sneering one introducing me to the director of the study, who passed me off to the public relations people, to whom I explained (while feeling up fruit in the grocery store) What Their Problem Was. But the study was built only to study women, they whined. Whatevs, I said. If your study only inquired of women, it was built on a faulty foundation, because men are subject to parallel pressures and risks, and they merit equal investigation. Your study is the suck.

She pretended to validate my point of view, I pretended to think she gave a damn, and we called it a day.

It so happens that I am now a resident where the huffy AMA representative is in medical school. And several days ago, when each team acquired a new set of medical students, he turned up on mine. I was very excited about this: it was going to be my chance to introduce him to the angry intern behind the angry feminist. But alas, he had been assigned to us in error, and he was whisked away before I got a chance to get totally wasted and accidentally do even one table dance.

I am full of gnawing regret.

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What a surprise! An organization dominated by men,(frat??), finds fault with the behavior of women??? The only positive thing about the article was the decision to not discuss the terrible terrible impact the bad behavior of these women has had on the vulnerable and otherwise defenseless men attending Spring Break. One can only imagine the countless hours of therapy that young men have been subjected to inorder to recover from the trauma of Spring Break.

For starters, by leaving men out of the story, it tacitly sent the message that women drive the bad behavior that happens on Spring Break.

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