I’ve been around Club East long enough now to realize that, while alcoholism is not gender specific, there are certainly different ways the two genders have of expressing themselves as they go through recovery. And because it underscores the fact that men and women are somewhat different, I guess this might be considered secondary evidence women process alcohol quite differently than men, and therefore appear to be more vulnerable than men to many harmful consequences of alcohol abuse.
All that to say this: I stumbled across the following list in my files this morning and thought we really need to take a pretty tangible look at the gender differences as we go through recovery. I don’t have the wherewithal to take apart recovery terms and assign them genders. For me to take on that happy task would be akin to leaning into a left hook. But here are some safe, gender-neutral items from the Washington Post that take on a whole new meaning when put in a specific gender context.
ZIPLOC BAGS — male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.
SWISS ARMY KNIFE — male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.
KIDNEYS — female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.
SHOE — male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.
COPIER — female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.
TIRE — male, because it goes bald and often is over inflated.
HOT AIR BALLOON — male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it… and, of course, there’s the hot air part.
SPONGES — female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGE — female, because it is always getting hit on.
SUBWAY — male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
HOURGLASS — female, because over time the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMER — male, because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.
REMOTE CONTROL — female… Ha! You thought I’d say male. But consider: It gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.