(Originally posted Monday, 1 January 2007 on Harder Hedda)
Happy New Year! Hope you all had a good time and in the wake of the baptism of booze we welcome the new year in with this, a new way to help keep women safe while drinking.
Young female drinkers can now take advantage of the latest fashion accessory - a trendy identity tag.
The tag, engraved with the contact details of the wearer's parent or a responsible friend, is worn on a bracelet decorated with silver beads and Swarovski crystals.
The tag can then be used by nightclub staff or emergency service workers if the wearer loses consciousness or is too drunk to remember her name.
The bracelets, which cost from £35 to £70, were designed by personal safety firm IdentifyMe, which began by making identity tags for young children who may wander away from parents.
Don Shenker, policy director of Alcohol Concern, said he feared the bracelets could lull young women into a false sense of security and send out the wrong message about binge drinking.
He said: "What concerns us is that young women may feel it is safe to drink alcohol to excess because they have their identity tag in case they lose consciousness or become incapable of speaking.
"We have heard anecdotal evidence, for example, of an aunt giving such a bracelet to her niece because the niece has a tendency to get drunk and lose consciousness. Giving a bracelet in those circumstances could be interpreted as an endorsement of that behaviour."
Nadine Lewis, Managing Director of IdentifyMe, denied encouraging binge drinking and said the bracelets could offer piece of mind to worried parents.
She said: "In no way are we encouraging young women to binge drink. However, we received a number of requests from customers for this type of product.
"It is a worrying sign that this sort of product is needed, but it seems that the trend for women to go out at the weekend and drink to excess is showing no sign of slowing down and we must do everything we can to keep them as safe as possible."
Could you excuse me for a moment, *bangs head on brick wall*, thank you.First I want to get slightly more shallow part over with, the bracelet is ugly. It's the sort of thing I'd see in Top Shop and dismiss because it's just unattractive, I'm not going to pay 35 to 70 pounds for it, if I'm not going to spend ten pounds in Top Shop I'm certainly not going to spend that much money for something where the purpose of it could be accomplished by writing your address or friend/family number on a piece of paper and putting into your jacket pocket. And while I'm on the subject, next month I turn 18 and I will be going out drinking with friends to celebrate and I simply don't have the money to spend on a little chain bracelet, I'm sure a lot of young female drinkers can't.
"It is a worrying sign that this sort of product is needed, but it seems that the trend for women to go out at the weekend and drink to excess is showing no sign of slowing down and we must do everything we can to keep them as safe as possible." Surely it's also needed for all the men who go out on the weekends and get completely legless? No? Just women then? I wonder why, oh of course, it's to keep them safe. Two questions here, why don't drunk men have to be protected in this manner? and, keep them safe from what... exactly?
*Update: 21/10/09* An issue that has been chewing away at me for so long, and I don't see a reason not to put it forward, is a woman considered to be so incapable of taking care of herself in certain situations that when she is little more vulnerable in her environment then normal (as alcohol does makes us all more vulnerable and unaware of our surroundings - and that means all of us) that she actually needs a 'if found, please return to owner' tag put on? You know, like people do... with their pets.
Binge drinking is nothing new in England, in keeping with the 'Othello' theme from the sub-heading*, here is an extract of two characters discussing the English.
IAGO I learned it in England, where, indeed, they are most potent in potting: your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander--Drink, ho!--are nothing to your English.
CASSIOIs your Englishman so expert in his drinking?
IAGOWhy, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane deaddrunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottlecan be filled.
Othello was written some time in the late 1500's, England has always been a country of boozers, Shakespeare knew it 500 years ago.
Drinking only became unacceptable, un-couth when the girls started doing it.
*Harder Hedda had the extract from Othello by Emilia I used in my very first post on this blog.