Breast or Bottle: La Leche League and Alcoholics Anonymous as Lay Health Movements

Editor’s Note: This post is from Contributing Editor Michelle McClellan. I’ll begin with two anecdotes, the first of which is probably familiar to most Points readers. In 1935, a stockbroker named Bill Wilson found himself in Akron, Ohio for a business deal. When it fell through and Wilson felt the urge to drink again afterContinue reading “Breast or Bottle: La Leche League and Alcoholics Anonymous as Lay Health Movements”

Beyond “Damp Feminism”: Thoughts on the UVa Rape Scandal and Campus Drinking Trends

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s post is written by Points contributing editor Michelle McClellan. Like many others, I read the story in Rolling Stone magazine about a gang rape at the University of Virginia with a sense of mounting horror. Then, when I began to hear hints and then assertions that the victim’s story might not holdContinue reading “Beyond “Damp Feminism”: Thoughts on the UVa Rape Scandal and Campus Drinking Trends”

You Are What You Drink: Wine, Women, and Identity

NOTE: Today’s post is by Points contributing editor Michelle McClellan. A recent piece in The New York Times about the wine-drinking habits of powerful female characters on television made me recall wine coolers, sweet blends of wine and fruit flavors that were packaged like soda and beer in bottles for individual consumption.  Some readers mayContinue reading “You Are What You Drink: Wine, Women, and Identity”

Operation Understanding: Disclosure and Stigma in 1976

Editors Note: This post is from Contributing Editor Michelle McClellan. In May 1976, more than fifty people—celebrities and professionals from various fields—announced at a carefully staged press conference that they had recovered from alcoholism. The event had been organized by the National Council on Alcoholism (today the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) asContinue reading “Operation Understanding: Disclosure and Stigma in 1976”

In Search of Damp Feminism; Or, What Can We Learn from Fat Studies

Editor’s Note: This post is from contributing editor Michelle McClellan. In my last post I reflected on the complicated backstory of feminism, intoxication, and vulnerability, specifically in relation to campus culture today and efforts to prevent sexual assault. I speculated whether there could be such a thing as “damp feminism,” a way to allow, evenContinue reading “In Search of Damp Feminism; Or, What Can We Learn from Fat Studies”

Drinking and Sexual Assault: The Third Rail of Health Education

(Editor: Today’s post is from Points contributing editor Michelle McClellan.) It’s back-to-school time, and that means talking to college students about the dangers of binge drinking and the risks of sexual assault. And while parents, health care providers and social science researchers might think those topics go together, health education experts and university administrators callContinue reading “Drinking and Sexual Assault: The Third Rail of Health Education”

Mom’s Getting Smashed: Alcoholism, Recovery and Motherhood as a Coming-of-Age Tale

Editor’s Note: This article is by contributing editor Michelle McClellan. Smashed (2012) is the story of a young woman named Kate in present-day Los Angeles who confronts her excessive drinking through the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship. She gains sobriety, although her marriage disintegrates and she is fired from her job in the process. The overall narrativeContinue reading “Mom’s Getting Smashed: Alcoholism, Recovery and Motherhood as a Coming-of-Age Tale”

Brides and Booze: The Alcoholic Wife in Mid-Century Pulp Fiction

“How should he handle his alcoholic wife,” asks the lurid cover of the 1960 novel Alcoholic Wife by G.G. Revelle. “Beat her? Cater to her inflamed desires? Overlook her drunken intimacies with other men? Desert her for his seductive mistress?” With a retail price of 35 cents, the volume helpfully included a list of otherContinue reading “Brides and Booze: The Alcoholic Wife in Mid-Century Pulp Fiction”

Homecomings

Editor’s note: This post was written by Kate Silbert and Matthew Woodbury, Ph.D. candidates in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. They were part of a graduate student team who researched and wrote the nomination for Dr. Bob’s Home to become a National Historic Landmark, a process outlined in previous posts. Here,Continue reading “Homecomings”

A Genealogy of Disclosure: Alcoholism, Celebrity, Feminism

Lately I have been investigating what I call a genealogy of disclosure, asking how the tightly controlled personal narrative of Marty Mann, which she offered in service of a public health mission as she launched the organization that is now the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, morphed into our own cultural moment, whereinContinue reading “A Genealogy of Disclosure: Alcoholism, Celebrity, Feminism”

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