Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

May 7, 2009

Beer and Babies

This morning on my way to work I had the radio on, and one of the morning talks shows described a situation in which a pregnant woman was refused alcohol at a liquor store by the cashier. The woman was upset, calling the cashier "sexist" for not allowing her to purchase the alcohol (I believe a lawsuit is in effect). Now, the radio didn't say how much she was purchasing, if she were purchasing it for herself, or any other details. My original reaction was, "Why the heck is a pregnant woman purchasing alcohol?" But then I was thinking that doctors say it's okay to have a glass of wine once a week (depending on the stage of development), and I know many a good mother who has had an occasional sip or two of beer or wine during their pregnancies. I also figured that I didn't know if she were buying it for a dinner party or for someone else.

I wonder though, is it really fair to call the cashier "sexist?" I would hope that he was just looking out for the woman's health, but it's also true that it is not illegal to sell any type of person who is of age alcohol.

Just wondering what others think of this situation? Interesting food (or drink) for thought.


Edith Magdalene said...

Hmmm....well, I guess if the woman was buying the alcohol for herself, then the clerk did the right thing. But if she was planning a dinner party, and purchasing this for her guests, then he was wrong. Sounds like we don't know the full story here... But I don't think she was right to charge him with sexism. I don't think that was an appropriate term for the situation. He didn't deny it to her for her sex, but rather for her condition.

Margaret Perry said...

even if she was buying the alcohol for herself, the clerk would not be right to refuse to sell it--for so so so so so many reasons!

A business does "reserve the right to refuse service" to anyone, its true, but there are plenty of reasons why someone would buy some alcohol that serve no harm to themselves or their babies. Maybe she cooks with it. Maybe it's a gift. Maybe she is saving it for after the baby is born. Maybe it's a really good deal. Or maybe she just needs a drink, which is ok.

A dear friend spends half her year in Italy and the other half in America. When she told her American friends she was pregnant, they all said "Oh, too bad you won't be able to drink wine anymore."

When she told her Italian friends, little old ladies in a town is tuscany who have all raised large families, of multiple generations, they all said: "Here! Drink more wine! it will make your baby strong!"

Margaret Perry said...

but i do agree that the sexism claim is a little odd. though, i don't know what other category pregnancy discrimination could go under. except perhaps: very weird!

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