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Gender Parity

As the administration keeps attacking our rights over our bodies, girls are revolting in odd ways in the fight for equality. It seems teenage girls have not only caught up but actually surpassed the boys when it comes to doing drugs. This is happening despite a drop in over all teen drug use. Specifically, girls have been popping pills more than boys for a awhile but only recently caught up in the alcohol, and smoking (cigarettes and marijauna) departments. Despite the leveling of the playing field when it comes to doing stupid or exploratory things, experts say that while men tend to imbibe these substances for the adrelalin rush, women do it to escape. However, this theory was stated without a source and I question unnamed experts who don't site studies where they gained their expertise.

Granted, I know being a girl is stressful: they are supposed to be pretty and smart (but not too smart or the boys won't like you), skinny without an eating disorder, confident (but not too confident or people's envy will turn to hate) and while being all this, they are supposed to be discovering their hopes and dreams, what career will be most fulfilling, etc. However, although I have no personal experience, being a boy isn't all that either - they have that whole machismo thing, not being able to express emotions, confusion about their place in the world since the feminist revolution (I am not dissing feminism, mearly saying that many men still haven't come to terms and figured out how to deal with it yet). And once again with men, they want to be smart, but not geeky, handsome without appearing to actually care for their looks (or take care of themselves), and the contradictions go on.

Living with two guys I learn daily about the differences and similarities between the sexes. Henry Rollins, in the latest issue of Bust explemplifies this in how he responds to the threats against Roe v. Wade:

"If I was a woman and you told me I couldn't have an abortion, they would need a construction team to get my foot out of your ass."

Although I know many men who would never phrase their opinion that way, I don't know any, woman who would. Is there a way to respect and acknowledge gender differences without reinforcing gender stereotypes? The same article states, once again without citing a study, that adolescent girls more likely to become addicted to drugs than boys. In the world I grew up in, the reverse was true.

Sadly the study had no hard evidence as to why more girls are trying drugs (though one expert was upset at our President's plans to scale back funds for prevention). Nor was it able to elaborate on the connection between depression, adolescents, and drug abuse.

However, in other news, a health study highlighted in yesterday's paper was done soley on women and then they extrapolated that men's bodies probably react the same. I thought the aspirin hullabaloo taught us that women and men metabolize things differently - when will they ever learn?

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