NY Times image
And unfortunately, it rears its ugly head in a New York Times op-ed, and even worse, it’s one of those New York Times op-eds written by an author who’s got a new book to plug.
Gabrielle Glaser thinks that she is saving many a woman with some degree of a drinking problem from the moralizing of AA. She gets right that, as well as noting that AA is male-focused, unscientific, and still largely rooted in the days of its founding.
She also gets right this:
Women increasingly need help, as their drinking has escalated. Women are being stopped more for drunken driving than they were two decades ago. They’re also the biggest consumers of wine, buying the larger share of the 856 million gallons sold in the United States in 2012. These women are drinking partly because alcohol is a socially respectable way to slog through the smartphone-tethered universe of managing demanding careers, aging parents, kids’ activities and relationships at once. And while it’s not healthy to pour yourself a third or fourth glass every night, it doesn’t mean you’re powerless to do anything about it.
But, she then says the alternative to this:
(T)he A.A. program offers a single path to recovery: abstinence, surrendering one’s ego and accepting one’s “powerlessness” over alcohol.
Can, and should, (often) be moderated drinking.
I put the “often” in parentheses because she does, at her website, albeit on a hyperlink whose linkage is broken, or was for me, abstinence-only alternatives to AA. Besides us, and the others, I was simply flabbergasted that, because her column was about drinking problems particular to women, she wouldn’t even mention Women for Sobriety in the column.
She then goes on to specifically tout Moderation Management, without noting, besides just founder Audrey Kishline, its own problematic history, lack of verifiable information, etc. This is a sad case of wanting to have one’s cake and eat it, too.
Next is this:
This approach isn’t for severely dependent drinkers, for whom abstinence might be best.
“Might”? Try “is.” Period.
Unfortunately, she got curt with me when I pointed out some of the above issues in an email. I have made multiple comments on the Times op-ed, my original ones being about the book itself, then responding to a couple of diehard AAers trotting out the classical “no true Scotsman” stance in saying Glaser wasn’t critiquing true AA, etc.
Her book is getting a number of unfavorable ratings on Amazon from people who are NOT diehard AAers, for a variety of reasons, so a few people are looking at the devils in the details.