My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To think WHO are trying to commit organisational suicide? They’ve said that women of childbearing age should not drink alcohol AT ALL.

503 replies
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

528 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
23%
You are NOT being unreasonable
77%
RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 01:47

I’ll quite a chunk for those who can’t see it;

Women of childbearing age should not drink alcohol, the World Health Organisation has said.

WHO officials were accused of being "sexist and paternalistic" after issuing the global advice, covering billions of women regardless of their family plans.

The WHO's draft global alcohol action plan 2022-2030 urges countries to pay "appropriate attention to prevention" of consumption in certain groups, including children, teenagers and women of childbearing age.

On Wednesday, Matt Lambert, the chief executive of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, said the WHO had gone "well beyond their remit".

He added: "We are extremely concerned by the WHO calling on countries to prevent drinking among women of childbearing age in their latest action plan. As well as being sexist and paternalistic, and potentially restricting the freedoms of most women, it goes well beyond their remit and is not rooted in science.

” It is wrong to scaremonger in this irresponsible way and associate women's alcohol-related risks with those of children and pregnant people."

The plan says: "Appropriate attention should be given to prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age."

Christopher Snowdon, the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "This is classic World Health Organisation idiocy. Not content with repeatedly dropping the ball on Covid-19 and dishing out awards to politicians for banning vaping, it now thinks most of the world's women should abstain from alcohol.
"The idea that it is unsafe for women of childbearing age to drink any alcohol is unscientific and absurd. Moreover, it is none of the WHO's business."

Dr Richard Piper, the chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: "Drinking alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy, even before many people realise they're pregnant, can be very damaging for a foetus.”

OP posts:
NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 01:50

I went to the horses mouth

'It is necessary to raise awareness among decision-makers and the general public about the risks
and harms associated with alcohol consumption. Appropriate attention should be given to
prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking
among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures
to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are
encouraged to drink even more'

Holy fuck.

An org in the USA said this s few years back and got lambasted.

What are they thinking??!!

www.who.int/publications/m/item/global-action-plan-on-alcohol-1st-draft

SallySycamore · 17/06/2021 01:50

So women can only drink from the age of 45(ish)? Hmm

That's a statement that hasn't really been thought through.

RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 01:50

Quote not quite^.

Not only misogynistic but homophobic (they don’t seem to have heard of lesbians) and they use the godawful “pregnant people”, too.

After dropping a couple of balls on COVID it seems strange that they would follow up with a Gilead impersonation. 🤷🏻‍♀️

OP posts:
RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 01:53

What are they thinking??!!

Taken over by a extreme religious or misogynistic faction? Gone collectively bonkers? It’s really hard to fathom what’s got into them. You’d have thought they would have a PR/strategy function to rein them in or shape the messaging, at least.

OP posts:
SallySycamore · 17/06/2021 01:53

I presume what they're trying to say is "women who could become pregnant" shouldn't drink, but that isn't what they've written.

They haven't thought about women who are single, or having protected sex, or gay, or infertile etc.

NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 01:54

I'm 47 and still can't drink according to that.

Do they believe women are people and deserving of bodily autonomy or not?

This is straight out of the playbook of male led patriarchal religions that see women as no more than breeding stock that needs to be tightly controlled.

RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 01:55

I bookmarked something about disaster patriarchy the other day. Maybe I should bump it up the priority list.

OP posts:
RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 01:56

@SallySycamore

I presume what they're trying to say is "women who could become pregnant" shouldn't drink, but that isn't what they've written.

They haven't thought about women who are single, or having protected sex, or gay, or infertile etc.

I hope that’s what they’re trying to say. Either way they richly deserve the flaying coming their way. Sexist, totalitarian shits.
OP posts:
NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 01:58

It's not right for any women though.

And the women you mention Sally could have a contraceptive failure or be raped.

They are placing more importance on a theoretical embryo than on an actual living woman. That's shocking.

RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 02:01

@NiceGerbil

It's not right for any women though.

And the women you mention Sally could have a contraceptive failure or be raped.

They are placing more importance on a theoretical embryo than on an actual living woman. That's shocking.

Quite right.

It’s not great either way, is it? (Understatement.)
OP posts:
alexdgr8 · 17/06/2021 02:06

but what are the overall benefits versus risks of drinking alcohol at all, forget about the pregnancy issue.
don't doctors think most people would benefit by drinking less.

alexdgr8 · 17/06/2021 02:08

obviously the portman group would oppose the WHO on this; they are the acceptable face of alcohol marketing.
thy dont want anything that encourages people to drink less.
it's similar to the smoking lobby.

HarebrightCedarmoon · 17/06/2021 02:08

And how many conceptions or even just sexual encounters take place without alcohol being involved?

I think someone may not have thought this through.

SallySycamore · 17/06/2021 02:09

I just can't believe that that's a statement that a (supposed to be sensible) global organisation would put out.

I can see the logic in "if you're TTC, or not actively doing something to stop yourself conceiving it's better not to drink".

That's why I didn't include rape/contraceptive failure because they're outside "normal conditions" for that woman. Sorry, it's late so I'm probably not explaining myself well.

But if they actually meant what they said then it's not good at all.

NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 02:10

The suggestion that no alcohol should be consumed at all by any woman unless she has been through menopause is not a reasonable response to any risk.

FASD is a bit iffy science-wise unlike FAS.

alcohol consumption is a massive part of many cultures.

The idea that essentially no woman should consume any alcohol until she's 55 or whatever..

You think that's reasonable?

SallySycamore · 17/06/2021 02:12

@alexdgr8

but what are the overall benefits versus risks of drinking alcohol at all, forget about the pregnancy issue.
don't doctors think most people would benefit by drinking less.

But then why are men and older women allowed to?

I completely agree that there are health issues associated with alcohol, but by saying "child-bearing age" they've explicitly linked it being pregnant (or having the possibility of becoming pregnant).
NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 02:14

Well they wrote it down didn't they.

I can't imagine that draft wouldn't have been past an awful lot of people before being released. It's the WHO.

Hopefully as it's just a draft they will change it.

This damages their credibility though.

NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 02:16

They are prioritising a potential embryo over women. This is basic women as incubators talk. It's the attitude that drives the attempts to ban abortion around the world, or means it is banned in plenty of countries.

NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 02:17

And that's all about control.

Women cannot be trusted to behave themselves. They need to be controlled.

Unbelievable they have said this.

NiceGerbil · 17/06/2021 02:20

It's what underpins every country in the world where women are horribly oppressed.

In the UK it means. Barring women from a massive part of our normal societal activities. Removing what to an enormous amount of women is a pleasant, sociable, totally standard part of life.

Watching the men do it.

It wouldn't wash would it. But that's not the point. What are they thinking?

RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 02:31

@alexdgr8 neither of your points address the fact that this has only been recommended for women. Not men.

OP posts:
RickiTarr · 17/06/2021 02:36

@SallySycamore

I just can't believe that that's a statement that a (supposed to be sensible) global organisation would put out.

I can see the logic in "if you're TTC, or not actively doing something to stop yourself conceiving it's better not to drink".

That's why I didn't include rape/contraceptive failure because they're outside "normal conditions" for that woman. Sorry, it's late so I'm probably not explaining myself well.

But if they actually meant what they said then it's not good at all.

Yes, IKWYM.

If they have (stupidly, crassly) arrived at it by thinking “Ideally all women would be taking Folic acid supplementation before conception. Ideally all women would be tea-total before conception. Etc” and sort of blindly extrapolating into something dictatorial, then that’s still tone deaf, and sexist and all of that, but marginally less chilling than if they’ve just set out to be deliberately controlling of women.
OP posts:
GuildfordGal · 17/06/2021 02:43

It's late and I'm very tired, but I feel a whispery paranoia about this. Not that I'm concerned that it will have any traction here, but that the thing has been green-lit at several levels to get to this stage. How?

I can't get around that this is the WHO.

Mamanyt · 17/06/2021 02:47

I had my children in the very early 1980's, and was warned that a single drink at the wrong time in pregnancy could cause fetal alcohol syndrom, which is nasty in the extreme. This is nothing new.

HOWEVER...not to drink during your entire childbearing years is a bit (ok, a LOT) much. Quit drinking from the time you go off of birth control until your child is born is far, far more reasonable.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.