Aa female for aa male

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It was a small women's meeting on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I was then living, and what I found entranced me: Attractive, successful, articulate women talking--and laughing! That was 16 years ago. Or I've sort of lost track at this point, but one way or another, AA has kept me sober for a good many years. Since then, I've attended hundreds, maybe thousands, of meetings of all shapes and sizes. I've met homeless people and celebrities--people of diverse races, ages, sexes, and sexual orientations, and pretty much any other demographic box that you'd care to check.

I've written and published two novels, drafted speeches for the dean of Harvard Law School now a U. Supreme Court Justiceand accomplished many other fulfilling and challenging goals. I can't imagine having done these things without first getting sober, and I can't imagine having gotten sober without AA. As of this writing, it ranks on Amazon. As Glaser--a self-proclaimed non-alcoholic who attended "about 10 meetings" in the course of researching her book--portrays it, AA is a cult-like faith-based organization rife with sexism, a hotbed of misogyny that serves as a veritable playground for dangerous and sometimes violent sexual predators.

In the rooms of Glaser's AA, it is "common" for vulnerable women to be preyed upon by men "who are purporting to help them heal.

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Having set this sinister stage, Glaser urges women struggling with alcohol to seek out alternatives--to explore what she, with no small bias, calls "Twenty-First-Century Treatment. Glaser helpfully notes that this is "a bargain by the standards of private rehab, never mind that most alcoholics can likely afford neitherbook a plane flight, and reserve a room "at a luxurious inn near the ocean" where you'll stay during your five full-day sessions.

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At least that was how things unfolded for "Joanna," Glaser's sole example of a woman embarked on this regime, whose treatment story occupies a good part of a chapter. Think this could be hard to pull off for anyone besides the wealthy? Not to worry, Glaser has a plan--albeit one that seems unlikely to materialize in the foreseeable future.

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In the meantime, there are millions of women and men --many un- or under-insured--suffering, who need help. AA is free--and it is everywhere. In fairness, I share more than a little of Glaser's frustration with AA's failure to move with the times in its treatment of women, as well as with some of the religious framing that so antagonizes her and, as she observes, the two are often related.

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For me, this has centered on out-of-date AA literature, including the seminal text known as "the Big Book," in which women appear primarily as the beleaguered helpmeets of alcoholic husbands, and not the alcoholics themselves. Well into the 21st century, there continues to be a Big Book chapter addressed "To Wives," replete with exhortations of patience and compassion.

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The book's pervasive focus on male alcoholics, a vestige of the era when AA was founded, even led one anonymous AA member to pen a "contemporary translation" that dispenses with many masculine pronouns and otherwise attempts to make the Big Book more inclusive. They are forced to rewrite it mentally in order to include themselves," writes "J" in the introduction to A Simple Programpublished by Hyperion in Similarly, where the 12 steps include the language "God, as we understand him," I--and a growing of people in meetings I attend not all of them women have taken to reading "God as we understand God.

I'm also wholeheartedly on board with Glaser's claim that there are real and important differences between male and female alcoholics. For one thing, as she writes, women are simply more vulnerable to the physical effects of alcohol, both because of their higher percentage of body fat and lower percentage of alcohol-absorbing water and because their bodies contain less of a key enzyme that breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream.

Beyond these physical realities, women often arrive in recovery awash in feelings of hopelessness and shame stemming from sexual abuse and other forms of victimization, an issue explored at length in psychologist Charlotte Davis Kasl's ground-breaking Many Aa female for aa male, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Stepspublished by HarperCollins in While the professional men who founded AA devised the 12 steps with an eye to reigning in egotistical selfishness and resentment, for female alcoholics, the challenge is often just the opposite one.

But it's one thing to say that men and women alcoholics are different. It's quite another to make the global claim, as Glaser does, that AA "is particularly ill-suited to women. I got sober when I did only because I was fortunate enough to happen upon the late Caroline Knapp's life-changing AA memoir Drinking: A Love Storya New York Times bestseller responsible for getting untold s of women to stop drinking.

She was smart! She was confused! She was just like us. I hate to think how different my life might be had I stumbled on a book with a message like Glaser's instead of Knapp's.

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And I worry for all the problem drinkers out there who may now be in this position. I have only the haziest ideas of how AA goes about revising literature or making other changes--just enough to know that the grassroots process moves with glacial speed--and no reason to think that changes I'd like to see will happen anytime soon. What keeps me in the AA rooms despite this is, first and always, the people--a community whose impact is hard to grasp unless you are part of it which the self-proclaimed non-alcoholic Glaser most definitely is not.

At the end of Drinking a Love Storythe one-year-sober Knapp looks out at a sea of faces in a meeting she's attending, filled with a mix of emotions--admiration, affection, appreciation, along with a bit of sadness for all the pain endured.

It's called love," she writes. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword. In Subscribe. Taylor Lorenz.

Aa female for aa male

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