Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve

Why Women Consume More Alcohol: Resisting and Overcoming Publication date : May 25, 2010

Alcohol dependence has become increasingly common among women in France — particularly among university graduates with highly responsible jobs.

Alcohol has made many victims among “hyper-women” — women with exaggerated stereotypically “female” characteristics. These women tend to be emotionally dependent, hypersensitive, self-sacrificing; they have poor self-esteem and lack recognition. Such hyper-women suffer from constantly having to face society's contradictory messages regarding female identity: high job performance and wide availability must be reconciled with the tenets of “femininity” and of being a good mother. Unable to cope, some women suffer breakdowns.

This book aims to help them, by:

• inciting them to de-dramatise: they are suffering from an illness that can be treated. Talking about it is the beginning of the healing process;

• providing the tools to overcome their problems, so as not to suffer a new breakdown;

• enabling them to stop feeling shame and guilt; teaching them to like themselves, so as to develop self-confidence; showing them how to maintain a critical eye on social contradictions, so as not to fall into society's traps.

The author, the greatest specialist is her field, is known for her strongly committed positions. Her therapeutic, intelligent book, written with empathy, will provide salvation, strength and hope for many women.

Is female alcoholism the backlash of a false form of women's emancipation? More generally, this book alerts us to the urgency of dealing with the question of the psychological health of working women in the twenty-first century. Besides providing psychological advice on the personal level, the author also proposes social solutions that have been tried successfully in other countries.

Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve is a physician and psychiatrist, with a consultancy in alcohol-related problems at Hôpital Sainte-Anne, in Paris. She is also a local councillor for the Paris suburb of Montrouge.