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Why Indian women are sharing beer selfies

Women across India have been sharing selfies under the hashtag #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer in response to a Goan politician suggesting that its a new and worrying trend Source: Mayuri Bhalerao and Vani Viswanathan via Twitter

Women across India have united under the hashtag #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer in response to comments made by a Goan politician's remarks that "I have begun to fear now because even the girls have started drinking beer."

Women in India took to social media over the weekend posting pictures of themselves posing with beer glasses and bottles.

It was a response to comments made by Goa's Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who had shared his concerns over girls drinking beer.

He was speaking at the first edition of Goa’s State Youth Parliament organized by the Legislature Secretariat in Povorim.

Parrikar says that that the use of drugs is not a new phenomenon, particularly by students. 

An IIT-Mumbai alumnus, Parrikar shared his experiences. He said, "When I went to IIT, there was a small group which was into smoking ganja (Hasheesh).

"So it is not today's phenomenon."

It was the further comments that he added though, that sent social media into a spin.

"I have begun to fear now because even the girls have started drinking beer," said Parrikar. 

"The tolerance limit is being crossed."

The comments from the former defence minister and senior leader in India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sparked plenty of reaction on Twitter and Facebook.

Women banded together under the hashtag #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer to deride Parrikar and shared pictures of their drinks.

Senior journalist Nishtha Gautam posted:

#GirlsWhoDrinkBeer is still trending across Twitter in India.

Columnist Devdutt Pattanaik chose to highlight that it's not a new phenomenon, sharing a picture of 2nd century AD sculpture of women drinking.

Another twitter user Saniyaa Rao wrote, “Dear Mr. Parrikar, I’m happy to be a girl who drinks beer and grins from ear to ear. 🍻 #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer.”



Translated: At an Indian Wedding Party:

Uncle (host) to the girlfriends of his daughter (whose wedding it is) - "What would you like to have?" (Pointing to the bar)

Girls: "One, beer, Uncle."

Uncle (with disdain): "Take a Breezer, instead. Girls drinking beer in open would not look good."

As with most hashtags, the movement quickly attracted it's critics too, with others jumping on the hashtag to preach about addiction and alcoholism. 

Last year in December, Parrikar announced that in Goa, 2018 would be observed as an “anti-drug” and “anti-accident” year.

"Let us consider 2018 as an anti-drug and anti-accident mission for Goa," he had said while addressing the state Legislative Assembly. 

"We will make sure that we will deport those foreigners, who are overstaying in the state."

What offended women the most, according to Sydney-based techie Aditi Upadhyay, is the sexism in the comment. “If alcohol is bad, it is as bad for men as for women."

"Hence, despite agreeing to the fact that one should consume alcohol in a limit, I fail to understand why Mr. Parrikar targeted women only?”

Madhu, who is a teetotaler, asks why Mr. Parrikar is scared of drunk girls? "Mr. Parrikar should get used to seeing women drink alcohol. What is he scared of? No woman has done any harm to him,” says Madhu.

Another Sydney-based professional, Poonam Gaur feels that such comments ridicule women. "If girls should not beer than why should boys do? This is ridiculous."

Author Kiran Manral posted:

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