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Sisters, We Should Smoke More Pot

The Stranger’s article on the dearth of female stoners (via Gawker, via Feministing) is so right on — not about pot, but about the relationship between women and work: Perhaps the obstacle to female toking is a fear of looking … Read More

By / August 21, 2007

The Stranger’s article on the dearth of female stoners (via Gawker, via Feministing) is so right on — not about pot, but about the relationship between women and work:

Perhaps the obstacle to female toking is a fear of looking lazy. Getting stoned is, in effect, a great way to relax. Men are allowed to be lazy—being stoned is part of their farting, pajama-wearing, video-game-playing pantheon of acceptable male relaxation techniques. Since Jeff Spicoli made his debut in 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and continuing into the entire oeuvre of director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), stonerdom is an accepted part of modern maleness. Their sloth is even kind of adorable. But modern women are not allowed to be lazy, adorable stoners. Women have to go to college (which they're now doing at higher rates than men), and then get their careers going quickly, before their biological clocks run out. Then they have to have kids and take them to all of their activities. There is no time for women to be slovenly and relax—and if women do relax, it has to be at a gym.

Dude, that’s not about the fear of looking lazy—that’s about the fear of being lazy. And laziness is a grand American tradition, one to which my gender should really be demanding access. We happen to live in a moment when female laziness is genuinely subversive. The conservative side of the cultural spectrum expects us to work tirelessly—and without pay—to maintain our households. The progressive side expects us to work equally hard to break the glass ceiling. Meanwhile, the ostensibly-apolitical forces of pop culture want us to weigh 93 pounds and wear full-on makeup whenever we leave the house, both of which require a hell of a lot of effort if you’re not attached at the hip to Rachel Zoe. At this point, there’s nothing more radical than a woman who doesn’t clean, doesn’t strive, and doesn’t work out. I’m being a bit provocative, obviously, but I’m also not entirely joking. Think for a moment about why people are lazy: because it’s pleasurable. Because lying around in front of a funny movie eating popcorn is more voluptuously enjoyable than either scrubbing the bathroom floor or sitting in a cubical or doing 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer. And female sensual pleasure is still a deeply threatening thing.

The Stranger sort of gets into this:

With all this social pressure on women not to be stoners, the gender divide is not surprising. Every aspect of getting stoned is banned from women's psyches—relaxing, eating, and feeling pleasure. It's reminiscent of old-school ideas about female sexuality—orgasms aren't ladylike so why would women want to have them?

How depressing is that final sentence? It's nice that we live in a society where female sexualty is (semi) accepted, but have we really swapped the old taboos against having orgasms with new taboos against, like, sitting down and having a nice meal? As if women are only entitled to pleasure if it's sexual? If so, maybe we do need a movement of feminist slackerdom. If you're with me, let's all get seven-layer burritos and go watch Daria DVDs. Take that, patriarchy!

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