Give me cornbread when I'm hungry
Corn whiskey when I'm dry
Pretty women swarming all around me
Sweet Heaven when I die
-Dr. Ralph Stanley
The inimitable Ralph Stanley knows the secret – if he's got the bottle of whiskey, the women will be by his side. I'm not about to dispute this living legend.
But I am going to rain on some other parades here. The internet is awash in tributes to and reasons you should go for “the girl who drinks whiskey.”
To wit: After helpfully dispelling the idea that bourbon drinkers “look like Ron Swanson or binge-watch 'Sons of Anarchy,' while simultaneously chain-smoking packs of Marlboro Reds,” the male author of 10 Reasons Why You Should Always Go For The Girl Who Drinks Whiskey tells us that women who like their bourbon are profound thinkers.
“If she’s got a bunch of Jim Beam bottles stacked on top of her fridge, she probably also has a few novels she starts working on after 2 am”
Because she doesn't take out her recycle, or work on her novel in the daylight?
“She’s a little bit badass,” he goes on to tell us. “just because she doesn’t drive a motorcycle or play bass guitar doesn’t mean she can’t have a little wild streak you don’t know about.”
Apparently none of the women he's seen “clutching a bourbon on the rocks” ride motorcycles because that's also just for the fellas?
She's evidently provocative. “There’s just something hot about watching a chick throw back shots of whiskey with a purpose.”
I just have to stop him there. The woman who is savoring her pour of whiskey does have a purpose, and it's not to solicit your attempt at a compliment. Seriously guy, she just. likes. whiskey. (Although if she's downing the “whiskey shooters” you describe, I have to argue whether you can in fact count her among whiskey drinkers; shots are shots are shots no matter the origin of the liquid).
And it's not just the fellows. A female write wrote a flowery ode to those of us who drink whiskey.
Take us for a walk it seems, and we will “find all the best puddles, swing with you at a playground and wish on a whole constellation.”
We like our hair, too, I guess. “She loves playing with her mane, and if you're good, she'll let you run your fingers through it, slowly, over breakfast in bed.” (Quick: explain to my husband you can't do that to naturally curly hair!)
This piece goes on to attribute all sorts of sugar and spice and everything nice to those of us who like our high proof, amber spirits. And I know it means well. The general idea out there is that bourbon has long been for the boys, so of course women who drink it must be daring, and special somehow, and deserve a pat on the head.
The thing is, women who drink whiskey are just women. Who drink whiskey. It doesn't make us – well, anything other than people who appreciate a fine glass of grains that have been transformed into a potent and beautiful spirit. Some of my coolest women friends drink whiskey – and plenty of them don't. Many of the most talented, whiskey-slinging bartenders I see are female. For that matter, women were some of the first distillers, according to Fred Minnick, who wrote Whiskey Women.
Maybe it's because we're in Kentucky, but it doesn't occur to me that it's a thing when someone who's not a man orders a bourbon. (The only thing I take note of is if they call Jack Daniels bourbon – but that's another conversation for another day.) As long as people keep acting like it's something special when a lady chooses the corn whiskey, it will continue to draw comments like the dating expert above (who says a whiskey drinking girl knows how to let her hair down even if her homegirls have to hold it back for her later).
Can we just treat it like it is? Whiskey is good. People of all sorts like good things. End of story.
Now, will somebody please bring me a bourbon?