‘A Growing Vice’: The Truth about Brisbane Girls and Drunkenness in the Early Twentieth Century

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Piper, Alana
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2010
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This article discusses the escalating concern about female drunkenness in early-twentieth century Brisbane. It argues that the tabloid Truth in particular created an image of the problem drinker as a teenage girl. In the process, the Truth constructed these adolescent girls or young women as if they were devoid of any personal responsibility for their drinking. It transferred the blame for this onto traditional adversaries of prevailing social values: the illicit lover, knowing woman and racial other. This denial of female agency negated the challenge that girls' drinking might otherwise have posed to the gender order by reinforcing belief in girls' presumed passivity. It also disguised the fact that young women were willingly deciding to drink as part of their membership in subcultures in which social drinking played a significant role.

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Journal of Australian Studies

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34

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4

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Australian history

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