Food & Drink

New Zealand Health Officials Believe Women Can’t Handle Their Alcohol

A dinner fundraiser in Auckland, New Zealand, will be serving alcohol in absurdly small portions after health officials decided female drinkers couldn’t handle their liquor. The Nelson-Marlborough District Health Board and Public Health Service was reportedly dissatisfied with the fundraiser’s proposed 100-milliliter and 75-milliliter drink portions. The agency limited the seven-course dinner to alcoholic beverages served in 50-milliliter portions, which is less than two ounces (less than a half of a typical glass of wine or less than a sixth of a beer), citing drunk driving as a potential issue — specifically where female guests were concerned.

According to Stuff, a New Zealand-based news website, Wellington chef Martin Bosley, who will be preparing food for the event, was outraged by the limitations. He called the restrictions “ridiculous” and asked if the staff would be “syringing [the alcohol] into people’s glasses.”

While it certainly makes sense for fundraisers to limit the amount of alcohol served over the course of an extended tasting menu, such extreme restrictions are nuts, especially for such sexist reasons. Plus — we hate to point out — statistically, the majority of drunk drivers in New Zealand involved in fatal accidents are male. According to a report issued by the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, 85 percent of alcohol/drug-affected drivers involved in fatal crashes from 2011 to 2013 were male. The report further states that alcohol-related car crashes are “largely a male issue.”

So, while a man may be physically capable of ingesting more alcohol — another debatable fact, as I know plenty of women who can drink me under the table — that has nothing to do with a woman’s ability to drink responsibly or her awareness of her limitations before getting behind the wheel.

“It’s ludicrous, and they should be ashamed of themselves,” a local Auckland restaurant owner told Stuff, deeming the 50-milliliter limit a case of “bureaucracy gone berserk.”

Congrats, Auckland health officials, you’ve officially taken the “fun” out of this fundraiser.