LA WEB DE READING COMPREHENSION PREFERIDA POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

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A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO BOOZE

 

BBC Website

What has stimulated
the increase in alcohol
consumption in women?

In Britain, boozing in pubs was traditionally the preserve of men. But increasingly women have been joining them at the bar. What made this happen?

When a woman goes out to the pub, it's no longer to sit quietly sipping a port and lemon. Today they are as likely to be matching the men pint for pint. According to the Office of National Statistics, young professional women drink in the same proportion as men. And of course, with this habit comes a host of health risks. But how did women get to be such big drinkers?

CHANGING LIFESTYLES
The past couple of decades has seen the rise of a class of professionals in their 20s and 30s who typically have high disposable incomes and few responsibilities. The rise of women in paid employment and the corresponding increase in disposable income has fuelled the increase in alcohol consumption. Young women - those without family responsibilities - seem best able to fund the habit.

The tendency towards "extended youth" - people putting off marriage and children - may well have contributed towards the trend of higher consumption of alcohol, among both women and men.


WOMEN-FRIENDLY PUBS
It is only recently that brewers woke up to the potential of the female market.

Old-style pubs, with their dark, smoky environments and translucent windows, were (often intentionally) a turn-off for women. But proprietors reasoned that a few simple adjustments could change all that. And if they could attract females, the men would surely follow.

So pubs and bars have become more "female friendly". Big windows, light woods and a more airy feel allow passers-by to gauge the place before walking in.

Inside are comfortable chairs, extra-long bars to avoid queues and a wide range of drinks including tea and coffee. Location is also important. The bars tend to be situated on main roads, in well-lit areas, within easy reach of public transport.

DESIGNER DRINKS
A pint of ale has never been popular with women drinkers. Hence the rise of so-called "designer drinks" which include pre-mixed spirits such as Smirnoff Ice, V2 and Bacardi Breezer. Brewers have even modified the "hard liquor" image of spirits, with new concepts such as fruit-flavoured vodka. Wine is more widely available than ever before, and low-calorie brands such as Bud Light have been a big success with women.

ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
Women used to be the subject of many alcohol advertising campaigns. Now they are often the target audience. Check out the ads for Bacardi Breezer, which feature a cat dancing on its hind legs with young women, or Baileys in which a woman orders a drink by running her hands over her body or Archers Peach Schnapps, in which a man is outwitted by his girlfriend, who goes for a sneaky night out on the tiles.

ROLE MODELS
It has become the fashion for women to copy pop stars such as Cerys Matthews or wine-swilling thirtysomethings like the fictional Bridget Jones, the media is full of women saying "Why shouldn't we have fun too?".

Source: BBC Website

GLOSSARY

to booze: to consume alcohol (consumir alcohol)
preserve: a domain that seems to be specially reserved for someone (dominio exclusivo)  
no longer: no more (ya no)
sip: drink in sips (sorber)
port: sweet dark-red dessert wine originally from 
Portugal (oporto)
matching: being equal to (igualando)
disposable:
available (disponible)
fuelled:
stimulated (estimulado)
put off: postpone (postergar)
smoky:
full of smoke (llenos de humo)
turn-off: negative situation (giro negativo)
proprietors: owners (los dueños, los propietarios)
passers-by:
pedestrians (los peatones)
queues: lines (filas, colas)
well-lit: well-illuminated (bien iluminadas)

within easy reach: convenient (de fácil acceso, bien ubicado)
hence: therefore (por lo tanto)
so-called: better known as (así denominados, conocidos como)
hind legs: back limbs (patas traseras)
outwitted: beat through cleverness and wit (engañado/a a fuerza de tretas)
sneaky: using caution and secrecy to avoid being observed (a escondidas)
tiles: rectangular slabs covering a roof (tejas)
wine-swilling: heavy drinkers of wine (embriagada/o)
thirtysomethings: the time of life between 30 and 40 (treintañeras)
the media: television, movies, the press (los medios
de comunicación)

READING COMPREHENSION ACTIVITY

TEST YOUR READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS BY ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS BELOW. THEN CHECK HERE YOUR ANSWERS.   

1. What has stimulated the increase in alcohol consumption in England?

2. Why do people usually postpone marriage and children?

3. How did owners adapt their "old pubs" to attract women?

4. Which new "designer drinks" have been successful with women?

5. Who have women thought of as worthy of imitation?

 

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