We tell our sons that if they are drunk, they should not drive or get into a car with anyone who has been drinking. This is good information. But in the name of Thomas Hecht, whose body was found in the Milwaukee River yesterday, we need to add more to this. We need to tell them not to go anywhere near water when they are drunk and teach them to get their buddies home safely.
The fact that so many males die in rivers every year after a day or night of partying is painfully perplexing. I myself do not understand how exactly this happens. Are they blacked out and delusional? Are they attempting to pee and fall in? Are they being tossed in? It just doesn't make sense to me. It can't possibly be that swimming at that moment sounds like a good idea. But out of all the ways young men could die after drinking, why / how do so many wind up drowning?
I don't think we will ever know the answer to this.
Our society is pretty good about getting girls home – girls know to travel in groups at night and friends usually wait to make sure a female gets into her apartment unharmed – but a lot of guys don't really look out for guys the same way.
This needs to change. The belief that's it's OK, even responsible, for a drunk man to walk home alone instead of drive home should no longer be socially acceptable. It's not enough.
Parents, tell your sons at the age-appropriate time that friends make sure all friends make it home. And guys, make sure your friends get home safely by driving them home (if you're sober, of course) or walking with them. Do it starting this weekend.
There is no guaranteed way to avoid danger, of course, but there's truth to the age-old belief that safety is more likely in numbers.
We women do look out for each other like that, and you're right - men should too, regardless of whether they've been drinking or not. Do men tell a friend where they'll be when they're meeting someone for a first date with someone they met on the internet? I don't know any women who wouldn't. If I am out at night alone waiting for a bus or walking somewhere alone (drunk or sober) I text a friend to let them know my ETA and route plan just in case something happens, and later confirm that I've made it home. Before reading this, it never would have occurred to me that boys weren't being told how to be careful about these things, but I do see that they would be less likely than girls to put a safety plan in place. We all need to look out for ourselves, and for each other. Good point!
J. Sherman | March 23, 2012 at 1:45 p.m. (report)
Great post, Molly. Tough to legislate what people will do, but the community needs to have a conversation around the structure and implementation of pub crawls. Not a ban, but asking bar owners and pub crawl organizers "does our drinking culture lead to more problems when packaged in a pub crawl?" I love pub crawls but parents, mentors, friends need to talk to one another about the the consequences of getting crap faced drunk. We've all been there, but that doesn't lessen our responsibility.
Another GREAT article, Molly, on a subject that has been way too long in coming. Ignore 0708 - he is just blowing hot air. My condolences to Mr. Hecht's family and friends. I did not know him personally but he sure had a lot of true friends and family behind him. RIP Tom Hecht. You are certainly missed by many. xoxo
@mkeisfun - I agree. There may be something more sinister happening and law enforcement should not be so quick to poo poo things and label all these instances "accidental". I read the article and all of this is so similar.
My thoughts and prayers go out to this family and his friends. Whatever the reason may be that this happen it is still a tragedy. Do you really think hurtful comments are going to get you anywhere in life?!? Some people need to grow up and think before they speak! 0708 especially!
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