A Beginner’s Guide to Drugs For Girls

Tasteless and horrifying–nay, even a sign of the apocalypse–or rather excellent advice for college-bound young ladies?  You decide: Vice Magazine‘s “A Beginner’s Guide to Drugs For Girls.” (A taste: “Here are some pointers for the beginners out there so you can get high without becoming that girl slumped in the corner of the night bus with vomit all over your shoes and lockjaw so bad your teeth have all snapped in half.”)

is a staff writer for The Millions living in Virginia. She is a winner of the Virginia Quarterly's Young Reviewers Contest and has a doctorate from Stanford. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Times, In Character, VQR, Arts & Letters Daily, and The Daily Dish.


  1. I think this is pretty horrible, actually. Especially in light of this; http://jezebel.com/#!5779905/usc-frat-guys-email-explains-women-are-targets-not-actual-people-like-us-men Since when were Vice and Frat guys bed-fellows? I hate when girls write things like this. It’s either bc the girl is looking for acceptance from lame dude co-workers or it’s just written by a pen-named guy. Either way, encouraging girls not to talk about being taken advantage of is downright irresponsible. While VICE self-ascribes itself as ‘cool’ (in reality read: aging), but this is classic 50s sexism. yawn. It read like a true high school horror story. After all, what college guy is squirmish about periods? Oh, and I think it’s pretty suspect that VICE only shows the pretty-decent comments from about a month ago. I smell a sexist conspiracy. good grief.

  2. No, no, no. Bad Vice. This is not hipster irony. You might want to sit down when you read, but this pretty… mainstream…misogyny. Uh. EVERYTHING is wrong with that article. From the blow-jobs, to the advice not to make guys look like rapists, to the really strange ‘assurance’ (?) that it’s ok to wear makeup…that is, if it’s in a dark room, of course. Am I old? Is this what ‘the kids these days’ are thinking? Damn you, Mad Men! I blame Vice for being (uh-oh) 20th century republicans. I mean, come on, they used the word, ‘womb.’

  3. Hello,

    I actually wrote this article for Vice- it has proved pretty divisive.

    I’d just like to clear up this issue about rape; If you read the article properly, without your knee jerking so far into your eyes that you can’t read the words, you will see that I’m not saying rape isn’t serious or that you should keep it to yourself if it happens to you.

    What I AM saying is that there is a massive difference between actually being sexually assaulted and doing something you regret. Unfortunately there does seem to be a modern cultural phenomenon whereby some women use accusations of sexual assault as a weapon or a trump card when they make the mistake of sleeping with someone they wish they hadn’t whilst drunk/on drugs.

    Rape is a serious matter, obviously, and that makes it all the more shocking that some women wish to throw this label on a situation that does not warrant it.

    Aside from that, Vice as you know is renowned for being ‘controversial’. This article is a cultural commentary on what it’s like to be a girl and be part of the causal drug culture in 2011.

    If it shocks or scares you, then that is completely normal. The only people that don’t freak out about what young people get up to are the young people themselves- it’s been that way forever.

    It’s been interesting to read your comments so thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Dear Gina,

    I am flattered to have the authoress of A Beginner’s Guide To Drugs For Girls herself commenting here: Welcome! I’m of the mind that your guide was extremely sound advice for young ladies (wish it’d been around when I was heading off to college) and that it was written in the bluff, self-assured, hard-boiled, tell-it-like-it-is style that’s more often associated with men/the masculine (see “The Gullet Report” at Jezebel, cited by Ty, above) is what made it a piece de resistance to me–that and I also wet myself laughing.

    But I think that your masculine tone/style is also what’s led some readers to cry misogyny, when the ideas you express, to my mind anyway, are actually about as stringently feminist as can be. You’re asking women to take responsibility for their choices. The hardest truth of the drug life is that you can, indeed are more likely to, make bad sex decisions while high–and since you chose to get high, those bad hook ups are your fault. All the regret/horror the morning after is not the same as coercion and if we women want rape to be a meaningful category and one that is taken seriously in our country, by our legal system, we can’t cry rape when what’s happened is really something we’ve consented to while in an altered state we chose for ourselves and actively sought by taking drugs.

    Rape is already too culturally and legally embattled and misunderstood for us to go muddying the waters. When we ask not to be held accountable for our actions and choices because we’re women, we’re turning back the clock on women’s rights.

    Anyhow, thanks so much for writing in. Take care, Emily

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