In the past, it was rare to find young women drinking freely and openly at bars.
Women used to be shy or uncomfortable to be seen drinking in public. Even when they drank, women were generally known to prefer sweetened alcoholic drinks like ciders and wine.
Things have now changed.
Women make the largest portion of customers at bars and night clubs. They have ditched ciders for lagers. More women drink beers normally associated with men.
Gone are the days when the womenfolk used to specifically consume ciders, such as Hunters Gold and Savanna. Nowadays, it is common to find women indulging in beer, such as Castle Light and Windhoek Lager. Not only have women ‘snatched’ beer from the man folk, they now smoke more than men, it seems.
Back in the day, those women who smoked did so in utmost secrecy. They smoked in secluded areas and places, like toilets and dark corners of the bars. That has also changed as more women can be seen puffing without a care of the prying eyes from the public.
For Candy, a twenty-four year old lady who smokes and drinks Windhoek lager, there is absolutely nothing wrong in women doing what used to be regarded as a preserve for men.
“The only thing I regret and am not proud of is smoking,” Candy confides. She says she started smoking while still a senior secondary student.
“It was all out of peer pressure and we thought it was cool to smoke. I’m now addicted and it’s hard to quit,” she says.
As for her drinking beer and not cider, she says cider is just too expensive. She says she used to drink ciders but changed to beer when she realized how difficult it often was to find ciders at shebeens when bars are closed. She also says most of the times when invited to parties, there would be plenty supply of beer and less ciders.
Another lady who drinks lager and smokes cigarettes says she smokes because ‘smoking is sexy’. She says you only need to watch Hollywood stars puffing away in the movies to appreciate the sexiness in smoking.
She adds that she drinks lager because it seems to be the ‘in thing’. It seems products that are made for men are gaining more admiration and acceptance from women as women nowadays even use body perfumes and colognes designed for men.
Nowadays women can be seen driving in big four-wheel-drive vehicles, like the Toyota Land Cruisers, which used to be associated with men. Could this trend be just a sign of women proving equality? Are they showing the world that they are as tough as their male counterparts and can do everything and consume anything that men do?