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Fallen Woman Rise Up and Become Angels With Dirty Faces

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MARTY MANN AND THE EARLY WOMEN OF AA

A tremendous change has taken place over the past few generations in the way alcoholics are viewed in our society. Although it is undeniable that some level of unawareness and misunderstanding remains, substantial improvements have been effected since the 1930s. We have cause to be grateful.

The once virtually universal stigma that besieged alcoholic men was exponentially greater for women. “Nice women” didn’t drink to excess. This made it extremely difficult to admit to a drinking problem in the first place. As our pioneers battled not only for their own sobriety, but for some level of “respectability,” their reluctance to associate themselves with “beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners, queers (sic), plain crackpots, and fallen women,” (12 & 12, p. 140), can be looked on with some degree of sympathy.

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