a bird and a bottle

Well it’s about damn time.
November 12, 2006, 3:38 pm
Filed under: basics

(Chart by the Guerilla Girls)

Well hello there.

So here we are.

There’s no shortage of blogs out there. No shortage of feminist blogs. Politics blogs, either. I should know – I read them compulsively. And comment sporadically. But there is still more to add to the debate. That’s the beauty of the blogosphere, right? An unlimited supply of opinions and perspectives. So here is mine.

Who am I?

I am a born and bred New Yorker, now a law student at a city school. I am a foodie, a news junkie, a Mac user. I am a progressive, not a liberal. As of 11/8/06, I am part of the majority. I am hopeful that this Congress can get me over the disgust I have felt for American politics over the last, say, six years.

I am also going to remain anonymous. At least for now.

What am I not?

Sure exactly what it means to be a feminist, a foodie, a news junkie, or in the majority.

Why “A Bird and a Bottle”?
Because the phrase combines two of my favorite things: food and feminism. And because it is taking a page out of Virginia Woolf’s great meditation on women and power, A Room of One’s Own. She writes:

“If only Mrs. Seton and her mother and her mother before her had learnt the great art of making money and had left their money, like their fathers and their grandfathers before them, to found fellowships and lectureships and prizes and scholarships appropriated to the use of their own sex, we might have dined very tolerably up here alone off a bird and a bottle of wine; we might have looked forward without undue confidence to a pleasant and hono[u]rable lifetime spent in the shelter of one of the liberally endowed professions. We might have been exploring or writing; mooning about the venerable places on the earth; sitting contemplative on the steps of the Parthenon, or going at ten to an office and coming home comfortably at half-past four to write a little poetry.”

As I said, two of the things that I think about most: food (and drink) and feminism. Woolf’s feminism was a very different animal than the feminism I espouse today. It is a feminism that focuses on women of Woolf’s race and class. Woolf seeks to move from one privileged world to another, as this quote, though powerful, demonstrates. But her focus in A Room of One’s Own on the economic disadvantages that women face is, I think, a good jumping off point. It’s the beginning of the discussion, but certainly not the end. Women’s secondary status – which I believe continues in many ways today – stems no doubt from economic subjugation (e.g. the fact that women were not allowed to own property until relatively recently, and were kept out of industries and professions by protectionist legislation). But what does that mean for women – and men – today? How does this play out in the lives of women across, for example, political, socio-economic, racial, and educational spectra?

In truth, I will sometimes (read: often) stray into more generalist territory. I might talk about the weather, about a film I saw or a book I read. I might talk about current events or legal questions having little to do with feminism. I will write at length about criminal justice, which sometimes does touch on issues of concern to some feminists, but is not usually associated with feminism.

What will this blog be about?
Though I’m told that nobody cares what I eat for lunch, this blog will be mostly about food, feminism, and politics. (I tried to think of a synonym for politics that starts with “f” since I just love that alliteration, but there isn’t a good one.)

Food: Most of the time, entries about food will focus on food that is prepared by other people and consumed by me. At least for now. It’s not that I don’t like to cook – I do – it’s just that I am (a) not that good at it and (b) lacking the time to get good at it. So for now, I will tell you about my cooking misadventures and my dining adventures, and we’ll go from there.

It might seem strange that a feminist blog could share a home with a food blog, particularly when for so long women’s cooking skills were a product of their/our relegation to house work. But that’s not necessarily so anymore (at least not all the time), and being that I was raised in a home where home cooked food was an endangered species, I think cooking holds some sort of romance for me.

Feminism: for me, this is the trickier part of the blog to write. The feminist blogosphere is perpetually filled with debates about what it means to be a feminist, about whether one can be a feminist and also be feminine, and about whether “choice” feminism (Linda Hirshman’s term) is true feminism. These are all interesting topics, no doubt, and debates that will continue to rage so long as feminism exists. But that’s not what I want to focus on here. I, like many young women who write for blogs that are at least nominally or marginally feminist, understand feminism to embrace a whole host of issues and concerns not traditionally associated with feminism. I think a feminist ideology includes a concern for social justice generally.

Sure, this is big talk. And I would be foolish to think that this blog will directly lead to a more just society. But, hey, it’s an open discussion, and that’s first step, right?

So, welcome. I hope you’ll stick around a while and come back from time to time. I hope you’ll comment thoughtfully and frequently. This should be a forum for discussion, not a soapbox on which I alone stand.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Wow. Good luck with the new blog. And, more people care what you ate for lunch than you think…

Comment by Veronica

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