a bird and a bottle


Please note: this page is (always) a work in progress.

a bird and a bottle is a generalist, anti-drug war, feminist, foodie progressive news and politics blog. It is written and otherwise overseen by Bean, a twentysomething law student in New York city. Despite the ambiguous tag (“Bean” is a childhood nickname and has nothing to do with the magical fruit), Bean is, in fact, a woman.

Opinions welcome, but please be polite. And if you’re a troll, I’m not interested. You will get deleted. Real debate is good. Bloviating (by someone other than me) is bad.

Why “a bird and a bottle?”

It’s from the inimitable Virginia Woolf’s book A Room of One’s Own: “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.”

I use this quote as the title of my blog not because it encapsulates everything that I want to say about feminism, but because it is a good point of departure – and a goal to which to return. The quote is in part about levels of privilege within an already privileged class. But it’s more complicated than that. It’s not just that if women had money, the problems of the world would be solved. That’s certainly not what Woolf suggests. Part of this is about a different way of life that questions the social structure and patriarchy of capitalism that doubly subjugates women: as a worker and as a woman. I want to start from Woolf and return to her; to ask questions about how economics and gender intersect. I want to think about why Americans, and particularly American women, do not to live in a society in which workers are paid enough and are respected enough so that they can come home to their bird and their bottle of wine, and to their poetry (or their blogs). Nevermind at half-past four. These are big questions.

Stick around and read some. A bird and a bottle would love to hear what you think.

Want to get in touch? Email abirdandabottle [at] gmail [dot] com.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Bean-thanks for citing my commentary on the Gonzales case. I was going to tell you I am “the other Gloria” but I see someone has already corrected you. I love your VW quote. Just finished writing a book with Kathleen Turner in which both the play and VW quotes figure large.

Comment by Gloria Feldt

Thank you for the comment, Gloria (and apologies for the earlier error!). I look forward to reading the book.

Comment by bean

Hi, I have no post to comment on, but wanted to email you this:
I’m very impressed! Ok, I go now…

Comment by Phoebe Love

Just want to say I enjoyed reading your blog on mental illness and imprisonment. I work for a federal public defender org. and see mentally ill indivduals go to prison everyday. Truly sad considering we have more people imprisoned than India does, and their pop. is triple that of ours.

Comment by Irma Gonzalez

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