Sisterhood Blog

L'Chaim: Drunk on the B-Word

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

“OMG, you ARE a bitch! Be-atch! No, no, in a good way. Seriously, I love you. You are the best. Want a glass of wine? I bet you like wine. Bitches love wine!”

This, I suspect, is how marketers imagine women who imbibe speak to one another. Why else would they, as The New York Times reports, name their wines things like Sassy Bitch, Jealous Bitch, Tasty Bitch, Sweet Bitch or Royal Bitch?

The story explains that the wine “bitch” craze began in 2004 when “Dan Philips of the Grateful Palate,” got “the post-feminist ball rolling with a grenache named, simply, Bitch.”

Like a slap across the face, Bitch grabbed the attention of a certain type of consumer, primarily young women en route to a bachelorette or divorce party, or looking for a special way to say, “I love you” on Mother’s Day.

Post-feminist? I don’t think so.

It’s more like pre-feminist — the old virgin/whore dichotomy, but with a twist of Kardashian. Because who drinks? Naughty girls, you know the sassy, jealous, tasty, sweet, royal bitches out there. Bitches who call one another “bitch,” that’s who.

I understand that winemakers want to, as the article explains it, shed “the chateau image and embracing a blue-collar beer aesthetic,” but did they really need to go there? In this attempt to shift from classy to saucy they have fallen into some pretty uninspired clichés about women who like cheapish wine — clichés that rival the beer commercial bros.

There is a time and a place for the word “bitch,” and it isn’t on wine bottles. The phrase was best used in Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s 2008 Hillary Clinton SNL skit that gave us the instant-classic phrase “bitch is the new black.”

In that skit a bitch is a tough woman, someone who can take it, and give it right back. Nuns are bitches, Hillary Clinton is a bitch, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler say they are bitches, too — because bitches get things done. The bitches they refer to are the women who actually threaten the patriarchy by not being afraid to be strong and assertive in the company of men. The “bitches” of Bitch magazine are also tough cookies looking for a strong-armed “feminist response to pop culture.” These are the bitches I’d like to see more of — not those looking for a pink-labeled bottle of Shiraz to bring with them to “girl’s night.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.