Bitch in a Box: Gift Guide for Sober Folks

"Bitch in a Box" Illustration

This month, we’re putting together a series of feminist gift guides. They're a way to highlight fun stuff we love and creators we're excited to support.

Being sober isn’t easy—especially when holiday socializing is often organized around getting drunk enough to tolerate the casual racism and homophobia of your family. Of course, the best gift you can give sober friends and family is support. We've wrangled up a list of gifts sure to please everyone from the straight-edge to the newly sober.

Fancy Non-Alcoholic Drink Recipe Book

Photo of pomegranate punch with cranberries.Cover of "Homemade Soda"

Photo by Kim Beaulieu. Book cover via Storey.

You know what’s badass? Coming to a party and being able to enjoy a festive drink that’s not boozy. If you’re throwing a party, be sure to include some mulled cider or fancy soda on your menu. I like whipping up a big bowl of punch. All you need is juice, citrus soda and frozen fruit to garnish and keep it chilled. Mix grapefruit and cranberry juice with plain soda water, then garnish with raspberry sorbet, lemon slices, and frozen raspberries. Easy! Pink! Delicious! Or check out Kim Beaulieu's recipe for Pomegranate Party Punch on her blog.

For the whiz in the kitchen, snag a copy of Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss. Gift it to your sober pals or use its many tricks to make both soda syrups and fermented brews like ginger beer and sarsaparilla. Bottle them in cute glass and give ‘em away.

Punk Sobriety Books and Zines

Cover of "Sober Living for the Revolution"Photo of "Towards a Less Fucked Up World"Cover of "Filling the Void"

Via PM Press, AK Press, and Quimbys.

Sober Living for the Revolution is an anthology for the straight-edge feminist in your life. In addition to contributions from Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye and radical collective Crimethinc., Gabriel Kuhn’s book addresses the political legacy of straight edge culture, including associations that feed into conservatism and macho posturing in the scene. This book collects essays, manifestos, and interviews to paint a picture of a political movement that eschews drug use to foster progressive politics.

Ever described someone with frustrating behavior in your community as “having good politics, but…”? Towards a Less Fucked Up World is a badass zine that takes on the hypocrisy of radical communities where discussion of consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships is abundant in sober spaces but dissolves once folks get drunk. This zine looks at how cis-men access bodies through cultural norms of intoxication and how getting high can support international systems of violence and oppression, such as drug cartels.

One of my favorite zinesters, Cindy Crabb, put out an inspiring zine that addresses the transition into sobriety without religion-based support groups. For many of the folks who contributed to Filling the Void, the decision to stop using drugs or drinking is one that comes with the realization that healthy relationships and substance abuse are mutually exclusive. It's great for friends who are working toward sobriety.


Black and white patch depicting a man with a fresh vasectomy wound.

Images and illustrations via Matt Gauck.

Portland-native and vegan artist Matt Gauck is a straight-edge feminist worth supporting. His shop has patches for the punk-rock folks in your life, including this awesome rape revenge patch. “If you hate it, well, think about it harder, and imagine what the person pictured here did to end up with this unwanted surgery. He deserved it,” he writes. Well said. I also recommend his zine, Next Stop Adventure, for hilarious stories of Gauck’s bike tours.


Hardcore band Replica performs

Oakland hardcore band Replica. From

For the hardcore-lover, records from bands like Rape Revenge (Calgary), Replica (Oakland), and PUNCH (SF) feature strong female vocals and all the blast beats you can handle. Great for exploring the genre beyond 1980’s classics like Chain of Strength, Minor Threat, and Gorilla Biscuits.

Read the rest of our gift guides here


by Jennifer Busby
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