Traditional Femme

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What Are Early 20s Really For?

When one thinks of their 20s they think of academia, entry level jobs, and drinks with friends. 

Well....the more I talk to people and the more I read articles on the net the more I realize my life is so very different from everybody else. I mean screw if people are hanging out without me. My life is so weird, and I am beginning to fear that it makes my relating to others my own age a bit off. 
I know I have told you guys my story with Jason before, but in short my story of adulthood thus far goes like this: I go to college August 2005, and begin working my first job. I meet Jason, and we go on four dates; by date four we are a couple. November 2008 Jason broke up with me, and on News Years Eve 2008 we kiss at midnight; relationship back on. August 2009 we close on our house, and begin our partying lifestyle, which ends around Spring 2011. Through all of this I have been a student who was seen as a leader on campus (sitting on many boards, some departmental, others campus wide), and held down various jobs. When I was not living with my mother I was living in my home with J. 

Do you see the weirdness of this tale? 

Now, I must admit, here in Indy my story is a glorious one, because most girls would love to marry early/mid-20s. Hooking up is pretty looked down upon, and you know...it’s the Midwest (shrugs right shoulder). The weirdness comes in after reading a few articles in the New York Times online (here and here) and Slate (here).  Read them then come back to me! Back? Ok! WOW right! Who knew Harvard gave away free birth control. Indiana University would never do that...though they probably should! Uni of Penn is a rapers paradise right! The Slate article was like seeing my relationship with J written out so I only have praise for it...so we will move on. 

Now the long article on Penn made me want to vomit with Mrs. Patton’s urging gals to obtain their Mrs. Degree (like seriously I almost cried), but the article did mention a great point when mentioning that guys do not respect, and therefore do not try when “hooking up” (I hate that term by the way....it just sounds slutty). I am sure many more raping happen, and unreported, which is tragic, but yet I hear my mother in my head “If you want to protect against rape don’t get wasted.” I mean I understand more then most just how horrible rape is, and yet these women say they have to get drunk just to fuck a guy. WHAT? If you have to get trashed to be able to sleep with a guy then what exactly are you sleeping with him for. Spend the night with B.O.B.  

Reading that article it seemed as if rape was not that big of a deal to the women of Penn. I feel that if it were they would be more mindful of their behavior, and surroundings. Also, if you are sobering up by the time you are back in the guys room, and do not want to have sexy just leave. I know some of you would be like well she has to give him something to leave the room safe. Well, maybe, but maybe not. Most of those guys are raping and betting on the girl being wasted or black out drunk. If he knows you are fully aware he is probably less likely to use force. Also, if you are more sober then him you can probably out think him. But, as my mother would say...Just do not put yourself in this situation in the first place. 

Okay honestly, we are all friends here (right?), I am all for a girl having sex with who she wants to when she wants to. Guys are sluts, and they are sluts with slutty girls. That may sound like I’m contradicting myself, but I swear I am not. I may see it as your right to sleep with the whole city/campus/whatever, but that by no means equals respect for the act of whoring. I hope you are all getting tested, and paid. 

The women of these articles however, seemed very very intelligent, and did not want relationships for very smart reasons. I bow down to them for that, because as one gal who wanted a relationship noticed she graduated in May, and then what? She is smart enough to stay away from the issues I am having, and though the author of the Slate article mentions there is a strength in growing together, but it is a burden. Now are we moving for one of our jobs, or school, or whatever. It is so much easier to worry about the self as opposed to WE and US. Ugh! So annoying. I really could have used that selfishness, and freedom that these gals have. 

I will admit, however, I do feel a slight jealously for the freedom these gals have. I often regret not attending NYU as a 18 year old with the world at my feet.  I regret not living in a dorm, and getting drunk with friends, and dancing, and whatever...living. Making mistakes, learning for other’s actions, and junk. You know what I mean. I never had that. I met Jason too early in life. I jumped into my 30s by mistake, and now there is no going back. I would not sleep around, because I could have done that in high school, and chose not to. No, I would have been completely respectable. But, I would have had a far better time then anytime I have had here in Indy, with Jason, and my friends (who all want marriage, and kids, and desperately think my life is AMAZING

Monday, February 29, 2016

Androgyny

As I dressed for my friends cocktail party I shook my head thinking "If young Tyne could only see me now. How ashamed she'd be. “ To young Tyne coolness was in casting off as much femininity and feminization as possible. 


A lifelong feminist I have to admit I sought stability, power and to be taken seriously which meant outdoing boys in every possible arena: climbing trees, running, baseball, you name it and I could beat all the boys at it. This is a trait I've learned I inherited from my mother. I saw no value in femininity. 

As far as I was concerned all that was a ploy by men to make women fold into the paper dolls they want us all to be. What men want and how exactly they want a woman's hair, clothes, nails, perfume...I was sure it was all controlled by this supreme yet semi-elusive “the men". 

This all leaves me in a predicament today...with a husband who desires me to dress more feminine and friends who seem to share his views I am left confused and outside most ways of life. I am simply not comfortable in feminine clothing. I feel restricted at best and a fool at worst as if everyone can tell I'm putting on an act. For gender is a performance and I do not perform my gender well. 

So where does this leave me? To continue on and be mocked by not only strangers but by those closest to me? Or do I conform and fake loving the "girly" dresses and shoes and skirts and colors. Do I submit to societies views on what a woman should be? Or do I continue on?

Friday, February 26, 2016

​ What is beauty?

Beauty, like most American’s my views on exactly what this word means varies, likewise, so does how I recognize it over time. You guys know the story of how media and hundreds of years programming our views on beauty emerges with this single version of a curvy or stick thin white woman. We look to Marilyn Monroe, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez and are told they are perfect, we are ugly and we need to look as close to them as possible. 

How sad is that? Well, as a black woman in America, it is pretty damn sad. I cannot look like Sienna Miller. Genetically I just cannot. I also cannot find peace within my own ethnic community because we do not all have the perfect blend of white and black features such as Halle Berry, Beyonce and Tyra Banks. Some of us (and all women in-general) have their own unique look and I don’t think that is a bad thing per se. 

I bring up questioning exactly what beauty is because growing up for years and years I became rather obsessed with Alek (the African model) for various reasons. See, here in America, when I was young, most female images I saw were darker then me, yet degrees lighter then Alec. She was one of the darkest faces I had see in the media, and she was everywhere! I would look at her and ask myself “Is she pretty? I don’t think so.” 

That attitude changed with the years of seeing her face. I began to fall in love with her smooth skin, the illumination of her smile and her head shape accentuated by her closely chopped hair. I began to reevaluate what I thought beauty was. I began to question the entire system and media culture. Alek does not have a “black girl body” per se. Not as American culture tells us to identify one (example on how to spot a black woman: long weave and a big ass). Alek, for me in my formidable years, was a game changer. Just by being famous she taught me so much.

Now I am not saying I do not find Jessica White beautiful. Actually, I find her very lovely, however, I no longer look at women for what American culture and the world tells me to focus on. I look at the type of women they are instead of the price tag on their flesh and false promises of beauty.
 
False promise of beauty? Like what? Well, I don’t care how long your hair is. I care if it is healthy. I do not care how white your teeth are. Are your teeth healthy? Your body, is it naturally thin like that or do you obsess over your eating and workouts or are you just plain anorexic?  There are very clear messages being sent there. That who you really are do not matter. Only the external. Only the easiest means for us to judge each other without having to scarify our own obsession with ourselves. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

​ Am I a Millennial?

I am the girl who was raised in a long line of strong women to be a free thinker. My name, Tyne, is an Anglo word for River. I read This Is Water by David Foster Wallace to remember to be compassionate to others. I am generally a really sarcastic gal who you will either find hilarious or very mean (hey, it’s not my fault you did not understand the joke). I don’t feel like I fit in the Generation-Y, Millennial, or as Tom Brokaw calls us: the Wary Generation, but I am! 

I am a very left leaning Instagram-a-holic with phantom pocket syndrome. I hate reality television, and most music on the radio. I am the girl who wishes I had been my age in the 1990s. I grew up watching ThunderCats, and Beast Wars, and Doug. Remember Hey Dude? I do! Remember The Babysitters Club movie? It was my obsession! 

I recently read the Time Magazine article “The New Great Generation: Why Millennials Will Save Us All!” [1]. I felt he got a lot right, but mostly I feel Joel generalized to a painful degree. I feel that he simply does not understand that Instagram or Twitter is a great way to meet people from all over the world without spending a dime! I feel what he reads as selfishness and narcissistic behavior is actually just a new way of thinking that Joel was just not understanding. Through most of the article I felt as if he was not speaking about me, and yet there I was, minus reality television naturally. 

The is article had a few brilliant pieces such as: 

“They are the most threatening and exciting generation since the baby boomers brought about social revolution, not because they’re trying to take over the Establishment but because they’re growing up without one.”
“The information revolution has further empowered individuals by handing them the technology to compete against huge organizations: hackers vs. Corporations, bloggers vs. Newspapers, YouTube directors vs. Studios, app-makers vs. Entire industries.”
“Millennials don’t need us. That’s why we’re scared of them
“...Millennials are the children of baby boomers, who are known as the Me Generations, who then produced the Me Me Me Generation,...”
“Peer pressure is anti-intellectual. It is anti-historical. It is anti-eloquence,...”
“What they do understand is how to turn themselves into brands,...”
“Because millennials don’t respect authority, they also don’t resent it.”
Here’s something even all the psychologists who fret over their narcissism studies agree about: millennials are nice.”
I think in many ways you’re blaming millennials for the technology that happens to exist right now.”

If I took anything away from this article is that my generation, which spans 1980s-2000s, a wide grouping like this is insane to me...I mean as a historian a lot happened culturally then, but whatever I guess. I mean Time Magazine tossed that to the wind so I guess I can to...for now. But, anyway, my generation is selfish, yet nice, narcissistic, yet caring, we challenge convention and find new and better ways of doing things, but we live at home with parents. We sounded like drugged idiots right? I mean how are we walking contradictions and oxymorons? We are either one or the other, right? This is the danger of Joel Stein’s overzealous generalization, because we then fall into almost every category, which near the end of the article he says how most of our behaviors are not new and have been around for ages. How we expect a great deal, but we know about America (and the worlds) great abundance. 

So are we foolish, lazy, over educated losers or are we something new? Not even Joel Stein could answer that question. I still remain firm that he was not talking about me. I was raised the same as my Generation-X siblings. I had their toys and watched television with them. I shopped and learned from people 11, 9, and 7 years older then me. Not to mention my grandmother practically raised me. My grandmother born in 1923! I grew up very aware of grunge and Lilith fair. I bought my home with my man at 22 years of age and I hate reality television (I can not stress that enough. What ever happened to shows like Friends and Family Matters?). I feel so much of myself was not represented in this article, which saddens me, but one can only ask so much out of six page article that was mostly photos, and diagrams, but somehow landed the cover. 



[1] Written by Joel Stein published in the May 20th, 2013 (volume 181, number 19 for anyone who cares)

Monday, February 22, 2016

​ Our sexist feminist husbands

Okay so my husband's a feminist. Your husband is a feminist. But guess what? Deep down if you really pay attention...their still sexist bastards. Oh they say their all for equality in the work place and would never dream of cat-calling but you better believe they will 100% treat their daughters differently than they treat their sons. 

And, hey look, our husbands aren’t bad guys, but they have been conditioned just like we have by a misogynistic patriarchal society as we have. 

For instance my husband was baffled by Aziz Ansari standup at Madison Square Garden. Aziz told a story about having to pretend to be a stranger's boyfriend so a guy would leave her alone. He told another story where a woman was being followed by a man. She couldn't lose him so she buzzed and was allowed entrance into a pet store. She begged the clerk not to allow the man behind inside and explained he had been following her. She remained in the store for 45 minutes upon which the man finally gave up and left. My husband and Aziz were both outraged. That's 45 minutes of someone's life. That's scary behavior and when my husband turned to me and asked if it is really like that I look at him eyes wide and literally had to shake my hand and answer yes. I realized two things in that moment: 

My husband doesn’t know what it is like in the world for a woman no matter the articles I tell him about and stories I mention. 

Nothing means anything if it is not said by a man to a man. For all my talk this "problem" did not sink in until another man told the story. A story about a woman doesn't matter unless it is told by a man. Let that sink in. 

It is very much like the fake boyfriend reference above. A man does not care if a woman is uninterested in him. How dare she? She deserves to be talked about crudely. She deserves to have her sexuality challenged and harassed because she doesn't want you. She deserves to be disrespected. But a man lay claim on a woman...then it is all good. The men hold an unspoken understanding and due to her "ownership" being clearly defined the man cease to engage and moves on. Literally WHAT THE FUCK? 

This all seems so normal that men do not see the problem. It is part of their privilege as men. And if they are white like my husband then you've got white male privilege and seriously it becomes even more of an uphill battle. Unless you watch an Aziz Ansari standup and he lays it out.
It is literally like a white person having to describe to another white person the horrors of slavery. That is a black story and yet many do not hear if the teller does not have something in common with the listener. 

And that is fucked up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Flying

If I had to explain running in one word it would be flying. Or flight or simply to fly (guess that’s more than one word) or freedom. Ones mind, especially one who suffers from depression who’s mind can be a terrifying place filled with hatred and malice, but when I run I am synced. My mind no longer wages between self destruction and philosophical thought my mind and body are in harmony. I tell myself that I can do something instead of the reverse. I can feel my feet hit the street and I breathe: inhale-exhale at a steadying rate, and my pains are real but my mind tells me not to stop, but to check in at the next stop sign and see how I feel. The next stop sign or the next street and then the next. When I run I am at my most loved, because it is self love and is radical and powerful. But it hasn’t always been this way.

On Monday, March 23, 2015, I laced up my new running shoes (which are hideous by the way), donned my new running leggings, IU tee from college, a hoodie and gloves (March in Indy is still freezing) and ponytailed my hair. Off I set earbuds blasting almost matching my heart. It was my first run in years and it did not last long; I barely made it around the block. To be completely honest with you I thought I was dying. I did not die of course but after that I have taken allergies meds as needed and I quit smoking for over three months.

It is actually funny how badly I want(ed) to run to make so many life changes as I have and to crave out the time. My friend Julia Goodman, who’s been running for years, asked (or harassed me constantly...you know whichever) about running with her. She kept telling me to run with her and she would not be annoyed by my lack of endurance or whatever my excuses were. I kept responding I run alone and always had even in high school. I was a lone runner who ran to appease my deranged mind. She understood but that did not dissuade her...she refused to relent. Oh no she redoubled her efforts and got my husband to gang up on me. God bless both of them for that. That has changed my life, and I don’t mean losing weight, though I have or my physical, and mental health, which I am sure it has. It has given me this syncing ability that nothing, and I mean not yoga nor meditation has even given me. I am now out proving to myself and others that women run, that black women run, and that I, Tyne S. Swedish run. Back in Thursday, September 3, 2015, I had my first race. It was a 5K and it sucked due to the extremely insane heat, but damn it I count that as an accomplishment, and I am proud of it. No one in my family has ever ran a 5K before.

Now since it is heading into what is supposed to be the cold season here in Indy there really aren’t any races to train for and I wanted to keep up on my training so Julia and I are making up our own mini-races to keep us (mostly me) running all late fall and winter long. I am so excited for this because one running during the summer sucked and I imagine running during the winter would be drastically more enjoyable. Two I cannot run without a goal in mind. When I do not have an impending race I am lazy with my running. I don’t run frequently nor do I push myself. I run a mile then head home. I know I am lazy hence Julia created these mini-races for me to train towards and run. Our first is a 3 miler on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Today I am going to run 3 miles at Eagle Creek Park. Like the postmen and women nothing not rain, snow or crazy dogs will stop me from getting out on that street in my hideous shoes and syncing up.

{Thanks for reading along. I know this post isn’t filled with feminist rage but it was important to me. If you liked it there will be more as I document running for me and hopefully other women will share their stories on running. To read about my awesome friend Julia and her experiences while running click HERE}

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An attempt at being honest

Fuck.
Where to begin?
Well I don’t want to start at the beginning...not just yet.
I’ll start a bit more current....

My last Instagram bio read “Féministe♀, les Fauves, Bohémien, Sauvage”. These words confuse people which humors me. So Féministe means feminist. Easy, right? Les Fauves is from an artistic movement known as Fauvism and the les Fauves were the artist (such as Henry Matisse) which translates to the wild beast. This movement became a huge deal for me in my high school advanced art classes...courses really. I loved the blatant disregard for convention. Matisse painted a red room and it is titled the red room. I often did this with my artwork...make things colored they would never actually appear in real life. Bohémien...is bohemian or boho...which loosely translates to someone from Czech Republic or, and I cannot stress the importance of that or, a nonconformist. The definition actually states, "a person who has informal and unconventional social habits, especially an artist or writer."  This one word is the most slung at who I am both mentally and satoricaly. Well that and intimidating. People find me very intimidating. I am not sure why exactly...I do not tolerate stupidity and mendacity. I could say so much about this actually...I think people just don't like to face their bullshit and I refuse to put up with it. So I don't. I just scare people. Let's leave it at that. I'm intense. I ask why. Ugh...I'm odd. Okay? Lastly Sauvage which means untamed. My name Tyne is an old Anglican word River. I was born and named something provoking a free spirit and untam-ability. I mean look at the wonder and power of water.

I could also talk about all the amazing people but more so the amazing women I have drawn to myself this year. My only real New Years resolution was to be my authentic self and not to apologize about who that person is. Who I am. Amazingly enough as to my own self I've been true I have attracted these amazing women to myself. These strong brilliant talented beautiful women and it blows my mind that they actually want to spend time with me. I don't understand it but I'll be damned if I am going to turn them away. It's wakened this power within myself for my writing and that being me is okay. Better than okay because I have friends like I've never really had before. The once hard to bond with woman I was holding everyone at arms length now embraces people especially my fellow women in a way I’ve never experienced. I mean even the outrageous group texts are fantastic and overflowing with sarcasm, gifs, and love.

J often tells me that the woman I portray is not actually who I am...even if I disagree with him he claims he understands me in a way I don’t. See I enjoy being the bookworm that no one can really pin down. I enjoy that I am a brain and antisocial. I enjoy me time. So while I don’t feel my ‘I could give a flying fuck’ attitude is very ME I do understand how J could see a softer, sensitive, survivor girl that I guess does make up part of who I am as a whole. I also think that being honest with myself and opening myself up for people to really see has just attracted people to me who actually appreciate who I am. Sounds fucking obvious but it has taken me over twenty years to understand this. It could be due to the intense bullying I faced as a child...I’m not sure.

What I am sure about is that I am proud now to be myself. To openly share with people in a non-hostile way that I am a feminist, I am in a biracial marriage, I am sarcastic and very brilliant and hilariously funny. I am like no one else you’ve ever known and I am finally excited about that.

I’m the crazy bohemian who likes what she likes how she likes it........, and that’s okay!
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