Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bad Feminist

"I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I'm not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I am right. I am just trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in the world..." 
                                                                                            ~ ‪Bad Feminist‬ by Roxane Gay (pg. xi)

My name is Tyne Swedish. I was born the youngest of four children in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. My family was a fair size and due to my time of birth everyone was drastically older than me. Picture a crowded Christmas Eve dinner where I am the single child in a house filled with teenagers, college students and adults and poof you have my life. That is until I was nine years old and became the worlds coolest aunt. 

I was raised in a family of tough black women, strong due to years of knowing that strength meant a higher rate of not only self but family preservation. And sexually aggressive in our dominant love of not only romance but of fucking. We are very liberal progressive democrats and vote all blue every election. I have lived a life of not being a man hater, which was made easy by having a substantially higher number of dudes as friends. Simultaneously to trying to not be seen as a man-hater I was also trying to not be perceived as a sapphire and without realizing until college I was also desperately trying to not be the tragic mulatto caricature and be accepted as the black american I had be raised to be which was a club i somehow was often denied access to.  

I attended very academically tough public school (American public/township school not to be confused with English public school which means private and in fact makes zero fucking sense). I attended IUPUI, which is one of America's top four urban research universities and obtained my Bachelors of Arts in both European History and American History with a Political Theory minor (side note: I am currently obtaining my Religious Studies Bachelors of Arts from this same institution). 

My favorite color has always been black which I think scared people until recently when all black is seen as a fashionable uniform worn by New York women. I look at flannel with lustful eyes and consistently shop in H&M's men section while stomping around spouting youthful tomboy well practiced ideological nonsense and disdain for girlie things. I consistently cringe when my husband says I'm very girlie with my Chanel No.5 perfume and make up and large breasts. It makes me feel somewhat better when I explain to him that I view makeup as warpaint to go out and face my enemies from the safety that if found behind that mask of primer, foundation, blush and mascara. He then rolls his eyes and tells me I look lovely and I groan a bit inside because a part of me blooms under the sun of his semi-superficial praise. But that is who I was raised and taught from a young age that a woman does not go outside without her earrings in, makeup on and a light spray of quality perfume. 

It is ingrained in me. That armor to go out and kick ass only after my demarcation of feminine is carefully constructed. I don't go out of the house without makeup on is equal to the fact that I do not wear skirts. I hate skirts and as a child when forced to wear one I balanced it with tennis shoes, which in our rape culture may have actually been pretty smart on my elementary school part. My private ideology on pants verses skirts goes as following: I do not believe a woman choosing to wear pants equates to her portraying a masculine image. I feel the skirt invites men in because the 
vagina is more readily accessible while pants are more difficult and the pussy is completely covered. Now please gals wear what you want. I only asked that you never look my direction and think less of me because I would rather dress in jeans and do my best to copy GQ Instagram men's fashion and female idols of my taste. I would much rather go out with the girls dressed in beautiful men's wear with fabulous lines and structure even if they don't really do my hourglass frame any favors then go out in a dress regardless of if it is long or short, flowy or skin tight. Some of this i know comes from my mothers obsession with only wearing dresses and skirts day after day, but i could not do it and as a baseball playing tree climbing tomboy of my own creation I admittedly refused. That refusal of things feminine however did not stretch to the bedroom. 

I mean, yeah, I love sex with J. I enjoy doggy style, missionary and being on top. I enjoy being choked, spanked, blindfolded, handcuffed, marked and loads of even darken stuff that J remains reluctant to do after nine fucking years of companionship. Sex does not make me less of a feminist and claiming pride in my sexuality does not make me a feminist. What makes me a feminist is that J and I equally enjoy our sex life. Sure, I flirt hardcore with pain and BDSM sex but we enter into that room in our house together. He does not bulldozer over me nor I him. And because I enjoy placing my full trust in J to not control me while be dominates me. It frees me in ways I cannot not explain properly in this post. That's a different post. 

Here's a great quote to go out on! If you haven't heard this Ted talk please listen to it. Also go watch Emma Watson's UN talk for "He for She" which is a project I simultaneously love and hate. I do not need to panhandle to men to be treating like a person. However men are being harmed by todays culture and that needs to be addressed and corrected as well. 

"We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors – not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes." 

                                                 ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TedTalk "We Should All Be Feminist" 

Sidenote: Due to so many questions on books I read via my Instagram, email and in person I will soon be posting on Neo-Fem-Lit and which books I am reading. 
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