Friday, February 27, 2015

I’m a feminist

written by Cee Fardoe of Coco and Vera and author of the book After the Shots

Do you believe that all people are equal, regardless of gender, race, religion or creed? Congratulations - you're a feminist.

It's not a title that everyone is crazy about - frankly, I didn't always want to be a feminist. I've been around feminists all my life; my mom is one. When I was little, she cut my hair short and dressed me in gender neutral colours, while I dreamed of long locks and ruffled pink dresses. When I was in high school, the only avowed feminist I met aside from my Spanish teacher was a hippie in the grade ahead of me; he was frequently high when he showed up to our creative writing class, and once asked me if I had telepathy because he'd had a dream about me. (Seriously.)

But it's easy not to want to be part of a movement when you can't see how it will have any impact on your life. I will grant that when I was in high school, the privileges afforded to the mens varsity hockey team were tantamount to scandal - but I didn't play on the perpetually short of equipment and ice time womens hockey team, so I didn't properly perceive the problem. What changed, you might wonder? The answer is simple; I left the safe cocoon of my parents' home and found myself trying to fend for myself, a woman in a society that was allegedly liberated before I was born.

To say that I had a rude awakening would be the understatement of the century. I work in the finance industry, and I've spent the better part of the past ten years fighting for an annual 2% salary increase that will never catch me up to what my male counterparts make to start. I worked in one office where resumes were sorted according to gender; men and women with the same qualifications were divided into two piles, the men becoming candidates for coveted Account Executive positions while women were only considered fit to be Client Service Assistants. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I spent ten miserable months in the modern equivalent of a typing pool. Tyler, who started the same day I did, having graduated from the same university in the same year, became an account executive; he was gifted an office with a window overlooking the ocean. 

But gender bias is hardly limited to the workplace. Even my cell phone has a masculine preference, autocorrecting YWCA to YMCA each and every time I type it. So why am I a feminist, exactly? Why would anyone be one, when the odds are so stacked against equality that computer are programmed to perpetuate male dominance over society? The answer is simple - because I have a choice.

Anyone my age has grown up with choices; some of us feel so secure in our right to choose that we've gone so far as to join the #wedontneedfeminism movement. I grew up feeling that I had all the choice in the world; that I was completely equal to my male classmates because feminism had already done everything it needed to do. The fact that I could have felt this way less than a century after my great-grandmother earned the right to vote; just fifty years after my grandmother and ambitious women like her joined the work force for the first time, is astonishing - it is worthy of champagne toasts and dancing on tables. Feminists have done incredible work. But that work is far from over.

Since I have a choice, I could just as easily have decided to nod and smile when a male friend told me, "Feist and Sarah McLachlan are similar musicians. I mean, they're both female." I could have agreed with the very spurious logic of a former boss, who informed me, "Women make less money because they aren't as reliable in the work force - all those missed years for maternity leave, after all." I could accept the commonly held belief that being female makes me silly, sentimental and almost impossible to take seriously. Some women do; that's their prerogative. But I choose to look hard at the whole picture. I am more similar to some men than I am to most women. I am more reliable than almost any co-worker I have ever had, regardless of gender. I can be silly but I'm not frivolous and anyone who doesn't take me seriously changes their mind in a hurry. So what I see when I look at the whole picture is that we have a long way to go. 

To me, the right to choose is a big part of what feminism stands for. But when I look at that proverbial picture, I see that the choices we make aren't given the recognition they deserve. We don't - we shouldn't - just want the right to vote, to work, to take maternity leave if I need it or climb the corporate ladder right past all of our colleagues if we're ambitious enough. What we still have to fight for getting the whole world to embrace that this is the way things should be; that your gender does not define who you are, your actions and character do, and therefore no woman is worth less simply because she is a woman.

Do I love everything about feminism? Of course not. But if we could only vote for politicians when we agreed with all of their views, no one would ever be elected to office. I'm part of the movement regardless, because I believe in equality. And because I'm not satisfied with anything less than equality.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

my journey to feminism

Written by Heather 

Some realizations come upon you like a clap of thunder, swift, loud, undeniable. They rock your world and leave a mark. 

Others arrive slowly, gently, tiny moments of awareness that eventually bloom and you look with wonder and realize it had been growing there for awhile, the full revealing of a sojourn in a final decisive step. 

The latter was my journey to feminism.

My first memories are surrounded by the middle-of-the-road, evangelical ideals of the Moral Majority generation. It guaranteed that we wouldn’t be bothered by the unwashed masses and those whose divergent thoughts would mess with our neat and tidy world. Defined by a clear list of do’s and don’ts, and an unwavering belief in our untouchability, it wielded it’s power in all arenas; public, private, and political. 

The ideas of a certain conservatism helped to define not only public policy but private conviction. It embraced the idea that the purity of our nation depended on a collective adoption of certain principles. The comfortable ideology of the day spanned everything from alcohol to abortion to homosexual marriage to the roles of the genders in the public and private arena. 

It guaranteed an orderliness that defied detractors and kept doubters at bay. 

It was insulated and safe, defined by a collection of voices that expressed their views, unfettered, through the television, radio and the printed word. 

Unchallenged, it was rooted in the basic belief of empirical invincibility. 

It was in this vacuum that I was raised and trained to believe what my value was as a female.

Feminism was considered the face of evil, the outcropping of an immoral minority. Militant and ugly it was cast as the darkness we needed to stamp out with our predefined limits on gender interaction. We were assured we were in the right and that patriarchy was the only way, the biblical way to properly cultivate and maintain the nuclear family. And this was important because the nuclear family was the way to solidify the future of the current political holdings and influence the values of the next generation.

It was meticulously taught, sincerely advocated that men were the heads, the leaders, the conquerors. Women were to obey, submit, with a predefined list of not only expected actions, but personality traits. Meek, quiet, malleable women were the sermon fodder of many a Sunday morning and radio broadcast and they formed my earliest thoughts concerning my place in the family unit.

It was in this atmosphere that the first seeds were planted for a slow awakening to something different. An understanding that maybe everything I had known up to that point wasn’t as decided as I thought. 

{To be continued! Visit Heather’s Instagram HERE}

Monday, February 23, 2015

Music Monday

Lauryn Hill (born May 26, 1975) is an American singer–songwriter, rapper, producer, and actress. She is best known for being a member of the Fugees and for her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. (via wikipedia

The following playlist is the famous album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This album was an instant classic and has stuck with me for over a decade now. 

Hey! Know any talented female artist you think we all should have on our radar? Drop her name in the comments and we'll feature her!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Soft or Hard

{This post was inspired by an article “Do I Look Like a Man” my friend Julia shared with me on Facebook! Enjoy!}

Women with muscles are gross right? Girls are supposed to be soft. (Insert other stereotypical bullshit  here because I couldn’t think of any.)

Growing up in America as a black girl being feminine can be difficult. As women the generalized story we are told to be soft as rose petals, fragrant and pretty on the eye. Yet treated in such a way that we are forced to be as tough and yet as brittle as stone. We endure but drop us from high enough or with enough force and watch our vulnerability play out before you. 

I have always had a love hate relationship with running or physical fitness on a whole actually. I hate being forced to do it and yet I did it on my own accord for years. Running helps me clear my mind and work through problems. Running does wonders for my depression. Running kept me strong and lean and not muscular and that was key.

Sure I ran to show my asthma who was boss and I ran to maintain a somewhat thin yet curvy frame because I love chips and Oreos. I ran to exert some form of control over my mostly out of control life. But I ran because it was feminine to me. Running maintained a feminine body shape. It made me stronger and leaned me out with zero bulk. Well, zero bulk from the activity not the bulk from my poor eating habits. My life had been a mix of going to the gym randomly with my father, swimming laps in the pool at my home in the summer, stretching and gym class. 

In high school I would stay late sometimes to practice yoga and run. My high school is renowned for Academics, Athletics and the Arts. So basically you better fit into at least one of those or you should attend a different school. Many kids fit into multiple groups and I mean it is sort of hard to not fit into at least one. Hell even the goth kids at my high school enjoyed the pep rallies. We are a weird bunch at Ben Davis High i’m realizing right now. 

Anyway so i ran. I would do cardio and stairs and rowing and yoga. I forcefully refused to lift weights. That was a big no-no for me. Eventually our teachers and my father said that girls should do 5 or 10 lbs and add on reps so it all came out even. This I agreed to when it was forced on me. But growing up in a family and culture where curves are celebrated I did not want to lose them. I wanted to maintain and tone up but i did not want to see a single muscle on my frame. 

Now as a black girl that can be difficult because as J’s physical fitness blogger friend states black women tend to genetically hold more weight in our lower bodies and put on muscle easier. Now that is cool if you are a black man but as a woman it is terrifying. Many may look down at me over this but I enjoy lean bodies and soft bodies. I often point out models such as Robyn or Tara Lynn whom I follow on Instagram as having the perfect bodies. I enjoy a good cuddle. I enjoy being soft. I enjoy that old wives tale about soft bellies not scaring as badly during pregnancy. I enjoy the felinity of a soft curvy body frame which means no muscles and no bones. 

Eventually i became so busy with academics that I stopped running and walking miles a day in college and gained a shit ton of weight. Honestly like I gained like 60 to 80 lbs and the only perk to that dark period was I had a nice ass for the first time in my life. I recently have been giving thought to running again but my breast have grown to 32 DDD* and I already have a bad back and the sports bra is $80 (oh don’t worry I have tons of excuses!). 

I have been wondering about my relationship with fitness. My poor dieting habits that did nothing but put more weight on even as I starved myself. I have reflected on my happiness and how portion control and drinking more water (basically all the advice i received in the book French Women Don’t Get Fat) have changed my relationship with food. I no longer give into the salt and sugar addictions as I once did. I now take a stronger hold on my love of coffee, because frankly I was drinking way too much; which seems impossible but it totally is.  

I have noticed that it is all in my mind. The ideas of what it means to look like a woman, hard vs soft, lifting weights vs. cardio, and on and on. I, thankfully, have never judged other women for how they look but I decided it was not for me. I now know I must step back and really analyzed the view the world has put into my mind of what a woman should look like. Is it a female athlete or a model, because honestly I do not want to look like either. 

I want to look like a healthy and strong Tyne. Whatever she may look like.

* And that is with weight loss. I just have huge breasts. Doctors have actually been instructing women to hold off breast augmentation surgery until they are older since breasts grow until women are 35 years old. I thought my breasts growing was odd but then one of my close friends said her breasts grew a full size as well. So yeah....crazy times. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Then Cry

“Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.”    ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

I have only ever cried once at work. It was my fourth or fifth day working at a yoga studio. It was busy. I felt underprepared. It was awful. Everything ended up being fine but that moment of panic was the most vile experience of my life. The mocking I felt from the owner was kind yet annoying because I knew she was annoyed. I was embarrassed further by said own informing my manager. Now these women are sweet and no big deal was made over this. I continued to work and my manager taught me everything she could. Then after four years I knew and could do it all. 

But why did I cry? What’s with the unprecedented theatrics? I’m not sure to be honest. Crying is not my go to emotion. My natural emotion is anger or rage. Maybe it was because I felt I needed the job to help with my depression and to bring money in to pay bills. 

I had graduated college May 2011. I could not find a job. There was a heatwave. My insomnia was peaking where I would sleep maybe 30 minutes every two to three days. I was arguably the heaviest I have ever weighed. Basically there were many many factors. Many. And I needed a job. I had gone to this yoga studio a few times a week for four to five months solid with my eldest sister the Spring 2010.* 

This job was mandatory for my mental and physical health. But tears? Seriously! I cannot say how embarrassing this memory is for me. This weakness, the crying, is not me. I don’t find it healthy. I don’t find crying to have a purpose. I would rather be proactive then a bystander. I would rather do something then deal with the cleaning blah blah blah of crying. I don’t need anyone being drawn to me or pitying me which are both tied to crying. I do not need anyones comfort. What I need is for the action that caused them to never happen.

But thats not realistic and my tears that day were not called for. Maybe it was stress. Maybe it was fear. I’m not sure. I’m not even sure what this post is really about. All I know is that it, crying at work, happens to the best of us. Do not feel embarrassed. Just collect yourself, shake it off and continue on with your head held high. Do not worry about how your fellow co-workers be them men and/or women view you.

And if all else fails do as Tina says and cry. Scare them all into awkward submission. Nerd Rage dudes!

(via Google)

*I remember exactly because I was also writing my dissertation so I could complete college and Indiana University allows juniors to take the capstone course because it is capped off at fifteen students. They only offer it twice a semester.  That is thirty students out of an entire program. If it sounds batshit crazy that is because it is. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Music Monday

"Melanie Adele Martinez (born April 28, 1995 in Baldwin, New York) is an American alternative music singer, songwriter and photographer. She was a member of Team Adam in the third season of the American television vocal talent show The Voice. On April 22, 2014, she released the lead single "Dollhouse," from her debut EP The Dollhouse." (via Wikipedia). 

I found this gal via iTunes Radio and have since purchased her music and blast it so loud my husband now sings along. So, you know, I count that as a win. Below is Melanie's EP which can be purchased for $4.95. Enjoy!

Hey! Know any talented female artist you think we all should have on our radar? Drop her name in the comments and we'll feature her! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

How to get a guy in 60 days

I found this Daily Mail UK article via Man Repeller, because they give me a daily dose of feminism in the oddest ways.

Background: Blake Lavak, who studied Psychology at The London School of Economics, found his formula for ‘owning’ a man after he found himself on the dating scene again following the end of his 15-year marriage. Blake is from Long Island, New York and now lives across the pond in London, England.

I will wait for you to head over and read the Daily Mail UK article so we can chat.

Oh your back. Cool. Now the round table on Man Repeller is brilliant so if you want to jump there and come back I’ll still be here.

Back from there too! Nice dudes! Welcome to my soapbox. Here. We. Go....

Okay what era is Blake living in? In todays ‘hook up’ or ‘women just want to fuck’ culture as I like to think of it a woman will pick up a guy, fuck him, and never call him again. A woman may fuck and see a guy for 6o days then never talk to him again and never mention him to her friends. This is how women are today. We take hits be them in harmful words such as slut and whore, which are meant to demean us while the same action prop men up on pedestals. We are told these actions are the difference between the gender roles of men and women.

Now Blake may be calling out older women who though they protested against the Vietnam War or dominated business in the 1980s and became more and more powerful in books, television and film during the 1990s lets face it girls our mothers were still docile in some ways. Men needed to ask them out. Men paid for dates. Men called them. There was a certain protocol to follow and the man’s timetable was a factor.

But today? That is a dying view of men-women relations. I have a friend and said friend said a man needed to ask her out so she pined over this older guy but the asking out never happened though he was super into her as well. I told her to straighten her back and take control of her life. But alas, she was raised under certain guidelines and along with being protestant Baptist, she was raised that a woman must work on a man’s timetable.

I was not raised this way and I actually hit on my J. I did not wait for him to ask or flirt with my first. Now we were mutual. I was not some girl throwing myself at someone who did not reciprocate. That is desperation that I do not think men nor women find sexy. But I did not wait for him and he quickly responded.

What is interesting is if you read articles or know English men and ask them about American women they like us; and I am speaking about younger adults on both sides of the pond mostly.  We like their accents, that they are proper and basically just different then what we are used to. They like American women because in general we were raised that men make all the moves but we are to help the poor guy out by laughing at his jokes and making conversation pleasant for him. American women are able to talk to men as people basically. I find this interesting because it is often written that English men enjoy American women’s confidence. But how can we be so confident but so docile that we have to wait on the man’s timetable? That is literally irrational; a complete dichotomy. Either I am missing data or this ‘method’ has clear faults straight out of the gate.

Now to Blake’s points on having sex on the first night and extremely important. How do I phrase this? I read this out loud to Jason and he personally found it disgusting. He stated he would not be attracted to that girl. I stated any man who would be would likely never receive a call back from that girl or would be her secret fling while she was working something out. Now this could be from a 50-something year old guy who maybe went without sex for a long time or simply doesn’t have the energy to wait because he is oh I don’t know fucking 50-something years old and was married for 15 years and simply wants his dick sucked.

That maybe a harsh generalization of the article and of Blake and since I have zero desire to read this book from an out of touch old white guy when I have so many books to read by brilliant female authors, we can chalk this all up to my being both intrigued and annoyed.

What do y’all think? 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My best friend Xena

Growing up I have more toys then any child rightfully needs. This is possibly due to growing up in a family filled with adults for the first ten years of my life.* However no matter which toys I was given or by whom my most prized object** was my extra large Xena poster that hung proudly over my bed.   How I came by this marvel is odd but go with me here.

As a child I used to work a small information desk at the Indiana Black Expo*** with my mother. This was constantly a dichotomy because we never had enough information. We were actually not the official larger information booth but everyone came to us because they knew my mother and I would find the elusive answers to questions. I would literally quickly run through the entire convention center**** This were stressful but highly educational weekends. For the following weekend I would enjoy myself taking in all the cultural activities and free items booths gave out.

One year WFYI, the broadcasting station of my favorite television show ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ caught my eye with their cutout of Xena. I asked for the cutout. I begged for it. I used by large eyes and cubby cheeks for all they were worth. Sadly they needed it for the remainder of the weekend. I was or was not completely devastated. Soul crushed beyond repair I started to walk away when the attendants called out to me and offered me a prize that took my breath away. The extra large poster, featuring Xena in her badass fighting stance clearly taken from a scene of her kicking patriarchy’s ass and I was floored.  I ran straight to my mother, who was now running the FDS Head Start booth, proudly showing off my prize. She was so happy for me. I was so happy for me. She kept it with her for it would remain pristine and I was off again.

When we arrived home I ran to my room and posted Xena above my bed like David Beckham poster in Bend it like Beckham, this poster was my world. Xena was such a strong yet vulnerable woman I knew she would give me great advice and help me conquer my world just as she conquered her own. I had no idea Xena was a big show for gay women’s pride. Hell I also had no idea about the gay undertones in Sherlock Holmes and I loved the hell out of those novels. I only knew Sherlock’s mind memorized me and I was determined to be a person of geniality and brilliance that Sherlock would be proud of; likewise with Xena. I was determined to be strong for Xena. Xena would see in me my personal strength even when I could not. She was literally my best friend and that show is now and will always be in my Netflix queue. Right there waiting for me whenever I need her.

But Xena was never the only woman I looked up to. There was also Carmen Sandiego. She was so brilliant and chic I could not help but root for the thief and watch ever episode of that cartoon. I never saw Carmen as a Latina or stylish*****but as a strong woman of my own heart. I knew as a small child I was a feminist. Hell, all the women in my family are. It was never a question; just a reality. I loved that Carmen avoid capture and completed her mission time and again with ease and smarts. Never did Carmen use her body or face to complete her mission. Hell you never saw her face. She was just the badass in red who outwitted men again and again.

This story of this bright and proud child has a sad ending. On the high spectrum my childhood bedroom posted not only Xena but the extra large Spice World poster. My heaven filled with strong women who understood me. Then one day there were not there. I have blocked out memories. Spots of darkness from tragic shock. I have no idea what ever happened to my beloved posters. I need to go online and hunt them down actually. Frame this and post them in my house. Finally restore these missing pieces of my soul.

*My family is now filled with adults and teenagers only now i’m on the adult end of the spectrum.

**Besides some of my diehard favorite films. Film is a huge deal in my family and relationship. But that is a different post.

***The Indiana Black Expo is one of America’s largest African American cultural events.

****Indianapolis houses one the American’s largest convention centers. It is no wonder Indianapolis is considered the convention capital of America.

*****Though who am I kidding she was crazy stylish and that did not take away from her brilliance. I am not a feminist in the since that I cannot look stylish. That is bullshit. I was raised to go out into the world with my head held high presenting myself as put together. That also stems from American’s views on black citizens. Which again is another post. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Music Monday

"SZA (Solana Rowe born November 8, 1990), is an American singer-songwriter. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, later relocating to Maplewood, New Jersey. In October 2012, Rowe self-released an extended play (EP) titled See.SZA.Run, which she then followed up with her second EP, titled S, in October 2013. In July 2013, it was revealed that she had signed to indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment, through which she released Z, her third EP and first retail release, in April 2014.
SZA is an PBR&B and neo soul singer whose music is described as Alternative R&B, with elements of soul, hip hop, minimalist R&B, cloud rap, ethereal R&B, witch house and chillwave. Rowe's lyrics are described as "unraveling", that revolve around themes of sexuality, nostalgia, and abandonment. Rowe cites a variety of artists as influences including Billie Holiday, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, Jamiroquai, and Wu-Tang Clan. SZA also takes influence from non-musical artists including gymnasts, ice-skaters, painters and movie directors, including Spike Lee." (via Wikipedia).

SZA is another wonderful artist I found via that Huffington Post SxSW article. Below is a playlist of some of SZA's music and I hope you all enjoy and support. 

Hey! Know any talented female artist you think we all should have on our radar? Drop her name in the comments and we'll feature her! 

Friday, February 6, 2015


I have never faked an orgasm. I have had sex with the same man for nine years now and I have never faked an orgasm. I have only ever engaged in sexual activities with said one man and after nine years together I have never faked one orgasm. I either orgasm, or I do not. J knows this is a hard and firm policy for me. I have no cares about his ego. Now I generally have multiple orgasms per sexual act and even when I do not reach climax (because I’ve just said orgasm a shit-ton) sex is still pleasurable. Now you may say, ‘How can that be?’ well i will tell you: orgasm for me is just the tip of the iceberg. I need to properly ‘get off’ to feel sated and that do not last for very long. Yeah, I’m that girl with the sex drive for which men draw their egotistic power from. I am able to not cheat so I know men who use that as an excuse are full of shit, and other men who’s women simply do not understand my heart goes out to you.

I am not sure why I started this post disclosing that. Maybe it is because I am so sick of women not taking a more pro-active voice in their own orgasm. I tell may have a very hard time discussing sex with J, which yes okay I am aware seems bat-shit-crazy. Yes, I know dudes okay! But we still push through that and at times have very frank discussions about what we both like. We both pay attention to the others needs; file that shit away for later. One cannot sit passively and expect the partner to magically develop psychic abilities and sudden be able to know you need to be but in a bit of pain or retrained or simply talked to at a very important moment. And if this man only cares about himself* during sex then he is probably extremely selfish in other aspects in life and thats cool if you are into that but I’d say fuck’em and move on. You could die tomorrow, why spend you time with someone who does not care about you simply based on having someone around or their looks or whatever. That’s bullshit and you deserve better.

I mention all of this because if I read another publication about a frighteningly large number of women do not know where their own g-spot is I am going to hurl. If J comes how with yet another story about how he’s friend has never done x with his girlfriend or asking him personal questions about our sex life because their woman seems unsatisfied or whatever I am giving up on the world entirely. I want to yell, “Have they asked her what she needs? Have they gotten softer or harder? Have they written her a letter if she is too embarrassed to admit she is not satisfied? Have they licked her asshole and whispered that she is everything to them after spanking her ass so hard it hurts the next day? Have they done anything?” But I do none of that. I act surprised that they are such shitty lovers, and listen to his advice and beg him for sex and deal with being shot down yet again.

Maybe this post is all about how sick I am of men. How sick I am of men parading around daily life, in television shows and blockbuster films, in novels and social media as if sex belongs to them. As if just because we women tend to down play our hyper-sexuality and not allow it to overpower our rationale and logic we do not have full-blown daydreams and fantasy of a sexual nature constantly. Just because I am able to control my hormones does not mean that I am not a sexual being like men claim to be. Men are able to be proud of their dicks and flaunt them around and yet a woman who is honest about her sexuality is often ridiculed.

Now for me there is a clear distinction between being disgusting and throwing body parts and sex scenes and things in peoples faces but I do not believe my finding porn repulsive makes me not as sexual of a being as a man. I am able to speak frankly about sex and find sleeping with multiple partners disgusting. That is me and I do not plan on changing; I also have no desire to cast my views on the world as the correct way to live. I am able to tolerate the woman in the skin tight dress with no coat in the dead of winter, just as i’m sure she is tolerating me in my flannel, jeans and motorcycle boots. I just because I do not find my femininity and sex appeal in my outward appearance doesn’t mean other women aren’t taught that that is exactly how to find a partner for life or the night. I do get it and I am not trying to slut shame, but also realize in my mind I am shaking my head. Don’t worry I am also shaking my head at the bros and the desperate men who feel they need someone or need to feel accepted. Once you can love you, you will be surprised how many people are drawn to you. Once you know yourself people come around who are amazing and fun because you are confident in your actions and voice.

I just wish I knew how to tell men to stop. To tell women to stop...and start. To shout out to the world that women have fantasies and are not sluts or mothers. We are not polarized extremes who do not fuck our husbands or who will fuck anyone. We are not pure ethereal beings who have to be taught sex and pleasures by men. And yes I know not all of us are with men. Some of us [women] like to fuck other beautiful women and the disconnect can be just are harsh. However in this instance I feel that being in a lesbian relationship as a plus, for you as a woman clearly know how women are and thus do not feel the need to stomp over them sexually.

I am speaking to the straight people who have vanilla sex and don’t get off because you have to behave a certain to keep him happy. You should fall asleep after sex. You shouldn’t have any energy left. You should feel it after. The great sex be it F/M M/M or F/F or any other combinations from fan fiction is not limited to powerful words on a page. It can be real. Great sex is not limited to HBO shows. It can be achieved. The catch is you have to be proactive in claiming it. In claiming your orgasm. Do not feel trapped or that you are just incapable. No darling, you are very much capable. Your clit alone was made purely for pleasure. If you can come solo you can come even better with a partner granted the partner listens to you and actually gives a shit.

*or herself...women are very beautiful and I totally see why some men are into women. Hell ladies we are very desirable for so many reasons: brilliance, physical, etc...I totally look at women and can see what the lover(s) sees in them. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Admitting Privilege

“Privilege is relative and contextual. Few people in the developed world, and particularly in the United States, have no privilege at all.” - Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay pg 19. And with that I attempt to admit my privilege. 

Okay, cards on the table (or however that saying goes) I have lived a life of certain privileges. I was born into a family that was on the upswing from poverty to lower class and by the time I concluded high school relatively lower upper middle class (yes there is such a thing). My mother especially lived a very upper middle class life growing up as did my aunts in the suburbs of Indianapolis.  Our way of life was just to work hard and enjoy the benefits but to never be too outwardly bourgeoisie about it. We had cable television, a computer, home cooked meals more often then not, hot running water for bathing, and on and on. 

I could get really detailed if I thought anyone would really give a damn and that is the thing right? So many of us in the civilized industrialized western world would view my ability to have books purchased for me as a child and to purchase them for myself now as pretty standard and not the colossal deal it is. The fact that my family had more than enough and would purchase Christmas gifts from ‘Angel Trees’ for ‘Lesser Privileged’ children is a big fucking deal. 

I lived around many who had far less then I did due the neighborhood changing over the 90 years my family has lived on our property  I went on weeklong trips with family to Florida annually. Prior to school starting we would often go on a weekend trip and so on. I grew up with apple trees and a pool in the backyard. I was purchased most things I asked for and those I did not receive right away I often was gifted at Christmas. My mother spent $500 and up on my back to school clothes every summer and I received more at Christmas. I had films I asked for and was given that I still hold dear. I fell in love with hockey via the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks (yes the team Disney started after the film success) so my father purchased me a jersey, which remains too large til this very day. 

Now my life was by no means perfect. It was depressing and violent and aggressive. It was neglectful and all out painful. It makes me frightened to ever become a mother because I feel slightly disqualified for the task. But on the whole when examining privilege in certain aspects I was greatly blessed. My upbringing was, if nothing else, a great teacher of self-reliance; but self-reliance and a higher expectation from the world and those around me. 

I require the best or at least the best intention. I may have to buy a knock off of something at Target but the overall look remains top-shelf. I may have to borrow the book from the library but it will still be read and my input into the discourse over it will happen. And as I age* I am working very hard on changing what I find importance in. It is not money or downing others or material items. It really isn’t.  I have to say that while I never valued certain things my catholicism has helped me realize my sudden (or at least it appeared sudden to me) attachment to things. I enjoy watching hoarding shows on television (or rather Netflix streaming from J’s XBOX 360). It propels me to see the world and think differently. It also propels me into an OCD cleaning fit and I want to purge everything and sit rocking back and forth in a spotless house that houses in actuality nothing at all. I have decided rather than buying yet another object I would rather go out to dinner with friends. Rather than spend money on this or that I would rather donate it in much needed items to the Holy Family Shelter. Instead of hoarding objects I would rather have a life filled with moments with people I love. 

This may seem obvious to you all but for me it is something I have to constantly remind myself of. I am progressing but we live in a consumer world. I sometimes have to remind myself of the exercise done on the hoarding program between the organizer or therapist and the hoarder and it goes like this: ‘ f your home was on fire and you have 5 minutes to grab stuff and get out what would you take?’ Now I love to say that I am the strong rational person who would save myself because stuff is, well, stuff. Sure I would lose some family heirlooms but those where just objects to my dead relatives that hold value to me because it belonged to uncle or aunt xyz and are therefore holy relics (in my family at least). But I would probably actually run outside with nothing because I would die if i tried to remove everything I give value to. That is insane. Nothing should hold more value over my life. This we may call the down side of growing up with such privilege.  

Where is this post going? I have no clue; no where really. It is simply an outlet of starting to acknowledge the fact that while I may not realize it I grew up very privilege  Did I grow up with less than others of whom I had contact with daily? Absolutely; their privilege actually made me feel impoverished. But we have to acknowledge our privilege if for no other reason then because it will help us see the world differently. For only once you see yourself for who you really are and acknowledge your own biases and prejudices can you go forth to truly make the world a better place. 

*Yeah we need to engage in a discourse about what is happening to girls/women today. We are writing memoirs (see Lenandra & Lena). We [or maybe that is the privilege talking again] are thinking about that world around us in a very mature light. Where once our grandmothers strove to become their mothers our mothers lived through the 60s and 70s and are baby boomers and hippies and danced to disco and funk and are radicals. It was a new world where by the 70s women started to buy into youth/teenage image of beauty. Are we “Millennials” (a denotation I do not self-identify with because I just cannot) just using our educations to overthink our world or are women just now being heard in greater numbers? I have no answers. I have only questions, but one must admit that this new wave of Neo-Fem-Lit did not just drop out of the sky and sure some publishers I am sure are pushing these books because they are selling and we all see Man Repeller speak on a book and we race off to purchase it. is curious! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Music Monday

{Sidenote: This is part of a new series here on Traditional Femme. Every Monday a new female artist will be featured. Some will be well known and others will be lesser known. Accompanying the playlist will be a brief bio explaining a bit of information about the artist.}

"(Karen Marie Ørsted born 13 August 1988), better known by her stage name  (pronounced: mew), is a Danish singer-songwriter signed to Sony Music Entertainment. Born in Odense, MØ has been compared to electropop artists such as Grimes and Twin Shadow. Besides being an acronym for her middle and last initials, the word  means "maiden" or "virgin" in Danish. In November 2014 she won four awards at Danish Music Awards: "Breakthrough artist of the year", "Record of the year", "Solo artist of the year" and "Music video of the year"." (via Wikipedia). 

I first discovered when reading a Huffington Post article about all the amazing female talent at SxSW last year. So naturally being the musically loving gal I am I took to iTunes and Google to find out more about these women. Below is a playlist of 's music. I hope you enjoy it and please support. 

Hey! Know any talented female artist you think we all should have on our radar? Drop her name in the comments and we'll feature her! 
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