Strong Independent Woman of the Nineties

In the fall of 1993 I entered Oberlin as a freshman.  Like most good Oberlin newbies, I fancied myself quite the little radical.  Upon entering the student body, as is every freshperson’s rite of passage, I promptly stopped shaving my legs and promptly started using expressions like "the dominant male paradigm".  In truth, I was never a very good radical, and neither were my friends.  Our forays into angry-feminism pretty much started and stopped with the expression "strong independent woman of the nineties".

I can’t remember who first used the expression, "I’m a strong independent woman of the nineties", but it became a rallying cry amongst my female friends.  Part empowering slogan, part tongue-in-cheek silliness, "strong independent woman of the nineties" was destined to become a lifelong fixture of our lexicon.  Even as 18-year-olds we delighted in the fact that eventually our slogan would be hideously outdated, and dare we even predict, ironic.  (Do not forget, this was 1993; Alanis Morissette was our Angry Woman Queen.)

1993:

Courtney: I dunno.  I keep making him mix tapes and he keeps trying to make out with me, but every time I ask him about his supposedly ex-girlfriend, he gets all cagey.  I’m really confused.
Kate: Toss him in the dumper!  You don’t need this kind of hassle.  You’re a strong independent woman of the nineties!
Courtney: Good point.

2007:

Kate: So then this asshole tries to tell me that it’s gonna cost $600 to fix my car door, and I tell him he can eat shit, and then I storm out of the garage all huffy-like.
Ashley: Oooh.  You are such a strong independent woman of the nineties!
Kate: No doubt, sister.

Now, on the dawn of my 32nd birthday, I find myself evaluating my Strong Independent Woman of the Nineties status.  Non-reliance on a man for personal and financial security?  Check.  Preference for being single rather than dealing with guys I’m not really into just for the sake of having a boyfriend?  Check.  General bad-assery and fierceness?  Check, and check.  Sophisticated tastes, and grown-up approach to fanciful crushes?  Er…um…weeell.  Not so much.

My status as a strong independent woman of the nineties has been severely handicapped by my new obsession with hockey.  A big part of the problem is that although my obsession with hockey continues unabated, the hockey season ended weeks ago.  Now trust me, I have ravenously devoured all legitimate hockey news I can get my hands on (as such, I am now practically an expert on the National Hockey Leauge’s CBA.  Seriously.  Ask me anything), but there is only so much a gal can read about hockey players before she has no conclusion available other than, "Dang. He’s a dish."  Hockey has made a fool of me, and my long tenure as a strong independent woman of the nineties is now in jeopardy.

Also, Posh and Becks?  I love them.

Posh and Becks

Posh and Becks are just wrong by strong independent women of the nineties standards, and yet, I love them so. Look at them there all hot and disgustingly sleazy.   Admit it, you love them too.

Conclusion:  Not only am I a strong independent woman of the nineties, I am also a giggling teenager of the naughty-aughties.

(Note: in a googling effort to find any sort of term for the first decade of our current century, I discover that no such term exists.  This decade has no convenient counterpart to "the nineties".  I have taken a fancy to the expression "the naughty-aughties" and will proceed to promote its usage.)

Advertisements

19 Responses to “Strong Independent Woman of the Nineties”


  1. 1 Meg July 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    here is only so much a gal can read about hockey players before she has no conclusion available other than, “Dang. He’s a dish.” Hockey has made a fool of me, and my long tenure as a strong independent woman of the nineties is now in jeopardy.

    Also, Posh and Becks? I love them.

    You know I’ve given this some thought, and have concluded that such things should not destroy strong independent woman status. You’re still strong and independent because it’s not as though you’re relying on these people. You’re just enjoying their existence. Totally fine.

    Granted, I had to call building maintenance today and have them change my bathroom lightbulb, so I am perhaps not an authority on this independence thing, but I really do think that one can be a strong independent woman while embracing the giggling teenager within. :)

  2. 2 dice-K_matsuzaka July 14, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    most eagerly awaiting cousin mary’s post– will she celebrate kate’s missive of liberation? or will she focus on the shades in the early paragraphs? And what about the use of semi-colon/close paranthesis in a non-punctuation context?!

    stay tuned….

  3. 3 dice-K_matsuzaka July 14, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    oops– meant “shades of blue”…F#*$&!

  4. 4 miriam July 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I like people who like what they like freely. Like the good folk here at Ohforfun!

  5. 5 Sam July 14, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    In an effort to prevent you from spending any more time than absolutely necessary reading about Posh and her ridiculously overhyped ab-monster, here is a link to an awesome hockey article for you. It’s the Derek Boogaard Fight Camp, where pro hockey players teach 14-year-olds how to become real-life NHL goons! What could be more fun?

    http://www.startribune.com/wild/story/1302464.html

    Seriously, I’m such a hopeless old-school hockey nerd that I see nothing wrong with this whatsoever. I’ve perhaps been living in Minnesota too long…

  6. 6 Heather B. July 15, 2007 at 2:43 am

    It’s an interesting thing, hockey. I was never a very giggly boy-obsessed teenager. I mean, I would think in passing, “He’s cute” but I just never got stuck on that kind of thing. But hockey brings it out of me even though I do know what I’m talking about (more or less) when I need to be factual and statbitty. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer. Perhaps we’re showing our independence by freely and unashamedly enjoying the beauty of these men despite what others make think of us? No?

    Kate, I’m so proud that your “he’s a dish” link didn’t go to Chris although a little disappointed that it didn’t go to Hank. But Goose is definitely a dish so we’ll call it a wash.

  7. 7 Kate July 15, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Sam, I had already heard about the Boogaard camp, but that article (and more specifically the accompanying photo) is HI-LAR-IOUS. I strongly encourage everyone to go have a look. My strange new love of hockey fights is a post for another day…..

    Meg, one’s willingness to change light bulbs (or kill bugs) in no way effects one’s strong independent woman of the nineties status. I am sure that if pressed you would be capable of changing your own light bulb, but for obvious reasons, you choose not to. It’s totally different.

    Dice-K: I have instructed Cousin Mary to have a restraining order on the ready. Your obsession is getting alarming!

    Hey, thanks Miriam! I do think that you have touched on the key to this whole thing: Like what you like!

    Heather, as my Sabres mentor, your approval is very important to me. I like where you are going with the whole “we are independent because we flaunt our girlishness.” That is a very compelling argument. Also, as riveting as I find Chris Drury, even I wouldn’t attempt to sell him as a dish when on the very same team, we have Goose and Hank. I mean, honestly. Plus, as you know, Chris Drury is now a disgusting Ranger. I have to put him in the dumper, where he belongs.

  8. 8 Meg July 15, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Meg, one’s willingness to change light bulbs (or kill bugs) in no way effects one’s strong independent woman of the nineties status. I am sure that if pressed you would be capable of changing your own light bulb, but for obvious reasons, you choose not to. It’s totally different.

    While I was, in fact, not capable of changing the lightbulb (I tried) in my defense it was a fluorescent light and kind of tricky. Should I need to change the lightbulb in the future, I now know how to do it.

    I’m relieved to hear that bug killing isn’t a requirement either, as I am very bad at that.

    And, somewhat belatedly, I want to voice my agreement on the whole “Goose is a dish,” thing. Not to say that Tallinder isn’t, but Goose has the glasses and support of reading in his favor.

  9. 9 Sam July 15, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Oh, and as long as we’re running down the list of our favorite hockey hotties, allow me to put in a vote for the blue-eyed wonder that is Mikko Koivu…

  10. 10 Courtney July 15, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I think that maybe for me, your hockey posts are similar to how my knitting posts are for you. Sorry about that.

  11. 11 Neil July 15, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    You can be kicked out of the Oberlin Alumni Association for this.

  12. 12 Matt July 15, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Wow — this is awesome. I so admire the fact that you’re able to own your strong independent woman of the 90’s title while simultaneously owning you lust for hot athletes.

    Sam, I loved your description of Becks, which I think is spot on — “Posh’s ridiculously overhyped ab-monster” — so why do I find that pic of him so effing hott?

  13. 13 Sam July 15, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Hey, look – no one’s saying that overhyped ab monsters can’t be hot! If you ask me, it’s the tattoos. A lot of guys can’t pull off the full-length arm tats, but Becks? Yum.

  14. 14 Kate July 15, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Listen boys, Becks is hot because he is absolutely disgusting. I mean that guy is filthy. Just terrible, terribly, fantastically filthy. Plus, he’s married to Posh. Those two are the complete “utterly wrong” package.

    Neil, the Oberlin Alumni Association knows better than to tangle with the likes of me. Just because I shave my legs now, doesn’t mean I don’t still remember how to stage a non-violent protest and a sidewalk chalking campaign.

    Coooourt-ney! I really thought this post was broad enough to avoid boring you! I swear I tried.

  15. 15 Heather B. July 15, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Hank wears glasses too but I’ve only seen him in them once. It made an impression though because that was the moment I actually said outloud (to my husband), “Holy smokes, how did I not know Hank was so good-looking?” I don’t know how he feels about reading though.

    Mikko’s cute. Those Koivu brothers are dolls.

  16. 16 Kate July 15, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Heather, glasses are always a sign of intelligence, and smart people love to read. Hank is a bookworm, I’m sure.

  17. 17 Courtney July 16, 2007 at 3:16 am

    I actually really enjoyed the first two thirds of this post. I’m all about strong, independent women of the nineties. Oh, by they way, I think it was Megan who coined the phrase. I also have to say that I think I might be more interested in hockey than Posh and Becks.

  18. 18 KevinP July 16, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Admit it, you love them too.

    Well, I could love one of them…

  19. 19 Kate July 16, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Oho, Kevin! I never would have pegged you as the chiseled abs and tattoo type…

    :D


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: