With or without beards

April 11, 2013

I wonder why false hair in different forms is considered ridiculous on men but not on women.

Is it because vanity is ridiculous in a man but not in a woman? Or perhaps because women are ridiculous anyways, so a little more makes no difference?

Men have the options to use false hair on the head, or in the face. It’s not like false moustaches and beards don’t exist, it’s just that they’re only OK to use at masquerades and in 1930´s detective stories, as a disguise. ImageWigs to hide baldness are laughed at if you’re a man. On a woman it’s expected.

I think the vanity-angle is the most useful here. Men are allowed to, and even expected to, look good, but only in a “natural” way, such as nice clothes, clean skin and hair, facial shaving and after shave. Maybe even some hair wax. Working out is ok. A well-trained body on a man is usually considered attractive, and one of the few vanity traits that doesn’t evoke laughter or anger, as long as it’s not too excessive.

Since men are OK, no matter how they look, going out of their way to look better is just stupid. Women, however, need their looks to matter in other areas, and thus vanity is to be expected from them.

Perhaps on a man it’s obvious how superficial the faked look looks, while on women we’re so used to seeing it that we don’t notice.

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Perhaps the false facial hair isn’t of good enough quality to look like the real thing, and this is the reason why it’s only used for farce?  But then again there are false eye-lashes so long that they’re obviously not real and that doesn’t seem to matter. On a woman, that is.

I don’t wish at all for men to have the constant worry over looks, weight and aging that seem to take up so much of women’s time and minds. I do, however, feel sorry for men for being considered so ridiculous when  trying to look good and for having such few options in terms of looks.

Flashing images

March 28, 2013

I’ve noticed several times how women express strong feelings of disgust at the sight of a man’s penis, be it in pictures or as a joke in casual situations. Where accidental or “accidental” showing of female body parts are usually considered embarrassing or exciting, the male equivalent is quite often met with disgust.

I wonder why this is, and have come up with some ideas.Image

Within feminist theory, there’s a term called”the male gaze”. It refers to the assumption that since white, heterosexual, men are the norm in western society pictures, whether in merchandising, movies or art, are made with men as the main recipient.

This explains why females, at least if they’re young and pretty (and they tend to be), are quite often shown from angles and with lighting that will emphasize sexualized body parts such as breasts and behinds whereas men are not.

Women are presented as something men would like to go to bed with, (or rather, a thing that heterosexual men with enjoy looking at) while men are presented mostly as someone the men can recognize themselves in.

The male gaze can occasionally be homosexual as well as heterosexual. In this way of viewing things, a big poster of David Beckham in boxer shorts is not aimed at the female erotic mind, but at that of gay men, and possibly also as a physical ideal for other heterosexual men.

It is understood that women as well as men look at pictures using the male gaze. Women may be in the audience, but the camera identifies with the men and looks at what the men are expected to be interested in. Most of us are so used to this we don’t think about it, and since it’s very seldom mentioned but rather considered the default view, women are trained from childhood to be interested in, or even identify with, the male gaze.

Now, in order to keep up the assumption that ALL men are (or rather should be) heterosexual, a lot of policing is going on, and one assumption is that if men are sexually aroused by naked or exposed women they are as a consequence NOT AT ALL aroused by men’s bodies.

ImageYou would think that NOT BEING AROUSED should show itself as indifference, but since the notion is that ALL men are (or should be) heterosexual, the non-arousal must be publicly recognizable and therefore expressed as disgust or ridicule. The women who identify with the male gaze will, as a reflex, react the same way as the men in the audience are expected to react.

There is another interesting point in this. Since most of us are very used to the male gaze, we’re not at all used to seeing men in vulnerable positions. In fiction, of course, men are quite often imprisoned, shot at, injured in sports etc, but the camera with the male gaze makes sure not to sexualize the temporary loss of strength and power. Instead that’s quite often understood as the fuel for the revenge that is to take place in one way or another.

The vulnerability of the sexualized and naked female body must then be interpreted in another way in the case of men. We are given the assumption that vulnerable men are not good and I suspect the unexpected vulnerability about the naked male body makes us confused, and that confusion leads to anger because we don’t know how to handle it.

There’s a third possibility, and that is that women have very few opportunities to laugh at and ridicule men in public. The unexpected flashing of private body parts is one permitted reason for laughing at men. Perhaps women take the opportunity to get back at men for all the policing of women’s bodies (about food, weight, skin, hair and the extremely difficult balance between showing enough body parts to be interesting but not so much that you’re a slut).

The negative reaction from females towards viewing male private parts is possibly, then, an expression of homophobia. If true I find this very interesting. I also find it very depressing.

A lonely, old and dirty male figure meets a new, modern, beautiful female figure and wants to hold her hand. She, however, has an important mission and is not interested.

yes he is very cute

yes he is very cute

He doesn’t leave her alone despite her obvious lack of interest, he stalks her, trying to reach her, but doesn’t succeed. When she leaves, he follows, uninvited. Driven by his desire to be with her, no matter what she thinks. Behind him leaving his pet, who it seems is now all alone in the world.

They arrive at a spaceship where the population of earth (or USA, which is more or less the same thing) is leading an easy life while Earth is being cleaned. The population, from what is seen, consists of 90% men. This explains why the captain, as well as all but one of his predecessors, is also a man.

The white male captain does what a man’s gotta do, fighting the machines for The Good Cause.

american

this however, isn’t

The male figure from the beginning of the movie sabotages (out of ignorance and clumsiness) all the work of his desired female. As they are attacked by evil robots, he helps out, and the captain’s Cause (which is the same as the female figure’s) can be completed.

Now the female figure realizes how the male took care of/stalked her while she was absorbed with her work. Since the male figure also gets badly injured and almost dies, the female figure’s desire (!) is raised, and now she wants to hold hands with him.

The message is clear. As a man you can be as old, dirty, outdated, stupid and ugly as you want. The beautiful female will always come to you if you’re only persistent enough in your stalking, and, better yet, if you can win her pity.

I would like, just for once, to see a movie that doesn’t leave me disturbed and with a sour taste in my mouth.

Hairy men, pink women

November 9, 2012

In one of my work places, the men are encouraged to grow a mustache during the month of November. Apparently the company will donate money to research on prostate cancer, the sum depending on how many men enroll in the campaign and grow some hair.


This got me thinking about how extremely laid back the view on men’s body hair, and  appearance in general, is.

Now, I have noticed that mustaches are growing (!) back into fashion among young men, so perhaps not all men feel stupid wearing one. I would assume, though, that those who were children in the late sixties and early seventies connect mustaches with their dads and their dads friends = not sexy.

My point in this is that it’s obviously completely OK to ask men to look ridiculous for a good cause, it is also OK to ask men to grow visual body hair although it is out of general fashion. Women, however, are expected to always look good and pleasing. Not taking care of your looks is in fact quite often seen as a sign of depression. And body hair (except for the kind that grows on top of your head) is for some reason viewed as not pleasing and thus taken away. It’s not like women don’t have hair in their faces, under their arms or on their legs- they’re just expected to take it away whereas men have the option to just leave it there.


In the breast cancer campaigns I’ve seen, participants are asked to wear a small pink bow. The idea of asking women to grow some body hair seems for some reason extremely unlikely. Unshaved armpits for breast cancer? No? Hairy legs for uterus cancer? (I’m leaving the most obvious out here since private parts are usually kept, well private, and thus can’t be used for showing support in the office).

Of course, none of this is news. Still I can’t help being surprised time after time, of the absurdity of it all.

The problem with feminists

October 20, 2012

If you are into defining men’s and women’s personalities from a biological view-point, women will most likely be regarded as nurturing, caring and devoted to their children while men will be described as strong, result oriented and rational.

Going against her nature?

When it comes to abortion discussions, most of the fighting for free abortion has come from women. Not any women, of course, but feminists. So the problem with feminists is not only that they are trouble makers, they are actually trying to influence other women to go against what some people believe is their nature. They are encouraging women to think of themselves instead of being nurturing and devoted to someone else.

Now, if you’re under the assumption that men and women are controlled by fixed behaviors depending on their combinations of chromosomes, the idea of trying to change those behaviors may be seen as futile, I can see that. What I don’t quite understand, however, is the rage so often directed against these ideas. Surely, if men and women are who they are regardless of culture, the feminists could just be let alone, because their twisted ideas would never work anyways.

Rage is in my belief quite often connected to fear, so in this case, is it the fear that the feminists will destroy the world or is it the fear that perhaps the feminists are right? I think most biologists would claim it to be the former suggestion; they are merely looking out for everybody’s best when they burn down abortion clinics or work against women’s aspirations to be ministers or the idea that women are to vote in general elections, or whatever.

But if it were true that biology and chromosomes ruled our behavior, it would be impossible to go against it, wouldn’t it? I mean, the idea of having a “nature” is that you will act according to it, won’t you? If you can act against your nature, that means you are in charge of who you are and what your actions are. That means you get to decide what is right for you. No matter what combination of chromosomes you were born with.

The Y-factor

September 6, 2012

The posters for the new TV-show X-factor has come up around where I live, and I must say it looks very promising. How do I know? Glad you asked. On the poster are depicted four people whom I assume will be prominent in the show: two White Guys, one Babe and one Black Guy.

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Now this indicates that the show will be for Everyone, it won’t be a chick-flic, it won’t be some ethnic thing, because those kind of shows are for minorities only, right? It’s just gonna be plain ole entertainment we can all relate to. Because we can all relate to white guys, right? RIGHT?

And because the babe and the black guy are in the picture right aside (or actually slightly behind) the white guys, all the feminists and anti racists can’t say anything because the Others are represented, aren’t they? Perhaps the white guys compose the biggest group, perhaps on this poster, they are half the population, but hey, that just mirrors reality, right? Or if it doesn’t it mirrors the fact that most people are only interested in white guys anyways, right? After all, they are in majority, right?

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