Youth. Identity. Diversity.

After working on a couple of photo projects that have taken me years to complete (Images That Change the World, Who Are They?), in January this year I was given the refreshing task of taking all the photos for a photo exhibition in one day.

”Youth. Identity. Diversity.” is a photo exhibition consisting of my pictures of 19 young people from the southern Norwegian city ​​of Kristiansand, taken at a school photography pace on January 17 at the Kristiansand public library, and interviews with the youth about their thoughts on norms, ideals and prejudices tied to gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

So far it is unclear if the exhibition will get border-crossing legs, so I thought I would publish some of the pictures here.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Kristiansand public library, Skeiv Ungdom, Senter for likestilling and me.

Victor and Håkon

When Victor and Håkon entered the art hall, I thought: these sporty, popular guys probably won’t want to take too non-macho pictures.

I was completely wrong. Victor and Håkon was enthusiastic about the 19th century photos I showed during my workshops of men who, at that time, had an untroubled relationship with physical proximity and to expressing their love for their friends in pictures (I wrote about it in my blog post Men’s thighs were more used before). I don’t think I could be more satisfied with the result in the photo above, which I think has zero distancing backslapping-vibe.

In itself a bit of “masculine” behavior by Victor and Håkon; how competitively they tried to outdo their 19th century BFF soulmates … in cuteness!

Line

A #womanspread by Line. Inspo for you who will take a seat in public transport or a TV sofa soon.

Motaz

“I don’t like to smile in the picture,” Motaz said in his interview. That’s why we screened away a whole bunch of pictures where Motaz laughed and smiled at the picture. But this corner of the mouth-smile passed!

Izabella and Amalie

Izabella and Amalie had their posing idea ready when entering the room. Convenient when others do your job for you!

Abdallah, Hussein och Waad

I took a lot of pictures of Abdallah, Hussein and Waad as they stood and looked like this and looked into the camera, but I thought this – when they didn’t – became the most intimate. When they focus completely on each other. 

Henrik

Henrik. Sophisticated and overdressed. I like the combination of the ‘come at me bro’ pose, which, according to Henrik, was ironic, and the semicolon tattoo.

Teodor, Neisse and Nada

This gang. Theodor, Neisse and Nada. Came in and owned the Art Hall. I almost too many good pictures of them. It was hard not to capture their infectious energy and fantastic charisma.

Nelle

The hands in my pockets were my idea. Nelle’s confident look came with her into the room.

Camilla and Tine / Victoria

Camilla and Tine – demonstrating that no stoneface is needed to radiate authority. And Victoria – who demonstrates that a stoneface always works.

Hanna

Hanna, who is non-binary. With the upper image we tried to get a masculine expression with the help of movement and lines. I asked them to walk a lap in the room, stop at the same spot and say “GO AWAY” to the camera. A simple trick for a masculine, cheeky look.

The lower picture was actually also thought of as a masculine pose first. Hanna had to pull her hand through the hair reminiscent of a sulky James Dean. But just in this frame I happened to capture Hanna’s hand as it left their hair, and got this softer and gender–norm/body language-wise more ambiguous and interesting image, which also became one of Hanna’s favorites.

Aman

For the interview that was done with Aman after the photo shoot, he was asked if he got to pose in any way than he usually doesn’t in photos.

“Yes, I got to sit with my leg up and things like that. Like a boss, right?”

Comfortably sitting with leg folded in the lap like a boss. Warmy smiling with his head tilted to the side, like a boss. (If it happened to be a woman.)

Youth. Identity. Diversity. will be touring in southern Norway (Agder), then the rest of Norway, then maybe in the rest of Scandinavia. The photo exhibition’s itinerary can be followed via Kristiansand Folkebibliotek’s facebook.


Who becomes Sexist of the Year 2013?

In 2013, sexism was news.

We saw the pattern repeated over and over again: A clothing company, a white well-off male restaurant keeper or a Danish monster chooses to market themselves with the help of coarse sexism.

The images cause a blast in social media. Old media describes the shit storm. Then, in several interviews, the company, the pub or the monster may explain to us that sexism is Art, and that we who are offended by it are unsophisticated, hypersensitive and uncool censors.

We will dissect this phenomenon closer. I will take you on a tour through the bloodstream of sexism and together we will study, punctuate and review six works of “art”, in order to crown …

Sexist of the Year 2013

Five of the candidates have already gone through the cycle I described above. The sixth has all the potential in the world to do so. (It is the worst of all over a thousand images I received in 2013 – it is a mystery how not more people have seen it and panic, where it is fully visible for anyone to see and has done so at least since the beginning of June.)

The winner will receive a small prize I did during my Christmas holidays.

Genusfotografens guldtuttmugg 2013
It is possible to drink from the nipple and it can be washed.

I will personally hand out the Golden Boob Mug.

But only if I have got over 1000 votes! (Otherwise I’ll sell it in a street corner.)

You can vote until 8pm on Friday. And you do this by ticking your favorite sexist in the voting form at the bottom of the post. Please also contribute your motivation in the comment section.

Which picture do you think carries the most harmful gender baggage? Which image gave you the most stomach ache because of the most connecting points with real discrimination?

And the nominees are…

Per Lydmar

for the woman on Strandvägen 1

Lydmar Strandvagen1

Without calories, you won’t have the energy to stand on the barricades.

That’s the spirit of Naomi Wolf’s feminist 90s bestseller The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women. At a time when women seem to have more power, career paths and human rights than ever before, the last path of patriarchy to social control is through their stomachs. Create a beauty ideal that causes her to reduce herself, her psyche, her existence. Have her direct all the will to change to her own healthy body instead of our sick world.

From that perspective, the background image that the pub owner Per Lydmar chose for the website for his new luxury pub is patriarchy-smart. A woman with a veil in her face. A breast that refuses to stay within the dress. Ribs pressing against the skin and rocks pressing against her buttocks. And no food as far as the eye can see.

As a woman you should not be hungry. Neither on sex, food, or knowledge, nor in other ways to live and expand in the world. You need to be there to feed an appetite – not have your own.

The ideal woman is neither sitting at the dinner table nor standing on the barricades. She sits on the rocks in the archipelago and sips the saltwater-wind filtered through a veil (and vomits it in the foam of the waves when you look away).

Per Lydmar’s defense:

“I have been interested in art and exhibited it in public settings since the mid-1990s. Much has been far worse pictures than this.

… If anyone thinks I have this picture to sell more potatoes, I don’t think you know me that well. I’ve had Ku Klux Klan pictures in my old lobby.”

Really?

You don’t think there would be any reactions at all if your website looked like this?

The Per Lydmar took my baby away
Note: Genus photographer remix.

Per Lydmar explained that the picture was one of four commissioned works he got from photographer Oskar Christophersen, which he gave free hands.

After first saying “I have never censored our art and will not do it now either” Lydmar then did exactly that and replaced the woman on Strandvägen 1 with this:

Nominerad_Per Lydmar2
Lydmar’s innocent bull terrier Billy.

Jaha. Men vad gick fel då? Varför fattade inte folk att den här bilden skulle föreställa konst?

Well. But what went wrong then? Why didn’t people think this image would represent art?

Gender Coach Tips: Do not use a model with the body type that appears in 95 percent of all commercial images but only 5 percent of real women have. It gets people to associate with commodification of women’s bodies and the vampiric-bulimic fashion industry rather than art.

In the article Fashion Models as Ideal Embodiments of Normative Identity , sociologist Patrícia Soley-Beltran describes how the Model, through constant repetition in the visual world, was incorporated as a symbol filled with messages (among other things about gender, ethnicity, sexuality, glamor and consumption), rather than actually meaning “a human being”.

The model is the norm in the pictures that surround us. And the effect of embodying a norm is that one becomes invisible. We rarely think about how bizarrely photo models really pose until they end up in a context where they stand out. (Like on a website where you expect to see a picture of a sweet, butter-drooling potato, but are met with a picture of Death by the sea.) 

A good example of this is the Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez’s project Poses

POSES - krek i mun
POSES - krek i mun
POSES - ligger i rabatt
POSES - ligger i rabbt2
POSES - vesk i eyegat
POSES - vesk i eyegat
See Yolanda Dominguez’s art project in its proper moving format.

A man had probably looked very weird on the rocks in the Strandvägen 1 picture. But my point is that it would be enough to put a woman with any kind of body other than the standard white, lean, upper-class, feminine, 180 cm tall and 18 years young body with no visible disabilities to make the image look completely absurd.

And then it probably felt more like art than it did now.

Could perhaps the Golden Boob Mug could be a nice new background image for Per Lydmar’s website?

TT News Agency

for The Breast Wall

When I first heard that there would be a new “breast wall” at Sweden’s largest news agency TT, I imagined something like this:

Angelica Karlsson TT
An employee at TT lost in the new office landscape.

The actual breast wall, however, turned out not to be quite as easily condemned as the one above had been.

Nya tutt-tapeten

A collage depicting six of pop star Nicki Minaj’s faces and 15 pairs of her breasts.

The breast wall split our social media swarm brain in half. Some just perceived Nicki Minaj in a bikini bra or were even provoked by the mere thought that Nicki Minaj would even be reduced to a sex object. Others looked hypnotized at the wall, studied details such as Nicki Minaj’s head sometimes disappearing into the pattern but never the breasts, and could not discern a human subject in the photo.

TT’s CEO Jonas Eriksson chose this attitude:

“Pictures affect us in different ways. We also have pictures of a house that has been torn apart by bombs, but it is part of our everyday life. We can’t remove a picture just because one or two employees get upset and think it’s horrible.”

Houses bombed to shreds. Ku Klux Klan…. Interesting how the men who defend these images nonetheless associate them with other human rights violations.

But okay. What does the Gender Photographer think then?

Well, the first thing I noticed when I saw the picture was not the breasts.

Nicki Minaj TT

Nervous breakdown, would maybe be the title I’d give this image. Or Nicki Minaj assaulted by a drunk giant spider depicted from the spider’s view. 

I can agree with those who found Minaj looking pretty shattered. Both by the pattern and psychologically. The hand on the throat as if she was suffocating. The terrified look. A classic, glamorous “scared but horny”–pose, but unusually little horny in it. It’s an unusual Nicki Minaj in the picture over all, I think. The artist that TT specially commissioned this collage could easily have found many pictures where her personality shines through much more strongly. 

I’m not saying this picture would do better as a photo wallpaper in a workplace, but surely it shows more who she is as a person even when she makes the stricken porn-influenced “sex doll”-pose?

Nicki Minaj

Here, at least, I see an active, cocky, thinking and possibly ironic subject.

Then I must also agree with those who have criticized this wall that yes, getting your body fragmented, cropped and chopped up into decoupled sexualized body parts instead of being depicted as an intact, composed human is something that more often affects women than men in the pictures.

In the article Significant Bits and Pieces:Learning from Fashion Magazines about Violence against Women (pdf), law professor Cheryl B. Preston describes this as one of several examples of how women are subjected to “photographic violence” by getting their humanity trivialized in the picture:

“A surprising number of women in ads are cropped somewhere across the face. … Countless ads omit women’s eyes and other signals about their person.

The breasts are often in focus, but even when sexual parts are not emphasized, interchangeable legs, partial backs and other body parts are scattered among several frames in a way that the woman is denied bodily integrity.”

Cheryl B. Preston

Two examples of it, and of how unnoticed it passes.

From the website to a small shower manufacturer in Skogås, Stockholm:

Nominerad_Invitrea

Where are the men? (And the showers?)

 And this Playstation Vita ad, which I’ve shown before:

PSP Vita inkl parodi

Now including parody.

So … I can see several reasons why someone would feel bad about this picture, in addition to Nicki Minaj’s breasts being over-represented in relation to her face. But what does it matter what I think? Several of the employees at TT strongly disliked the wallpaper. And the managers at TT chose not to listen. It cost them a reporter.

KlantTT

Angelica Karlsson is working now for Aftonbladet instead.

A Golden Boob Mug to the managers of TT, whom can take turns having it on their desks, as a reminder that it can sometimes be good to swallow your pride and paint over a damn wallpaper?

Anders Vendel

for Wendel’s dining room

Sexist_Anders Vendel

Four women and a man in a restaurant kitchen. The women wear chef jackets and cap hats, string panties, hip holders and nylon stockings. One of them files the nails, another stumbles and drops a bowl of fruits and almost their breasts. Monitoring them is a male chef holding a leek like a whip.

Message: Women are not only unintelligent life-forms, they also spread e-coli bacteria in our restaurant kitchens.

When criticized, TV chef Anders Vendel commented the photo, which was used to announce that his restaurant will open again in August, like this:

“You could say it’s modern art. A little unexpected, as the food may be. So I think there’s a theme here.”

To say the least.

What’s the thing with white rich male chefs and sexism? I mean, it is obvious that Anders Vendel saw the media revolt around Strandvägen 1 and decided that he also wanted to put his restaurant on the sexist restaurant map. But can there be any particular reason why chefs are serving us the crudest sexism?

I think it may be because the gender equality in the restaurant and restaurant industry is to hell.

If you count the total number of chefs in the country (all kinds of positions: chef, kitchen chief, catering chef), 53 percent are women and 47 percent are men. But at the elite level it is almost next to just men behind the aprons. One woman ever has won the Chef of the Year competition (Kristina Petterson, 1988). Among the top-ranked restaurants in White Guide – which rank Sweden’s finest restaurants – three have female head chefs.

And how many female chefs do you guess that the Swedish chefs national team 2013 consisted of?

Sorans bild
(Photo: Soran Ismail.)

None.

And what tends to happen in enclosed rooms where there are almost only men and dickheadedness atmosphere can ferment and ferment?

Prat om sperma

If you read the article above from Everything About Stockholm, you get a clue that Anders Vendel may not be a lone ass, but that it his “art” could rather represent a crude sexist culture in kitchens.

“It’s sexist – oh, yes. I have thousands of examples of this very sexist jargon. I have heard it is discussed everything from sperm consistency to those in the service who have the nicest breasts. It’s something you are forced to hear every day. If you complain, you’re a prude.”

Female chef, 28 years

“Even if you have a collegial relationship, you do not want to be in trouble at work. Or to be patted on the ass and treated with the ‘little girl’-attitude. And in the event of a conflict, you are at a disadvantage because it has been cemented that you are at a disadvantage. ” 

Female chef, 36 years

Territory-markingPISS from men who hasn’t had their dominance challenged before? (Note that the women in Vendel’s ad actually are supposed to represent chefs.)

But he doesn’t just piss on his female chef colleagues. The urine also sprays down on other women in the restaurant industry, who have lower and less stable positions.

Sju av tio sextrakasserade

SEVEN out of ten – 66 percent – of 300 women in Stockholm and Gothenburg who work or have worked in the restaurant industry, answered “yes” to the question in the SvD’s questionnaire if someone had behaved uncomfortably in a sexual way against them, if they’d experienced unwelcome touch or abuse during working hours.

“As a waitress, you are a public property that everyone wants to have a piece of. … Flirting is perfectly normal, it’s everyday. “Innocent” touch is also perfectly normal. “

Jeanette Superti , 33 years

 “As the headwaiter passed me, he grabbed my hips and pressed my butt towards his genitals. He could also drop comments like ‘How good are you sucking’ when I vacuumed the restaurant.”

Katarina Anderson, 20 years

“Flirting unashamedly, being close and having a vulgar jargon has always existed in the restaurant world. … the chefs who can’t stand it usually move on to another industry. “

Servitris, 27 år

In how many industries have the majority of all women been involved in sexual harassment?

Understand that Anders Vendel is an employer.

Could their be any more tasteless sexists?

Hey, we’re only half-way through the gallery.

Thomas Blachman

for Blachman

Denmark, 2013:

Drawingsfromthegulag

Sorry. Wrong picture.

This certainly represents how the leadership of a Soviet concentration camp selects sex slaves from arrested family members of “enemies of the people”.

Here we have the right picture:

Nominerad_Blachman

Here in Sweden we have just raged against Belinda Olsson’s SVT broadcast where she explored today’s feminism on the basis of classic anti-feminist issues like Has feminism gone too far? and Has feminism subdued men?

But have you forgotten what happened in Danish public service television less than a year ago? A man with exactly the same concern (over the success of feminism) was allowed to do a program where he, along with other costume-clad men, sat in a black, claustrophobic, strip-club-like studio and discussed a procession of naked, silent women’s bodies.

Da dickless society

“We are on our way to a cockless society,” said the show’s main character, the jazz musician and talent show judge Thomas Blachman – gesturing castration-anxiously towards one of the women. “We have a visionless society because the men have become more female than the women themselves.”

But instead of doing a program where he and other cultural figures sit and try to piece together a naked man’s endangered body – because it’s the masculinity that is said to be in state of dissolution – he did a program where he and his buddies sat and said things like:

Blachmans poesi

How logical did it feel, really?

Well, Blachman himself motivated both the design and eligibility of the program with these introductory words:

Thirsten

“The woman’s body is thirsty for words. A man’s words.”

First of all, NO. I’m pretty sure that the woman’s body isn’t thirsting for more constant judgement by men, but rather to be free of men claiming their right to women’s bodies – physically or verbally.

Second: FAIL. Because that’s not what Blachman managed to illustrate. What he rather managed to illustrate is how the male ego thirsts for an order in which the woman is a passive object whose primary task is to please, confirm and accentuate the man.

To quote the genius Virginia Woolf, from her essay collection A Room of One’s Own (1929):

“Throughout the centuries, women have served as mirrors with the enchanting and delightful ability to reproduce the man’s image in twice the natural size. … That is why both Napoleon and Mussolini so emphatically emphasize the inferiority of women, because if they were not inferior, they would cease to enlarge.”

Virginia Woolf

And to illustrate her point with one of the thousands of pathetically obvious examples of how women have been reduced to male-magnifying mirrors in art history:

Orimligt 2
Have the feminist nymphs gone too far? Have the feminist nymphs subdued the faun?

We reacted very strongly to Blachman. And by us I mean both Sweden and Denmark. (The picture that Denmark should have taken Blachman with a free-spirited shrug is false.) But we did respond particularly strongly here in Sweden. And I have a theory as to why.

Where had we recently seen a black studio on television? The dark background vacuum, the strong, yellow interrogation lamp and a succession of women who took their place in it. The sound of men’s words, directed at their bodies. Read by themselves. 

Uppdrag granskning_kvinnohatet

“One day I will personally cut your throat and leave you with the knife driven up into your pussy.”

Maria Sveland, author 

“I hope you’re down there because I want to come and fuck you hard in both your big ass and your creased pussy.”

Åsa Linderborg, head of culture Aftonbladet

“This is the time we should meet and have sex. I’ll be waiting for you outside the TV house. If you say no then the butchering awaits. I’ll hang up all the body parts in the meat hooks. After that, I will fry your breasts with butter. Mmm, that’ll be good. “

Jenny Alversjö, Newsreader in TV4

The woman’s body is thirsty for words. A man’s words.

In the program Uppdrag Granskning’s episode Men Who Hate Women (broadcast on February 6, 2013), we got to see how threatened, naked and worthless some men feel about seeing women take a seat in public. Two months later (on April 2), Danish TV responded with a stage set like the society these rape-threatening and death-threatening men have visions of.

A society where women shut up and are beautiful. A world where women’s freedom of movement is limited to a pedestal. Without prospects. Only darkness and the man’s voice. (“Your body is your world, and I describe it. Take it easy, as long as you measure up in my eyes you will not fall.”)

Thomas Blachman is worried that men have become women. Solution: To show everyone who really is the woman. To imprint into our retinas so that we don’t forget – who is cockless and therefore should remain powerless. (“How’s that pussy working for you?”, Blachman says to a naked woman in the first episode of Blachman.) His hidden ideological agenda is exactly the same as patriarchy has practiced throughout art history: Visually merging the biological women’s body with the feminizing situation to be viewed and judged – a silenced object.

And in the same way, the men who write e-mails with gendered words full of knives to public women hope that the underlining attack on their gender will carve a reminder into their heads that their bodies mean subordination.

Two different types of demonstrations of power – a visual and a verbal assault – which are basically about the same thing. Bludgeoning women into men’s magnifying mirrors.

Kolossala Blachman
“The colossal man” – the title of Thomas Blachman’s book. It’s okay to laugh out loud, but do it quietly. Otherwise, he may have to make another TV show.)

Do you think this man seems to need a comforting Golden Boob Mug to suckle? If so: Vote Blachman.

American Apparel

for The Unisex Shirt

No sexist list of the year would be complete without American Apparel. One of the most sexist companies in the world, but which we – despite having had stores in Sweden since 2007 – haven’t really had a healthy, massive allergic reaction to until now.

Of course, I’m talking about the Unisex shirt. The allegedly gender-neutral flannel garment that turns men into kittens who’ve happened to drink a capsule of horse anesthesia and caused women to lose every piece of clothing except for the shirt and swing horse polo clubs in abandoned apartments.

Unisexmansson och unisexkvinnsson

Feminist retro fashion blogger Emelie Eriksson should definitely have a prize for Gender find of the Year. Her desperate search for images of the unisex shirt on a female body where the woman actually wears pants to the shirt was as entertaining as it was educational.

And the shirt itself is the perfect neutral measuring stick to show how asymmetrically the sexualizing gaze hits men and women in commercial images.

Wow so unisex
The Equality Shirt!

But American Apparel is, as I said, an extreme.

Har du reflekterat vilket utskott av icke-visuellt kvinnoförtryck som unisexbilderna påminner om och kanske medvetet anspelar på?

Have you reflected on which outgrowth of non-visual oppression of women the unisex images are reminiscent of?

American Apparel vem e du

Neither had I, until I stood and gave a lecture to the Stockholm Prostitution Unit – an organization that supports people who’ve sold sex, hurt themselves with sex or suffered trafficking – and the pictures above were next in my slideshow.

She’s in an empty, unfurnished apartment or villa with nice curtains (probably not hers). She’s playing with a horse polo club (upper class sport; probably not hers). The consciously amateur aesthetic – no lighting equipment, just a flash straight on – to enhance the sense of realism; the feeling that she’s really yours.

Now that I think about it. Does it even look like it’s her shirt?

American Apparel_Jennifer

You’re a sex buyer.

Whose look would this picture otherwise belong to if we translated it straight to a real scenario? Not only does the room lack furnishings that indicate that it is for living, it also lacks warmth and closeness. It doesn’t feel like a picture you would take if you were her horny, dear girlfriend (or boyfriend). And it doesn’t look like amateur porn. Because even though American Apparel does what many porn sites do – to simply portray their models stripping across multiple frames – it never happens that elastic bands crosses labia and a cock slips into the image.

The pictures do not contain sex, but promise of sex. A promise that she can be taken by you in as ritual forms as the pictures are taken.

Jennifer i skjortan 2

An extreme example, as I said. For a clothing store’s product images. But not for American Apparel. The entire visual style of the clothing brand can be summarized as “sex with minors”.

They do exactly the opposite of what most other fashion companies do. Instead of using ideally chiseled models, poses, art direction and retouching to hide the girls’ young age …

Cameron Russel med grandma
Photos of the model Cameron Russel taken the same year.
In none of the pictures she’d had her first period.

… American Apparel does everything to emphasize the youth of the models.

Hur gammal

How old is she?
Nathaly
What about her?
Hur gammal 3
Wait, are all of them photographed in the same bed, by the way?
(No, perhaps not. But virginal white beds throughout.

But it gets even worse.

As if these models aren’t already very young, American Apparel often let them to pose with the body-language of infantile, unaware toddlers drinking from bottles and kicking with the legs, or blowing bubbles in beds – while being sexualized.

Bebis med nappflaska
Bubbliga gumman
How often do you see adults with this body-language?
Bojkott
bilden av vandaliseringen
Vandalism
Vandalism or self-defence?

A peacefully delivered Golden Boob Mug to American Apparel headquarters by the Gender Photographer? Or perhaps a golden pacifier would be more fitting?

Okay. Then there was one a candidate left. And this is the picture that haven’t caused a shit storm. (Yet.)

It’s the image that stands out most in the accumulated compost of sexist images that have reached me by Twitter, e-mail or hearsay in 2013. And I still can’t understand how or why it came to existence …

WARNING FOR SENSITIVE IMAGE

*

*

*

Salong Bangs

for this:

Salong Bangs hemsida

This is celebrity hairdresser and former Paradise Hotel winner Marwan ” Marre ” Hitti’s beauty salon Salong Bang’s website, as it looks right now.

And I still have a hard time finding words … So I borrow a couple from the feminist rapper Cleo’s song Go To Salon:

I make myself fine at the salon

I pick my eyebrowns at the salon

Do manicure at the salon

Fix my hairstyle at the salon

Get strangled at the salon???

I really wonder what the message of this picture is. “Do you feel that you are not good enough as you are? Go to a woman abuser – they are best at telling you exactly how you should be”?

And who is the woman in the picture suppose to represent? You, the customer?

Ditt ansikte
Your face here. (Note: Gender Photographer’s remix.)

Or are they supposed to be colleagues? Is he a stylist and she a model and are they in the middle of a photo shoot? Is it art? Edgy artistic fashion photo? Or a provocation? In that case it’s quite unsuccessful, because this is the only internet-registered reaction to the image I found:

Salong Bangs-reaktion

As you can see, the picture has been out since at least April 9, 2012.

And no one in Marwan Hitti’s presence seems to be bothered by him having the picture as a profile pic on Twitter either.

Marres Twirre

How do you react to the image? Does it feel perfectly normal?

In that case it’s an even greater reason for concern. Because that’s the effect of images that glamourize, aesthetisize and sanitize violence against women. Normalization.

Who was Sexist of the Year 2013?

The poll was closed the night of February 7th.


Forty Shades of Power Balance

Another quarter has passed. And it is time for forty new pictures – hand-picked by you, sent to me via Twitter, mobile, mail and mouth – to lie down on my long, sloping gender therapy couch. This is…

Tips I’ve gotten between 1 January and 31 March 2013

The first category maybe you didn’t think would get re-filled that much in 2013, since it’s pretty well-established as GENDER FAIL No. 1…

Photographing away women’s power by depicting them from above; a camera-angle that gives the one seeing symbolical power over the one that is shown

40

GunillaHeurlitzkrympt

Gunilla Herlitz. Editor-in-chief and CEO for the Swedish morning newspaper Dagens Nyheter 2009–2013. Photographed for the trade magazine Resumé in a way that makes her look two… three apples high?

39

Tips_Fredrik Rosenqvist

Helena Bergström. Actor and director that’s been in Swedish movie business so long that she has probably generated an aura of authority that would make you knee-weak. Here depicted so that she looks like a tiny, cute, unproblematic gnome. (That’s sitting on the toilet?)

38

Tips_Pernilla Alexandersson

Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Malmös new muncipal council chairman, that’s TAKING OVER MALMÖ, the image wants to illustrate. But ambushing her, apparently, was an even bigger giant with a camera.

37

Tips_Sara Gabrielsson_Daniel Eriksson

These twenty civil engineer students – who’s competing for a Future female leader award – the magazine Ny Teknik is betting will be the super-bosses of the future (according to the headline).

In words. In imagery: The springboards of the future.

hoppbockofyesterday

36

Tips_Lunchgren

More future talent, interviewed in Dagens Nyheter about a talent network that markets young talents to recruiting companies.

What would the recruiter like? A view, or someone with a vision?

35

Tips_isabelle lundqvist1

Susanna Göransdotter, one of the persons behind the feminist blog The guilt is not mine which is about feminists not having the constantly resume a defensive pose for their views. Interviewed for Värmlands Folkblad on the International Women’s Day.

Photographed in a defensive pose. Like the guilt was hers.

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gubbslem och sveland

Two slimey men and Sweden’s most dangerous woman (according to the internet forum and psychiatric clicic Flashback).

Maria Sveland has written the book (Hatet) about men who get reversed delusions of grandeur and send death threats, gang rape threats and vagina destruction poetry to women who doesn’t keep a pleasant distance from the public discourse, asks for forgiveness and shuts up.

In this photo in Göteborgs-Posten it looks like Maria Sveland prooooomises to be quiet and cute and nice-submissive, if she only gets another chance! Or a forgiveness for her since from the old gents next to her, who are each not only glorified with a from below-perspective – a camera-angle that ascribes the one depicted with a higher degree of authority – but also actually positioned above Maria Sveland layout-wise. (The guilt in this case is entirely the editor’s, since the photos surely wasn’t taken exclusively for this article.)

Which leads us to next category…

Women who for some reason has ended up under, behind or in the beards of men, or who have in another creative way been made invisible or their competence made invisible by/with men

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She is the new boss. That’s what the headline, Change in the top, is saying. She’s taking over, he steps down from the post of municipal council chairman in Stenungsund. But not before a photographer could blow him to the bursting limit with the mightiest frogs perspective Stenungsund has seen!

Looks like he’s sitting on her, right?

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Tips_Lisa Enquist

”The woman behind the man”? Must be a misstake. Gina Dirawi is sixteen the times the tv host that Danny Saucedo is. Or well, she is a tv host. (He’s a musician.)

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Tips_isabelle lundqvist2

An article about domestic violence? No. Aloe vera selling. For some spooky, inexplicable reason the dishwater grey graphical women have ended up behind broad-shouldered, graphical men in the pair photos (with blood red staples or or pulldown blinds in the background).

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Tips_ Albert Safstrom

This was what I meant by “in the beards of men”. Do you see her? Clue: check out his front tail. (Spoiler: It’s a back tail.)

Funny or unpleasant photo? A creative invisibility-making, anyhow.

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Tips_Elise Nilsson

Do you see what’s invisible in this picture?

Her t-shirt logo. And every female SATS training instructors. Or is she supposed to symbolize You, the customer? Well, according to the logik in this posts image materials’ logic, I’d rather draw the conclusion that she is SATS’ CEO.

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Tips_Christina Norling

Maybe the most common way of making female bosses invisble. By taking for granted that they are men. (Married, white, middle-aged men, at that.)

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Tips_Sophie Winberg Tyrfelt
Her line: “No one could’ve guessed that, that I would own a bank.”
His line: “Of course I own my own bank. Don’t you?”

”I get the impression that she’s slow”, says my intern Caroline.

I get the impression the insurance company Länsförsäkringar are slow. The angle Oh, nobody would’ve guessed I, who am a woman, could do this! feels imported straight from 1950’s advertising. Like her outfit and ribbon on her head, incidentally. Lucky for her there’s a man nearby who without giggling or playing with his sideburns helps clouding her competence further.

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Tips Anna Borg

Länsförsäkringar’s bank owner duo as kids.

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Tips_Annika Joensson

Bonjour, Emil the self-assured master chef. Goodnight, nameless, doll-like 50’s-housewife with dead stare and twisted ankles that’s slanting around on a floating checkered tie (Caroline’s observation) on the cover ot the finish childrens fashion magazine Ottobre.

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Tips_SvintoBoll

Hey Darth, you dominant little phallos-toddler. Hey girl who’s ended up on the floor between his legs on the pages of playrooms in building product BoList’s catalogue.

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Tips_storhockeyblunder2

Yes. The pink clad hockey kids (without clubs) are girls”, writes the tipper Jessica Westin, who as an old hockey player could not let this epic gender-fail pass when she saw it in Sundsvalls Tidning. And the blue ones, who’ve gotten all the clubs, pucks and attention from the trainer – but no cute princess-three crowns-shirts – are boys.

MAD YET?

In that case we cool down, I think. Why not with some adorable photos of…

Women transformed into overjoyous, orgasmic beeings by coming in contact with different liquid, clays and trees (a close relative to women that struggles to drink water and women laughing alone with salad).

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Tips_ Johan Forsberg

WATEEEEER! My favourite substance in the whole wide world, hihihihi iiiiih!

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Tips_Sofia Zequana

POOOOOOOOOOOOP! Wohoho! Squish squish, blink blink! (”That one you’re going to change”, says my intern Caroline.)

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Tips_Lisa Hartzell

“Mmmmmmm. BARK.”

Maybe a justified pose in Naturskyddsföreningen’s periodical Sweden’s Nature. But still an interesting coincidence that two different photographers independently of each other reproduced the meme “middle-aged woman with closed eyes hugs trees”, as the tipper Lisa Hartzell names it.

Even if I have to admit I have seen it before.

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Kyssminbark

‘Without title’.

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Tips_VAD

He he. You look funny, 7-eleven-being. But an easy prey for the devil.

For yes, where do all these woman-beings originate from? From art, music and literature history, where they’ve acted posts in a patriarchal fatherly gender discourse about women being irrational, innocent children who shouldn’t be let loose in areas that demand reason and self-control, like politics, academia or prestigious offices.

On the other side. What’s really most sound? Images of women who get glad over anything, or…

Men who gets happy by nothing (/a.k.a. murderers)

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Tips_Lisa Sandblom

The soccer player Gerard Piqué is expecting a child with the pop star Shakira. And how happy is he over that? So happy he could MURDER. (You? The photographer? The kids’ real father?)

I wrote about this in my post Why so murderous, man?: That the reason men so often meets the viewer with an aggressive, controlling gaze is that ideal masculinity is about being dominant, but also because “the male gaze” is so wide-spread in our image culture that images in media both directed to men and to women turns to a male heterosexual gaze. And with that logic his look could be interpreted as him needing to guard himself to thoughts about homoeroticism. Even when he’s holding his pregnant girlfriend’s belly.

To be reduced to a cute cake-sniffing fairy is perhaps a more mild way of being dehumanized compared to never being allowed to show the faintest emotional utterance, even in images that’s supposed to mediate happiness?

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Tips_Martin ‏Jansson2
Tips_Martin ‏Jansson

The first congratulation card: Myth. Men benefits more of being married and fare worse after divorces, among other reasons because they to a lesser degree are raised to care for relations and therefore let their wife mend the friendship relations during the marriage, something that can make them isolate and become lonely without even a salad to laugh with when they’ve chucked the fetter of marriage.

The second card: WHERE THE FUCK IS DADDY?

pappautanbarn

Teaser for my lecture at Lunnevads folk high school, with an image from my last list of 40 gender-blunders.

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Tips_Anna-Karin Larsson

What have you done to popstar Darin, Gaffa? You made him into a Murderer!

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argtdjur

Animals are men. And when animals are men you know they’re ANGRY.

Oops. Now it became heated again.

Incredibly unnecessary and unfitting objectifications of women and sexualisation of services, experiences or educations with the help of women

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Tips_iwallinder

Incredible ill-fitting print on the company car, keeping in mind cleaners are a occupational group that gets suggestions about performing sexual services (mentioned in the last issue of feminist journal Bang).

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Image removed

Advertising for a cave diving tour. With a girl ready to dive down her own cleft. Had to check if this company has their base in Denmark.

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Tips_Susanne Jortso2

SUPPOSE that this German Octavia-ad is directed towards women or are created with even the least regard for Skodas female clientele. What were they thinking? ”Do You want to look cool in traffic with asymmetrical nipple-erection? By our asymmetrically ice-cold car.”

Nah. Don’t wanna suppose.

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Tips_Josefine

BREAST-FEEDING BRA. Yeah. For which kind of kid? you might wonder. I suspect we’re dealing with a big, hairy, 45-year old kid with a camera. (Made myself shudder.)

Come and eat, baby.

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Tips_Maja Olga E. Almgren

”ok THIS IS A NOSE WASHER!!! One you use to WASH OUT YOUR NOSE WITH. With SALT WATER. WHEN YOU’RE SICK!!!”

Thanks, Maja Olga E. Almgren. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Thought about becoming a copywriter?

Tips_MajaOlga

(Also read Maja Olga E. Almgrens self-help guide Having a girl-cold. ”Why do you have to be UGLY just because you’re SICK?”)

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Tips_Stfmar_stfmar

One of the least housebroken places to find the male gaze slip in. During a lecture for doctors in surgery. About rectal prolapse. That is, when the large intestines are about to fall out through the anus. Illustrated with pictures of strippers???, Stfmar, who sent this tip, asked herself.

”What are the surgical options?”

Dirty.

Report the school.

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And here humanity freezes to ice. And ad for the portable console Playstation Vita. An example of how the female body is emptied of meaning and, without excuses, is made into a toy for men.

Right now in the video games industrym, though, there’s a first, broad feminist awakening. It started with the brutal backlash against video blogger Anita Sarkeesian, who got the worst Internet hate mob known to humankind after her when she started a Kickstarter-funded project to analyse ow women are portrayed in video games (a review whose first, very well-done part is out now).

Anita Sarkeesian got to hear she’s a jew whore who should be raped, killed and banished to the kitchen to make sandwhiches to the real, male gamers. The mob tried to get all her accounts in the world wide web suspended, spammed, closed. Her home adress was published. One person took the time to materialize all the hate into a video game where you could abuse Anita Sarkeesians face to a hamburger of blood and bruises.

WARNING FOR SENSITIVE IMAGE

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AnitaSarkeesian

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This is how extremely stress you can get when someone even fiddles your toys. Safe, simple, one-dimensional woman-toys that in 30 years has been the very symbol of your privilege and confirmation of your unthreatened superiority.

Which leads us into the last category, that I could call flat out misogyny, but that I’d rather give another perspective on by calling…

Masculinity in crisis

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Tips_Maria Melkersson

What do you mean masculinity in crisis? She’s lying there like a wet waffle in bikini in his lap and watching him admiringly. He’s the one that’s dressed and on top and has the situation all under control?

Exactly.

5

Tips_Kerstin Alex

The video games world again. Concept art for the game DmC: Devil May Cry. Dressed man. Surrounded by angels in silver hotpants who curiously cling to him. He answers their appreciation with a superior look on his face and by holding his hand like a pistol – at crotch-height – against the forehead of the angel between his legs.

A power-fantasy in its purest image form. From a medium full of power fantasies where white, straight men are the center of the universe and women are chest-heavy character development free crutches to men that constantly has to be rescued or fucked.

There’s a line in this came that could be put as a caption to all these images of a masculinity that begs to be whispered in the ear that it’s enough:

”The world is at last your bitch. As am I.”

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Tips_Susanne Jortso

My interpretation of the image in this Dutch costume ad: A masculinity hanging from a brittle thread.

Or as a student of Södra Latin’s gymnasium i Stockholm put it when I asked them to explain this image: ”That’s patriarchy! Her existens is dependent on him, just like patriarchy wants it.”

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Tips_Terese Persson

The second grossest magazine cover I’ve seen. And the answer to what happens when a ‘murderer’ is accompanied by a women in the picture.

Or what do you think? Does it look like he has saved her?

I think about a passage I read in Claudia Lindéns text ”Anne Charlotte Leffler and the masculine fantasy’s tragedy” in the new anthology The woman makes the man (2013):

”The man’s superiority and the woman’s aboslute passivity is a condition for hem to be attracted sexually… The woman’s inferiority is in this way not only an effect of, but rather the term for masculinity in the heteronormative game.”

Claudia Lindén

Claudia Lindén writes about Swedish 19th century literature, but I think it feels applicable to the murderer above. Especially the part about “woman’s absolute passivity”. You can’t be more passive, subordinated and powerless than when you’re dead.

And for sure he is horny, alright. He’s doing his best to keep control and his pants on, but his parted lips reveals his inner, tingling, necrofiliac extasy.

This cover, for the french fashion magazine L’Officiel Hommes – literally translated to The offical men – really makes me wonder how inflamed the gender debate in France is, when their men has to se this, eh… comforting images.

And especially since this magazine cover came out of France just in September last year:

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Vogue-Hommes-International-Paris

The most disgusting magazine cover I’ve seen. Also of a magazine directed towards men. The legendary fashion magazine Vouges international men’s edition Vogue Hommes International.

And the headline they chose? Even it is phrased as a post in the debate about the gender order. Un Homme et une Femme. ”A man and a woman.”

I feel powerless when I see this image. For the criticism of images like these will always be explained away with it being about passion, not violence. But as the New York-office of NOW (National Organization for Women) wrote in a letter to the publishing house that makes Vouge: According to a 2008 study of murders of women in 11 US cities, it was found that 43% of women killed by their partners had experienced at least one incident of strangulation before being murdered.

Who thinks it’s a good idea to even play with the lethal fire of suggesting that all women deep inside are masochists who get turned on by violence?

I can tell you who took the photo. Terry Richardson. The photographer who breaks all records in degrading photos of women, who documents himself fucking models, is accused of sexual harassment (like Dov Charney, founder and CEO of American Apparel, the company who breaks all records in degrading photos of women and child-porn influenced fashion photography) – and is celebrated as a male genius. So you can count on it being a testing of limits.

I think the most unsettling thing is her eyes. I think it looks like she’s starting to run out of oxygen and hardly can keep her eyes open. And the gloss in them looks unusually badly photoshopped. (On purpose?)

My intern Caroline did this brilliant observation: It’s her elbow that hinders her from looking completely passive. It still gives her some kind of mobility. If she would’ve taken it down she would look paralyzed, and then it would be hard not seeing the image as something other than… the patriarchy’s violent hostage-taking of the image of the woman.

The man: Out of it, lost in his own sadist, horny-misty world. Far removed from his crisis.

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This trend.

tumsugare1
tumsugare2
nappsugare

OK. Home assignment: What exactly is sexy about women acting like toddlers?

Gina Tricot, SOLO, Totally Stockholm and Sephora aren’t clothing brands or magazines that exclusively cater to antifeminists. So it’s harder to speculate about men dreaming about women as manageable and powerless as babies, or about a male fear of mature women that has experience and knowledge, or an equality movement that moves in babysteps. The space for taking infantilizing photos of women sucking their thumbs or pacifiers is within forums for regulating and re-creating of desireable femininity.

Can you imagine a man with a pacifier in his mouth on the cover of King Magazine, Café or in an ad from Jack & Jones? WITHOUT holding a dead woman and thus having the excuse that he’s just a chill serial killer.

DISCUSS.

And carry on sending me tips, all you sharp-eyed out there. Soon we’ll take this to the next level.

Thanks for contributing to this post with tips Emerentia L Lund, Fredrik Rosenqvist, Pernilla Alexandersson, Sara Gabrielsson, Daniel Eriksson, Lunchgren, Axel Pettersson, Isabelle Lundqvist, Erika Wallman, Lisa Enquist, Isabelle Lundqvist, Albert Säfström, Elise Nilsson, Christina Norling, Sophie Winberg Tyrfelt, Anna Borg, Annika Jönsson, SvintoBoll, Lisa Hartzell, Johan Forsberg, Sofia Zequana, ⓋAD, Lisa Sandblom, Martin Jansson, Anna-Karin Larsson, Per Eeg Olofsson, Ida Wallinder, Annika B Kupiainen, Susanne Jörtsö, Jusey, M, Kerstin Alex, Susanne Jörtsö, Terese Persson, Elham Kalhori, Jannilla Lidén, and Ingela Wahlgren.