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
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?
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?)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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?
”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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.)
”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.
Länsförsäkringar’s bank owner duo as kids.
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.
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.
”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.
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).
WATEEEEER! My favourite substance in the whole wide world, hihihihi iiiiih!
POOOOOOOOOOOOP! Wohoho! Squish squish, blink blink! (”That one you’re going to change”, says my intern Caroline.)
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.
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)
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?
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?
Teaser for my lecture at Lunnevads folk high school, with an image from my last list of 40 gender-blunders.
What have you done to popstar Darin, Gaffa? You made him into a Murderer!
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
”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?
(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?”)
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?”
Report the school.
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
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
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?
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.”
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.