Wednesday, July 31, 2013

social roles and pressure

So I stumbled across this link on Facebook the other day, and it's... I don't think it's totally okay.

There are several things about it that bother me. Now, the article is in essence all about how wonderful it is to date mature men, and there's nothing wrong with that as a personal opinion. But there's a very condescending tone about the whole thing, and it paints a very unflexible picture of how men are supposed to be.

This is how feminism and gender equality goes both ways. The thing with the modern media is that it doesn't appeal to individualism, but certain clichés and ways of life. The problem is that there are many ways to be grown up, mature, or a "man". All personal. Everyone has their own way of being the best they can. But the only thing a dude will do while absorbing this article is compare himself to this fake ideal, just like how women popularly compare themselves to models, which is a very well known issue. This isn't okay.

It's a problem because it puts pressure on people, especially the young who might still be struggling to find their places in the world, to be and act a certain way. A way often completely unattainable, because everyone has their own problems, and this is something that the media has no way of acknowledging. But the change has to come, when people can feel comfortable with their problems, and won't have to feel judged for them, in social life or while subjected to the media.

Many think feminism should be about enabling women to be who they are, without being judged. We need to strike woman from that phrase, because it's everyone's right to be just who they want to be. In fact, feminism is an obsolete concept. If anyone can motivate themselves into fighting for women's rights, then I believe fighting for the rights of homosexuals, against racism, or any other form of discrimination is a given. Because in the end, what we ultimately strive for is coming about an end of social pressure and injustice, no matter who it's affecting, or in what way.

This is the most basic of human rights, the right to live the way you want to live your life. Without judge. Sadly, it's not possible in today's world, because the media won't let you. It may be utterly impossible to eliminate social pressure from the media, because it's everyone's right to share their opinions, but at least I hope that we can educate people into a more accepting society, a society where we can learn to not force our own views onto others, but to accept each others decisions in life, and who they are, without spite or judge.

Monday, July 22, 2013

right vs wrong ft. THE BICYCLE

Holy mother of faulty perspectives... I'm very sorry :S

 Bicycles. They just look better when they're depicted from the right. We have been schooled to think so.

And it's because we read left-to-right. Now, you might think that is an odd connection to make, but it's actually very simple.

Left to right reading has become so ingrained into our way of thinking, that it affects the way we perceive the world. The direction right, is simply the right direction. Since we read from left to right, that is now also the direction that our subconscious minds tell us is forward. The direction right is a strong symbol of progress, and the future.

Bicycles, interestingly, are also symbolic for progression, because bikes are clever, and they go somewhere. This symbolism has always been the general consensus, it just makes sense.

So what happens when a bike faces the left? A symbolic disparity. On one hand, it's the archetype of progression, a bicycle. But, it's going the wrong way, because progress goes to the right. It fucks with our heads.

In addition to the symbolic anomaly, there's a psychological aspect to it. It's alot simpler, too, as it requires no understanding of symbolics whatsoever. Our subconsciousness is used to right being the direction that is forward, because it's how we read. On the other hand, we know that the bike is facing the left, and should therefore also be going to the left. We don't know what to believe, where is the bike actually heading? 

Reason versus intuition, it's an age old struggle, albeit subconsciously. It confuses the brain. All we know is, bikes heading left are a pain in the ass.

When you Google "bike", and query pictures, the wast majority of these bikes point to the right, and now you know why.

Monday, July 15, 2013

disappointment and anatomy

Some time ago, someone told me not to have such high expectations of things, that way, I wouldn't be disappointed so often... In fact, it's something that lots of people say. Going into things with an open mind, they call it. 

This doesn't work. In life, there is no way of avoiding disappointment. Sure, you can rationalize things to a point where you aint even mad, but the thing is, disappointment isn't about expectancies that weren't met.

To expect is very similar to anticipating. There exists a difference in nuance, but in essence, both imply a belief of something to come. Expecting is usually used when you strongly believe something.

Again, I claim there's no way to avoid ever being disappointed. When things don't go as expected, it's called a surprise. Disappointment is something entirely different. Being disappointed is about your hopes not being met. In Swedish, the difference is quite vivid - Förväntan and Förhoppning. Quite similar, often the same, sometimes, for better or for worse, they're worlds far apart. 

And there is simply no way of avoiding hoping for things in life. There always exists a preferable outcome, even if it's not something you're consciously thinking about. You might not even know what you want, but you always want SOMETHING. If, someday, you need to choose between two different things, (an "ice-cream or candy"-sorts dilemma) but don't know which one you actually want - Flip a coin. It's a charming experiment, because you don't do what the coin says in the end, you simply gauge your reaction. More often than not, there will be either disappointment or happiness with the flip. Then you can know what you truly wanted.

It's also charming, because it's so naive. You have no way of truly knowing which would have been more satisfying, and nothing hinders you from being disappointed from the experience of eating that ice-cream or candy. Maybe it still wasn't as good as you hoped. 

Nothing is perfect, and often perfection is what we hoped for. We can try to mitigate disappointment by having realistic expectations, or trying not to get your hopes up, or simply not caring. But then, how are we supposed to ever get excited about something? We need to get disappointed sometimes, simply because it's an anchor to reality. It still sucks, though.

Mouse over this image! (Probably does not work on mobile devices.)

Ugh. I've already written a lot more than I meant to.

Anyway, I the picture above is just some study I made, it doesn't have anything to do with the subject of disappointment. For artists, and in life, I think its important to understand how things work, not just how they look, or what they do. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving a car, if I didn't have a basic idea of the principles and machinery working under the hood. In the same way, I don't think I would be able to draw humans as well if I hadn't ever looked at anatomical depictions of musculature and bone structure, or hadn't spent evenings feeling my face trying to figure out what's where and how things connect into one another.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Feminism. It's... It's a word that comes loaded with prejudice, no matter whose ear it reaches. Both bad and good stereotypes. Women tend to look up to feminists, though not all do. Men might, or then again, may not. Feminism is very controversial, if anything. Men typically have a terrible image of feminists. People tend to cling on to negatives, while the positives quickly fade from memory.

When I hear feminism, I think of dried up and sex-deprived bloggers. That's the best way I can put it. Hear me out, though. There's lots of bad feminism, and the good feminists are fighting for gender equality, not actual feminism. If they were the same, it wouldn't be called feminism. Ism:s (Buddhism, socialism, capitalism, alcoholism.) are all different systems of belief. For an alcoholic, there's a God in the bottle. For a capitalist, there is a God in the money. For a feminist, (Femme; latin for woman) there is a God in the woman. And no, I don't think it's silly to bring that up. The words we use are very representative.

I don't like discussing feminism. What's the counterpart? Male chauvinism, Masculinism, you probably haven't heard of them, and Google didn't bring up many other examples.

That's why calling it feminism is wrong. The word needs to go. It undermines what the regular feminist would strive for, which is gender equality.

In truth, gender equality isn't something that women fight for. Equality is an agreement, a mutual understanding of trust and care, between the men and women of the world. Equality has to come from both genders. I am someone who believes in this, and that makes it awkward for me to call myself a feminist. There is no sameness without a counterpart, and it doesn't make sense to use a word that only accounts for one side.

Today's feminism, tomorrows gender equality, it's not about bringing women out of the shadow of the men (or the so called patriarchy), it's about the two meeting at the same level, gaining common ground.

It's about eliminating gender based stereotypes altogether. It's about making everyone happy, not just the men, or the women, no matter the gender. I don't support feminism, I support gender equality.

Oh, the two-faced world we live in. Have you seen the men in media lately? 

I mean, people think H&M's photoshopped female models set us up with false ideals. While that is true, what most don't realize is that the media pressure upon men is just as large. There is one kind of sexy man in the media, and a thousand kinds of ugly man. The sexy man has a large junk, ripped abdominals, no chest hair, and definitely isn't bald. If you don't fill these criteria, your worth as a man, as landscaped by the Western media, is nonexistent.

And that's why its important that we don't fight for feminism, but gender equality. Both are about inducing a change of attitude in society, and progression is the key. So please, if equal rights is what you fight for, don't call yourself a feminist.