Saturday, July 25, 2015

on being weird and fabulous selfies

This is me. I wrote about what being different might mean a couple entries back, and how it's almost never perceived positively. And since then I had some time to reflect on whether I'm a "different" guy, and if so, what makes me different.

It's entirely normal to be different in some aspect. You can have a certain degree of otherness, in some element, and still be considered very ordinary. It's when you're consistently going against the norms, that's when things get different. In my introspective journeys, I found one significant otherness in my nature.

If we take things back a bit, I was a very shy boy around girls when I was younger. Until I was 15, I really didn't talk to women. I hung out just with dudes. All the time. That might be surprising to hear for those who have gotten to know me only after I moved to Vasa. I'd wager it would be just as big a surprise for my older acquaintances to hear that nowadays, 9/10 times I'm with someone, you'd find me with a group of women.

If we quickly look at some numbers;
1. I went to an arts programme in school where my class was made up of 2 boys and ~15 girls.
2. I work at a cafe that is a part of a collective of several cafes. I'm the only male employee among those 3 cafes.
3. Statistically (Approximately..), fewer than one in five people who enter my apartment is a man.
4. I write a blog. I mean, do you even know any other guy who runs a blog? Blogging is definitely considered a female thing.

Now, I don't pretend to be some kind of new-generation Hefner bringing only women over all the time, that's not at all what I'm saying (My game is pathetic). But my habits and the environment I most often find myself in (and indeed choose to be in) are feminine.

I haven't really ever given it that much thought or worry, I don't mind it, and I don't think it compromises my masculinity or manliness in any way. It turns out femininity and masculinity aren't completely mutually exclusive.

Other people seem to notice it, though, and often I can't help but notice when they do. People definitely think it's weird, not just different. People at the counter buying coffee at the cafe have no restraint in commenting on how they've never seen a man work at a cafe before. Men are a cautious when they hear I'm a blogger. It's even happened a couple times that people have tried to use my talent as an artist as a way to feminize me and reduce my value in some typically manly discussion. It's true, it might be a bit different, but none of those things actually make any sense at all.

People get confused real quick. Really confused. Seeing where this entry has taken us, I can't avoid commenting on how often people seem to think I'm gay. Which is pretty funny. It makes me wonder, what steps do other men take in order not to appear feminine (Male femininity is apparently a stereotypically gay attribute)? I obviously skipped some chapter while reading the guide to manliness.

Many of those who know me have heard this story, but most recently, I was sitting at a table having some beers with two of my oldest friends in Vasa, who are women. There was also a group of (slightly intoxicated) men sitting across the terrace. We were joined by a third woman, and we sat there talking for quite a while. Then, I feel a tap on my shoulder as one of the men had walked over, and he asked me "No offence, but are you gay?".

That's a bombshell to end this entry on, isn't it? What an silly assumption. Apparently, the Finnish male norm can't handle nor understand the notion of a man who has female friends. So I guess I am different in that respect. But as I said before, it's completely normal to be a bit weird. I'm not the least bit sore about people thinking I'm feminine. I'm awesome.

Our societal norms are pretty sad and judgemental, though. I'm constantly reminded that I live in a bubble, and that the rest of Finland isn't quite as liberal and forthgoing as my circle of friends and the people I regularly hang out with. Today, you don't have to go farther than the newspaper to see what backwards attitudes and opinions are accepted here in our country, even though Finland might be considered progressive in a larger perspective.

In my following entry, I plan to write about how I used a bit of subtle digital editing to make that earlier selfie so *FABULOUS*.


  1. Ahahaha XD
    That's quite the post dude. :)

    I see you've been spending some time thinking about this, or rather, on how other people perceive you. Which is all natural, and fine, I suppose :p

    I can't say that I relate, as I find it weird that people assume so much about you. For starters, I would at least think that I appear to be more feminine than you, yet I don't recall ever being asked whether I am gay. EVER. That said, maybe it's the art-thingy that makes people assume so? Who knows.
    I don't think you're that weird either, personally, but maybe I'm just weird myself? Afterall, I do write in a blog occasionally as well.
    Either way, I don't see what's bad about being diferent either. I'm glad to hear that at least you handle the subject in a reasonable way, that is, you don't find that you're doing something you shouldn't be doing by being friends with many women, etc. So many people nowadays tend to take things like this way too seriously, or tend to assume too much (in my humble opinion).
    I have always had some kind of a blanace between women and men in my friend circles. I don't see the reason why one sex could only be considered to be potential partners, and the other sex friends. That's ludicrous.
    Also, I've seen tons of men working in cafés. Wtf? XD

    But nothing tops that bar story. I wonder what the context of it was for the other people :p
    I refuse to blieve tha he asked it just because you were talking to women. Myabe it was your clothes, or then they listened to what you talked about, or then they were just very intoxicated. Either way, I find it pretty hilarious. You'll find interesting people in bars, frequently :)

    P.S. That pic is fabulous indeed ;)

    1. I asked the guy "Why would you think I'm gay?" and he actually said that it was because I was sitting there with three women. Instead of asking him to elaborate, I asked him if he didn't think I was good looking (enough to get to be with three women.)

      I had to edit this entry a bit. I really felt like it wasn't like me and that it didn't fit my blog. I felt it was interesting just because it revealed something about me, rather than actually being interesting content. It's still a relatively personal entry, but now it at least doesn't look like I'm trying to combat some sort of insecurity by writing about it. I've felt more self-conscious about this entry being bad in the last few days than I've ever been about people thinking I'm gay.


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