Who is afraid of ass? Nobody nowadays, question only is what size it is and how it was made. Body needs work as it is looked at and certain parts are looked at. Naturalness which we appreciate cannot be anything but a result of hard work. Still nudity is scary even in art, which has led me thinking what does it mean, the fear, scandalising body, seeing something that cannot be looked at because it reveals something of the viewer, especially female body and showing of it, looking at bodies is telling. The fear is to be ridiculed, seen, judged, losing opportunities because of the shame of being seen, what else? Female body in art is on display but is it for the shock value, beauty the value, for artistic value (what makes artistic value?), difference in how body is displayed and what is desired from this show, exploration of human form, what happens in time to human body and how we perceive it and receive it, how we accept it or not, what else? Menstruation the word and sight is too much to take, is nudity any less? We are judged by what we reveal, what we watch, how we want ourselves to be seen, how others expect we must be seen and how not.
Paintings done by me during art school 1998. As an art student I was very influenced by my experiences as a young woman and by many female artists who fearlessly had explored femininity, double standards in art and difficulties in being a woman. How there has been this message that one should be ashamed of one’s body, its fluids, functions, the way body looks, what it is for and what it does. I have been fascinated by how little we have control over our bodies, over how it is seen, commented, looked at and what does it do, the body, that I am, but that has a will of its own. For example having had hugely painful period has been a one thing turning my life upside down once a month and this flooding phenomenon that is a taboo all over the world today still remains mysteriously disgusting and horrifying to many. All this is painful and remains so when female body is obscene and feared, so something one wants to understand and respect should be the case. What is the shame there, what is the dirtiness and scare?
Since there are people today who feel disgusted by menstruation art, that this issue is now called such, I must again put this forward, that women’s bodies belong to women and they do what they want with their bodies and menstruation being one thing women experience in its messiness and pain, shame and irritation, all it brings to us, as private as it may be, it is an everyday normal bodily function and a very important one. The leaking body, that has a way of its own is gorgeous and menstruation should be respected instead of felt disgusted by. And blood is not blue..
There was in the nineties a scandal when Danish women’s volleyball team had sun topless. I still remember the photo of the ladies in a row on a beach, it was cute. I haven’t found picture of the incident since. Culturally bound rules of how to dress on a beach wary quite a bit to the limit where men and women have separate beaches. For this there is a good reason and it is a reason why I avoid going to a crowded beach, I hate staring, to be started at and I dislike a crowd. To me beach with a crowd is a horrible experience but so is any crowd. This may be difficult to understand for those who enjoy sunbathing and tourist resorts in hot places and crowds, I don’t. Therefore I very well understand burkini. I don’t find it offensive, disturbing or strange in any way. Yet I come from a place where swimming naked is normal, at isolated places which there are almost nothing but in Eastern Finland. One reason for my love for isolated beaches and swimming nude. Swimming without any clothing is the best way to swim. Is it indecent? Well if nudity is a sin and to be seen naked is terrifying, then yes. I don’t mind nudity. I mind a kind of culture where people are targeted sexually. Nudity is freedom and everything is not sex.
https://www.thenation.com/article/frances-cultural-panic/ “If covering is just about faith, why don’t men do it too?”
Body parts, feelings, sensations, sexuality and expectations how these issues and things can be seen and will be tolerated. Dress and behavioral codes into which to grow and be comfortable with, but to grow up to be a woman or a man is a struggle whether you are transgender man or female or not. It is a struggle with beauty standards, measures of manhood and womanhood. Very much those measurements stand on shallow ground and stay the same to the core, are extremely difficult to alter. So who is to say who anyone should be? All of society that relies on traditions, gender roles and how we perceive opposite sex and sex of ours, how we are supposed to express ourselves and can not. What to censor of ourselves because it is too much for others to take. It is totally not a free zone or neutral issue as we know and never will be. To feel compassion for transgender people does not mean all criticism must be wiped out and what a human truly is, who is to decide for anybody in the end is the person in question. To identify with gender and what is needed to belong since we are to belong or to be tossed aside quite brutally when we are too much to take or not enough. Fight is when we do not fit in our bodies, our society rejects us, our family rejects as well the oddity. Those who do not want to live by the policing codes and models given to us shall have a fight.
Am I trying to be objective about transgender people’s cry over their right to choose their sex and gender? Maybe. Though I happen to be of opinion partly it is not one’s decision which sex we are but one can live by the idea of the sex one feels belonging to, and people must be free to do so. To be completely of some gender and stick to that ideal of gender is a social construction and is consciously build. We either believe it or we do not. What does free will have to do with deciding since we are not free and decision is not partly ours? Is it a question of owning one’s body and right to choose nevertheless? Ideal man and woman is an echo of past generations and unwillingness of letting go of those ideals is clear. We should be able to follow a perfect image of a woman or a man, to follow and believe norms for expressing and living gender. To be completely of some sex means to be with DNA, organs and bone structure of either sex thinking there are two naturally. What about desires and needs of women and men how do they differ and what kind of desires and needs do transgender people have in this picture? What is the bodily person in comparison to emotional and chemical person and sex? Does body win and dictate who we are and how we must manifest ourselves? Do transgender people follow traditional gender roles, imitate masculine men and feminine women? You feel you are a woman in a man’s body, nature doing tricks with us. How to live with this equation when the rest of the world does not understand or want a freak? How are transgender people to cope with this task and obvious dilemma which is mostly dilemma for those who have bias and strict views on how women and men are? Society wants us to follow nature although we do not respect nor follow nature in our ways, we disrespect nature still we justify our morals and perspectives into human sex via nature and nature being the ultimate guide to how we should see each other and our part in society.
Sex the body, sex the mind. Gender the fucking complex: how to address and dress who we are inside? Who gets to decide? Gender and sex are a big part of our identity, identity which is partly not up to you to decide, our body and emotions do a lot of deciding which is not rational. When gender is a curse or a blessing? It is difficult to be a standard representative of male or female as there are ideals which we like to imitate, there are models for us what a gender looks like and what do they do in their lives, genders, sexes, boys and girls. Which points of views do we take and what kind of aspects affect how we see female and male, how we feel in our bodies? It is clear many don’t feel good, body is always the wrong kind. Sexuality dominates, hetero sex, male desire wanting female body justifiably. Yes we are not just biological, we are not only natural. To simplify issue of how men and women are is unjustified and simply wrong as it is the complex of all complexes. To simplify is the easy way wanting to ignore complexity and being unable to face something weird nature has made. Our instincts do not, hopefully, dictate over us, but is sexuality which is very much an urge of natural origin, the biology, physiology, body and mind deciding for us? Nature is what we are afraid of. How much does society decide for us concerning gender and to what sex we belong, a lot. Fluidity is not something we can just takeover no matter how trendy it is. It is a shame.
They don’t care if your sensibilities are upset. That’s the point, in fact. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/confronting-the-ghosts-of-feminism-in-a-lesbian-haunted-house?utm_source=broadlytwitterus