Before a concept presentation, the highly sought after AD searched for images of people expressing enjoyment as they ate. She only found pictures of women. The search was expanded to include enjoyment in general, but to no avail. Women, women, women – closing their eyes and enjoying. Finding decent pictures of men doing the same thing proved extremely challenging, regardless of image bank. The AD asked me if men don’t enjoy. The acknowledged (and female) anthropologist, whom I also have the pleasure of spending time with, was not the least bit surprised. Because this is the pattern. Women are supposed to enjoy, men are active – maybe a bit “mischievous”.

We are still in the midst of the #metoo quake. A liberating outburst of all these women who have had enough of all those men who just don’t understand how the hell to behave. The awfulness now being exposed is worse than I could have ever imagined. No zone seems to have been a free zone for women. On the contrary, the safer an organisation or industry has appeared from the outside, the more awful it seems to have been for women.

So, am I seriously saying that the lack of pictures of active women (not including gym pictures) and men expressing enjoyment is the cause of abuse and harassment? No, of course not. But there is a pattern here. Isn’t there? We repeat strange roles in the vast majority of image solutions, on the cover of most newspapers, and probably in 99% of all online and televised entertainment. The active man dazzling the eager-to-enjoy woman. And at its most distasteful edge are the male geniuses, the authorities, and those in power, who simply felt entitled.

It is said (and I have learned) that cultures has strategiy for breakfast. So let’s start changing the culture we live in right now, those of us who work with it. So far, all strategies promoting respect for half of humanity have proved more or less unsuccessful. It’s about time we walk the talk.

This is a translation from the article in Resumé 22 November 2017. You can find it here.

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