What are some unvarnished truths

Look: Unvarnished truths


Read on one side

My article #WithoutMe brought great rejection, indignation and dismay to the surface. The idea that it might be possible or even desirable that women and men put equal effort into their appearance and dress equally sophisticated and body-hugging, seems to many to be an attack on their personal understanding of the world. But why is that even so? The reader's reaction shows that the sociological view of the relationship between men and women is taken far too seldom. In doing so, it enables insights that can make a profitable contribution to the important and hopefully ongoing debate about everyday sexism.

#OhneMich articulates the idea of ​​a world with symmetrical standards of appearance for men and women. That seems like a provocative design. In the aftermath, fashion-conscious women defend their right to make-up and mini-skirts; Feminists forbid the implication that women are to blame for assaults because of provocative clothing; Naturalists defend themselves against unnatural egalitarianism; Men with the classic image of women fear the sight of pretty bunnies in the office; New rights see their backward-looking image of women in danger. Humorous commentators suspect the whole thing was just a "shitstorm induction experiment". But it is meant seriously.

Nature and construction

Many consider that appearance is more important for women than for men. The impression arises that women's bodies are naturally endowed with stronger and more visible stimuli than men's bodies: "In women there is simply more to see, such as a bulging chest and a large buttocks; in men it is simply less true, their body is less shaped. " Attention is also drawn to supposedly natural differences in partner choice behavior: "Men pay more attention to visual stimuli, women more to inner values ​​and, for evolutionary reasons, men are always out for sex and the spread of their genes."

The impression that these are natural facts is widespread, but still wrong. As difficult as it is to see this from an everyday perspective: Such are social constructions, they are owed to social definitions and routines, not to nature. With the ancient Greeks, male and female bodies had the opposite bonus of attention, because the naked male body was celebrated and carved in marble with preference. Today's fashion emphasizes the female breast and the female bottom with tight-fitting clothing and necklines; that's why they stand out. If fashion were to put men in skin-tight trousers, one could very well see very interestingly shaped parts in a man's crotch. Only the fashion is not like that and protects men from this look (at least the mainstream fashion apart from the homosexual subculture). The fashion of the Renaissance thought it differently, by putting the male genitalia in so-called pubic capsules - protruding pockets or cushions in contrasting colors - and emphasizing them in a special way. There were also epochs in European history when it was - among the aristocracy at least - women who were seen as lustful and always looking for adventure, while men had other things to do (making politics, waging war, riding fox hunts).

The naturalization of what is actually society is a common phenomenon. Naturalization means: things that are so defined in the social order are projected back into nature, and the members of society have the impression that it has always been this way and that it could not be otherwise. Romantic love, too, is a construct or an invention of modern society. The fact that people fall in love is not something natural or prehistoric; on the contrary, this concept is either unknown or only marginally relevant in earlier societies, and instead other variants of interpersonal affection and other modes of partner choice are cultivated there. The idea of ​​romantic love can only arise in a society that gives high priority to the individual, lets relatives recede as the context of life and genealogy as the connection between past and present, separates the private sphere from the public sphere and gets used to what happens in the private sphere to be placed under protection.

It is not easy to accept that there is hardly anything that "man" is by nature. In fact, from an anthropological point of view, humans are primarily characterized by their almost unlimited malleability. He can become almost anything: Arctic reindeer hunter or South Sea fisherman, village farmer or global jet setter, Confucian collective being or Western self. There are no biological constants beyond the basic needs for food, warmth, sexuality and social contact, and these few biological needs can be served in an infinitely diverse social forms.