“Men” by Nir Arieli

This suite of photos by Nir Arieli “places men in traditionally feminine spaces and postures, illuminating the human characteristics that have, over time, become decidedly feminine traits.”

For the most part I don’t find the pictures, the settings, or the people in them particularly gendered, but for someone with more traditional views of masculinity and femininity this might be challenging. I like them more every time I look at them.

You know those papers are going to attract cats, right?

Hanno, portrait by Nir Arieli.

Arieli, like all good portrait artists, has the ability to bring out the raw humanity of his subjects. Hanno is my favorite. Ariel and Kayode make me especially happy, and are the only two that, to me, contain undeniably coded-as-feminine elements: the sequined shawl and the explosions of cherry blossoms.

Matt, though, is probably the best portrait in the group. That one is hard to look at. Not because there’s any gender stuff going on, but because it’s a confrontationally emotional and nakedly human portrait, and that sort of thing is nearly always difficult to look at directly.

My hope is that someday, portraits like this won’t be perceived as feminine, because softness, openness, and vulnerability won’t be perceived as exclusively feminine traits.

Study: Stress of Poverty Lowers I.Q.

Poverty consumes mental resources, making people worse at everything.

“Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults.”

 Puppies 18
Corgi Puppies! by Naamah Darling on Flickr.
Seriously, the implications of this are upsetting enough to me that I need corgi puppies.
One of these puppies is now a good friend of mine.

This combines into a Voltron-like monstrosity when you factor in the cognitive problems inflicted by chronic pain or debilitating mental illness or any other form of unremitting stress, which are conditions often associated with poverty.

And yet the entire system that is supposed to help people in that situation is set up like one of those Blockhead puzzle games where the pieces do not fit together in any logical way, and we are still supposed to make something normal and perfect out of it.