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Tuesday 17. November 2020 at 22:34
Men are not sweet and women are not horny


We are at a party in a charming old house with hidden staircases and secret rooms everywhere, and even though we do not know each other that well the conversation is flowing at a level far past small talk. In-between the food and the dancing he tells me something which surprises me, even though it shouldn´t:

“I have, an uncomforting amount of times, experienced that when a woman is about to come it´s like as if she restrains herself and then ends up not coming at all.”

When his comments actually shouldn´t have surprised me, it is because women in our culture aren´t raised with the notion that being horny is okay, natural, freeing, acceptable etc. So, to avoid being a non-woman, some women hold back in such situations. On the other hand, it is completely expectable for a man to be horny. It is actually so expectable that if he does not react with an boner as soon as breasts are in his presence, he is not a real man. One can even risk demasculinizing a man by saying to him that he is sweet. Because a real man is cool, strong, funny, smart, but not sweet, and if he is sweet, he will be considered friend-material - which naturally is less than true. Being sweet is actually just being kind, thoughtful and caring, and that has never made a man unattractive. On the contrary. 

The assumptions are not only wrong; they are also limiting for both sexes and thereby also our society. Sadly, there is an infinite amount of such assumptions, which again and again are the reason why we miss out on original contribution to our shared creativity and innovation, because people either tend to constrain themselves or allow them to be constrained by others. Craftsmen are practical but stupid. Academics are snobs and do not know a screw from a hammer. Teenagers are hysterical and egocentric. Elderly are week and angry. Brown people are gang members. Women who uses a headscarf are supressed. Continue the list yourself. 

Categorisation is practical. It helps us make fast decisions. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman has shown that we, as humans, use two systems when thinking.  System 1 is based on intuition, while system 2 is based on analysis. System 1 is effective because it helps us make fast decisions based on experience and knowledge, which again leads to categorisation of the world around us. And yes, it may be effective when it comes to decision and navigation strategies but again and again it has also shown to be quite fallible.

People are not machines, who always react and responds to what they are programmed to be. Our species development is based on the fact that there has always been some who rebelled against the categories and therefor created new ways to react and find their place in the world. Paradoxically, this is what later on becomes the new categories, which others want to become part of and in that way ends up being its own antitheses.

Currently, we live in a time where we need loads of creativity and innovation if we are to manage the situation, we for made ourselves. And at the same time, we have never before been so interdependent of each other globally. The corona virus is a perfect example. But the world is burning on many other areas too. To mention some:  The necessity for the Black Lives Matter movement, #MeToo and the risk that Trump will be re-elected. EU´s global influence and The United Kingdom’s exit. The Chinese citizen and nation surveillance. Russia's cybertroll factories and North Korea's possible nuclear weapons.

So, there is plenty of serious and scary matters, which we most certainly should attend to, and we do. But when the chock effect wears of, and it becomes part of our daily life, they become subordinate to us and the people who talks in a quiet zone, dogshit in our backyard, noisy co-workers and MAMILS (Middle Aged Men In Lycra), who whiz past us on the road, catches our attention and gives us palpitations and a desire to release all of our aggressions.

We experience the categories we are put in every day. The problem with that is that the categories tend to exclude us and inhibit our development as a community and as a species. That is why we, as individuals, should maintain a critical view on the categories we meet in our everyday life. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take action on the matter this year, which we already have done to some extend by sing-along sessions on the patios, shopping for strangers, adjusting learning methods and traveling within own boarders.

The first half of 2020 came with a crisis of which none of us can predict the outcome. And now, when we are back from our summer holiday, which for many of us has been outside the normal category, we can use the training from the first half of the year to make the second half a strength. 

By thinking across categories one can create new terms which can help us create a new world. A world where women may also be horny, and men may also be sweet.

 

Published in Jyllandsposten 10.08.2020
By Emilia van Hauen

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