Although we champion feminism and women’s issues a lot on the journal - think MARIEYAT’s underwear that’s challenging the male gaze or Beauty Paper’s anti-establishment approach to female diversity - we can all be guilty of being a little too female-centric every now and then. Although the recent wave of feminism and “female bossing” in popular culture can only be seen as a positive thing, it’s easy to forgot the other side of the spectrum - namely, the guys.
Luckily, just in time for International Men’s Day on 19th November, designer Chris Chapman has brought the issue to our attention. His project Loose Change features a set of coins designed especially for International Men’s Day. His cleverly crafted coins show how men’s issues and feminist issues can be different sides of the same coin. What disadvantages women doesn’t necessarily advantage men - and vice versa.
Chris said of the project: “This is not to say that men have it as bad as women or in anyway undermine the issues still faced by women. But many male problems, such as loneliness and depression, are created by the same social pressures. Our problems belong to each other.”
Chris’ four coins represent issues that are stereotypically assigned to one gender - for example the idea that women are just sex objects - and men only care about sex, or women are emotional - and men can’t show emotion. You get the gist. To tie in with the project, Chris has collaborated with photographers and Glasshouse mainstays AL&K, for an image series that captures a group of boys and girls illustrating the thinking behind Chris’ designs.
In the spirit of the subject, we decided to ask each model for their thoughts on the topic. The result (we like to think) is a suitably inspiring take on a modern issue that deserves the kind of attention projects like Loose Change offer it. Read below to see what they had to say.
“I think the feminism visible in today’s social media is exactly the opposite of what it should be. It essentially legitimises taking your clothes off and nudity, instead of highlighting that you can be successful - even if you’re fully clothed. We should view each other as people, sincerely accepting each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we can all work together more positively in both work and relationships.”
“Gender roles have become outdated and distorted. In 2016, in the world of social media and fashion, everywhere we look we find billboards and ads advertising how to be trendier, fitter and younger, without caring about whether the clothes portrayed are feminine or masculine, instead placing more emphasis on self-expression. We are people, and I believe whatever gender, the most important thing is to always be honest, accept our feelings and emotions and most of all, ourselves.”
“Throughout history, gender roles and gender-defined expectations have continuously changed. I think sometimes feminism can have a negative effect on men. They can find themselves in situations they are unsure of how to handle. For example, if a man would like to pay but a woman doesn’t allow him too. I think for things to truly change, people’s thought processes and expectations of gender roles need to change.”
“I feel like nowadays women and men are equal - more and more men complete tasks only women used to do and vice versa. Traditional gender roles are now quite outdated. Lots of men are equally as involved in raising children and doing housework, in the same way women are able to work professionally at the same level as men.”
“I know my main aims in life, so I work towards achieving those. I love being a woman and am thankful to men, as I can live out my femininity even more by their side.”
“The world today is moving rapidly towards a new generation where gender, age, nationality shouldn’t matter. Everyone in every community is striving for an equal, peaceful and better connection with each other.”
Makeup: Ezter Magya
Hair: Zoltan Somogyi @ Close Budapest
Models: Gina @ Maverick Agency Budapest; Marko, Mate S and Kael @ Sam The Agency Budapest; Dorottya Banki
Design: Chris Chapman
Special thanks to h20 Studio Budapest
Words: Lucy Vincent