I walked along Witherspoon Street, looking for scenes. I noticed the light and shadow falling on the buildings, and the orange in the La Mezzaluna signage reminded me that I was in Princeton. I waited for the man to walk into the light.
Again, for most of civilization, young men were the ones responsible for protecting society. By the time they were adults, they needed to be battle-hardened and physically strong — the survival of the community often depended on it. As a result, brutal, physical violence among men (through organized sport) was celebrated (and still is today, although this is beginning to change). And men who weren’t able to make the cut were shamed for their physical weakness, for their emotional displays and vulnerable demands for affection. Men were meant to be ruthlessly competitive, and emotionlessly self-contained.
And this was the hidden cost for their physical, and later political dominance, in human society — as men, we are taught from a young age to hide from our emotions rather than to engage them.8
Well, this may not surprise you, but repressing emotions fucks people up. And shaming people for weakness and vulnerability can result in all sorts of mental health problems, not to mention encourage them to lash out in anti-social ways (i.e., shoot up a school, or ram a car into a crowd of people, sign up to be a militant in some crazy religious organization — sound familiar?).
Men commit suicide at a rate five times that of women while teenage boys commit suicide nine times more often than girls.9 They are also diagnosed with depression and ADHD at a rate of 4-to-1 to girls the same age.10 Men make up 2⁄3 of the homeless population,11 are more than twice as likely to become alcoholics and are approximately three times more likely to become drug addicts.12 It’s widely documented that men are far less likely to ask for professional help, medical or otherwise, even when experiencing significant health problems or depression.13
Men are the victims of the majority of violent crime, but also far less likely to report it for fear of appearing weak. One survey found that 40% of the victims of domestic violence are men, yet they were far less likely to report the violence and far less likely to be taken seriously by police.14 Men take on more dangerous jobs and are less likely to report any injury suffered at work. Men work far longer hours, take fewer vacations and sick days, and suffer worse symptoms of chronic stress and fatigue. Men even die on the job at a startling rate. In short, most men treat themselves as nothing more than a walking paycheck.15
The desire to affirm that women are equal has made some scholars reluctant to show they are different, because differences can be used to justify unequal treatment and opportunity. Much as I understand and am in sympathy with those who wish there were no differences between women and men—only reparable social injustice—my research, others’ research, and my own and others’ experience tell me it simply isn’t so. There are gender differences in ways of speaking, and we need to identify and understand them. Without such understanding, we are doomed to blame others or ourselves—or the relationship)—for the otherwise mystifying and damaging effects of our contrasting conversational styles.
Remember that the camera itself is only half of what makes a camera good. How dedicated you are, how hard you work, and how many good and great pictures you get out of it are the other half. How much you use it is just as important as whatever it is.What makes a camera good
As humans we are naturally wired to focus on important things and filter out all the rest. Although such an approach has served us well over the ages, in creative seeing it’s a major obstacle. In addition, our education system and our daily routine push us to see and react in a certain way. Have you noticed when walking around the city how your brain filters out the noise and visuals? We usually stroll around town without challenging what we see or how we see it. In order to find “something interesting in an ordinary place,” you need to break your seeing patterns and go for something new, uncomfortable and different.A personal rant about street photography
Avoid letting yourself fall into the all-too-common kinds of comparative thinking that breed envy, self-doubt and other kinds of unproductive energy. Nip that shiz in the bud if you do feel yourself going down that road. Snuff it out before it take take root and steal your energy – and instead, use the power of comparative thinking to your advantage– turn it into positive energy and critical thinking about craft– that will fuel your progression as a creative professional. Compare your work to that of the best, and do it with unflinching honesty. Rinse and repeat.Chase Jarvis