This Photographer Challenges Gender Stereotypes With Images of Men Crying, Women Laughing

“Showing emotion and leveling with the people around you only shows strength”

Maud Fernhout is a 19-year-old Dutch photographer with a penchant for people — not just men and women, nor the simple exterior versions of themselves. Fernhout is in it for her subject’s deepest thoughts and feelings.


Fernhout’s most recent project started as a written work on stereotypes, gender roles, the media and human rights, and quickly evolved into a contrasting series of photographs that speak for themselves: “What Real Men Cry Like” and “What Real Women Laugh Like.”

Aditya (19) I used to see myself as strong because I did not cry; now I feel weak because I cannot cry.

The two series of images are a compelling exploration of the human face conflicted with emotion, in that each one tells a similar story and evokes parallel emotion, but is complex in its identity.

What Real Men Cry Like” makes you wonder what it is that caused these men heartache. Some look more distraught than others; some could have been crying for hours, while others likely found it challenging to shed even a single tear.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]Be a man.[/quote]

“How many of us have been told this or have spoken the words ourselves, and what does it even mean?” Fernhout writes, describing her motivation behind the series and how she hopes viewers will respond to the raw images. “Is being a man really suppressing your emotions; acting as if you do not have them (for example by not crying), even when others are not around?”

Job (18) For me, crying is not showing your weakness. When I cry, I can accept my feelings and I'm able to continue. It makes me stronger

“I think showing emotion and leveling with the people around you only shows strength and personality, not weakness,” she adds. “Though these photoshoots have often been challenging and have raised more controversy and discussion than the girls' version, I will forever cherish the meetings of souls I had with some of these guys.”

Fernhout says in the end it's not even about crying – the series is really all about opening up.

What Real Women Laugh Like” runs a similar narrative, Fernhout writes. In the series, each woman looks so effortlessly at ease, thrilled to be loosening up in the wake of something so hysterical, she was forced to close her eyes and let out a giggle.

Andrea (19) Jsem pyšná na to, že jsem št'astná. Jsem pyšná svůj smích. Jsem pyšná na to, že jsem žena. Proud to be happy. Proud to be human. Proud of my laughter. Proud to be a woman.

Of the series Fernhout says:

“It is in my experience rather 'normal' for girls to hate their laughs. They suppress it, especially in public occasions, or cover their mouths with their hands - something not very common with men. Just picture your brother, dad, or any other male figure in your life, laughing loudly with their hands in front of their faces. Exactly. I feel there is a discrepancy when girls are simultaneously told to smile, but not laugh. It makes us feel that teeth and wrinkles are not feminine, are not beautiful. Well, here are some girls who will show you different. Who will tell you different. Who have hopefully in joining this project told themselves different.”

The 19-year-old college student also acknowledges the titles of the project, as referring to the subjects as “real” men and women has not been shy of its critics. To that, she says, “There is no such thing as a ‘real’ man/woman, and the use of the word is merely symbolically; with the series I try to oppose the ‘real’ stereotype that is in place, showing that the opposite is ALSO ok, not ONLY. And in showing that the opposite is ok, I indirectly mean to address the fact that all expression of emotion is ok, and that gender stereotyping is the problem.”

Explore the images of the “Real Men” and “Real Women” and see for yourself if you can decipher what each portrait has to say. Check out Fernhout’s personal website for more of her photography.

Articles
Creative Commons

National Tell a Joke Day dates back to 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was having a meeting with Vice-President, Henry Wallace. The two men were tired and depressed due to the stress caused by leading a country through world war.

During a lull in the meeting, Wallace said, "Frank, to cheer you up I have a joke I'd like to share."

"Let's have it, Henry," Roosevelt replied while ashing his cigarette.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Wallace asked. "Not sure," Roosevelt replied.

"To get to the other side," Wallace responded.

Roosevelt laughed so hard that the bourbon he was drinking sprayed out of his nose and onto the floor of the oval office.

RELATED: A comedian shuts down a sexist heckler who, ironically, brought his daughters to the show

The joke was so funny, and did such a great job at lightening both their moods, Roosevelt proclaimed that every year, August 16 would be National Tell a Joke Day.

Just kidding.

Nobody knows why National Tell a Joke Day started, but in a world where the President of the United States is trying to buy Greenland, "Beverly Hills, 90210" is back on TV, and the economy is about to go off a cliff, we could all use a bit of levity.

To celebrate National Tell a Joke Day, the people on Twitter responded with hundreds of the corniest dad jokes ever told. Here are some of the best.

Culture

The Judean date palm was once common in ancient Judea. The tree itself was a source of shelter, its fruit was ubiquitous in food, and its likeness was even engraved on money. But the plant became extinct around 500 A.D., and the prevalent palm was no more. But the plant is getting a second chance at life in the new millennium after researchers were able to resurrect ancient seeds.

Two thousand-year-old seeds were discovered inside a pottery jar during an archaeological excavation of Masada, a historic mountain fortress in southern Israel. It is believed the seeds were produced between 155 B.C. and 64 A.D. Those seeds sat inside a researcher's drawer in Tel Aviv for years, not doing anything.

Elaine Solowey, the Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, wondered if she could revive the Judean Date Palm, so in 2005, she began to experiment. "I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" Solewey said.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

There's been an uptick in fake emotional support animals (ESAs), which has led some airlines to crack down on which animals can and can't fly. Remember that emotional support peacock?

But some restrictions on ESAs don't fly with the Department of Transportation (DOT), leading them to crack down on the crack down.

Delta says that there has been an 84 percent increase in animal incidents since 2016, thanks in part to the increase of ESAs on airplanes. Last year, Delta airlines banned pit bulls and pit bull-related dog breeds after two airline staff were bitten by the breed while boarding a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo.

"We must err on the side of safety. Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk," Delta told People regarding the new rule.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Liam Beach / Facebook

Trying to get one dog to sit still and make eye contact with a camera for more than half a second is a low-key miracle. Lining up 16 dogs, on steps, and having them all stare at the camera simultaneously is the work of a God-like dog whisperer.

This miracle worker is Liam Beach, a 19-year-old animal management graduate from Cardiff, Wales. A friend of his dared him to attempt the shot and he accepted the challenge.

"My friend Catherine challenged me to try to get all of my lot sat on the stairs for a photo. She said, 'I bet you can't pull it off,' so I thought 'challenge accepted,'" he said, accoriding to Paws Planet.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Americans on both sides of the political aisle can agree on one thing: our infrastructure needs a huge upgrade. While politicians drag their feet on high-speed rail projects, fixing bridges, and building new airports, one amazing project is picking up steam.

The Great American Rail-Trail, a bike path that will connect Washington state to Washington, D.C., is over 50% complete.

The trail is being planned by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit that is working with local governments to make the dream a reality.

Keep Reading Show less
Travel