From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

22 jan. 2011

Why are we so stiff?

15 years ago when I was learning how to surf the snowboard for the first time I was in Lake Tahoe, California. My friends left me alone for hours tumbeling down the hills and I felt pretty miserable. This was a fantastic place though to be left alone in. People were sheering at me from all directions. Old and young, they were stopping shouting 'Up you go!', 'We've all been there!', 'Going great, don't give up!'. I use to tell this story to my Swedish friends and we are all lauging because if this was in a Swedish slope you'd pull your shoulders to your ears and think 'shit, he's drunk...'. You just don't talk loudly to strangers for no reasons in Sweden. To clearify this I must add how much I appreciated the americanish company.

Self-control and modesty are two personality types of virtue in our society. People who flip out, show anger, raise their voices or even laugh or gesture dramatically are uncomfortable an disturbing. Our society is built on a hierarchy where the bourgeois historically had to differentiate themselves from the labor and this was most effectivelly done through self-control and stiffness - both in relation to alcohol, sex, gestures, dressing, bragging and more. Wild is poor and bookless, Stiff is rich and vice.


Både män och kvinnor inom arbetarklassen utförde tungt fysiskt arbete. Kvinnorna blev muskulösa och manhaftiga och männen uppvisade "kvinnliga" sidor av dålig impulskontroll. I ljuset av dessa föreställningar blev det ännu viktigare för borgarklassens män att hålla sina kvinnor overksamma och att själva uppträda behärskat och inte visa sig känslosamma.


In Swedish from Kvinnor män och alla andra by Jens Rydström och David Tjeder

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