I have uploaded some new work for you to view and would love some feedback.

I would like to discuss the beauty of tears on women and the perceptions surrounding a women's tears in society. Some ideas I would like you to consider are the axiom above, 'A woman's tears are a fountain of craft' and also the images of young girls crying pearls as seen in fairytales like 'The Goose Girl' at the Well by the Brothers Grimm.

These stories seem to encourage the idea that tears are beautiful, valuable and seen as a gift, whereas tears being a fountain of craft implies deceit and manipulation.

Do you think the idea that women should cry more is a negative societal idea?
Do you think the beauty of tears is related to the emotions that give rise to tears?
Does the idea of the 'weaker sex' relate to crying being more common for women? Are tears a sign of weakness?
Do you believe crying is a sign of our humanity since it is believed animals do not cry to express emotion?
Do you ever feel exposed or vulnerable when you cry in front of someone else?
As a women or a man have you ever used your tears to get what you wanted? Do you think society encourages this?
Have you ever felt your tears were a security blanket?
Do you enjoy crying?

Please feel free to offer any ideas you have about the subjects or my Resin Tears neck piece.

Thank you to all who participate,

Rickson

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the work is lovely, but just a side note: I'm a little disturbed by the lack of a nipple on the form so prominent in the layout of the photo.
haha, I can totally understand that! It was an ongoing debate and challenge trying to decide what to do with the 'nipple' and my breasts in general in these shots. Maybe because I created them in an academic setting, or also because breasts are so strongly related to sexuality and porn, I felt like I would be too sexual if my nipples were showing. The first shot was done trying to actually flatten my chest. But the final second shot was the result of my decision to not 'hide' my breasts, but make the image 'tasteful'. This was very difficult since large breasts insinuate sexuality so much more strongly than smaller breasts. I was trying to challenge this idea, rather than succumb to it.

I actually edited the second shot a little for online use because the shadow implied a nipple, but my nipples are covered. :)

I am glad you are 'disturbed' by it, because that encourages comfort with seeing nipples in a non sexual light. I agree with this idea. Thanks for your comment.

Rickson
Wow, this is a sensative topic. Lol.
Ok, note that I am rarely politcally correct. But I will try a bit so I don't make anyone cry :P

I think that the concept of a femal crying is generally seen in a much different light that a male crying. Again, I will take an Anthropological and sociologist cynisism here. I think it definately, as you stated, comes down to the view of the "weaker sex." Even in current times with the liberation of females and applied equality, the stigma from generations past still applies: Men can't cry, women should. It's the infamous double-standard of emotion, and I think that's what it comes down to...Men can't show emotion. Ironically, some of the world's most famous artists (musically and visually) have been men pouring out their souls. Lol.

The question that seems to be an interesting one to me is "How does motherhood change the stigma?" I know when I was a youngling, it was odd to see either of my parents cry and I was raised under the impression that my mother was just as strong as, if not stronger than, my father purely for the fact that he was wrapped around her finger, Lol. So I think an interesting issue to consider along this line is the subconscious one of "Is mom a girl?"

As far as it expressing humanity, I believe that this brings us back to your other brilliant topic of humanity's view of "lesser creatures." Have you ever seen a mother dog watch her puppy die? I have, and they express sorrow with bellowing cries. But many animals don't have tear ducts to cry with...Which raises another point: What can we technically call crying? Are tears required? Or can a person emotionally but not physically cry? If we consider this thought, men cry a lot. Society just pressures us to shove it down.

I will say, though, that I cry often. There's songs that just can't help but make me tear up. Hate Me by Blue October, Snuff by Slipknot, Bleed by Cold, and pretty much anything on the Foo Fighter's Skin and Bones album. I don't feel it makes me weaker to be able to gain empathy with other artists.

However, the idea of empathy (to put it simply, puting yourself in someone else's shoes) is lost among much of western culture, and this may be as a result of the fear of crying.



Any thoughts?

(P.S. --- I'm sorry for answering your questions with a list of questions. It's bad form, I know. Lol)

(P.S.S. -- Your tear piece is a beautifully elegant concept. Do you have a close-up shot of it?)
Wow, you raised ideas I had never even thought of! The idea that 'mother' is not a girl...it made me think the role of mother is almost 'non gendered'? That being a mother is beyond gender, it's a strong symbol of protection, but possibly not weakness, or femininity, but simply 'mother'. So interesting. I have usually thought of being able to give birth as the one thing women have that men don't, that we can say with confidence, we can do better than men. But that is a competitive attitude. I never thought about how much your feminine image changes once you are a mother, I always thought it would be enhanced, but controlling your emotions in front of your child is a behaviour shared by both genders, and I am really glad you pointed it out.

I also like how you mentioned that animals have strong emotions even though they don't cry. In this respect I see crying as a gift. We can literally pour out our emotions, we are rewarded with tangible evidence of our sorrow, wheras animals can only make noise, or move their bodies to show sorrow. The idea that men 'cry' without crying, I dissagree with, because men have the ability to cry, whereas animals do not, so if they show sorrow in another way, that's all it is, another way, crying is crying (unless your tear ducts are broken. :) This is one of the ideas I was interested in during my research and we discussed in my assesment, the fact that both genders cry, but for different reasons and in different ways. Men in Western culture can cry for big reasons, their parents die, their wife/husband leaves them, something tragic happens then crying is acceptable. Whereas there is a plethora of reasons woman can cry and it be, maybe not honourable, but definetly acceptable, and often even expected. Just watch an awards ceremony. :)

I also really like your comments on how you viewed your mom as stronger than your dad. This is a really interesting state of affairs which I think has popped up in the last 50 years. I didn't have the exact same experience, but did notice growing up that the women in my family and friend's families could be very opinionated, strong and insulting towards men in social situations and it was entirely acceptable. I have rarely heard a man complain about the comments made about their gender, even though they are generally very insulting. 'Men are pigs' 'well what do you expect, he's a guy' etc. I remember there was a time in my life when I was obsessed with 'male' behaviour because I found it so much more liberating than what was expected of me as a women. The men I knew never got offened, were less competitive than the female groups I had been a part of, and did much less 'behind your back' actions. But over time I realized most human emotions are shared by genders, it's the behaviour that differs, and even that is pretty similar. Both men and women are competitive, jealous, sensitive, selfish, insecure, vain, and can be both strong and weak in mind and body.

Anyways, I think I've strayed from the topic of crying, but I am so glad you shared your thoughts. I don't have an upclose shot of the tear necklace, as it was so difficult to photograph, since it's clear. The image of the rings and bracelets is the closest I have to an uplose shot. The necklace and image are going to be in Talente in Schumuck if you happen to be going. I am also going to SNAG this year and will most likely wear a ring or two, so you could see them there. :)

Thanks again, excellent thoughts!

Rickson
I'm sure I'll be in Huston. Philly got me hooked. Lol.

I think that for the general purpose of ego, men don't get so offended at insults against their gender. I mean, think of it....There is no masculine community really. There's the "brotherhoods" that are established either through genetics or through experience (I.E. military brothers), however there is no larger view of commrodery (sp?), and I think that this results in our excuse of comments. In other words, unless someone says directly that your brother is a pig, men tend to exlude people from the comment though, in all likelyhood, those that were exculded were meant to be included. Lol.

Yes, the topic of motherhood is an incredibly interesting one, really. I actually got on this exact topic the other day with my mother when she and my father took me out to dinner for my birthday. She said that she never really thought of how motherhood changed her femininity because it just came with the territory. This is another major difference between genders, it seems. If a man were to suddenly feminize, it would be noticable in every way to everyone around them. I know this because I, myself, am a fairly feminine male, but haven't always been. This switch of role seems to be a major cultural aspect, really. Women can become stronger, and therefor show less emotion, however men can not become "weaker" and show more emotion.

When you talk about men showing emotion for major things, it actually made me think of an episode of King of the Hill. Bill's wife left him, but it had been a long time. He started to cry about it again, and his male friends (Boomhaur, Hank, and Dale) look at him weirdly and walk away. In other words, it's ok for men to cry about something major, but seem to have less time to grieve than females have. Generally speaking, western culture does not give enough grieving time to begin with, but men are screwed on that emotional level. There's also another King of the Hill episode where Hank teaches Louanne, his niece, how to shove her emotions down deep inside, and when it hurts because you shoved it down, just shove down the hurt. Lol. Double-standards are always an interesting topic. Lol.

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