Dr. Machismo, addressing his Psychology 101 class: “Students, in this classic snapshot, the photographer has managed to capture the full range of male sexuality. A lovely maiden is simply trying to transport a freshly-picked butternut squash to the Rome apartment of her beloved grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Catherine Marie Adele di Vesuvius, so they can make a nice casserole for the upcoming Festival of Gourds. Despite her possible lesbianism (note the sandals, which are clear forerunners of the eventual Birkenstocks), our unfortunate maiden is subjected to the passive-aggressive nature of men in large groups.
The two men on the far left, who appear to be related due to their matching outfits, are in the preliminary stages of determining the best chauvinistic response. The grandson, new to the world of objectifying women, is a bit at a loss and is patiently waiting for Grandpa to provide guidance. Sadly, Grandpa did not take his meds this morning and is having some clarity issues concerning the perceived gender of the approaching maiden, and therefore Grandson is not really going to learn anything today.
The man seated at the miniature table is clearly lit from too much chianti-imbibing, so he needs to be thrown out of the statistical analysis, especially since he appears to be gazing lustily upon the ass of one of the other chauvinists.
The next two men , who we’ll call Neander and Thal, are obviously operating under the misconception that vigorously groping their genitals is completely acceptable and will somehow brighten the maiden’s day. It will not. Both of these men are pigs, end of story. Severe counseling would normally be advised for these two, but really, there’s probably no hope for a return to decency.
Directly behind the maiden, in front of the surprisingly-large door, we have three members of the gospel choir from St. Marie-Claire’s Church of Tithing, practicing a cantata for the Festival of Tax-Free Giving. Only one of the trio is even aware that a woman has walked by, so their input in this study is negligible. Still, there’s a measurable aura of disdain for the strolling gourd-carrier, as the one guy is presumably jealous about the fashionable shawl that the maiden is sporting.
To the right of the choir, we have another trio, this one involving Archie Bunker, an additional Groper, and a man who may or may not be using a walking stick as overcompensation for a visually insignificant manhood. They are all openly staring at the maiden, not necessarily being aggressive but still unaware that their ogling is offensive. These men are the baseline of this study, as they represent the typical male: essentially tame but baffled by women who don’t instantly worship them as owners of a penis.
Travelling further to the right, we now have that odd tableau concerning the Vespa-like motorbike. At first glance, and even at second glance, it seems that we are being presented with the imagery of Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Spacey on some sort of motorized, impromptu outing. What this has to do with anything is not immediately evident, but they both seem to be happy.
Directly behind the Vespa tryst, we have a cast member from “The Sopranos” and a dapper Joe Biden, both of them confused about exactly what the hell is going on in this scene. Which is precisely how most non-psychotic men feel when encountering the opposite sex…”
(Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 05/03/15 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 07/08/15. In that second post, the very thoughtful Chris at “Pears Not Parsnips” pointed out that this photo can be uncomfortable for some folks who have been objectified. This is a very valid observation, and here is the link I shared with Chris which details the story of the women behind the creation of this photo. It’s an interesting read, should you care to pursue.)
Categories: Past Imperfect