Since gender is often still wrongly linked to sex, the assumption is that men need to be ‘masculine’ and women need to be ‘feminine’. Does this mean that men must only be ‘masculine’ and women always ‘feminine’? And what about people who do not conform to these concepts all together? Is it possible that our binary idea of gender is limiting not only to the minority but to most people in our society?

Photographer Aline Pape searches for men and people assigned masculine at birth (amab) in different cities around Germany via online platforms to work with them in an attempt to answer her questions. She offers participants traditionally ‘feminine’ attributes such as clothes, jewelry, and nail polish, thereby opening up a free space in which people are allowed to experiment with their ‘feminine’ side in terms of their appearance. With this process she attempts to change the ‘gender expression’ of men to see how their ‘gender performance’ and therefore their ‘habitus’ transformed. Some wear such clothing for the first time. The subtle structure of a misogynist society becomes noticeable once normativity is challenged. Aline Pape did this by giving people who identify as men a safe space to experiment with their ‘feminine’ side.

Check the photo book box (Verlinkung auf GRAVUR)
Get to know Aline Pape (Verlinkung auf Alines Website)

“I am convinced that photography can be an important part of the new feminism movement. It creates the opportunity to convey an idea where words are not necessary. Since its conception, photography has had a great influence on our collective acceptance of heteronormativity. Photography, then, can be a powerful tool in the pursuit of an equal society that does not reduce people to their bodies and appearances. I believe that by challenging dominant masculinity, issues become visible that have disappeared into invisible norms. The current movement of feminism deals with issues regarding equality which do not only concern women but everyone in society. My work is my personal contribution to this movement.” — Aline Pape

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