Anna wrote: I think Finnish men are quite complex—on one hand, there is this tradition of being the head of the family—being strong, hiding emotion, not admitting weakness, and defining themselves through their work; on the other, there is a paradigm shift happening—men are fighting for their rights to stay at home with their children, for example, as well as fighting the above-mentioned stereotype in various ways.”
Interestingly, the later posts got longer and more complex, suggesting it may not be easy to wrap up a Finnish man in a short
sentence. The last three posts, by 20 and 30 somethings who live in Finland, make clear that being a Finnish man means complexities, rather than simple stereotypes. Their comments suggest that Finnish masculinity is constantly changing, dependent on the particular people, context, and social environment around a man, yet also steeped in a particular history, from the culture of the sauna to the family, work, the military and the politics of war.
Indeed, Visa and Anna’s well-thought out responses remind me that the Finnish men I knew growing up were more likely to think over their response carefully than rattle one off the top of their head.
to be continued....