Monday, September 27, 2010

What is a Finnish Man? part 3

In my last post, I concluded with the thought that Finnish men think over their thoughts rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. At least that is the experience I had growing up and which I still find true for the Finnish Canadian men I know. Sometimes it can even be a bit unnerving to have that wall of silence confront you....but then again this may be more a Finnish thing and not restricted to Finnish men as my husband has certainly been confounded by my non-answering at times.

Mies joka on kaiken tehnyt itse / Man who`s done it all by himself Puppet animation short by Leevi Lankinen. A touching tale of a Finnish man who has done it all by himself from start to finish.
In our society of instant gratification and rapid turnover, this strength of weighing one's words may be a disadvantage as in the talk culture of North America we have been socialized to talk talk talk and talk. We venerate talkers. However, if reality shows, talk shows, and popular tv series are any indication, much of that nonstop talking is blather, stupid, superficial, and incessantly and irritatingly navel-gazing.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone is doing any listening.

back to my article excerpt:

...then again, many Finnish men today are Tweeting and texting. Does this mean they are able to express themselves in 140 characters or less? Isn’t the quick, witty use of language and humour an age-old trait of Finnish men? Perhaps it’s finding new life on social media.

The many different ways that Finnish men are using social media, however, may add to our inability to figure them out:


marja-leena said...

I wonder if the men of our fathers' generation were the more silent, strong type, especially because of the wars. Today's young men are different because the world is different with all the media and communications and general speed of life. Stereotyping and generalization danger zone here of course :-)

northshorewoman said...

Hello ML,

I agree that the particular historical moment shapes masculine identities. Social media is changing the way people communicate and especially in Finland where rates of cellphone and computer use are some of the world's highest!