Role Reversal

I have to admit that my friend Lane‘s new photoshoot (with Candice — who did the makeup — and Cody) bothers me a little because the whole subject is so sensitive to me. He explains what he was going for,

I wanted to do a shoot showing the viewer what the world may look like today if men had evolved being the home makers, wearing dresses, makeup, and being the submissive ones and women where the dominant figures. Then domestic violence for the most part may have a very different outcome. I may do a series focusing on reversed roles.

For me there are a few subjects that I feel uncomfortable using even in an art context (not that I think other people should shy from using anything — this is just how I feel)… Domestic violence, child abuse, rape, and other crimes of consent really get to me for some reason.


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

45 thoughts on “Role Reversal

  1. Wow, that’s really intense. I’m not sure what to think about it, but I can appreciate the artistic value.

  2. Like Fallen Angel Eyes already said, that is really intense to look at – but domestic violence does go both ways…still hard to look at but definitely great art

  3. I see the aestethics but not the point. A woman is not a victim because she has long braids, wears dots on a dress and pearls. And a man is not brutal because he wears wifebeaters. Reversed clothes do not equal reversed roles.

  4. I also feel deeply uncomfortable about using such things as art. I share your belief that it shouldn’t be off-limits, but it makes me shudder.

  5. I wrote up this big thing about how lanes idea makes no sense since its female onfemale violence then i realized that the blonde is a man.

    But that style of dress owuld never occur for a man, due to the lack of breasts.

    ANyway, i would LOVE a world where the roles were reversed. Where men actually were the dominant power in society.

  6. I don’t believe that such things should be off limits, the issues should be raised but I’d be concerned if these crimes of consent, didn’t make me shudder…reading about them, hearing about them or viewing them as represented by art gives me a chill but I am glad that the issue is being raised and brought to public attention. Crimes of consent are often never reported…art like this helps victims to realise that they are not alone and that they do have a voice.

  7. Shannon, I agree with you to a greater extent. Today at school some boys in my class were making fun of raping and I told them off more seriously than I have ever done before, even my home-room teacher was surprised at my reaction. However sometimes it can be presented in art so that it would make a strong impression on the viewer and turn their thoughts to the right way but I don’t think I’d be able to do such a piece myself it just stirs me up as much as only a few other things do for example abortion.

  8. My objective was to debate through visual stimulus, if people felt that it was size, role, status, testosterone or mental illness? that was to take a major role in why domestic violence occurs. The pictures I feel ask the question is it the roles we played in life that make us feel dominant of others? or is it hormones?

  9. I like the pictures, sure the subject matter is dark, but they’re nice.

    The only problem is in the last picture (bottom right) the boy’s (like, the actual boy in the dress) face makes me crack up every time I look at it. I know I shouldn’t, but seriously.
    Funniest scared face ever.

  10. the guy’s facial features are really delicate, until i read the description i thought it was portraying domestic abuse in a same sex relationship.

  11. haha i was looking at what this had to do with mods, and then i saw a small forearm tattoo and some earlobe piercings. i guess anything with a piercing regardless of how moddy the pic is gets on modblog. oh wait, its lane’s work. of course.

  12. to be honest i think the art is tacky and the expression on the girl with the beater on almost makes it seem like you’re making fun of domestic violence.

  13. I agree with Wipebloodwithblood, it just seems so..tacky and so fake and just like a joke. Makes me think of a skit I saw on Robot Chicken.

    Also, from the point of view of someone who was abused, it’s just not helping anyone understand and rather making everyone numb to it.

  14. I agree with those who say this looks tacky and fake. It seems more like a couple of jerks playing dress up and laughing at a serious matter than art. I know that wasn’t the case, so please don’t think I’m calling anyone involved a jerk, but if I looked at this without any explaination my immediate reactions are 1) Two girls, and 2) What a**holes.

  15. I like the idea, I wonder though if it would be interesting to not be so extreme with the costume, i think maybe the point would come through more if the beaten man still looked like a man (maybe wearing an apron or something) and looking vulnerable and the woman looking more ‘womanly’ maybe dressed up in business attire and having a cold expression, i also think that would show a possible truth that is starting to appear in society. but i guess this changes the idea of the shoot form ‘what if..?’ to ‘could..?’ good work i reckon :)

  16. “what the world may look like today if men had evolved being the home makers wearing dresses, makeup, and being the submissive ones and women where the dominant figures. “
    I think this is a rather ignorant/prejudiced statement.
    Home makers (aka Stay At Home Moms, House wives, etc) are individuals with one of the toughest jobs out there.
    They’re strong women who have the job of molding society’s up-and-coming members and keeping a household in order.
    I actually don’t think I know a stay at home mom who wears dresses, makeup and are SUBMISSIVE…? That’s a pretty unfair brush to paint someone.
    So the point of this feature is to make people think what would happen if men wore dresses and women beat on them? (because in society it’s reversed?)
    I think it’s a pretty vague stretch.
    Oppositely, MANY men are “homemakers” while the woman in the family goes out and “wins the bread”…
    Ignorance just feeds ignorance.

  17. i think it would have been more effective had the man just been dressed normally. that way it would have shown that it was in fact a man being beaten by a woman.

  18. This has nothing to do with ignorance, it’s a statistical fact that many more cases of abuse are male dominated. The prejudice is in the facts. The question isn’t about how hard a homemaker’s job is or isn’t. It is weather the facts and statistics would sway in female favor as the dominate aggressor and male submissive or victim if the roles had started out differently or if it is simply a case of the hormone testosterone that is a major contributing factor. The only thing ignorant would be to ignore facts and not ask the questions. I guess you still just can’t keep on track. Anything to be negative.

  19. I’m not sure about “many”. Studies range between 33% and 50% of all domestic abuse cases are against men.

    If you want to talk about ignoring facts, how about we get into the percentage of funds made available for male victims of domestic violence?

  20. Did you deliberately use Cody because of how good he looks in a dress, or was that just a happy coincidence?

  21. to be completely honest, i think it could have been executed in a more intelligent way. the woman in the image-the real one- is still feminine, and not very masculine in any sort of way. the man simply looks like a badly dressed drag queen. i think what would have been more compelling is to enlist a submissive male stereotype alone with a dominant female stereotype- the ‘pencil pushing nerd’ and the ‘big city business woman’. the studio effect isnt creating the right element of realism. this is obviously studio. using a more domestic setting would be far more appropriate.

    i think the concept in and of itself is a great concept. i just think the execution needs to be thought about and made to be more convincing.

  22. “I wanted to do a shoot showing the viewer what the world may look like today if men had evolved being the home makers, wearing dresses, makeup, and being the submissive ones and women where the dominant figures. Then domestic violence for the most part may have a very different outcome. I may do a series focusing on reversed roles.”

    I don’t think you achieved that though, you just got dressed up like a girl and had it look like you were getting beat on by a more-masculine type girl. Regardless that you’ve stated dresses and makeup.
    But the photos are great, just the subject matter is the problem for me I guess, so I’m on the same boat as Shannon.

  23. I too think it would’ve been better if it was a man traditionally dressed as a “man” and a woman dressed traditionally as a “woman” It really does look like same sex violence

  24. “Anything to be negative.”

    The people who’ve been negative aren’t just a bunch of complainers. There’s bound to be controversy over photos like these. (Isn’t that sort of the point?)

    I appreciate the intention to ask why domestic violence occurs. My first reaction was confusion, though, because this is Modblog and the tattoo shown here is so clearly not the focus … which is fine now and then … except that I also didn’t realize that the “woman” was a man in woman’s clothes.

    I’m not sure how domestic violence “may have a very different outcome” if women were the dominant figures; violence is violence, and the outcome isn’t pretty. But these photos are pretty … and this is a Web site where blood often has an erotic context. So, intentions aside, the message is still confusing for me.

  25. Were such a scene to offer any educational value in regards to domestic violence then it would be valid. Sadly this is poor art with little to no academic benefit where the entertainment is derived from the viewing.
    Showing a hypothetical reverse role does little to make those participating in violence change their position. To have any worth it would need to either a) educate those ignorant to domestic violence or b) change the mindset of those who commit it. Sadly it doesn’t do either.
    I understand the sentiment behind the shoot but I seriously question whether your intended outcomes were clear.

    Even in the supposed equal society we have lived in since the 60′s where more women have taken the role of ‘breadwinner’ the female role within the home (domestic work, mother, wife etc) has mostly remained the same. Women with full time jobs still (on the whole) do the housework, cook, bring up the children etc.

  26. Ditto to numbers 27 and 28. I also think the expressions of the models are far from authentic. I don’t believe for a moment that she’s going to hit him. The whole thing looks posed, and the shots aren’t really that interesting. I’m down with the idea and all– I think it’s an important topic and it would do well for people to express and explore it through art– but I don’t think these photos challenge any pre-conceived notions about domestic abuse or offer enough artistic sincerity to be taken seriously. (Or have anything to do with body modification.)

  27. So ya, it just kind of looks like you are making fun of guys that beat on girls. Not cool at all…I’m all for making a statment and trying to broaden peoples mind with new ideas but uh…poorly executed for sure. :| This makes my eyes sad.

  28. umm… its seems a bit to cheesy to have any artistic merrit to me… i dunno. opinions and all that,eh?

    nice try though?

  29. 1. Domestic violence spares no sex or gender, women, men, and transpeople alike.

    2. I don’t get the concept. What if women were privileged and men were oppressed? Bad execution.

  30. To be totally honest, the Pseudointellectual debate that’s going on here is why I’d ban art school if I could.

    BE the tree, people. BE it.

  31. shawnporter- Hey, man, don’t knock on art school. It’s only pseudo-intellectual if you don’t appreciate the discussion, which is cool, but don’t go pissing on a debate’s legitimacy because it’s not something you’re interested in.

  32. Nothing should be off limits. Wether its difficult for some people to swallow or not, its artistic expression. I think censorship is bullshit, if you dont like it dont look at it. Sometimes pictures are just pictures. Blaming art, television or music for anything is a waste. People should take responsibility for their own actions instead of of pointing the finger elsewhere.

    Statistics show that its not the television/art etc that makes people abusers, its the fact that they themselves were abused or had some really extreme experience. To point the finger elsewhere isn’t responsbile and its only sheilding the true problems.

    It may not be the mainstream way of thinking but seriously if more people were nice human beings that made an effort to work at being decent people there would be alot less problems in the world. People are just too quick to put the blame outside of their own four walls.

  33. i love this site, but i found this medium of “art” disturbing and frightening. i don’t care if it’s a role reversal. i’m all for deviancy, i’m all for play. but the depiction of domestic violence is just not cool.

  34. I’m not bothered by art depicting violence, though I am bothered by actual violence. Would the same reaction be made if they were re-enacting, say, a war scene?
    Nevertheless, even excluding the “moral dilemma” of the picture, I dislike it. The poses look fake and melodramatic, and aren’t artistic or interesting to me in the slightest. It’s actually a little embarrassing to think that it was meant as a serious scene, so I’ll just assume that they were doing it in jest.:)
    Even the abuser looks silly.

    I’ve been gulpin’ some haterade today. Sorry. o.O

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