V for Victory or V for V Painful? Obama and Michelle see things differently….

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Obama and Michelle watching Judo at White House 2009

This photograph from the UK’s Guardian newspaper (17 Sept 2009) caught my attention initially for the curious position, in the foreground, of the unfortunate person on the receiving end of a flip in a judo exhibition. Then I zeroed in on President Obama and Michelle Obama’s expressions, framed between the outstretched legs.

The photo is a jewel for those of us observing the difference between the archetypal feminine and masculine reaction to an event. You have Obama’s smile juxtaposed against his wife’s aghast expression. On the one hand, you have a man appreciating the athletic effort of the ‘victor,’ while, on the other, the woman is feeling the effects of the loser landing on his head. Is it V for Victory or V for Very Painful? In either case, watching sports brings out our emotions and, per this photo at least, the experience is very different according to your point of view (and I’m not just talking the team you support).

Do you have another view on this photo? And how different is the experience for men and women (or the masculine and feminine viewpoint) when observing the same sporting event?

4 Comments, RSS

  1. Christophe Faurie

    Small difference in interpretation: I suspect Men rejoice when other people suffer…
    Men raised to be tough guys vs. Women raised to be nurses ?

  2. Martin Collignon

    time matters and time perception differs …. Immediate pleasure, anticipated pain! Sounds familiar? Justthink about pregancy! Got it? Whose side are you on? 😉

  3. Steve Goetz

    It's more the masculine and feminine viewpoints than men's and women's. and time. it's an interesting photo, but a snapshot, nonetheless.

    in simpler language, it is certainly possible for the woman to be enthralled while the man is aghast. just depends on when.

  4. Minter

    @Christophe: why would men do that?

    @Martin: Masculine and feminine notions of time are different? Interesting idea. Will need to dig into that thought.

    @Steve: And depends on who, too.

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