Just a quick pro memoria regarding what we* discussed tonight. The Finnish army is a special creature. Since the absolute majority of the Finnish men does military service, it must have a tremendous influence on our culture and on “masculinity“ in our country. The spirit of the Winter War lies thick over the military system, and since this system essentially lays its hands on nearly every young man, the spirit of the Winter War lies thick over our (masculine) civil society. The Finnish man is a soldier during his entire life. There seems to be no real competing “ideal of manhood“ around, so it is of outmost importance that you join the army if you want to become a man.
This is clear enough. I'm flogging a dead horse here, I guess. I never went there and I can make fun of it from my pseudo-academic ivory tower. But I honestly think this is an issue. What are the consequenses of this strange procedure? What are the results of these values and this ideal of manhood being spread and reproduced in our society? (Many employers don't accept men who hasn't been in the army. I'm not going to say anything about that, except that it definitely says more about the inner workings of this value system than it does about the qualities of the persons being employed or the ones not being employed). How does all these ideas of suffering, self-discipline and obedience that's imposed on every generation manifest themselves? Since the forces behind the (re)production of these ideas are so strong, my guess is that there HAS to be some unwanted side effects. Suicides? Alcoholism? Domestic violence? There's plenty of everything here in Finland. I don't know. Hmm.. perhaps somebody has studied this. Anyway, it IS something that should be studied. And we should demand tighter control of what's really going on there. All these stories make me sick. Ah, for god's sake.. burn it down!
* I, Kenneth, Sam, Tina, Kim and Soffi
written by Mattias