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True equality by Marinka Masséus

The objectification of the female body is an effective form of dehumanization. Women’s sexuality is exploited and suppressed at the same time. Admired and reviled, chased and judged, praised and ridiculed. This oppressive societal schizophrenia is mirrored in every woman’s soul. Western philosophers who have shaped our collective thinking – Aristotle,  Socrates, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Darwin, Schopenhauer,  Nietzsche – compared women to animals, incapable of rational thought, devoid of intelligence. These men are still revered to this day.

The series “[don’t] look at me 1 & 2” by Marinka Masséus reflects on the desire to be seen, coupled with the shame and instinctive need to hide

Misogyny is of all cultures and of all times. It’s a foundation in all major creation mythology. In the bible – Eve unleashing evil onto the world – in Greek mythology -Zeus punishing human kind by creating Pandora, the first woman (or evil thing for their delight) who, yet again, unleashes evil into the world.

These blatantly misogynistic men are considered founders of civilization. Their opinions and thoughts have shaped our collective thinking. The subsequent gender programming goes so deep, that it’s impossible for both men and women to fully recognize its ingrained impact. #metoo / #timesup has awoken an existential urge to claim our equality. To be recognized as capable human beings, valued by more than our appearance. Claiming sovereignty of our bodies, that our NO will be heard and respected.

In response to women becoming more vocal, there currently is a backlash. In some places that means female rights are actually backsliding. But a shared consciousness is growing, an awareness of our potential beyond what we were conditioned to believe about ourselves. It will take time. Only when the female energy is just as free as male energy has always been – sexually, intellectually, artistically, emotionally, spiritually – will there be true equality.



Aristotle: women exist as natural deformities or imperfect males. Courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman’s lies in obeying. Matter yearns for form, as the female for the male and the ugly for the beautiful. A female is an incomplete male or a deformity which contributes only matter and not form to the generation of offspring. That in general a woman is perhaps an inferior being. That female characters in a tragedy will be inappropriate if they are too brave or too clever.

“I am not free while any women is unfree, even when her shackles are different from my own.” – Audre Lorde

Western philosophers who have shaped our collective thinking – Aristotle,  Socrates, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Darwin, Schopenhauer,  Nietzsche – compared women to animals

“The repression of the feminine has led to a planet on the edge of collapse. The re-emergence is going to be a dance to behold.”- Clare Dakin

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Marinka Masséus

More about Marinka Masséus on Tagree


After finishing her MBA, Marinka’s studies in Buddhist Psychology guided her philosophical journey and the Photo Academy in Amsterdam stimulated her to channel her concepts and feelings into images. Marinka’s photography revolves around people and their place in society. Especially topics concerning injustice and inequality are a driving force behind her work. “Ultimately for me it’s about connecting with people, I remember each and every moment that they, for a brief moment, let me into their lives.” Marinka Masséus received the 1st place Sony World Photography Awards 2019 – Professional Creative Category with her series “Chosen [not] to be”,  selected from 326.997 entries.


1st place Sony World Photography Awards 2019 – Professional Creative Category | 1st place LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019 | 1st place TPOTY 2018 | 1st place Zilveren Camera 2017 – International Documentary | 3rd place Kuala Lumpur Portrait Awards 2017 | LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017 | Recipient Lucie Award | IPA Photographer of the Year 2016 | Gold Prix de la Photographie Paris 2015 | GUP NEW Dutch Talent 2014 and more.


GEO Magazine | The Observer |The Guardian | El País | La Stampa | Magazine European Photography | Il Post | United Nations | National Geographic | Die Zeit | Stern | Israel Times | La Stampa | Tages Anzeiger | HuffPost | Vanity Fair | Blouin Art Info | LINDA | Musée Magazine | Pf | Marie Claire | Jan Magazine | the Daily Mail | Tagesschau | Metro UK | Sofia Press | Marie Claire | Courrier International | El País Semanal | Observer Magazine | BJP British Journal of Photography – Portrait of Humanity and more.


– Daegu Photo Biennial, Korea | sept 2020
– ImageNation, Paris Photo, Paris | nov 2019
– Museum Villa Rot, Germany | oct 2019
– Berlin Art week, Gallery Circle1, Berlin | sept 2019
– Xposure Photography Festival, United Arab Emirates | sept 2019

– Sony World Photography Organisation, Tokyo | june 2019
– Head-On Photo Festival, Sydney, Australia | may 2019
– Aperture Gallery, New York | april-may 2019
– ImageNation, Galleria Civica G.B.Bosio, Italy | april-may 2019
– TPOTY exhibition, Towerbridge, London | april-may 2019
– Somerset House, London | april-may 2019


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