Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Male Gaze

Typical Representation of the male gaze
Laura Mulvey: 

A criticism of filming. Suggests men deliberately create women to look a certain way. The concept of the gaze is one that deals with how an audience views the people presented. Audiences view charcters from the perspective of a hetrosexual male. Features of the male gaze include the camera lingering on the curves of the female body and anything that happens to a woman is presented largely in the man's reactions to this event. It degrades the woman to the extent of making her an object or posession. Female viewers must experience the narrative secondarily by identification with the male. The gaze suggests that women are weak and defenceless when we know this isn't true.
There are three parts to it:
  • How men look at women
  • How women look at themselves
  • How women look at other women
Men looking at women: 
Men tend to look at the 'curvy parts' of women. Like the idea that men don't tend to look women in the eyes, but at other parts of their bodies. Even the camera focuses more on a womens body sometimes. 

Women looking at themselves:
Women are made to look at themselves in a negative way, picking fault with parts of their appearance when they see how women look in the media; when they have been airbrushed. It triggers a lack of self esteem and makes women aspire to be like models in magazines or on TV. They become reflective. 

Women looking at women:
Of course women can also look at women in a sexual way. But mainly they judge and compare themselves to other girls. For example you would look at a girl if you liked what they were wearing, but in a way where you compare what you are wearing, or if you would like something similar instead of the way men look at women. 

We watched the video of Scouting for Girls 'She's so lovely' to see an example of the male gaze:

Mr Smith asked us all questions about the video to compare the boys and girls results and show the male gaze 'theory'. Unsurprisingly the girls scored higher than the boys, even with less of us. This showed how the girl in the video distracted the boys and thus proved the male gaze.

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