You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Male Gaze’ tag.

I guess it is possible. Pandering to the male-gaze has been the industry standard for all too long. Time to shake things up in my honest opinion.

femalearmour femalearmour1   It is nice to see that the revived Star Wars franchise is moving in the right direction with regards to the portrayal of women in movies.  Because most of the time we get this:

femarmour3   Titillating for the male gaze, but piss-poor at the actual function of armour.

malegaze   Insight time folks.  Many thanks to Alicen Gray for this.

“I often catch men in public checking me out with eyes full of lust, until they see the hair on my legs – at which point, they resort to a theatrical display of disgust. I’ve eavesdropped on groups of college-age guys talking about how they won’t perform oral sex on a woman if her labia are too prominent. One man who had been pursuing sex with me for three years, suddenly changed his mind when I revealed that I do not, and will not, shave off my pubic hair. In other words, many men stop being attracted to me when reminded that I am a woman, and not a young girl. Surely all of these men, who have a “preference” for the aforementioned qualities in women, aren’t pedophiles by the strict definition of the word. But it seems that a high number of men, likely as a result of deep cultural conditioning, find many of the same things attractive in a woman that a pedophile would find attractive in a girlchild. Small labia, tight vaginas, intact hymens, baby-soft skin, hairless limbs and vulvas, eternal youthfulness, tiny frail bodies …”

-Alicen Gray writing at the Feminist Current.

 

 

 

“Here’s the thing. Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.

Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize//trim/shave/push up/hide/show/”flatter”/paint/dye/exfoliate/pierce/surgically alter this or that.

That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?

The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.”

      -From the Brute Reason Tumblr

 

It is because society tells us that women are objects, not subjects, that when society is presented with a case of male violence or sexual abuse, everyone looks at it from his point of view: “Oh, he must have been provoked to have done that,” “He was a nice man who just snapped,” “He must have been confused by her signals,” “Maybe he’s been falsely accused, how terrible to have to go to jail for that.” With every victim-blaming, rape / violence apologist comment, society reveals through whose eyes it looks, and the answer is invariably the man’s.

It is because society tells us that women are objects, not subjects, that even good men, when speaking out against violence against women, tell other men to imagine her as “somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother, somebody’s daughter, or somebody’s sister,” it never occurring to them that maybe, just maybe, a woman is also “somebody”.

It is frightening to consider just how deeply entrenched objectification of women really goes. We must certainly combat sexual objectification, but the battle will not end there. Women are objectified in more profound ways than we realise, and we must tear down every entwined shred of the patriarchy, in order to achieve our modest goal of being recognized and treated as human beings.

— Source: The Objectification of Women – It Goes Much Further Than Sexy Pictures

Maleagaze   Wow, ran across the Feminist Current and Meghan Murphy is knocking them out of the park with great articles such as this one tearing into one of Canada’s national newspapers, the Globe and Mail, for taking the well travelled low road of misogyny.   I just have the highlights here, but you should go read Megan’s entire post, it is well worth your time.

One of the things we’ve learned from feminism is that, while men have long enjoyed arguing that biology accounts for misogyny, having used scientific arguments to “prove” that, for example, male dominance, rape, male violence and of course, the objectified, sexualized female body is “natural”, things are not quite so clear cut. Similar arguments have been used by white men to justify racism and slavery. As such, it seems reasonable to assume that those doing the “science” and those communicating to society what is and is not “natural” based on said science have some level of control over what we come to believe, as a society, is true, factual and, of course, “natural.”

[…]

Though Brown claims that the intent of his article is to “investigat[e] the famous male gaze,” he has zero understanding of it. The male gaze is a concept which was explored initially within feminist film theory and has since extended into an explanation and analysis of the objectifying, disempowering male gaze. So when a 58 year old man decides that a 20 year old woman is a beautiful flower which exists in order for him to look at, he dehumanizes her. And, as many of us know already, dehumanizing a human being is a dangerous thing. It means we no longer need to treat said human being with respect. A body part is just a body part, not a whole, complex being with thoughts and feelings.

One of the most minor consequences of the male gaze is that, and I will speak from personal experience here, a lifetime of being looked at makes you feel as though your self-worth is largely dependent on your ability to be desired by men. This is not a good thing. It is something many women fight at every turn. Yet we still internalize that male gaze. This means that many women see themselves through male eyes. We also believe, to a certain extent, that we exist for your viewing pleasure. Should women really have to fight to believe that their value exists outside your desire?

I won’t speak for any other woman aside from myself at this point, but “Hi, Ian Brown! I am a woman and I don’t want you to look at my ass. It doesn’t feel flattering, it feels creepy. It makes me feel self-conscious and it makes me not want to leave my house. I may be too old for you at 32 (gross!), but many old men stare at me regardless. I hate it. It makes me want to punch them. So stop. Please. I guarantee your penis will survive.”

The fact that men believe women exist for their viewing pleasure IS A PROBLEM. It doesn’t matter how much men like it. I should be able to leave my house without feeling watched.

[…]

I am not your right. No woman is. No matter how beautiful she is. You have no right to her. She is more than just body parts. Allow me to confirm what I assume was the fear which led you to write this piece, Ian Brown, you are a perv. Stop staring at us. We have the ability to exist without your eyes on our asses.”

That whole male-gaze/female objectification thing is soooooo out to lunch.

 

Go to the Tumblr to see the rest.

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