Laura Mulvey And Gender Analysis

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Gender representation is solely created by social construction. Thus, people grow and learn by watching and doing as they see, and the common way to learn these constructions is through media. The common form of media that promotes these social views is film, and it promotes a patriarchal society. In Laura Mulvey’s article, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975),” she explains that Hollywood film creates a binary that portrays women as passive and spectacles, while men are seen as dominant, active, and are the ones that push the story along (4-5). This representation is created by the use of the male gaze, fetishizing women, and punishing women if they ever assert their power. Mulvey’s article was released in 1975, and as time progressed,…show more content…
In the beginning of the movie, she is very submissive and passive to Darryl’s dominant and active attitude. She also claims that she does not know how to work a gun; “a phallic symbol that is usually thought to represent male sexuality and aggression” (Benshoff and Griffin, 289). However, her submissive and passive attitude is completely different when she rejects the police officer’s male gaze. Mulvey explains that the “man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionists. Hence the split between spectacle and narrative supports the man's role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen. The man controls the film phantasy” (4). However, as the police officer tries to control the film phantasy when he pulls Thelma and Louise over, Thelma rejects his dominance by asserting herself with the gun and giving him orders to get into the trunk. She then becomes the dominant and the police officer becomes the spectacle. Thus, it is showing how the police officer failed at his job in trying to be masculine over women. Not only does this situation exemplify the rejection of the male gaze, but it also exemplifies the female gaze by mocking
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