Laura Mulvey: The Eye And The Male Gaze

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The “gaze” sometimes called the “look” is a term which was originally used in film theory in the 1970s but which is now more broadly used by media theorists to refer to the ways in which viewers look at images of people in any visual medium. These include advertisements, television programs and cinema. The concept of the gaze is fundamentally about the relationship of pleasure and images. The gaze can be viewed in in two different ways; the male gaze and the female gaze.

The male gaze was originally brought up by Laura Mulvey in her essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, and her meaning of the term relates to the woman as a spectacle in film ("Understanding Media: Introduction To Elements Of GAZE Theory"). The male gaze is how men look
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Despite the fact that they were desirable creatures who provoked the attention of males all over the world, who’s beauty was appreciated and who’s input were vital when it came to keeping the household together and raising children; women did not have the ideal place in society. This was because they were seen as the weaker gender, they had to be satisfied with being ruled by males, and before the revolution of women empowerment, those who were feminists by heart had to suffer in silence. It was highly inappropriate for a woman to step out of line and in some countries such an action would even be punishable by death.

The French constitution of 1792 banned women from public life, and Emperor Napoleon’s Civil code of 1804 was implemented in Europe, subsequently. This code denied women any legal rights and access to divorce, which meant that their husbands had control over them, confining them to a subordinate, domestic role. Before the French revolution, women played a domestic role and they were subject to limitations. The law was against them. They couldn’t vote, act in plays or get a job to generate their own income. Yet, the paintings that were produced during the time, depicted them as desirable, beautiful and
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