The Male Gaze and Objectification Theory In her highly influential essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey proposed the film theory, The Male Gaze. It refers to the way film is generally structured around a masculine viewer and how the feminine view is notably absent even when women view fellow women in film. Describing the tendency in visual culture to depict the world and women from a masculine point of view and in terms of men 's attitudes, she argues that “the most insidious manner in which objectifying gaze infuses American culture is in people’s encounters with visual media that spotlight bodies and body parts and seamlessly align viewers with an implicit sexualising gaze. ”3
Females are told to shut up and look pretty for the camera. It is so common that Hollywood thinks it is acceptable to portray women like objects, but it does acceptable to treat women like things for men to use because it does not respect women nor does it empower women. Women are being treated like objects in movies and shows that allows men to use them for their liking. The constant ads of attractive looking women
The lady being more on the heavier side of physiques tells Wang Mei “Women like us aren’t easy to get laid.” again going to show that a women must look appealing to a man’s gaze in order to get any kind of attention from a man. It also shows that in this man’s world, a woman’s body is her best asset that is the main signifier of her worth and also the thing that will help her get by in life. Through the film Lost in Beijing, we see how the male gaze and the sexual objectification of women portrays women out to be a commodity in today’s modern society. Her emotions and self worth and esteem have no value and her body is her best “selling point” which helps her move forward in this patriarchal society.
Laura Mulvey is a feminist film theorist from Britain who is known for her essay on visual pleasures in narrative cinema. Being inspired by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan’s ideology combined with psychoanalysis, Mulvey comes up with the ‘Male Gaze Theory regarding sexual objectification on women in the media. The male gaze is the way in which the visual arts and the literature portrays women and world from a masculine point of view presenting women as objects of male pleasure regardless of being heterosexual male or female, thus the formula of cinema becomes comprised of “women ad image, man as bearer of the look.” The male gaze consists of three different gazes: - look of the camera that records the film, - the look of the characters in the film and – the look of the audience that views the film. Mulvey then went on to classify women’s role on film functions “on two levels: as erotic objects for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic objects for the character within the auditorium.”
Hollywood has always done a terrible job of depicting real women in film, and although his work has a somewhat misogynistic reputation, Alfred Hitchcock has done so much involving the progression of female roles in Hollywood cinema. Although many of his female victims wind up dead, the survivors have lots of power – and without reliance on their male counterparts. Women remain the central focus in many of Hitchcock’s films, not just because of their beauty, but because the narrative is dependent on them. When you look at his work in the context of this specific Hollywood era, Hitchcock’s female characters are very much out of the ordinary. Looking past the obvious presence of gender roles (male and female) that just so happened to be a part of the social norm during that time, Hitchcock sought to represent women with having more depth, realism, and independence than ever before in women in Hollywood.
What differentiated Fassbinder and Freud was the different distances they held from their feminine objects. While Freud observed them from the external point of view, i.e., from the perspective of the opposite and superior sex, at least a part of Fassbinder identified with his female characters/actors/lovers, three identities that always collapse onto each other in Fassbinder’s life and work. It is for this reason that women’s different sexual orientations and their alienating feeling towards the society and family that shaped their identity were exposed more fully in Fassbinder’s films than in Freud’s case studies. In the case of Dora, the fears and desires of the female patients risked being reduced to a delayed sexual desire first with the
Focusing on how the piece was filmed brings up the issue of the male gaze. Within the article “Oppressive Texts, Resisting Readers and the Gendered Spectator: The New Aesthetics” by Mary Devearaux she argues under the premise that “the male gaze is not always male, but it is always male-dominated” (Devearaux, 339). Meaning that film and other media forms will always be male connoted. “Men do not always do the looking, but they control who does” (Devearaux, 339). This is very powerful statement in this argument and says a lot about how females feel they are being viewed, as well as how much power they possess.
She argues that the act of moviegoing satisfies these voyeuristic desires in people. She writes, “The mass of mainstream film portray a hermetically sealed world which unwinds magically, indifferent to the presence of the audience, producing for them a sense of separation and playing on their voyeuristic fantasy,” (pg. 186). In this essay, I will further discuss her viewpoints on cinema and voyeurism, and how it connects to the film Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock. Rear Window is a film that follows the
Abstract: In most parts of the world, females have always been the victim of oppressive patriarchy and male chauvinism since ages. This problem has been represented by many people through various forms of creations be it art, literature or films. Films are the most popular visual mediums of entertainment through which a large segment of people can be approached. Like literature, a film is also a work of art which mirrors the society, it also depicts the reality of the society though it has some fictionality in it.
It can be agreed that media plays a major role in shaping our social norms. With media consumption we are faced with different perception of male and female in the society. In many films male characters are always portrayed as dominate than female characters. Krisi Tran (2014), states that only 18% of top
“Untitled Film Still #35” is created by Cindy Sherman in 1979. We can see that there is a woman standing in the picture, and the background is consisting of black and white colors. The woman seems cold and mad. Most of the pictures in this series give the viewers an impression of popular film genres, like film stills. Sherman used the photography to express her idea, and she liked to convey female’s beauty for enjoying men’s gazing, which is a primary concentration of contemporary feminist theory, which consider gender as a socially constructed concept.
In the reading for this week, Friedlander discusses how the rise of female musicians in the early 1960s reflected the sexism inherent in society at the time through the labelling of talented performers simply as “girl groups” (pg. 72). This term infantilized artists like The Ronettes, The Shirelles and The Crystals, and by extension, implied that rock music was still a male domain. This is supported by the fact that the production teams behind hit records such as ‘Be My Baby’ were predominantly male. According to Friedlander, if a “girl group” achieved a million-seller record in the early 1960s, they would collectively only receive around $30,000-$40,000 to split between members thanks to a 3-4% royalty rate (pg. 74). Although singles like ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ (The Crystals) and ‘Baby, I Love You’ (The Ronettes) involved little creative contribution from the performers (both of these examples were produced and co-written by Phil
This specific, Thinking About Movies by Peter Lehman and William Luhr was very relatable to me. Many of the points that they talked about, in the article I had previously wondered about. To start off, they talk about in how many Hollywood films they have an Invisible class norm. This invisible norm is that the middle class is the class most people relate too, and want to be in. Although this is true for most people it is not true for all people.
muse of Truffaut and will also be the main protagonist of A Gorgeous Girl Like Me where she plays a transgressive and violently playful young woman who will experience love as deeply connected to death and she is also the comic relief. In order to achieve her dream to be an artist of song, a singer she has to go through life the hard way. Our film absolutely delightfully drenched in light approaches the theme of the discovery of love through the eyes of children. There are very cinematic experiences here made by the children, cinema comes from the word kinetic which means movement. Through the actions of the children, he deconstructs the cinema.