Male Stereotypes In American Horror Story: Coven

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American Horror Story: Coven is undoubtely a controversial TV series, as it is at the same time both chauvinist and feminist. The show clearly adopts the male gaze and is limited by chauvinist stereotypes, but it simultaneously challenges them.
The notion of the male gaze, theorised by Laura Mulvey in the 70s, suggests that we tend to see media products from a male perspective, as most of the producers are male and heterosexual. Therefore, female characters are objectified and sexualized, so that they are attractive for the audience. American Horror Story: Coven conforms to this theory through the way Madison Montgomery, an actress, is portrayed: she is white, blonde, thin and beautiful. By objectifying Madison, the show fully conforms to the male gaze theory. However, at the same time the show challenges and goes over the stereotyped theory of the male gaze: when Spalding, the witches’ butler, steals Madison’s body after her death in order to add her to his dolls’ collection, it is clear to everyone – as her corpse starts to rot – that Madison’s body is not an object, and consequently women are not objects, they are human beings – just like men.
American Horror Story: Coven’s witches are dangerous as they challenge and try to subvert the
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