The male gaze is when “woman stand in patriarchal culture as signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his phantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of women still tied to her place as bearer of meaning”(pg..834) states Laura Mulvey. It is a pervasive form of vision in popular culture we see in films, ads, painting and many other ways because it has been effective in selling to both genders because women by viewing the different forms of the male gaze they get the ideas on how to get a man attention to be desire by one. Women have to have a certain presence when she neared a male figure.
Laura Mulvey also describes how in narrative cinema the way they represent different races, gender and culture. How in films usually the male looking at the female ad the females is being portrayed for the opposite character and for the audience. “whose only sexual satisfaction can come from watching, in an active controlling sense, an objectified other”(pg.836) It a style that popular culture uses as persuasive way so it can attract audience. We see a major ad and film of heterosexuals which some occasion they aim the gay community in a subliminal way to sell a service or product. “In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female”(pg.837) women are being displayed and views as a sex object in films and ad they start of by showing their body parts. To get a reaction of the audience maintained that way.
Berger states in Ways of Seeing, “Presence for a women is so intrinsic to her person that men tend to think of it as an almost physical emanation, a kind of heat or smell or aura”(pg.46) The way women appear to men or in public is important for her success in life and the way she is being viewed. In the Bergen reading we also explorer the difference between being nude is more a form of art and naked is being without any clothes. Lady Gaga would be a great example relating to the article usually wearing outfits that are very revealing and most of the picture she never looking into the camera by doing this she get a greater reaction from the audience. “to be nude is to be seen as naked by other and yet not recognized for oneself”(pg.54) which is what the male gaze is.
Bell hook mentions “Imagine the terror felt by the child who has come to understand through repeated punishments that one’s gaze can be dangerous” (page 115, bells hooks) I believe the terror is not only within the childhood of an innocent child is the same terror of a women looking at the opposite gender in the eyes because we might feel we are seducing or approaching them in a sexual way for the way this patriarchy world we live on is constructed. It’s a powerful communication between both genders. Which a male has the right to judge women by her physical appearance and actions and where a female is very self-conscious how she appears to male. I believe that why in many advertisement women are portray in that way the ad’s gave this gaze that men want to desire them and women wanna be have that same confidence and sex-appeal.
I believe that because they Gaze has been created we tend to always building up to it. Usually women are usually more concern with their physical beauty and transforming themselves into something satisfying. Usually we see many ad about beauty, cosmetic surgery, different trends of clothing that seem appealing to man. This has all been built in the media industry the gaze that women need to have a certain look to obtain man attention. I believe that the gaze has to do with the economy because interaction with the viewer and the object to make some profit of it need to be there.
In the reading The Oppositional Gaze “that all attempts to repress out/black peoples’ right to gaze had produced in us an overwhelming longing to look, a rebellious desire, an oppositional gaze”(pg.116) the gaze became form of defiantly and opposition usually in movie black people portray has been negative or a small role, which has change over the years but in today popular culture we see that their still being portrayed as negative. Recently I was viewing this kids movie called “RIO” and I was critically analyzing to see if I saw the different races and there are monkeys which are the thief’s and do dirty work in the jungle which we can say that the representation of black is being portrayed in this movie in a negative way. “power is a system of domination which controls everything and which leaves no room for freedom”(pg.116) Which relates how white usually portray in a positive way and how the whites usually dominate the field and choose degrade others races or women.
Overall I believe the Male gaze has been destructive to women and women have to stand up for their writes and make themselves more valuable. I am film major with a minor in women and gender in the future I want to create film breaking out of these entire stereotypes and play around with the gaze of male.
Berger, John. “3.” Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting, 1973.
Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Film Theory and Criticism : Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. New York: Oxford UP,1999