Male Gaze

1329 Words6 Pages
With the help of the feminist movement in the 1970’s, this paper will reflect on women expressing their views about photography, cinema and the arts all pertaining to the male gaze and will include artists such as Cindy Sherman and Artemisia Gentileschi. Along with feminists, Laura Mulvey and feminist scholar Mary D. Garrard. Each of these women has an important argument along the lines of the male gaze. The male gaze in photography, cinema, and the arts, objectify women in their femininity, sexual identity, and in society. A woman’s femininity can be compromised in the male dominant society in photography, cinema, and the arts. The male gaze is prominent in the woman being the object of attention in films and regarded as the damsel in distress waiting for a man to rescue her, the male relates to this character and not the female character. Cindy Sherman did a series called, Untitled Film Stills that portray women in this manner. She dresses up as different characters of women in these ultra feminine roles that would mimic the 1950’s film noir movies of the female as the protagonists. This goes against the commonality of the active male as the subject and passive female and against the male gaze. The femininity in Cindy’s pictures speak for themselves portraying the woman in her common role, and her personality along with her womanhood. But, looking into her work further, the viewer has to question what is really going on? Are we seeing these images through Cindy’s point of view, or is she commenting on stereotypes women face? The viewer must decide and is open to interpretation, promoting free thinking. Next, Laura Mulvey’s article called, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, touches on the compromised femininity of the mal... ... middle of paper ... ...e writers whom have different thought processes on this male gaze. Laura discusses the psychoanalysis view and Mary discussed the scholarly view, therefore commenting on today’s society. All four women are educating us on this stigma in film, photography and the arts, to allow future directors to think of a different way to teach us about women than in just the male gaze approach. Women are becoming more involved in movies as a whole and adding new perspective, that sheds light on the unjust past. This patriarchal mentality is an old school approach to society. Times change for the better and we become more civilized as a society and I think it’s time to focus on empowerment of women that also involves women supporting women and proceed with the determination of women being equal men and enlightens our society for future and for our young women to know of free will.
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