Male Sexuality : Patriarchal Power, Violence, And The Female Gaze Essay

Male Sexuality : Patriarchal Power, Violence, And The Female Gaze Essay

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Three themes that Dyer develops in his essay on male sexuality are patriarchal power, violence, and the female gaze. Firstly, Dyer mentions that “the penis is also the symbol of male potency, the magic and mystery of the phallus, the endowment that appears to legitimate male power” (Dyer 2013, 113). That is to say, the penis is considered the ultimate force of dominance for men, although it is said that the penis is “far more commonly the soft, vulnerable charm of male genitals” (Dyer 2013, 113). As a result, men tend to play the dominant roles in society, while women are portrayed as inferior and patriarchal power is created. In addition, situated with patriarchal power is violence. Dyer emphasizes violence as an element of male sexuality in his essay by demonstrating that “acts of power and domination, such as rape and murder, are seen as acts of sexuality” (Dyer 2013, 114). Because of this, men use rape as a weapon of force and power against women. Men also tend to use rape as an element for improving their masculinity, which is displayed in a violent manner; for example, sexual terrorism, abuse, and battery. According to Sheffield, “[rape] is based on fear, hostility, and a need to dominate women. Rape is an act of aggression and possession” (Sheffield 1987, 113). With that being said, patriarchal power “asserts the superiority of males and the inferiority of females” (Sheffield 1987, 113). For this reason, Dyer emphasizes this theme and argues that male sexuality is socially constructed. Hence patriarchal power and violence go hand in hand.
Finally, Dyer mentions that male sexuality is solely fixated on the penis and is revolve around the female gaze, for example, sex comedy and narrative. According to Dyer, “the apparent bu...


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...mething really smart to say here but this movie felt feminist” (Gay 2015). That is to say, women were treated like queens and respected, rather than being classified as sex objects. There were also women of different class, race, and body type, which is why I became aroused and surprised. Unfortunately, Hollywood films normally do not cater to the needs of African American and plus size women. According to one of Gay’s interviewees, “my vagina fluttered away from my body, toward the screen and into Magic Mike’s hands” (Gay 2015). For this reason, I felt that the movie catered “to the female gaze. Thus, I think that the male entertainers in the film, were able to cater to women of all different types sexual needs, rather than, as Dyer says, “to a woman in a vulnerably situation” (Dyer 2013, 118). As a result, men tend to view a women’s body as powerless and property.

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