Friday, February 19, 2016

Male Gaze

This week's discussions opened my eyes more to the prevalence of the sexual objectification of women in the world.  While I admit that I had a sour taste in my mouth while reading Mulvey's article because of the Freudian basis, I do think she brought some good ideas and points.  Her theory of the narcissistic viewer made a lot of sense to me, although I don't think people do it consciously, and I don't think it is quite as negative as she portrays.  When someone immerses themselves in a movie and empathizes enough to see themselves in the protagonist, it is not always a bad thing. When I identify with a protagonist in a movie or television show, I do not feel bad about myself for not actually being them, and I imagine that not everyone else does either.  I am sure that this negative self image does come from comparing to an unrealistic character sometimes, but I don't think it is as often as she generalizes it to be.  I also liked the fact that she started the conversation about male gaze, and although I didn't agree with the start of her article, the male gaze was an important topic that needed to be brought up and given vocabulary, which Mulvey did.

The TED talk brought up some interesting things, that I had always known in the back of my mind, but never fully thought about.  I thought the point about female GPA's was interesting, because i had seen data suggesting the females were discouraged from performing as well as males in the classroom, but it never occurred to me that it was because of body image and the time that girls feel they need to spend on their aesthetic.

The lack of evidence in these presentations was unsettling but it is hard to dispute that the points ring true, and that we can find evidence for them in our own lives.  Now when looking at media, both in story lines, and in advertisement, I will keep a more wary eye for objectification.  While I think the world is getting a lot better at fighting it, there is still a way to go, and the first step is awareness.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think about this issue?