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Male Gaze Theory

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Amy Fagan

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of Male Gaze Theory

Male Gaze Theory
Amy Fagan, Jake Genens,
Kelsey Wrightwood, Chris Ward
Theory usage in Media
Males = Dominant
Females = Submissive

Media Objectification of Women:
Music videos

Male Gaze in Action
How have other scholars engaged this theory?
Objectification Theory
: "females internalize others' perspective as a primary view of their physical selves"

The Male Gaze is a concept constructed by media that perpetuates gender stereotypes of male dominance and female submissiveness through the act of gazing.
Male gaze theory

Road Map
Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2013). Mass communication
theory: Foundations, ferment, and future (7th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Brandt, M. & Carstens, A. (2005). The discourse of the male
gaze: A critical analysis of the feature section ‘the beauty of the sport’ in SA Sports Illustrated. Southern African Linguistics & Applied Language Studies 23(3), 233-243.
Calogero, R. M. (2004). A test of objectification theory: the
effect of the male gaze on appearance concerns in college women. Psychology Of Women Quarterly, 28(1), 16-21.
Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. (1997). Objectification
theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly 21. 173–206.
Manlove, C. (2007). Visual "drive" and cinematic narrative: Reading gaze
theory in Lacan, Hitchcock, and Mulvey. Cinema Journal 46(3). 83-108.
Monk-Turner, E., Wren, K., McGill, L., Matthiae, C., Brown, S., & Brooks, D.
(2008). Who is gazing at whom? A look at how sex is used in magazine advertisements. Journal of Gender Studies 17(3). 201-209.
Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. Screen 16(3).
Yahya, W. R., Rahman, E. A., Zainal, Z. I. (2010). Male gaze, pornography
and the fetishised female. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 5(1). 25-38.

Laura Mulvey (1975) & Male Gaze in Cinema
Feminist theory
Criticizing media norms in cinema

Sigmund Freudian & Psychoanalytic Theory
Inner emotional factors
Outside general awareness

Jacques Lacan Gaze (1964)
Awareness of being gazed upon
Gazer is in power

Origins of theory
Usage in media
Media examples
Outside Scholarship
Important Concepts
pleasure from looking
Sexual pleasure in spying on people- "Peeping Toms"
Society discourages sexual aggression, the male gaze in pornography enables males to feel dominant over submissive female

Body Image:
Anticipation of male gaze causes anxiety and low self-esteem

Males and Male Gaze
Males do not self-objectify: they relate to the narrative while females compare themselves to the narrative

Narcissistic, "Ideal ego"

Women are consistently seen as the male counterpart- an object to be won

Patriarchal society provides few repercussions for such predatory behavior
Mulvey doesn't address social class or race, neglecting different cultural implications on body language and sexualization

Neglects objectification of men when target audience is female

Arguable both genders can feel objectified, especially when homosexuality is taken into consideration
Females and Male Gaze
Women view themselves through the male gaze/perspective

Power in the male gaze- women control men through desire

Male gaze allows women to be both victimized and empowered
Prominence of male gaze in the media perpetuates the stereotype that it's okay to objectify women

This leads to women feeling useless and uncomfortable. Self-esteem is hurt and the lack thereof can cause more serious psychological damage.

The Mirror Stage of Development:
obsessive stage of self-gazing where narcissistic, "ideal ego" is created
The Gaze:
Individuals are aware of vulnerability to objectification
(Monk-Turner et al., 2008)
(Manlove, 2007)
(Manlove, 2007)
(Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997, p. 189)
(Yahya et al., 2010)
(Calogero, 2004)
Lacan (1964)
Lacan (1964)
Confined by older, patriarchal societies, women are bound by societal gender stereotypes.
Women are gradually using male gaze to their advantage.
Male gaze both victimizes women and empowers them
Full transcript