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Women and Film
Transcript of Women and Film
The Gendered Gaze
Tropes vs Women
Women making movies
Women watching movies
Guest lecture from Dr Alexis Lothian, English Department
For Dr Nurhaya Muchtar's COMM 325: Women in Media
March 4, 2014
"In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female form which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness. Woman displayed as sexual object is the leit-motif of erotic spectacle: from pin-ups to striptease, from Ziegfeld to Busby Berkeley, she holds the look, plays to and signifies male desire."
Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975)
Do the women in these images appeal to a "male gaze"?
How do race, class, and age inflect gendered ways of seeing? What about genre?
How does the "male gaze" shape everyday experience and media beyond the movies?
the bechdel test:
In 2012, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reported that, for the 250 top grossing films:
Women were 18% of the directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors
Women directed 9% of the films.
Women wrote 15% of the movies.
Women comprised 17% of all executive producers.
Women accounted for 25% of all producers.
Women comprised 20% of all editors.
Women accounted for 2% of all cinematographers.
first woman director to win a Best Film Academy Award: Kathryn Bigelow
(The Hurt Locker, 2010)
where does the camera want you to look?
How do these remix videos challenge gendered ways of seeing?
Anita Sarkeesian on the
"Manic Pixie Dream Girl":
celebrating images of powerful women
women looking at women: queering the gaze
arefadedaway, One Girl Revolution
charmax, I'm Your Man
What are some of the ways we can respond critically to gender representations in film?
Where are most of the women in film? On the screen...
directed Boys Don't Cry (1999), Stop-Loss (2008), Carrie (2013)
Dee Rees: directed Pariah (2011)
"visual pleasure" -- but whose? Mulvey wanted to get rid of gendered visual pleasure from film. Do you agree?