1970s feminist film critic Laura Mulvey coined the phrase “the male gaze,” which is “the way in which the visual arts and literature depict the world and women from a masculine point of view,” sexualizing girls and women and presenting them as objects solely for male pleasure.
The male gaze consists of three perspectives: that of the person behind the camera, the characters within the representation or film itself, and the spectator.
In the majority of history, politics, philosophy, religion, sports, music, film, entertainment, and every corner or antiquity and modernity, men have dominated.
And yet, when we talk about sexism, patriarchy, rape culture, misogyny, and gender bias, the first responders are always men who dismiss any injustices against women in lieu of injustices against men.
Men come first, always, is it?
Why is that?
For 10,000 plus years of recorded history, men have dominated the narrative, and the male gaze has been the standard for almost all of media.
For less than a hundred years we’ve had a steady push against the patriarchy in the women’s rights and feminist movements.
And yet a man’s first response to claims that we must not sexualize young girls is: what about me?
His first response, when faced with facts about rape and sexual abuse against women is, well what about men?
Why can’t men just listen and learn—especially when almost all rape and sexual abuse is committed by men?
And let’s listen.
Talk to you Monday night?
Photo: Flickr/JD Hancock
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