the male gaze

1831 Words8 Pages
To what extent is a “male gaze” still prevalent in contemporary western culture? Discuss in relation to e.g magazines, music videos, advertising, and cinema. Before we discuss the extent to which the “male gaze” is prevalent in contemporary western culture which must first talk about the concept of the “gaze”. The gaze deals with how the audience views the people presented in visual culture e.g adverts, magazines, television shows. Keeping this in mind we can conclude that the “male gaze” is the male ability to exercise control over women by representing them in visual means as passive, sexual objects of male desire. The power of men over women has always existed. They are seen as the more powerful and clever species. This control over women has been seen predominately in linguistics senses in past times. It is clear that more derogatory terms for women than there are for men. Men can also wolf whistle or cat-call in order to harass a woman but there is no such response for women. Men also have more linguistic power over women due to their social status in modern society. In more current times men have turned to visual arts to implement there control and power over women. In this essay I will discuss how the “male gaze” is still very prevalent in contemporary modern culture using advertising, the cinema, music videos and magazines to confirm my views. Traditionally imagined, written and produced by men, advertisements have long depicted women as men want them to be, sexy, obedient, fragile, instead of as they actually are. In this way, the male gaze is very predominant in modern advertising. John Berger put it in Ways of Seeing: “Men ‘act’ and women ‘appear’. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.”(Berger, J. 1972) When women look at themselves in modern advertisements, they are encouraged to view themselves as a man might view them. Women
Open Document