Men look at women in what can be described as the male gaze. Feminists believe that this is an objectification of women. The male gaze is not concerned with her personality. Her thoughts and feelings are subjugated to the dominance of male desire. For some men this is a right, for others an embarrassment that has to be repressed. It might be argued that for both groups of men it is subtly reinforced and sanctioned in a patriarchal age.
Freud talked about a deep seated male drive, called scopophilia: the sexual pleasure of looking. Cinema is used as a medium to satisfy male scopophilia. Perhaps a better description might be a hetrosexual masculine gaze.
To scrutinise the idea of the male gaze consider the female gaze. The stereotype would be that male gaze is visual, where as female gaze is more linked to the senses. But is the female gaze an equivalent to the gaze? There are many beautiful men to admire through media.
Yet if you believe in patriarchy – no. The male gaze exists in a power imbalance. Patriarchy encourages the sexual objectification of women.
Maleness oppressed by political correctness? Or the continuing oppression of women by men?
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique