Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Objectifying Stare

The male gaze is the look of desire they give to females.  This occurs just about anywhere and anytime of a woman's daily life.  The gaze feels like a violation to privacy as they stare up and down your physical body like you are some kind of meat they want to have for dinner.  It feels dehumanizing and threatening because woman do not ask for this. 

This male gaze is a pervasive form of pop culture because it is seen everywhere, from ads to commercials to TV shows and movies. When media subtly add these actions in their movies and ads.  It always show this act being acceptable by the positive reaction given by the woman after being gazed upon.  When men see this, they think it is okay to treat women like this, thinking they will get the same reaction. 

In Ways of Seeing by Berger, he mentions "to be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself" (Berger, 54). Thus, this objectifies the naked body.  In a sense this can be said about the male gaze.  In their eyes, women are objects that they can gaze upon whenever they please. 

Similarly, Bell Hooks in Oppositional Gaze explains the reasoning behind the gaze, a rebellious desire to look. Saying that "by courageously looking, we defiantly declare: 'not only will I stare.  I want to look to change my reality'"(Hooks, 116).  By gazing, it gives them a sense of power they have never had.  Hooks also mentioned how the television was one of the only way you learned to stare at white people on the screen.  And that the media was filled with racism and sexism.  It under represents black women. The oppositional gaze is also a way for black women to rebel against the racism and sexism. 

Through these insightful readings, it made me think of how I am affected by mainstream.  The media portrays woman, objectifying us.  Some ads no longer show the entire body if a women, but are now parts of a woman.  It in a sense makes us the object of the product being sold. I have always thought it was a clever form of art, but I now see how images like these, as well as how media portrays women, and skew the way men think and treat us like objects.  

This was an article I found interesting about the worst ads for women.

1 comment:

  1. It's very true. It's a common advertising gimmick to pick and choose parts of a woman to sell things, and usually parts of a woman's body that have sex appeal. Of course, this is dehumanizing, which is in some ways, the point.