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male gaze


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See also gaze.

1. A manner of treating women's bodies as objects to be surveyed, which is associated by feminists with hegemonic masculinity, both in everyday social interaction and in relation to their representation in visual media: see also objectification.

2. In film theory, the point of view of a male spectator reproduced in both the cinematography and narrative conventions of cinema, in which men are both the subject of the gaze and the ones who shape the action and women are the objects of the gaze and the ones who are shaped by the action. In her psychoanalytic theory of the male gaze, Mulvey argues that in classical Hollywood cinema, the film spectator oscillates between two forms of looking at the female image: voyeuristic looking involves a controlling gaze; fetishistic looking involves an obsessive focus on some erotic detail (see also voyeurism). She claims that these conventions reflect the values and tastes of patriarchal society.


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