male gaze


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to male gaze: female gaze

male gaze

n.
In the visual arts and advertising, the depiction of the world from the perspective of a heterosexual male, with the assumption that the audience also consists of heterosexual males, especially as manifested by depicting women as objects to be gazed upon.

[Coined by British film theorist Laura Mulvey (born 1941) in the essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," first published in 1975.]
References in periodicals archive ?
There is the 'male gaze,' which we tend to associate with objectification, and the 'female gaze,' which is usually linked with introspection.
How the camera moves over a woman's body, or the inclusion of the infamous 'item number' in movies, women are used to satisfy the male gaze. Movies like De Dana Dan openly suggest that manhandling a woman is not a big deal.
In movies, she argues, women exist as the objects of the "male gaze." She notes that in Only Angels Have Wings, for example, the film opens with the appearance of the heroine: she appears as a "fantastic" and "sexy" symbol, but she loses herself when she fell in love with the leading man, eventually becoming his property and the object of both his gaze and the gaze of the audience.
In fact, the essence of this graphic memoir is the quest for a role model, a woman artist who is not tied to the male gaze. Hence, there are cameo appearances by Chantal Akerman, Genevieve Castre, and an homage to Kate Bush, whose song gave the English translation its title, as well as images drawn in the style of Mary Cassatt and other women artists.
"Feminism does not mean that you divorce a woman of her sexuality or a man, it's how that sexuality is presented, it's about not showing it from the male gaze."
Alban critiques Laura Mulvey's "Gaze Theory" based on the work of Freud and Lacan, which merely shows women as "the erotic Object of the male gaze" (22-3), rather asserting how women claim and return their own gaze on their viewers.
Lee Miller is accustomed to the male gaze. She has stood in its light for decades, first as the subject of her father's photos and then as a Vogue cover model.
In a world that promotes women dressing provocatively to appeal to the male gaze, we continue to be punished for doing so.
The two writers spoke recently about parenting, playwriting, and the male gaze.
Women's underwear affords a natural subject with which to explore women's self-image and the way the male gaze has shaped it over the centuries.
The store's customers may predominantly be women (and teenage girls) but it is a look geared towards the 'male gaze'.
"For so long, the narrative has told women and young impressionable girls that in order to be popular, have friends, to be desirable for the male gaze, and to some extent be a worthy human that we must be thin," writes Florence, who started the petition.