The Female Gaze

Discussions around the male gaze (in art and elsewhere) are present within the Western socio-political, cultural and artistic milieu since a very long time. What about the female gaze – something which is becoming more and more powerful and evident in the 21st century? I would like to leave this topic relatively open so that writers can choose their own angle from which to hadnle it. I would be interested to see whether people examine this issue from a certain political stance, from a gender studies’ perspective or from a more traditional pathway of looking into painting and photography, for example. I believe there is a lot to be said regarding the representation of women nowadays – in art, in films, on TV, in literature…the female figure is becoming more independent, having agency over her own body and her own gaze. What changes (if any) does this bring into the mechanisms of production, and consequently consumption, in pop culture?

  • Love this topic! I think there's a lot of room for different analyses and perspectives depending on the angle, like you say, and media type. Looking at different waves of feminism could also be cool if you wanted to understand how we arrived at the 21st-century female gaze. – carmenxbd 4 years ago
  • Such a great idea! In my college film classes, we discussed the male gaze frequently, but the female gaze was not brought up. I think that in an increasingly feminist society that this topic definitely has relevance. I would be interested in discussing it from a cinematic perspective and how the female gaze does or does not objectify a male character in the way that male creators objectify their female characters, even from a camera lens. – lstraub 4 years ago
  • I think a relevant movie here would be Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, since it was a film that was purely framed through the female gaze. It showed love and affection and women supporting women without objectification or misogynistic undertones. By allowing the women in this film to simply Exist, without the necessity that they be consumed by a man, it is incredibly unpopular with many people. However, it very poetically manages to capture the unique experience of the love between women - both romantic and platonic. In the way the romance between the women progressed, the ways in which they fall in love with each other and the ways in which every shot is framed, is completely unaffected by the usually ever-present male gaze. All I'm really saying is that I think there would be a lot to say about how this film captures the female gaze exceptionally well. – NayanaK 4 years ago
  • Two sources about the male gaze in media could be Jeff Wall who is a Canadian artist who created photographs such as 'Picture for Woman' that explored the idea of the male gaze. Laura Mulvey was the theorist who coined the 'male gaze theory' so she might be an interesting source to compare the female gaze to. – Erika 4 years ago

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