Laura mulvey- Male gaze


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Laura mulvey- Male gaze

  1. 1. Feminism & The Male Gaze Laura Mulvey
  2. 2. Introduction • Laura Mulvey – Male Gaze Influenced by Freud & Jacques Lucan, Mulvey sees the representation of woman in film & literature (and therefore society in general) as being dominated by a male point of view. Her belief is that the world is a patriarchy and that men have the ‘active’ roles and woman ‘passive’ To look is seen as active
  3. 3. Traditionally • Men play active roles which drive the narrative • Women play passive roles and are seen as erotic objects which slow the narrative • Men far outnumber women • Female roles are sidelined • Lead roles for women scarce
  4. 4. Stereotypes • Bimbo • Female’s physical attractions such as figure • Easy • House wife • Mother • Intelligent yet willing to settle down
  5. 5. Male Gaze • Two distinct modes of the male gaze of this era: voyeuristic (an obsessive observer of sordid or sensational subjects) and fetishistic (excessive attention or attachment to something). • Mulvey argued that women where given two characters types - sexually active female & powerless female • Films presented images of women that were produced simply for the gratification of male viewers • Various studies in the 1970s found men to be the dominant characters and decision makers in film and TV production
  6. 6. Importance? • Where women had important roles they were far more likely to be shown as… - frightened - in need of protection and direction - offering support to the male lead character(s) - not independent or self driven - generally weaker - still objectified sexually • “Women, in any fully human form, have almost completely been left out of film….” L Mulvey
  7. 7. Fighting Back • Ripleys role is reflective of feminist ideology. Throughout the Alien series, we see her character grow, change, develop and mature to meet and tackle each situation placed before her. • Challenges cultural norms • Lt Ellen Ripley introduced viewers to their first self- reliant and successful science-fiction heroine • Ripley encounters difficult situations which challenge her femininity • Still shown as sexual object to both audience and characters • She has to fight against the patriarchal ideology of the Company, different kinds of male figures and of course, against the Alien • Distinctive references to gender roles, especially to women's status
  8. 8. Changes in society • As women's roles change so does media representation. Still objectified but also likely to be… • Career driven • Intelligent • Confident • Empowered • Able (violent) Remember changes may be made cynically and in order to make money rather than change ideologies • How many female action stars who are not attractive?
  9. 9. A Terminators Feminist Timeline • T1 – Sarah Connor is hysterical, screaming, in need of rescue • T2 – Strong, empowered, able to hold her own against Arnie • T3 – We have female terminator TX (uses femininity to advantage) • Terminator: Sarah Connor chronicles – save the world
  10. 10. A Modern Representation?
  11. 11. • Uma Thurman represented as powerful and dominant and independent • Adopts male characteristics of aggression • Not masculinised yet in masculine roles • Use of low angles, and a masculine performance
  12. 12. • Conforms to Mulvey’s theory - job of seeking revenge family is given to the female character thus conforming to stereotypes where women are seen to be possessed with family and emotional • Tight outfit allows objectification • Voyeuristic pleasures by watching Thurman on her killing rampage • Remember male director/industry may still mean male ideologies
  13. 13. Other Examples…. Evidence of the female gaze? Vs Vs
  14. 14. Misogyny • What is it? ….
  15. 15. TV Drama Example • Gene Hunt (TV Detective from Life on Mars, set in 1970’s Britain) talking about politics: 'THERE WILL NEVER BE A WOMAN PRIME MINISTER AS LONG AS I HAVE A HOLE UP MY A**E.'
  16. 16. Misogyny • How would you define the term misogyny based on what you have just seen? • Can you think of any other examples of misogyny that you may have seen in any media text or simply experienced in everyday life? • Misogyny – the contempt or hatred of women and girls
  17. 17. H/W Activity • Watch the first episode of series one of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ (2008, Kudos Productions) and find examples from the text of misogynistic attitudes & behaviour by referring to examples from the mise-en-scene (actions & dialogue, setting, props costume/make- up, lighting, camera angles & framing). Make a table and print it.
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