Laura Mulvey - The Male Gaze
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Laura Mulvey - The Male Gaze






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Laura Mulvey - The Male Gaze Laura Mulvey - The Male Gaze Presentation Transcript

  • Feminism & The Male Gaze Laura Mulvey
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stereotypes
    • Bimbo
    • Female’s physical attractions such as figure and breasts to overpower the male
    • Easy
    • House wife
    • Mother
    • Intelligent yet willing to settle down
  • Male Gaze
    • Two distinct modes of the male gaze of this era: voyeuristic and fetishistic
    • 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
  • 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
  • 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 in the world and to motherhood
  • 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?
  • 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
  • A Modern Representation?
    • Uma Thurman represented as powerful and dominant and independent
    • Sword stands in for and castrates phallus
    • Adopts male characteristics of aggression
    • Not masculinised yet in masculine roles
    • Use of low angles, and a masculine performance
    • 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
  • Other Examples…. Evidence of the female gaze? Vs Vs
  • Misogyny
    • What is it? ….
  • TV Drama Example
    • Gene Hunt (TV Detective from Life on Mars, set in 1970’s Britain) talking about politics:
  • 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
  • H/W Activity
    • Read the Guardian article from 21 May 2010 ‘Farewell to Ashes to Ashes and Gene Hunt, the lovable sexist, racist, macho homophobe’
    • Define the characteristics/elements that you think you would be looking for in a media text which demonstrates misogynistic behaviour/ attitudes.
    • 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 in your blogs now to take notes under these headings.