Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film theorist and she developed the term
‘The Male Gaze’ in 1975 as she believed that the majority of films (if not
all) are viewed from the perspective of a heterosexual male.
Some of the key features of the male gaze include:
•When the camera lingers on the curves of the female body and
events which occur to women are presented in the context of a
man’s reaction to these events.
•When women are portrayed and relegated as objects
•The female body is sexualized even when it is irrelevant to
what’s going on in the scene or the product being advertised.
Key theorists beliefs
Jonathan Schroeder (1998)
“to gaze implies more than to look at – it signifies a psychological
relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of
A criticism of Mulvey’s Gaze theory is that:
Some women enjoy being ‘looked’ at e.g. beauty pageants. The gaze
can also be directed toward members of the same gender for several
reasons, not all of which are sexual, such as in comparison of body
image or in clothing.