The Patriarchal Male Gaze

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While talking to my Indian friends about our summer project, “Adolescents’ Health Awareness Program”, I listened to their stories about harassment and eve teasing while travelling alone. I had also come across some of the situations where I feel uncomfortable and hate my body. When I walk down the streets of the city, a person’s stare and taunts, make me feel as if I have done a crime by being born as a girl. The constant gazes are not so unusual now.
Gaze, as the Longman dictionary defines is “a long steady look”, but I would say it is much more than that long look. It is a constant look with admiration for something. It simply turns a subject to an object where male values the body of a female to fulfill their desires. The term ‘male gaze’ was first brought up by Laura Mulvey and has come from film theory and is basically used to describe the idea of putting the audience into the perspective of a heterosexual man. With the development of the media, we see films, “a major form of visual popular culture” (“The Patriarchal Gaze”), portraying women as sexually objectified bodies. Laura Mulvey in her article, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, says that male gaze is an erotic look of power and of objectification. The view of the camera, and thus of the male protagonist, is that of the intended male ‘gaze’ (Mulvey). With the male gaze, female bodies presented in the movies are sexualized and their body is objectified. Females are shown offering up their femininity for the
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