Theory of the Male Gaze

1400 WordsJan 31, 20186 Pages
In today’s contemporary cinema Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze is still prominent. The phallocentric narrative is still an underlining feature within the main body of the film. The castrated female is represented as a character in dire need for the influence of the male, be it in a voyeuristic or scopophilic presence. Contemporary animations such as Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Frozen all encounter Mulvey’s notions of the male gaze and show the female as passive within the narrative, whilst in today’s patriarchal society they all carry ideologies which relate strongly to Laura Mulvey’s ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’. Addressing the relevance of Mulvey’s theory the phallus as symbol can be shown within many areas of these films, from the initial creation to the final outcome the viewer will see. The phallus as a centre point of the film controls the narrative, where then the women becomes the powerful character and challenges the male dominance, with her then being subjected to attack from loss of independence, voice and body. The prominence of the phallus in film is run through the whole filmic process. The weak female is in need of the male influence, she being the castrated female ‘it is her lack that produces the phallus as a symbolic presence, it is her desire to make good the lack that the phallus signifies’ (Mulvey, 1989 p. 6). The Females lack of the phallus is brought to the forefront with the male dominance. The female is often shown
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