John Berger Said That in Terms of Representation Men Act and Women Appear; That Men Are Controllers of the Gaze and Women Objects of the Gaze. to What Extent Is This Concept Relevant for an Understanding of the Function

Topics: Gender, Woman, Female Pages: 6 (2037 words) Published: April 27, 2011
To understand the idea of the male gaze I willl be looking back on the development of the gaze and how it has developed into days society andespacially in the form of music videos.
John berger observed that ‘ according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by omeans been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look atowomen. Women watch themselves being looked at’(Berger 1972,45,47) Berger first saw the idea of the male gaze when he arued that in European art form the renaissance onwars women were deoicted as beinf ‘aware of being seen by a male spectator’ (ibid.,49) he advanced his thinking and the idea tht the realistic, ‘highly tactile’ depiction of things on oil paintings and kater in colour photography, in particular where they were they were portrayed as ‘within touching distance, represented a desire to posses the things depicted (ibid.,83)

In later writings from berger , he insisted that women were still ‘depicted in a different way to men - because the ‘‘ideal’’ spectaor is always assume to be a male and the image of the woman is designed to flatter him’ (ibid.,64).

To back up bergers theory , in 1996 Jib Fowles still felt able to insit that ‘ in advertising males gaze and females are gazed at’ (Fowles 1996, 204). Also Paul Messaris adds that female models in advertisements addressed to women ‘ treat the lens as a substitute for the eye of an imaginary male onlooker,’ adding also that ‘it could be argued that when women look at theses ads, they ae actually seeing themselves as a man might see them’ (Messaris 1997,41)

Such advetisments ‘ appear to imply a male point of view, even though the intended viewer is often a woman. So the women who look at these ads are being invited to identify both with the person being viewed and with an implicit opposite- sex viewer’ (ibid., 44)

The male gaze is the look that asserts dominance and control, that of the male dominance and he control he has over the woman. It has been described as a voyeuristic pleasure adapted by white males to a patriarchal society. The gaze objectifies and sexualizes the woman to his own viewing pleasure. The male gaze has developed and creaed a culture of sexualizing women and represents a production of reality.with this women have been encouraged to dress and look sexy and desirable not for herself but for the benefit of men. The gaze has been enforced a self reflection and over consciouness of how we should look for both men and women however women have been more subjected to it. The male gaze is deemed responsible undermining womans work. This has been embedded over years through popular culture such as films, mahzines, advertisments and billboards. Women have been displayed as models, pinups and stripers, all utilizing women to secure market profits and to draw a male audience. This strategy of using women to advertise products by turing them in to sexual objects has been seen as a very lucrative idea.

According to Bell Hooks, the oppositional gaze is seen as a powerful look that goes on to challenge authority and serves as a powerful tool for colonized black people globally. Black women have refered to the gaze as a form of resistance to the well know male gaze and its perception of the ideal image of a woman. On the other hand the white male gaze has enforced he sterote and ideology of racial superiority and white supremacy. The ideal women presented in different medias were white women who exhibited a sense of beauty and a oura of sexiness. Bell Hooks claims that black women are not granted the permisson to look. The oppositional gaze is a form of confrontation to the male gaze and its dominance in society . In reference to bell hooks, ‘‘Not only will I stare, I want to look to change reality.’’ the opposestional gze is a look that gives women the power and encouragement to change the construction of reality. Not allowing the streotype to be the main focus and allowing people to...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Men Act; Women Appear Essay
  • The Effects of Rape on Men and Women Essay
  • Essay about women and men
  • men and women Essay
  • Men and Women Research Paper
  • Men and Women Essay
  • Men and Women Essay
  • Women Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free