Theorists

From previous knowledge, I know there are a couple of feminism/sexism theorists which may be useful for others to know about for my assignment. I learnt these during GCSE and A Level Media.

Laura Mulvey is a British film theorist. Her theory, also known as the ‘male gaze theory’, states that the audience is put into the perspective of a heterosexual male. The gaze simply means to be looked at, Mulvey believes women should enjoy the attention of being looked at by the male gaze. She says that women in film are typically sexualised and objectified rather than being possessors (such as males) and the camera accentuates this. She has said that Hollywood is guilty of objectifying women therefore making it acceptable for men to look at women this way. This creates a means for gender stereotyping. ” Mulvey argues that Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory is the key to understanding how film creates such a space for female sexual objectification and exploitation through the combination of the patriarchal order of society, and ‘looking’ in itself as a pleasurable act of voyeurism, as “the cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking.”” (Wikipedia) Mulvey says there is a patriarchal order; men holding the dominant power, where as women passive and submissive. Yet she believes this shouldn’t be right. This objectifying and stereotyping of women has been happening for a long time in film (although less rare today but still happens) which may be where the mass of society gets it from. Millions of people watch these films, particularly horror and action films, and believe the stereotyping to be the norm.

Here is an example of the representation of gender within the theory

Men:

  • Dominant
  • Violent/fighter
  • Handsome
  • Confident
  • Intelligent

Women:

  • Passive
  • Submissive
  • Weak
  • Shy
  • Beautiful (usually blonde) or ugly
  • Dumb

 

 

 

 

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