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2013-03-03: Male Gaze
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AngelLilly



Joined: 03 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 am    Post subject: 2013-03-03: Male Gaze Reply with quote



All around me are familiar faces...
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Homeslice



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

come on D-man. Get out of the chair and get in the fight. Let's see you kick it up a notch!
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Shadow Master



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't get any sleep tonight, pondering exactly what kind of sound REFRESH is supposed to depict.
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LadySunami



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Nana! She's my favorite sisterhood member (at the moment anyway).
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Zot the Wise



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A chainsaw? To catch a small, highly mobile, flying object? Seems like a weapon very unsuited to the task, but whatever. She obviously managed.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadow Master wrote:
I won't get any sleep tonight, pondering exactly what kind of sound REFRESH is supposed to depict.


just an action, not a sound

CLICK
CLICK
CLICK
CLICK


was the sound
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zot the Wise wrote:
A chainsaw? To catch a small, highly mobile, flying object? Seems like a weapon very unsuited to the task, but whatever. She obviously managed.

It's used on highly mobile teenagers in slasher flicks all the time - seems effective enough.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
Zot the Wise wrote:
A chainsaw? To catch a small, highly mobile, flying object? Seems like a weapon very unsuited to the task, but whatever. She obviously managed.

It's used on highly mobile teenagers in slasher flicks all the time - seems effective enough.

C'mon, we all know it's Hammer< baseball bat <chain saw < Katana
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firezdog



Joined: 23 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's so bad about the male gaze?

Originally, as I understand it, it was supposed to refer specifically to shower scenes in movies and things like that, where the camera lingers over the woman specifically so the male audience can see her nude or semi-nude body.

But to a certain point, that's just an expression of male sexuality. I think it should be granted that to express male sexuality is not in itself wrong -- it's only the context that makes it wrong.

So what kind of context makes it wrong?

It goes back to the issue of exploitation in the last comic. It's wrong if it exploits. So what makes it exploitation?

In a movie, a woman agrees to pose nude, so it seems like a case where there's nominal consent between the viewer and the person being viewed (outside of the constraints of the story). So if you think exploitation somehow involves taking advantage of someone without their consent, the debate stops there, and the male gaze is not exploitation. And in general if a community of women and men decide that they want to show their bodies off to each other in public and through reproductions, there is no injustice.

But a lot of feminists seem to hold a more substantive theory of exploitation, where something is exploitation if it involves objectification, or else if the consent to be filmed is not real (again because of context), or even if a certain cultural practice creates an environment in which harm to women is more likely.

But how do you tell if something is objectification? And what are the criteria for what makes something a real choice? Even beyond that, since society isn't one thing, but a whole network of relationships and events, it seems like it's never going to be the whole culture that creates the wrong context (a rape culture), but just parts of the culture. Things are going to be mixed up -- in some movies, the male gaze will be intrusive and objectionable; in other movies, the male gaze will be part of the larger point. Just like James Joyce's Ulysses -- that was an expression of male sexuality, in many places, but the courts ultimately ruled it was OK because they decided it's sole purpose was not to be lascivious, and the dirty parts served to make a larger point.

I should admit that there are problematic expressions of sexuality in our society, but I sort've lean towards simple models of consent. People always have a choice (Seneca once said that, "You wish to find the road to freedom? Take any vein you like.", consent is not heavily context-dependent, and while people may exercise their freedom in ways that create a very bad culture, we should be careful about imposing restrictions from above (government) in order to change society. That means the best recourse when you see behavior you don't like is persuasion, and the kind of social change that leads to a better exercise of freedom will be gradual.

So there you have it. More mansplaining, more thingy things about things. But I've always had mixed views about feminism -- tended to take 1st wave for granted but been hesitant about a lot of things in 2nd and maybe 3rd wave -- and you guys have strong opinions very different from mine, so I guess that's sort've why I've joined this forum. I was hoping for an environment where a little heresy would be tolerated, but also where I can sort've hold my views up for scrutiny to see if I can't toss out some of the bad things (and I know from experience that there are always a lot of bad things).

Hope that's not too terrible :p
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Reader1



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like Milton's gonna be putting in overtime
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Hydra



Joined: 25 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Tat, I object to the implication that tomboys are not an accepted style to the patriarchy.
Not only is it untrue, but I take personal offense.
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Dennis J. Squidbunny



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what
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Hydra



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

firezdog wrote:
What's so bad about the male gaze?


First of all, it's impolite to stare.
Second of all, it's creepy. How would you like it if people started staring at your crotch?
Third, it's uncouth. Like eating with your hands. Sure, eating is natural, but the way your eating is barbaric.

Understand?
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firezdog



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydra,

1. Does the male gaze have to be staring? I thought it was any kind of focus that's motivated by straight male sexuality -- so that whenever someone notices attractive features of a woman, the gaze that notices is a male gaze.

2. The context in which I've heard people speak of the male gaze is movies or pictures, which creates the further difficulty that there's apparent (I said "nominal") consent. So I'm assuming people accept that consent *would* be sufficient to justify the existence of these things, but that the ideas about patriarchy and rape culture are applied to show that the consent is not real consent.

And that's where I'm not sure how far I'm willing to agree. It actually reminds me of a really old issue -- if you do something under duress, do you choose to do it? Hobbes took an extreme view in the Leviathan and argued that you do. (If someone threatens you at gunpoint and asks for your wallet, if you give it to him, you do it freely -- you consent.) I'm not sure I go that far, but I'm not sure cultural coercion is strong enough to make the consent illegitimate.

So an argument would be.

1. There's nothing wrong with staring forms of the male gaze if there's consent between viewer and viewed.
2. In movies and photographs, there's consent between viewer and viewed.
etc.

So I'm wondering if people will object to (1) or (2) or both and why...
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firezdog



Joined: 23 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydra,

Sorry, I also just noticed -- when you make the comparison to eating, I guess that's sort've a response to (1). Even aside from whether there's consent, the staring is wrong because of the intention or something else (the context)?

It's actually interesting, because there's two levels of what I'm calling "consent" in the case of movies. There's the consent between actress, studio, and viewers, on the one hand, but then there's also a lack of consent between the fictional character and the male audience on the other. But in a way, for the artifice of a movie to hold up, there can't be any question of the character being *viewed* at all, because the camera is not a part of the fictional universe.

But I guess maybe another question is, what kinds of expression of sexuality are "good manners"? There's always going to be a level of sexuality that goes beyond consent, it seems to me, that exists just in the way we view each other and approach each other before consent can even occur. So how do we train and properly express sexuality? Whenever you view someone sexually, there's a delicate relationship between your concept of them as a person and your concept of them as someone you are attracted to.

-- I guess, your response indicates that sexuality and even acting on the basis of sexuality is fine, but that it has to be tamed somehow -- so what is a tamed sexuality that accords with our duties to each other as people? Even when straight men are alone and fantasizing, there's still going to be a male gaze (to use the concept in a very attenuated sense) if they ever think about women in a sexual way, so the regulation of sexuality has to extend even into the most private corners of life...
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