Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pornographic Imagination

So I've reworked this post about a thousand times, trying to figure out the best way to get my point across. But along the way I tripped on my words and found myself bloody and wounded. 

My point in all the versions of this post is that all the media/texts we consume is made for and by the male gaze. 

And that is a very hard thing to digest. Even the female made arts are approached with a male gaze. Whether it's fact that 'men are visually wired' (from Rachel's post) or that this is just the way we have been taught to read these texts, the fact is that there is no escaping the male gaze. I was really happy to see in Miku's post that she picked up on the author's use of "he." Because you should question why they chose that pronoun over another. Is it easier for us all the accept that men watch pornography? [Sheesh- my aim in this post is not to start out on why women still have parts of their lives considered socially taboo, but recognizing word usage with such a topic is really important.]

Kat talked about erotica (like Harlequin romances) being aimed at women- and it's true that there is a HUGE market for heterosexual female readers. But if anyone has ever read those books- how is the woman portrayed? How is she described?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that no matter how you spin it, women have been presented with texts thru the male gaze. 

The comparisons made by all are really great. I know the class isn't about the male gaze- but one purpose is to learn how to close-read, and I encourage you all to Reread works you've seen, read, heard...I think you will start to see the similarities in it all. To find that common link between Lolita and 'Duck Soup'- the male gaze. 

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