Male Gaze Theory Depicted in American Pie
May it be in print media or in film productions; women are always depicted as inferior and submissive to men’s desires. There have been different movements aimed in altering the sexual equality of the men and women. Some of these movements attained their main goal – the social change. One of the movements that was started by the pioneers is the Male Gaze Theory. The Male Gaze Theory, a feminist theory by Laura Mulvey, was developed in 1975. It happens when the audience, or viewer, is put into the viewpoint of a heterosexual male.
Mulvey stressed that the dominant male gaze in mainstream Hollywood films reflects and satisfies the male.It applies wherever you have an audience and a text being presented to that audience. Being the most dominant in the population of directors in Hollywood, the male objectifies the female as sex objects in accordance to one’s visual pleasure. This paper aims to show that the world today is still a space governed by the male gaze and that women are still in their lowest height in terms of social equality and society’s perception. Through the vast commodities, everyone is still to question about why and how women will overcome the stereotypical world. II. Literature ReviewOne of the most concrete examples of the Male Gaze theory is the teenage comedy movie “American Pie”.
Male Gaze Theory Depicted in American Pie Essay Example
American Pie is a movie about five boys that made a deal to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. They have the habit of watching girls and fantasizing from their sight. They even get into relationships just to have satisfaction and gratification pertaining to voyeurism. The females in the film are just appearing when the lead actors need to do the act. As obvious, the female characters are just objects for momentary satisfaction of the male characters and nothing more.In most of the scenes, it is obvious that the male character dominates the female in this movie. As the presentation of Dr.
A. Lukas says, ” Visual harassment means that men have the power of the gaze—they can watch women in private (voyeurism) and in public. ” We may relate this to a scene in the American Pie movie wherein the boys went to a house party and all of them minded their own businesses — the chicks. Also an example for the male gaze in the said movie is one clip within the third American Pie the woman is known and revealed to be providing sexual opinion to the male.This would enable women to identify the domination that the male audience and characters have, as they are also placed in this point of sexual dominance where a woman is offering advice and taking power of a sexual situation. This enables the target audience, the teenage male population, to think that the women are subjected to the sexual intentions of the males within the span of the film. Not only in film production the male gaze is being applied to, but also in advertising.
“‘Buy’ the image, ‘get’ the woman” (Wykes, p. 41) For example, we are being shown, though not related, that a woman, completely naked, holds Nike Shoes.It’s apparent that the model is holding men’s shoes. So, for the justification of the Male Gaze theory in the advertisement, the company is persuading the men to buy the shoes so that it will make them think that in a way, the consumer gets the attention, if not the interest, of the woman, too. On the other hand, a contradiction to Muvley’s Male Gaze theory was offered by Gaylyn Tudlar. Tudlar pertained that the pleasures are often perceived as being masochistic rather than being sadistic. This is what she developed from the theory proposed by Muvley.
Studlar suggested that audience is only overwhelmed by the cinematic representation and becomes incapable. There are two different levels of the demonstration of the women in the society wherein they are called as the “Passive” and the male as the “Active”. 1. A woman is an erotic object for both the characters within the film. For example, Stiffler, a character in the American Pie movie, depicts a lady that passed by as a visual pleasure to him. But, what if the lady looks like a big, fat loser? By that, men has the social power to dictate whether a girl can be subscribed as beautiful or not; as a sex object or not. .
The spectator who is watching the film finds the woman as an erotic object. In accordance to what is cited above, the dominance of male directors in the Hollywood scene also gives the power of judgment to its audience, the male population. Of course, when the male characters feel that the woman being perceived is perfect for being a visual pleasure, it tends to drive the audience in the same manner, too. These two different perspectives show that a woman(Passive), as depicted in the Hollywood films, are just inferior to the social control held by men(Active). II. Logical Argument (Analysis)Women, even at the present, are still being depicted as weak and are always perceived as to submit themselves to the dominant. Many battles on social equality have been won, but there are still some issues that remain unsolved.
Thus, this makes the population of women still inferior than that of the men. This issue even creates stereotype in all the aspects that the Male Gaze Theory is connected with: advertising, print media, television, and film production. Not only in the film industry are woman depicted as “secondary”, but also in the music videos of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and many more.Male Gaze is broad to the different mediums in sending a message. Unfortunately, the widest and most commonly used medium is the film so it has a larger impact than the other mediums. Apparently, the male gaze theory attacks the moral rights of women. The male gaze theory could be a form of exploitation of women to some extent.
It is by far the hardest progression the women could undergo. It basically is about how the men, also the women if targeted as audience, perceive the women as just toys for sexual gratification. Like the movie American Pie, it shows that women are okay with how men treats them.In this case, even the female respondents would think that is just okay for women to just concede to the unnecessary needs and wants of the males, even if it means that they’d just serve as a release of sexual urges. Imagine, even some of the women today believe that they were born to be stuck in the house and their job is only to take care of the kids. Some women are also intact with the tradition they are just submissive to their husbands and their “household” skills are innate. Some people think that it’s a woman’s job to clean the house, take care of the kids, satisfy the husband and just stay at home.
When in fact, most of the housewives are unhappy with their lives. It is unfair how the world recognizes the role of women to the society. At some point, women have to exert great efforts without being sure that they would be recognized for their own achievements. Some are still moving forward, some gave up in the hope of others will just continue what they have started. The theory is convergent to having the female as the main character in the film. If the female is the main character, the theory still implies on what the males, audience or movie characters, dictate whether the woman is inevitable to pleasure.Females, as objects of perversion, may or may not be able to alter the situation but it depends on how they revolutionize their skills and talents to the world.
Also, due to culture and traditions, society still recognizes women as the latter part of the civilization, the secondary element to what we call “Community”. On the contrary, media has also been one of the prominent tools when it comes to encouraging “women power”. Media is a powerful substance to the world that can make or break a chaos; adjacent to how media can propagate the will of the women to have social equality.However, we are all entitled to our own opinions and we tend to have different perspectives especially in this topic. We are all rational beings and therefore, the male gaze theory may not necessarily apply to each and everyone — depending on one’s subjectivity. Films, one of the most powerful essentials in media, portrays a heavy role in the male gaze theory. It can determine where the woman is positioned in the general public.
But as times have changed, there are movies illustrating how women can fight the inequality and inferiority due to the men’s domination.For example, Colombiana is a movie about a girl whose parents are shot before her and when she grew up, she plotted to assassinate all those who participated in the killing. One scene in this film that will make the point sensible is the scene of the CIA agent wherein he’s looking for the killer but he got confused. He’s unforgettable line that will suit the theory is “This is impossible. We are not looking for a girl here. ” With this, the inferiority of women is lessened and Colombiana showed that a man’s strength can also be acquired by a woman.At least, there are ways to show that women in the new era are not that inferior anymore, though the endless navigation of the unsolved feminism problems still continue.
III. Conclusion In reality, the women have not yet fully accomplished the main goal to change the sight of the society as pertaining to the den of inequity. Women may still be regarded as secondary to the image of men. Regardless of what women have accomplished until the 21st century, we are all considered as subjects to how we perceive women in the hierarchy of social classes.