Scott Russell Sanders Looking at Women

5 May 2017

The term “Gaze” was first introduced by Jacques Lacan and it describes the nervousness that someone feels when he realizes that he is being viewed. In the second rise of feminism in the 60’s one of the many topics that had been discussed among the social scientist and people all over the world for many years was the male gaze. Some people who were highly involved in the feminist movement believe that en’s gaze objectifies women and converts men into spectators.

On the other hand, some people believe that the male gaze has positives elements if occurs within limits because women feel that are attracted and that boost their self-confidence. Scott Russell Sanders in his article “Looking at Women” analyzes this phenomenon and indicates why this happens, also makes clear that he doesn’t agree with it. Sanders start the article with an illustration. He creates a descriptive visual picture about the first time he saw a woman in his early teens. As an innocent 11 years old boy he couldn’t understand what this sweet pain in his belly was when he checks a girl out.

Scott Russell Sanders Looking at Women Essay Example

He wouldn’t find out until college. There he would still wonder about women but in more mature way. Sanders continuous by telling us the story of his roommate that had Playboy pictures on the wall. He couldn’t believe in himself when he realized that he saw this woman as object and not as human being. In addition, he mentions the shop “Bare Essentials” which was selling sexy and expensive clothes. He couldn’t xplain why someone would buy such expensive clothes “whose only purpose is in being taken off’ (par 23).

I don’t agree with Sanders’s argument about his ethics on male gaze and I consider it problematic. I believe that he is not convincing because his argument contain many exaggerations and conservatives thoughts. I also believe due to the fact that he is shy and particularly introverted person his argument is morally problematic. He present male gaze as something that you should be feel guilty ot. To begin with, Sanders was born inside a Puritan tamily whose thics were very narrow-minded. As a result of that his opinions were also conservative.

When Sanders was in college he couldn’t deal with the idea that his roommate had Playboy pictures on the wall, he believed that these women were Just like “a piece of meat locker back in New Ton, Ohio” (par 14). Furthermore, he argues that he understood that these women were human beings as he is, however “their humanity was severely reduced, if not extinguished” (par 16). Additionally, Sanders was very annoyed by his friends who were talk about naked woman’s part “in the ame language as farmers back home in Ohio speak used for assessing cows” (par 18).

Women are seen as an object “merely another category for sale” (par 12) Sanders states. As we can see Sander’s opinions contain a conservative style of thoughts. A Sander, as a college student was a very shy person and he had hard time to meet a woman. He says that “l was invisible to them (women) and they were immune to my gaze” (par 21). Moreover, he felt ethical guilt because he was staring the naked woman instead of studding and he couldn’t understand the urge that felt towards hat woman who was seen by millions of people.

This is described in his phrase “stupid flesh! How stupid that a counterfeit stare and artful curves, printed in millions of copies on glossy paper, could arose me” (par 18). Sanders excuse his action by referring what D. H Lawrence and poet Carlos Williams said. D. H Lawrence states that we as men and men have sexual urges since their beginning of humanity it something completely normal, it is our ancient instincts of reproduction. Moreover, Carlos Williams admits that “A man does with it what his mind directs” (par 20).

To sum up, Sanders tries very hard to keep a balance between his ancient instincts of reproduction and his ethic code and because of that a conflict is created. In conclusion, I believe that a Sanders argument about how to see a woman contain a dose of exaggeration and conservatism and that is because of his origin and his family environment. In addition, his thesis portrays a person who is morally problematic, who feel guilty when he gaze a woman and through intellectual persons thoughts tries to excuse himself.

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