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essay on gender inequality in cinema - Gabriel Fontana...

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Gabriel FontanaGender, Feminism, and the Male GazeCinema has been a boy’s club for a long time, this is no secret. The vast number offilmmakers have been predominantly male. The majority of the movies released star male leadswith male protagonists. Most action movies do not star female leads, as most people don’t findit a genre that’s “for them.” This sexist attitude is frankly disturbing and the fact that it’s so overtis an unfortunate reality of the Hollywood system. But why is that? Yes, women have facedoppression for decades, perhaps longer. But we as a society have progressed since then, atleast in the sense that we view such oppression as wrong. So why does it still exist? There couldvery well be a deeper reason for it, and in order to find that out, we need to enter the realm ofpsychoanalysis.To find out this reason, we’re going to use Laura Mulvey’s essayVisual Pleasure andNarrative Cinemaas a framework. Mulvey is recognized as a feminist film theorist, and heressay is her most well-known work. She drew heavily on the theories of Sigmund Freud and itwas one of the first essays that gave film theory a more psychoanalytic edge. The crux of heressay is that classic Hollywood film techniques puts the spectator in a masculine position, toview the women on screen as objects of desire and “the male gaze” as she called it. ClassicalHollywood cinema, she argued, asks the audience to relate to the protagonists, who are usuallymale. Therefore, the female characters were coded to be displayed and looked at while we, themale viewers, were the bearers of the look.

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Term
Fall
Professor
CarterSoles
Tags
Laura Mulvey, Cinema of the United States, Gaze, Classical Hollywood cinema, male gaze

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