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Motion Picture Arts
Cinema’s Male Gaze as a Window into the Psychology of Self Objectification
When investigating early and contemporary cinema, the presence of the male gaze is a much-discussed subject, but not much has been done to address this issue other than a slow increase in the representation of women behind the camera. However, this paper will explore how the mere representation of women in creative production is not the solution when the male gaze has become omnipresent in everybody's (including women's) minds due to generations of cultural inoculation. It also explores the various coping mechanisms used to dismiss and compartmentalize the pressure that comes with living with the male gaze within one's mind. Through a Marxist critique, the male gaze functions as an ideological state apparatus. Not only does this affect women mentally, but also limits bodily awareness and productivity, reinforcing the issue of self-image at hand. Understanding that this is not a simple issue, but is being proliferated by all sides, whether that be unconsciously externally or internally, removes finger-pointing and makes the male gaze an issue that everybody can work to help resolve.