“The concept of male entitlement is represented by male arms and hands performing a variety of actions that are overwhelming intrusive on her body and her life. In each situation she maintains a blank expression, a visual choice that demonstrates how conditioned we as women have become to accept this atmosphere as excusable and even normal.” -- Boundaries, from photographer Allaire Bartel.
The latest episode of Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes Vs. Women has dropped, this time focusing on Laura Mulvey's [pdf] concept of the 'male gaze' in video games. [more inside]
Ultimately, I just don’t care what straight men think of Bayonetta. If she’s not your kink, that’s fine. Not everybody likes to be stepped on. But to dismiss her entire game as a product of “male gaze” seems like an unkind oversimplification as to who might be doing the “gazing”—let alone the identifying—and perhaps evidence that gaming desperately needs a new phrase to describe the complex interlocking of factors that occur when players identify with a character. We don’t just get invited to watch Bayonetta, we also inhabit her. When I play, Bayonetta is me, and the camera’s glances are just the “sub gaze”—the male submissive’s gaze. Bayonetta holds all the cards.Maddy Myers on why a game like Bayonetta is about more than just the male gaze and the problematic nature of using this term in videogaming in general.
What if, wrote Jenn Frank (previously), there was a computer game that involved a sexy character shopping for a bra but ended with her crying softly because she could not find one that fitted. "Everyone thought I was kidding," Ms Frank told the BBC. "I thought I was kidding, and then two hours later I was building a website for it." "It" is Boob Jam, a weekend-long event during which game developers will go without sleep to create games that offer players a more truthful and accurate depiction of breasts and what it means to have them. [more inside]
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire." " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
"If a woman is objectified in a relationship, the research indicates, it's more likely that her male partner will sexually coerce and pressure her." [more inside]
The butt-shakingly over the top video for Nicki Minaj's Anaconda (Previously) was released recently and while there's been discussion if it re-claims the twerk or refuses the male gaze, video artist Jeff Osborne has put the song into its 90s "Baby's Got Back" pop culture context with appearances by Jessica Rabbit, Beavis And Butthead, and more. (all videos quite NSFW) [more inside]
An anonymous female protagonist takes on a phallic army in Mrzyk & Moriceau’s erogenous epic [caution: auto-play video, *deeply* NSFW] for Jackson and His Computerband.
"Imagine a female pov character is going along about her protagonist adventure, seeing things from her perspective of the world as written in third person. She hears, sees, considers, and makes decisions and reacts based on her view of the world and what she is aware of and encounters. Abruptly, a description is dropped into the text of her secondary sexual characteristics usually in the form of soft-focus Playboy-Magazine-style sexualized kitten-bunny-I-would-fuck-her-in-a-heartbeat lustrous-eyes-and-nipples phrases. Her breasts have just become omniscient breasts." -- Kate Elliott on the male (and female) gaze in literature.
She steps in, takes off the bathrobe and stands silently before two men discussing her body. "Blachman" is a new Danish TV show, hosted by Thomas Blachman. [both links NSFW]
Nobody does this to men in the industry. Nobody says Cliff Bleszinski is wearing such a tight shirt today, and oooh I'd love to rub my hands all over him. At least not to the point where he's uncomfortable at tradeshows. Likewise nobody sexualizes male characters. Some may argue that Kratos represents an unrealistic image of a male, but there aren't massive forum threads dedicated to whether and how people would like to have sex with him. Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and their ilk, are the object of power fantasies, not sexual fantasies. There is a huge difference there. You want to be as cool and powerful as Kratos. Again, nobody wants to be Lara Croft all the time.Video games and Male Gaze - are we men or boys?
"To be a young woman in our culture means that you exist, from an alarmingly young age, for the appreciation of others. Therefore, your every feature is fair game for public appraisal."
Finslippy: On being an object, and then not being an object. This starts young. But "...girls are being nice to one another. They're complimenting each other. They are telling each other something important about the world and their place in it." Sometimes, compliments aren't really compliments and "flattering" can be body policing.
...IN THE MIDNIGHT LINE THE OTHER NIGHT THERE WERE ABOUT 90 GUYS ALL STANDING AROUND READY TO BUY. AMONG THEM, A FEW RANDOM GIRLS INTERSPERSED WHO RIGHTLY LOVED THE LAST GAME AND ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH A REALLY, REALLY STRANGE TONE. OH SURE, CHANCES ARE THEY’RE USED TO MOST OF THE SEXISM IN VIDEO GAMES, BUT THIS IS A SPECIAL KIND OF ORNAMENTAL. THIS IS STEALTH SEXISM. SOMETHING FAR MORE INSIDIOUS THAN THE NAKED PANDERING OF DUKE NUKEM.Gender roles among contemporary comics characters has been scrutiized in the wake of DC Comics' rebooting of its product line (previously), as well as in its prior days of stuffing damsels inside refrigerators. But the latest writeup on the Male Gaze's role in superheroics has emerged from the irradiated brow of...The Hulk. And not Feminist Hulk, nor Drunk Hulk but...well, the one who analyses movies.
Would you buy a
pepsi blue pantyliner from this man? How about if he takes off his shirt? [more inside]
"Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves." Also: male gaze on the Gender Ads Project. Laura Mulvey's original 1975 essay on Male Gaze in cinema.
If you were asked to design the perfect weapon to exploit this vulnerability as it manifests itself in attractive, urban gay men, you’d want something that would intensify our isolation, exaggerate our propensity to objectify each other, and persuade us to objectify ourselves -- by encouraging us to believe that our purpose is to look good and have lots of sex. Manhunt would be your perfect weapon"Has Manhunt Destroyed Gay Culture?". It's a great article, but what happened after its publication may be just as interesting. [more inside]