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2007 tv pilots May 16, 2007

Posted by sindhub in "the gaze", motherhood, opting out, race, The TV Set, tv, women in television.
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I was looking at TV pilots for the 2007-2008 television season, and I was struck by how many pilots related to ‘girl power,’ especially the idea of a supermom who balances work and family.  It’ll also be interesting to see how many of them actually get picked up by the networks, and if the number that are picked up is proportional to how many were created.  Here are some examples (there are probably a lot more, but I thought these were particularly relevant):

ABC

  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith: based on the blockbuster movie
  • Cashmere Mafia: “Sex and the City creator Darren Star is back to New York in this new dramedy pilot, about four female executives, friends since college, who support one another through the trials and tribulations of work, family, and everything else life in New York City throws at them.”
  • Women’s Murder Club: “A series of mystery books by James Patterson was the inspiration for this new series, which tells the story of four women who work together to solve some of the most confounding murder cases out there. Their jobs as a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter, and an assistant district attorney give them a formidable range of skills, and their strong friendship provides basis for the teamwork that’s necessary to crack each case.” (more…)
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Facebook: Who are we posing for? May 15, 2007

Posted by lindamc in "the gaze", Attractiveness and age, Facebook, female perfection, Female Power, female relationships, feminism, humor, sexual power, sexuality.
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So, in normal Amherst fashion, I was procrastinating my finals work by searching around on facebook and looking at this weekends edition of fun and fabulous pictures. I started to see a theme: girls pose differently then guys: ok I know “WOW!” what a find! Shocking, but in thinking about the male gaze, it is really easy to notice that women pose for men in their pictures: particularly on drunken Saturday nights. Many groups even do it for their girl friends, even at other schools: so that they can look at the pictures and say: “oh look how cute so and so looks out with her friends in their little langerie!” I think that this might be something that is different then a few years a go. Facebook and Myspace have allowed for internet stalking and picture posting, and allowed each and every member to create a little album of themselves for the opposite sex or for their friends to get jealous from. Specifically relating to girls: do we really think about how and who we are posing for when we take pictures? (particularly those on drunken or wild nights) So is it always the confusing: women like to see men looking at them, or is it women like to see other women looking at men who are looking at them….or even worse: women like to see anyone looking, as long as their being looked at!

virtual women May 14, 2007

Posted by sindhub in "the gaze", beer.com, bodies, ms. dewey, sex sells, sexuality, video, virtual bartender, virtual women.
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Someone a while back posted a link to Ms. Dewey, which is an online search engine with a woman named Ms. Dewey who reacts to what you type in, played by actress Janina Gavankar.  It’s kind of weird and obectifying and totally all about the male gaze.  Well, after surfing the internet for a bit, I came upon something even worse: Virtual Bartender 1 and Virtual Bartender 2.  You can place random orders to these ‘beer girls’ and they will act really suggestive (pre-filmed) in front of the camera.

What I kind find of odd about Ms. Dewey and Virtual Bartender is that although they’re all about the male gaze, they’re also about interaction, of sorts, with these virtual women.  But I guess since we’re so separated from them, they’re still just performing, not actually responding and interacting with us.

“Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission” May 12, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in "the gaze", bodies, books, controversy, Fat Feminism, in the news, magazines/photography, sex sells, sexuality.
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I just came across this article in the New York Times about Leonard Nimoy (yes, Spock) and his new book, “The Full Body Project.” His book features nude, obese women in provocative poses.  He says that the project is a direct response to the pressures women face in being a size 2…

“The women are interested in fat liberation. Their self-esteem is strong. They will tell you that too many people suffer because the body they live in is not the body you find in the fashion magazines.”

He also has a show of photographs, and guess where it is… the photographs are on view at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Mass., through June!
So what do you guys think? Is this girl power or just another, albeit very different, form of the male gaze?

Is This Girl Power? *watch this! you won’t regret it… May 11, 2007

Posted by kelly in "the gaze", Advertisements, Attractiveness and age.
2 comments

My friend showed me this website yesterday that claims to show you the side effects of Reversa‘s facial products, which are directed at older women trying to get rid of wrinkles, age spots, etc. (more…)

Is the Pussycat Doll Image Taking Over the World? May 9, 2007

Posted by kelly in "the gaze", International, Pussycat Dolls.
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While browsing youtube yesterday, my friend and I came across this music video from Japan:

(more…)

“Female Chauvinist Pigs: Girls gone wild” May 7, 2007

Posted by lindamc in "the gaze", bodies, Female Power, gender, in the news.
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This article from the NY Times discusses, although it is a year and a half old(published september 2005), Ariel Levy’s claims about what women these days are turning themselves into. I found this quote from the article particularly interesting and very much the focus of class discussion the past few weeks: “Our popular culture, she argues, has embraced a model of female sexuality that comes straight from pornography and strip clubs, in which the woman’s job is to excite and titillate – to perform for men. According to Levy, women have bought into this by altering their bodies surgically and cosmetically, and – more insidiously – by confusing sexual power with power, so that embracing this caricaturish form of sexuality becomes, in their minds, a perverse kind of feminism.” Levy goes on to discuss the rise of the number of Olympic athletes that pose for playboy, Paris Hilton, Girls Gone wild, and stereotypes of cartoon men and women. The woman who wrote this article: Jennifer Egan, believes that Levy shapes her examples to fit her theories, and argues that she drew from a small pool of women and girls. What do we think? Do we agree with Levy? Egan does in the end praise the book for posing a tough question: “Many women can buy their own plane tickets and pay their own rent. They can treat themselves. Why, then, do they persist in watching themselves through male eyes?”

Hermione’s a Woman Now! May 5, 2007

Posted by Rob Anne in "the gaze", Breast Size, Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione Granger, Hypsersexualing, IMAX, Teenager.
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harry-potter-breast-growth.jpg

So, the folks at Postwire discovered that there is a remarkable difference in Hermione’s (Emma Watson’s) breast size between the IMAX Order of the Phoenix poster and the regular poster.

Mmmm, I love hypersexualizing young teenagers.

Anyone else appalled?

PETA: Treating Women Like Meat is OK? May 3, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in "the gaze", bodies, Ethics, sex sells, sexuality.
3 comments

I recently came across an advertisement from PETA that featured one of Hugh Hefner’s “girlfriends,” Holly Madison, completely nude saying she would “rather go naked then wear fur.”  I found it strange that an organization dedicated to the ethical treatment of animals would find no problem objectifying women in their ads. Of course, Holly is not the first person to pose nude for PETA. Pamela Anderson, Pink,and a whole array of other stars also posed for the same ad campaign. Not surprisingly, they were all women. I was wondering if anyone else found this as ridiculous as I did.

I posted some pictures after the jump. (more…)

Men and the Male Gaze: Thelma and Louise March 12, 2007

Posted by lindamc in "the gaze", Thelma and Louise.
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The men in Thelma and Louise seemed to fall into two brackets: pigs who see the women through the traditional objectifying male gaze, and those whom we were supposed to view the women, or those holding the “male gaze” for the audience viewers.

The “pigs” clearly represented what the women were fighting against: sexual violence against, and general oppression of, women (the dirty trucker, the guy they shot outside the bar (Harlan), Thelma’s husband, Darryl). They are played so over the top in these roles (the trucker has female bodies engraved on his truck to clearly show his objectification of women, and Harlan and Darryl clearly have no respect for the women in all of their assigned dialogue. By having such a clearly negative group to fight against, viewers are drawn into the female protagonists’ plight, and feel sympathy for all their brushes with the law. However, I feel as those this is compromised throughout the film, by the other male characters, who provide their own “male gaze” on screen. 

The main detective, Investigator Slocomb seems to be oddly sympathetic to the girls, because as we randomly find out, he “knows what happened to [Louise] in Texas” referencing her own rape. Also, Louise’s boyfriend, Jimmy, is wonderfully supportive and loving towards her, offering her the money she needs, and even proposing in order to keep her by his side. After Jimmy serves this purpose, however, he is rarely seen again, his part as supporter seems lost, as if when he heard that she was in trouble with the law, he would do nothing. Darryl follows the investigation closely, but Jimmy seems to disappear. These two men in particular, seem to distract from the main focus of the audience, which is to support Thelma and Louise, and draws then into a man’s world, where some guys do understand, and makes the audience ask: why do they have to keep running? Slocomb and Jimmy will work it out, they’re nice guys. I feel as though those loose ends make the film less about female empowerment, and more about two crazy women getting beat up and lost in a man’s world. 

The last shot of the film, Slocomb chasing the car, could show, if one were to argue this way, that he was running after them to try and pull them back into the man’s world, that they had broken free and he was trying to reign them in. However by not having the camera follow the girls off at the end, but having a shot from behind Slocomb’s shoulder, and then the car flying over the edge on the side, I feel like we end disconnected from the girls. We follow them from the point of a male detective who, while clearly (and in my mind strangely) is empathetic and supportive of the girls, is also a man, and a representation of the police (controlling men).