The “Male Gaze” is a Ridiculous Myth

I remember first coming across the concept of the “gaze” in my philosophical studies – the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. Thirty years after Sartre introduced the concept, Laura Mulvey applied it to cinema in a feminist sense that we know today as “the male gaze”.

Okay, that ought to be good enough. Sorry for the click-bait, friends. I know some of you actually read and I appreciate it more than you know. Sometimes I feel like I am screaming into a void.

Perhaps worse than that is when I write anything about more sensitive issues I tend to receive responses – responses from people opposed to my point of view only, and responses that suggest the person did not read the piece at all. They read the title of the piece, assumed my position about the issue, and then just responded with whatever their position was while criticising some imaginary version of what I wrote.

So I apologise for the click-bait, but I have been researching stuff about gaze, male gaze, and female gaze for additional clarity as I set about writing my novel. It’s a real thing, not a myth. It was the first thing on my mind that would spark a response based on title alone, and I’m putting this out there to see how many people read the piece as opposed to get outraged by the title and respond in turn.

It’s a self-centred experiment, but one that I needed to do for my mental health. I already saw NPR troll people with an experiment like this ages ago – they asked, somewhat banally, why Americans do not read anymore and received an expected outcry from “dedicated readers”. The piece, as you can read for yourself, is a simple April Fools’ prank designed around the idea that NPR comment-leavers seem not to have read the piece on which they commented.

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