Male Gaze

The concept of the gaze is the one that deals with how an audience views the people presented.

Laura Mulvey

Laura Mulvey believes that in the world of film, audiences have to view characters from the perspective of a hetrosexual male.

This could be in part, because most filmmakers are themselves hetrosexual males.

Features of the male gaze

Woman are relegated to the statue of objects, the movie Pretty woman is a good example. Male characters drive the narrative forward, while woman slow it down.

Woman often show

  • Frightened behaviour
  • In need of protection
  • Offering support to the male lead
  • dependent
  • pre-occupied with family/relationship
  • The female viewer must experience the narrative secondary


Pretty Woman Analyse

Pretty woman is a story that shows us two different people living in a different class of society but come to understand each others lives. The movie targets females as more of an object and a thing.

The first scene in the garden we see a naked female mannequin with no head just revealing it’s body. Another way of supporting this theory is the first scene of Vivian, who is in the lower class of society and is a prostitute. The first thing we see of this character is not the face but cut aways of her body.

Two types of male gaze are voteuristic and fetishistic woman

Laura Malvey argued that female characters in films are often  given two types. sexually active female and powerless women.

Terminator 1,2 and 3 are good examples

Through the first Terminator film Sarah Conner was dependant on Kyle Reese, as he was the only character who protects and rescues her from the Terminator.

Terminator 2, Sarah Conner doesn’t need protection and she is very self built and determined to rescue the world from Sky-nets plan, regardless to what harm comes in her way.

Terminator 3, The antagonist is a female terminator, (Kristanna Loken) this uses femininity to advantage

Terminator – Sarah Connor Chronicles, Is about Sarah Connor saving the world.


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