Hey Dude, Get Out of my Gaze!

In the article (Un)feminist guilty pleasure: I don’t want to critique Magic Mike, the author remarks on the demographics of the audience in the movie theater. Does seeing this movie with other people, either of the same or opposite gender, affect the gaze of the viewer? For example, how might the gaze of a heterosexual woman be different if she were to watch the film in a theater full of men, or by herself, rather than with other women?

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One thought on “Hey Dude, Get Out of my Gaze!

  1. This is a great question! I think the viewer’s gaze is definitely affected by the people he or she watches the movie with. More often than not, I think we react to things in a movie theater because the people around us are reacting the same way. When other women around me are giggling at the sight of Channing Tatum’s erotic dance moves, it’s like a subconscious reminder that it’s okay for me to react in that way. On the other hand, I think a heterosexual woman would be far less-inclined to let her emotions show in a theater full of men (given that these men are also heterosexual). For a movie like Magic Mike, I think a theater full of heterosexual men would be abnormally quiet – if they oooo or ahhh at the objectified men on screen, it might compromise their own sexuality. At the same time, the lone woman in the audience might reign in her emotions in order to seem more “in control” and less persuaded by rock hard abs. And besides, regardless of movie theater demographics, being the only cryer or laugher in the theater is totally awkward. Watching a movie by oneself is a completely different experience altogether. I would argue that the viewer’s gaze is the most “pure” when he or she watches the movie alone. In this setting, he or she can react without subconscious reminders from the people nearby.

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