The Gazed and the Gazed-Upon

Mulvey presents the idea of the trope of an openly sexualized woman-on-display, receiver of the voyeuristic libido-controlled gaze, who loses this glamour and show-girl appeal as she becomes the male character’s property.  This still allows her to receive a different kind of male gaze, as  the viewer wants to identify with this male who has sole access and control of the woman’s eroticism.   

It could be argued that Magic Mike follows this trajectory, leaving the eroticized life of the stripper and ending as the sole partner of the film’s strongest female character.  Is this the case, or does the Magic Mike’s representation as independent/active in this scenario negate that association?

  With our societies assumptions about gender characteristics, if one were to create a piece of film which reversed the sexes of the gazer and the gazed-upon, would it be possible to maintain the power dynamics between gazer and gaze-receiver?


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