The New Republic should have come to my attention earlier than the taping of the Colbert Report that I attended in November of this year. (So glad I got to see him before he left for new ground.) The literary editor of the magazine, Leon Wiseltier, was attending as guest and discussing his contribution to the new book Insurrection of the Mind. The man is a new hero of mine. So, too, the magazine comes under my eyes daily thanks to its presence on social media.
Today’s gripping headline, What Sex is like for Women through the lens of Television. That was right up my alley. It covers gender politics and the entertainment industry. When my eyes wandered across the line “You don’t have to be a puritan to find this alienating. For many women, the aggressive male gaze is a constant reminder that this wasn’t made for you,” I knew I had to share this article on my blog.
The male gaze and entertainment is something I have studied throughout my higher education. It is also something I have experienced, mostly to my discomfort, my entire life. This wasn’t made for you, is the exact sentiment hetero women, and also homosexual men, experience watching some of their favorite shows. It hasn’t been until more recent times that equal body time has been given to hetero normative genders, and to an extent homosexual relationships. I think that Game of Thrones, and the other shows mentioned, are a bit late to the game. I wager that the writer of the article hasn’t watched Arrow or a number of other television series that center men as their protagonist and sex object, not always in straight matches. (Cue the homophobic panic from male fans of the show.) I’d cite Torchwood and Copper (both BBC productions), as well as Star Trek: Enterprise and even DS-9 as bringing a more feminine gaze to television. One cannot forget Firefly and the charming Kaylee Frye or the kick ass Zoë Washburne, who were not simply objects, but helped to bring a feminine gaze to their encounters. The men in the series are on prominent display when sex is the topic. This might explain a lack of success with networks, but great success with fans (BRING BACK FIREFLY!). I would not cite Sex and the City, which is basically a show about women from a man’s point of view that is more touted by networks and basic bitches than real women or gay men. The same for Desperate Housewives. Don’t even get me started on Pretty Little Liars and 90% of ABC Family’s perverse tween and teen to pedo match ups.
But anyway, the point is to check out the article from The New Repulic…