TwoFictionalFemales.OneMaleGaze

[ANanimatedGIFessay on LizLemon&CathyGale]

I originally intended to react to Robin Redmon Wright’s “Unmasking Hegemony with The Avengers: Television Entertainment as Public Pedagogy” (Ch. 15; Handbook of Public Pedagogy; ed. by Sandlin, Jennifer et.al.) by suggesting that the character Cathy Gale (and those like her) shouldn’t be wholly accepted as feminist landmarks since they still were (and are) succumbing to male dominance and fantasies by embodying the “hot chicks with guns” stereotype. Instead, I would offer the character Liz Lemon (from the TV show 30Rock) as a viable alternative to respond to the typical “us versus them” paradigm served up in most popular culture media outlets.

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Nonetheless I very soon realized that my married male heterosexuality was likely to negate most of the insights that I could provide about the type of female characters that could constitute positive feminist icons; In this sense, and since I would not be able to overcome my role as essentially a male gazer, I decided that whatever few insights I would be able to provide would have to take into account the ever present and proverbial male gaze.

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The male gaze must be enticed, engaged; but always and only from a vantage point of voyeur.

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The gazer is a hunter at heart. Hunting implies the chance for failure. Hunting implies the rejection and ridicule of comfort.

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Too much confidence might cease to be exciting and turn dangerous. The gazer begins to envy comfort with self.

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Famous last words. All interest gone, the male gazer tries to CPR it back to life.

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2 thoughts on “TwoFictionalFemales.OneMaleGaze

  1. It is funny, because I too thought of Liz Lemmon when we were talking class. When asked who was my role model, I thought of Tina Fey. Good stuff, Leon.
    -Farrar

    1. Thank you Farrar ( 🙂 ) . Yeah, Tina Fey is absolutely brilliant as far as I’m concerned and so is 30Rock but I also have to constantly question myself as to how and why exactly does she attract me as a viewer/critic/pedagogue/mediaMaker. I hope I was able to give an honest and clear depiction of these contradictory forces at play.

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