June 28, 2012
"Women who lean toward self-objectification do so because they’ve internalized the idea that, as a woman, they are there to be looked at. Is there anything that more clearly ascertains that you’re being looked at than a compliment about how you look? In this study, women who scored high on a test measuring their tendency to self-objectify reported feeling more body shame after receiving an appearance-based compliment. But! In another study, women who had that same personality trait of self-objectification reported an elevated mood after hearing an appearance-based compliment. (In both studies, the compliments were controlled and took place within the bounds of the study; subjects weren’t reporting back on real-life experiences.)"

Values, Stereotypes, and Big Feelings: Compliments, Part II – The New Inquiry

I pretty much find this fascinating. In the past few months I’ve been femme-ing it up a bit more - wearing make-up, having a haircut that I actually style, going on a diet (which I simultaneously really want to talk about and never ever want to talk about), dressing better - on the theory that a lot of my antipathy/apathy towards this stuff was more about insecurity (fear of failure/fear of success) than because I really “objected” to it. And the thing is, I do think I look cute. But when someone else tells me I look cute I sometimes feel weird and self-conscious? Like sometimes I think they think I don’t look cute and they’re making fun of me (a la Mean Girls), which, rationally is not actually happening because my friends aren’t jerks. Like when I wasn’t trying I was invisible, but now I’m visible, and that’s kind of scary in a way that I can’t totally explain.

Compliments: they are complicated.

June 7, 2012
"I tend not to like “male gaze” as a phrase, tend to personally adopt, when necessary, a concept something like “dudegaze,” a word I use for the spectator-in-the-text (or whatever you want to call it — the implied listener) of a certain kind of male’s gaze. A more specific social class with a broader definition of what counts as “class.” (What comes to mind is something like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.”) “Male” feels too broad, since the kind of male it’s targeting doesn’t feel like it’s me, even if it has a (dude-like) affect on me that I may or may not be aware of."

Rock Critic Roundtable: RCR VOL. 2: Round 1 Recap 

speaking here as a person also occasionally inclined to use dude/bro/dudebro/etc. to distinguish a particularly repellent type of male specimen, i have to say this stance, coming from a male-identified person, strikes me as frankly very dudely. i’ll freely admit i lack the theoretical background to thoroughly engage with the concept of the male gaze as outlined first by laura mulvey and developed further by later scholars, but i am nonetheless comfortable in saying that you don’t get to give yourself a get-out-of-misogyny free card just because you don’t want to root for drunk girls making out with each other for your pleasure. i can’t imagine a conversation about gender and media that would be a good place for men to talk about why they are Not Like Those Other Guys, mostly because i can’t imagine it being a good idea to center men in a conversation about gender and media and that’s exactly what’s going on when you rush to clarify that you’re one of the good ones.

or to be more obnoxious but also perhaps more honest about it: “how men feel about the concept of the male gaze” is up there with “what it’s like to be a male liz phair fan” in the world of things i am so thoroughly uninterested in i could plotz.

(via isabelthespy)

OK so I totally did read this in context before jumping in and the whole post made me even more twitchy. I don’t know a lot about a lot of things but I do know a greater-than-average amount about the male gaze.

One thing is, where does “gaze” fit into the music-listening experience? This is an honest question, I’ve done a lot of film theory but almost no music theory (though a bit of cultural theory type stuff which is where a lot of this conversation seems to be?). But pretty much the whole idea of “male gaze” is about an implied (by default male) spectator, and also by an actual look.

Obviously gaze is going to function differently in music. I’m not saying our latter-day experience of music (especially music by women) isn’t heavily visually mediated, but ultimately you don’t gaze at a song. The fact of gazing is actually pretty important to  the approach as put forward by Mulvey (in terms of the apparatus of the actual cinema space, in terms of the link between the screen image and the importance of the mirror stage in infant ego formation). The idea is that there’s two pleasures spectators get out of films: voyeurism and identification. You can guess which gender gets voyeured at and which one gets identified with in the Hollywood model.

Of course the Ashlee Simpson example is even more complicated because the production and release of Autobiography was the subject of a successful MTV reality show, so it was literally saturated with gaze (arguably, male gaze even?). I mean, no one doesn’t know what Britney Spears looks like, or have a bunch of stories about her that they can’t help but bring in to listening to her. Same with Ashlee Simpson, for that matter, where most people would be listening to the album with some knowledge of her TV show, her famous family, the way she was positioned vis a vis her sister. 

I think RGR brought this into the conversation and I feel like the way she’s used it has been pretty specific to actual gazing but I still think the question of how the gaze is being deployed when we talk about music is probably important. For me, like, sometimes I experience a song via its music video first, but often it’s while I’m on a bus or walking to the store or sitting in my room or dancing with friends or at a desk doing data entry, so there’s not necessarily a visual component. There’s just disembodied noises in my ear. I don’t know, can you objectify a voice? Sounds always seem to be much slipperier. That separation of the voice from the body seems wildly relevant to me, in the way that it can (at least kind of) deny our to-be-looked-at-ness. That might be a stretch but I think the gap it creates between the voice and the source of the voice is probably A Thing.  Eh, I’m kind of on shaky ground here, I don’t know a lot about music qua music.

My main point was that it was talking, pretty specifically, about a camera’s gaze, in cinema, in the Hollywood milieu. I am comfortable expanding and re-working those ideas to talk about other visual media, because it’s an important and useful concept  - art, photography, TV, various advertising images, music videos - but I don’t know how “the gaze” works for a medium that both is and very much isn’t visual.

The other thing I’d say is, “male gaze” as coined by Laura Mulvey was in fact - arguably - talking about a spectator-in-the-text, a kind of implied male subject whose unconscious voyeuristic fantasies are played out in Hollywood cinema. I mean, I suspect part of the reason she said “male gaze” and not “the gaze of some really bad males, not all of them” is because it’s not about individuals, it’s about hegemony. It’s systematic.

(via isabelthespy)

March 8, 2012
"Added Jordan, a 13-year-old: “I feel like I have to look good all the time — at school, at parties, at the mall, whenever I am socializing out of the house. I want people to say, ‘She looks great.’ I’m not happy if I don’t think I look good.”"

For Teenage Girls, Facebook Means Always Being Camera-Ready - NYTimes.com

March 4, 2012
Remember that whole thing about “porn names” in Tom Junod’s Lana Del Rey piece for Esquire?

isabelthespy:

andrewtsks:

I’ll quote from it, in case you forgot (don’t worry, I’ll be brief):

Beyoncé and Gaga, Rihanna and Ke$ha: They share little but an ability to impart an awareness that whatever their music pretends to be about, it’s really about becoming Beyoncé, Gaga, Rihanna, and Ke$ha — about living up to their porn or (in Stephani Germanotta’s case) their drag names. Florence Welch doesn’t have a porn name; she’s resolutely Florence, though she’s got herself a Machine.

There’s more, but that’s the essence of it.

Well, anyway, today I was reading David Moore’s eulogy for Leslie Carter, who sadly passed away last month at the tragically young age of 25, and was led by it to an article about Gregory Dark, the former pornographer who directed a ton of teen-pop videos in the early part of the last decade. The article, The Devil In Greg Dark, was published in Esquire in 2001, and was also written by Tom Junod. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that if it weren’t for the LDR piece—I used to subscribe to Esquire, and Junod writes feature stories for them in almost every issue. But that LDR article really pissed me off. Anyway, so I had that in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t really thinking about it. Then, 3/4 of the way through the article, I found this:

But that’s the thing with all the video work he’s been getting. It, like, comes to him. He was a pornographer, sure, maybe even the worst pornographer … but it’s not like he sits around plotting to direct Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, and Leslie Carter so that he can corrupt them and the little girls who idolize them. And it’s not like he has to worry about making them pornographic, either—about straying over the boundaries of taste, about eroticizing them, about fetishizing them, about doing all the things he used to do as a pornographer. They’ve already been eroticized and fetishized by the culture itself. In 1985, he directed Traci Lords and he was very nearly a criminal … but now the entire culture is besotted with the erotic promise of teenage girls, and so by the time they come to Gregory Dark, the girls have already been, well, pornographied. Britney Spears? That’s a porn name if there ever was one, no matter if it’s her real name or not. That Rolling Stone cover of Christina Aguilera with her shorts unzipped and her athletic tongue licking her lascivious lips? That’s a porn box cover, though without the usual accoutrement of bodily fluids. The lure of jailbait now supplies the erotic energy to a popular culture desperate for what’s new, what’s young, what’s alive; and the pornographication of the American girl has proceeded at such a pace that, as curious as the phenomenon of Gregory Dark directing a girl like Leslie Carter in a music video seems even to Gregory Dark himself, it also makes perfect sense. It seems almost inevitable…

[NOTE: the bolding in the blockquoted passage was added by me]

Clearly that whole “porn name” thing is a bit of an obsession for Junod, especially in light of the fact that this article predates the Lana Del Rey article by nearly 11 years. And I can’t decide whether it’s less distasteful in this context, because he is describing a real process that the capitalist music industry did and does engage in… or whether he’s a little too lascivious about the whole thing to avoid complicity.

Either way, the recurrence of the less-than-savory conceit in an article from over a decade ago definitely gave me pause, and I thought it was worth noting.

i need a gif to adequately convey the feeling of lolbarf.

"That’s a porn name if there ever was one, no matter if it’s her real name or not" is one of the most chilling sentences I’ve ever read, and he’s ironically doing the thing he’s basically criticizing the music industry for doing it as he writes it.

6:40pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSRIbyHU2x6e
  
Filed under: feminism gaze 
March 4, 2012
Remember that whole thing about “porn names” in Tom Junod’s Lana Del Rey piece for Esquire?

isabelthespy:

andrewtsks:

I’ll quote from it, in case you forgot (don’t worry, I’ll be brief):

Beyoncé and Gaga, Rihanna and Ke$ha: They share little but an ability to impart an awareness that whatever their music pretends to be about, it’s really about becoming Beyoncé, Gaga, Rihanna, and Ke$ha — about living up to their porn or (in Stephani Germanotta’s case) their drag names. Florence Welch doesn’t have a porn name; she’s resolutely Florence, though she’s got herself a Machine.

There’s more, but that’s the essence of it.

Well, anyway, today I was reading David Moore’s eulogy for Leslie Carter, who sadly passed away last month at the tragically young age of 25, and was led by it to an article about Gregory Dark, the former pornographer who directed a ton of teen-pop videos in the early part of the last decade. The article, The Devil In Greg Dark, was published in Esquire in 2001, and was also written by Tom Junod. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that if it weren’t for the LDR piece—I used to subscribe to Esquire, and Junod writes feature stories for them in almost every issue. But that LDR article really pissed me off. Anyway, so I had that in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t really thinking about it. Then, 3/4 of the way through the article, I found this:

But that’s the thing with all the video work he’s been getting. It, like, comes to him. He was a pornographer, sure, maybe even the worst pornographer … but it’s not like he sits around plotting to direct Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, and Leslie Carter so that he can corrupt them and the little girls who idolize them. And it’s not like he has to worry about making them pornographic, either—about straying over the boundaries of taste, about eroticizing them, about fetishizing them, about doing all the things he used to do as a pornographer. They’ve already been eroticized and fetishized by the culture itself. In 1985, he directed Traci Lords and he was very nearly a criminal … but now the entire culture is besotted with the erotic promise of teenage girls, and so by the time they come to Gregory Dark, the girls have already been, well, pornographied. Britney Spears? That’s a porn name if there ever was one, no matter if it’s her real name or not. That Rolling Stone cover of Christina Aguilera with her shorts unzipped and her athletic tongue licking her lascivious lips? That’s a porn box cover, though without the usual accoutrement of bodily fluids. The lure of jailbait now supplies the erotic energy to a popular culture desperate for what’s new, what’s young, what’s alive; and the pornographication of the American girl has proceeded at such a pace that, as curious as the phenomenon of Gregory Dark directing a girl like Leslie Carter in a music video seems even to Gregory Dark himself, it also makes perfect sense. It seems almost inevitable…

[NOTE: the bolding in the blockquoted passage was added by me]

Clearly that whole “porn name” thing is a bit of an obsession for Junod, especially in light of the fact that this article predates the Lana Del Rey article by nearly 11 years. And I can’t decide whether it’s less distasteful in this context, because he is describing a real process that the capitalist music industry did and does engage in… or whether he’s a little too lascivious about the whole thing to avoid complicity.

Either way, the recurrence of the less-than-savory conceit in an article from over a decade ago definitely gave me pause, and I thought it was worth noting.

i need a gif to adequately convey the feeling of lolbarf.

"That’s a porn name if there ever was one, no matter if it’s her real name or not" is one of the most chilling sentences I’ve ever read, and he’s ironically doing the thing he’s basically criticizing the music industry for doing it as he writes it.

5:24pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSRIbyHTmQ1u
  
Filed under: feminism gaze 
November 16, 2011
criterioncorner:

I See What You Did There, Film Comment.

criterioncorner:

I See What You Did There, Film Comment.

(Source: thedeathoffilm, via ahouseoflies)

8:01am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSRIbyB-iQKn
  
Filed under: film gaze 
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